Exciting Bowie Releases For June

As expected, Parlaphone will be issuing David Bowie’s Welcome To The Blackout triple vinyl set from RSD on a two CD set next month. The vinyl edition was rightly so, one of the biggest sellers this year on RSD and fans now have the opportunity to obtain this brilliant show on CD.

The album was mixed by Dave Richards and left in the can for 40 long years. One can only guess what else might be laying in wait? The Welcome To The Blackout CD release is expected on June 29.

Also being released on the same day will be a red vinyl pressing of Christiane F and a 10″ EP of the BAAL recordings that were also available as part of the RE: Call 3 disc from A New Career In A New Town box set from 2017.

Finally, the next instalment of the Bowie box set series is due in mid September with full details being released next month also. With this in mind, coupled with the releases at the end of the month, it’s going to be an exciting June coming up for Bowie collectors.

Beating The RSD Blues!

Yet another Record Store Day gem turned up in the post today. And, what’s more, it only cost me face vale from an independent record store here in Australia and meant I could cease my search for a reasonably priced copy through other outlets like eBay and Discogs. Another bonus was not having to fork out for the ever so expensive international postage charges that seem to rise with each and every passing year. It’s almost as if the postage companies around the world are happily seeing how badly they can take the piss! Bastards!

My copy of Welcome To The Blackout set me back $64.95 plus a further $12 for postage and packaging. Not to bad if you ask me. Copies have been floating about for anything between $125 and $300 since the triple vinyl was released just under 3 weeks ago. Most of those copies being sold were likely by the kind of people who flock to RSD every year simply to cash in. It’s been a bug bear of mine for some time and is only helped by those who pay the mental prices being asked. Whilst others don’t mind paying over the odds for these releases, I refuse to play ball with those who want to charge extortionate sums of hard earned money.

So what to make of the album itself? I mean, it’s a classic Bowie concert recorded in London that has been unleashed onto the record buying public we are talking about. Let me begin. It comes in a stunning and visually striking gatefold and heavyweight vinyl. The design itself is quite simplistic which makes a pleasant change from a lot of releases these days. Sometimes less is best and that is most certainly the case with Welcome To The Blackout. I’ve given the show itself a few listens thanks to a vinyl rip that was uploaded to YouTube within days of its original release. Compared to Stage, the band sound much more vibrant and Bowie himself appears to be riding the wave of what was, at the time, the final night of the tour. Of course, they would all reconvene in November and December for a tour to Australia and Japan but for now, Bowie seemed happy to be winding things up. As a whole the show is quite edgy whereas the original recording of Stage always felt a little stiff and suffering from far too much post production by Toni Visconti in the studio. This time around, Dave Richards has nailed the mix beautifully!

I’m actually starting to enjoy this record store day lark for a change. Perhaps it’s down to the ability to pick up most releases at face value still? Of course, this in part comes down to the artists labels realising a healthy number of copies on the market goes a long way to making the fans happy. I can’t tell you the amount of emails I have penned over the years to multiple record labels trying to impress how important it is to look after fans on RSD and allow larger quantities of vinyl into the market. I’m sure I’m not the only one to attempt this approach as it seems the labels are finally listening and allowing a greater circle of fans around the world to be well chuffed with their favourite bands and singers.

There are still a few items I’d very much like to turn up in the coming months from RSD 2018 and thankfully, it appears there is no longer such a great rush and clamour to obtain ones desired releases at disgustingly overwhelming prices. My only hope is the trend will continue into 2019 and beyond. Our fingers and toes are now firmly crossed. Record labels, it’s over to you!

Brett Anderson’s Final Frontier

Going from one of Britain’s most successful bands to a solo career can be fraught with danger.  Once you take away the ingredients of what originally made it all work to try new directions is an area that many musicians have failed at over the decades.  When Brett Anderson embarked on his own solo journey following a long hiatus from Suede, many critics had already written him off with next to zero chance of success.  His first post Suede project, The Tears, which saw him mend the bridges with Bernard Butler turned out to be a critical triumph.  It would be the first step to a new life in the world of music on his own.  Eventually.

18479_295228423378_6932257_n.jpg

In the space of just over four years, Anderson released no less than four studio albums.  None of them performed well in the charts (his debut reached number 54 in the UK charts whilst the next three nose dived) though it really didn’t matter because he was a musician breaching new boundaries and creating some incredibly beautiful music so really, who gives a jack if the albums don’t sell?  His tours were intimate, almost sacred performances that allowed the adoring audiences to feel like part of the furniture.  Six shows from various cities and tours eventually made their way out and his Berlin show of 2010 was a concert that I was lucky enough to attend.  One of 5 shows on that particular tour actually and each and every one of them had their own touch and charm.

