The postman dropped by my place of work with a package under his arm. It was a little over 12″ x 12″ and brown, covered in American stamps, air mail tags and lovely writing all over it. Straight away, I knew what it was. Contained within the confines of my package was a complete set of vinyl releases from the Brooklyn edition of David Bowie Is…..
My hope of obtaining these releases for a reasonable price were slim to none however, with a touch of luck, I managed to pick up all three for a reasonable deal. The one I was after most, “Live In Berlin” EP, was recorded on May 16 1978. It sounds very much like it was taken from one of the soundboard cassette tapes Bowie was known for capturing during tours to play back after each show as a way of checking how things sounded. Some collectors have complained but for me, it’s pretty decent in sound so no worries on my front. The big selling point was also the beautiful orange vinyl that it was pressed on. Sadly, it doesn’t come in a gate-fold sleeve but hey, beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to new Bowie releases. I mean, we’ve been waiting for decades to get releases like this! It’s a splendid live E.P and if you see it pop up for sale within a decent price range, go for erm, “orange” and and square one up for your collection.
The second item from the exhibition is the silver vinyl 7″ pressing of Time/The Prettiest Star which falls into line with many of the other releases from the series of exhibitions around the world. Personally, I would have preferred a white or red vinyl release but again, beggars and all that jazz ey? It’s yet another tidy release and a nice one at that for the completest types among us, of which there are many.
The third item off the rank was none other than a red vinyl pressing of the iSelect LP which was personally put together by Bowie and released on CD back in June 2008 as a free giveaway that came with The Mail on Sunday. Essentially, it’s a small collection of some of his most treasured recordings and fits in just neatly among the throng of Bowie collections out there. If I was going to buy any new fan a compilation, this would be it as it leans away from the commercial side of his career with a focus on his creative elements. Now, I may be wrong here, but it appeared for the first time on delicious red vinyl at the Paris edition of this exhibition and has re-appeared a few times since making it a reasonably easy collectible for fans to obtain at a modest price. I’ve seen it sell for hundreds of dollars in the past. Let’s hope those days are over.
Early exhibition stages included some daft options with limited pressings that sent prices out of control on the collectors market. A few of my friends have managed to secure every related release which has, for some items, set them back a pretty penny since David Bowie Is…. opened in London some 5 years ago now. It’s been nice seeing so many fans being looked after this time around by other kind hearted collectors who have been able to secure a few extra copies here and there. I noticed just the other day actually, an Australian record store listing the Berlin E.P up for no less than $399! Thankfully, as long as there are thoughtful Bowie fans around the traps, we’ll all get sorted for the Berlin E.P eventually and we won’t have to fork out $399 for it in the process. Unless of course, you are rich beyond your wildest dreams and happy to throw that kind of money about?
Ohh, as you can see from the photos, I have taken it upon myself to open each release with the intention of playing them all at some stage. I know right? Mental I hear some of you cry! The concept of owning a complete set of David Bowie Is…. vinyl releases still sealed and in mint condition just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe others, but I prefer to enjoy my Bowie collection.