A lot has happened since the first edition of Marshall Jarman’s “World 7″ Records Discography 1964-1981” was released in 1994. The original book was a labour of love then, as it is now. This new sublime update is the must have Bowie collectable of 2018. If you don’t buy yourself a copy, rest assured, you will fall well behind in your collecting efforts and potentially be left wide open to being ripped off by unscrupulous dealers selling you a counterfeit copy of Liza Jane, first released in the summer of 1964 but counterfeited in the late 1970’s over in America. How will you spot the difference? The “World 7″ Records Discography 1964-1981” book will tell you how and save you the embarrassment and empty feeling of being taken for a ride.
In 1994, I was only 17, still in high school and new to the Bowie collecting world and dealing mainly with Marshall Jarman. His 7″ Discography book that took 4 years to compile soon became my Bowie bible when visiting local record fairs. Back then, the conservatives were in power over in England (just as they are now) and Liverpool didn’t win the league that season (just as they haven’t this year, much to my dismay) however the music I was into was boss! Morrissey, Suede, Pulp, St Etienne, The Cure and Blur were all top of pops in 1994. I was bunking off school to spend my days in the city sifting through the record stores, discovering new bands almost on a daily basis, trying it on with girls, struggling to understand what Oscar Wilde was all about and going to nightclubs and parties for the first time. I didn’t have much money at the time (spending most of what I had on Bowie) but that didn’t seem to matter in the grand scheme of things.
In 1994, I found out about Marshall’s book via a flyer in Rocking Horse Records number 2 store which, a soon to be good friend, Michael Meara had put up. I phoned Michael and arranged to meet up and buy a copy of the book and we ended up taking in some record shopping together. The day out turned into a brilliant Saturday out our friendship became a fabulous one. Meeting like minded Bowie fans was rare in the pre-internet days. Particularly in 1994 when he was on the nose with most, considered to be well past his used by date. We often forget about Bowie’s low period during the early 90’s.
In the 2018 edition of the “World 7″ Records Discography 1964-1981” book, we are given a warm welcome by Kevin Cann who unleashes many reasons why you need to get a copy. As if you didn’t already need a reason? Tony Visconti’s original foreword from September 1993 has been included for prosperity. It was actually a bit sad re-reading Tony’s words because at the time of writing, he and Bowie had not spoken in over a decade. Thankfully, they would reunite a few years later and record a further four LPs together.
So, where do I start when it comes to explaining just how important and unique this fresh pressing of Bowie’s “World 7″ Records Discography 1964-1984” is? Perhaps I should remind you of my first impressions from last week when the book arrived?
The small brown package contains this treasure arrived on Friday and I had it opened with seconds of the package being passed over by the delivery man. What struck me first was the thickness and cover art. Just beautiful. It was all akin to rekindling a teenage romance 24 years on. The memories flooded back and I was quickly reminded why I loved and adored this book in the first place all those years ago. Unlike the first edition which included just a small colour section (the rest was in black and white) in the middle, this time around, the whole tomb has been beautifully restored in full colour with the help of Reto Stöcklin, a long time friend of Marshall’s. They share their story on how this updated edition came into being during the early pages but it’s best I not spoil it here and let you enjoy it yourself. It’ll put a smile on your face for sure.
Flicking through the pages for a quick inspection (I was meant to be working at this point in time you see), I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the pages looked. Seeing sleeves for particular singles in full colour for the first time is simply breathtaking and the general layout looked incredibly professional at every page turn. There are also a few new sections to help you through the maze of counterfeit releases, promotional material and exotic pressings from far and wide. And, as is the case with the passing of father time, a few previously unknown pressing have entered the pages of the 2018 edition. Many kind collectors have also helped and assisted with this new edition which has made compiling information just that little bit easier for the authors. You must remember, when Marshall compiles the first edition, it was during the age before the internet. Can you imagine? It’s one of the unique elements of being a Bowie collector. Always an array of fans out there to help you along.
There are also some quirky surprises that nerds like you and I would love. For instance, did you know that Love You Till Tuesday was advertised in a Japanese magazine during 1967 with the catalogue number DERAM D.1019 but no copies have ever surfaced? Now there’s a bit of Bowie trivia we can all bring up at our next party or gathering to get the punters excited! Or perhaps not?
Over the 24 years between the first edition and this brilliant update, I’ve gone and gotten a little fatter, travelled the world, had many girlfriends, been married, divorced, run 8 marathons, held countless jobs, moved house so many times I’ve lost count, bought and sold too many records and compacts discs to remember, lost loved ones and grown a good deal as a human being. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! I guess I can only wait for the next update (cough, cough) around 2042 to see what happens in my life next?
In 1994, Marshall Jarman became a bit of an icon in my eyes. He was a Bowie dealer and author, a collector yet most of all, he was a huge influence on a young 17 year old Australian collector who realised that one should always do what makes them happy in life. I hung on every word in his letters like any good groupie would and became a DJ, writer, band promoter and traveller in part due to wanting to lead a life of excitement that I thought Marshall himself had.
Thank you Marshall & Reto! If the pair of you could only know how much excitement and pleasure the “World 7″ Records Discography 1964-1981” book in its updated format has already brought to not just myself but many Bowie collectors the world over, then, well, I think you would both deserve to walk the streets with a beaming smile for eternity.