18479_295228223378_6587460_n.jpg

I started off in London at the Shepherds Bush Empire amid a throng of adoring fans.  London crowds sometimes give of an arrogant smell at the best of times.  Thankfully, this was not one of those nights.  I’d taken my partner from Liverpool, Ali along for the weekend and show as it would be her first time listening to Brett’s sublime vocals.  Her earliest memory and more so, her most recent memory of Brett came from the mid 90’s when Suede were riding high off the back of Coming Up, an album that would, for a while, be the beginning of what many thought was the end.  Thankfully it wasn’t.  What was the beginning of the end was my relationship with Ali.

18479_295271118378_577487_n.jpg

A week later, I would be in Berlin for the memorable gig at Lido, a sizable venue that was most enthusiastic.  The crowd and singer worked well together during the show and I remember the USB stick that contained the complete show not being available as promised due to technical problems.  I’d have to buy a copy online at a later date.  Oh well, first world problems ey?  It was fantastic to finally see a gig in Berlin after travelling there many times previously.  It’s still, to this day, one of my favorite cities from travels around the world.

Brett was quite the chatty fellow during the show which made for a receptive audience who gave as good as they were given.  You could tell that Brett was made up for the show.  He played a total of 18 songs on the night, the same amount as London with a few slight tweaks in the running order.

18479_295292023378_7347808_n

Two days later, I was in Milan, my least pleasurable city in all of Europe.  Essentially, if you have lots of money and enjoy shopping for clothes, you are set.  Otherwise, there isn’t a great deal to write home about.  The one bonus was that Brett’s gig at The Tunnel Bar was pretty much just that.  A bar.  And a small one at that.  From memory, it would have only held a couple of hundred people.  It was a low set stage which made for difficult viewing and also remained a very humid venue for the duration of the gig.  Perhaps due to my disdain for Milan, the show just didn’t reach the highs of the previous two gigs.  Who knows.  Either way, of the 5 gigs I attended, the Milan show sat firmly at the bottom of an otherwise impressive pile.  The set list on this evening was identical to Berlin.

Fast forward a further two days and I found myself meeting up in Paris with Ali.  With the gig being on a Friday evening, it left us with what I thought would be a romantic weekend in Paris and it all started well enough at the show with another enthusiastic audience set in an appreciative mood.  The only downside was that Scarecrows and Lilacs was omitted from the set list (bastard) reducing the total numbers played to 17.  The Parisian crowd didn’t step back when coming forward with their appreciation of Brett either.  Each song performed was met with applause and whistles of pleasure.  This was a great boost to Brett’s ego and boy did he let it show as he belted out each song with great gusto.  He’s the kind of artist that feeds off a good ego stroking and tonight he got it by the spade load.  I kind of feel that the French always look up to the English in some strange way.

22659_274280113378_4089522_n

The weekend with Ali was jam packed with art galleries, museums and plenty of fighting.  At one point, we were approached by a shady gypsy lady trying to tell us we dropped a ring.  Of course it wasn’t our ring but he decided to humor the battered old lady and threw her a few loose coins.  Next thing we know, she was asking for 50 Euro’s as a “gift”.  We politely told her where to go and in return, she cast a spell on us.  You gotta laugh right?  Coincidentally, we spent the remainder of the weekend fighting and again two weeks later on a weekend in Dublin.  By the start of March we were no more and I was on my way back to Australia.  The superstitious side of me would like to think that the crazy gypsy lady had a hand in our demise however, I think Ali and I were just too different on too many levels to work.  It was a fun 9 months that had come to an abrupt end whilst playing a support role to my jaunt around the traps watching Brett Anderson gigs.

Between all that, I had one final gig to attend in Manchester on February 8th.  The running order remained the same as Paris for the few hundred hearty souls who turned up at the Manchester University and, as was the case with prior gigs, the crowd jumped into the palm of Brett’s hand and he put on one hell of a show.  The guy truly is a showman on many fronts.  You can put him front of any band or any crowd and he will, on almost every occasion, make sure everyone has a good time.  Being shows that included strictly solo material only, it was refreshing to not be peppered with Suede songs.  Of course, Suede were on the brink of returning yet for now, I was like a pig in mud enjoying Brett’s solo offerings in smallish venues for the best part and lapping up an already quality back catalogue of solo offerings.  I do hope Brett one day returns to the solo circuit when he’s done with Suede’s modern renaissance.  For now, we can continue to enjoy what Suede has to offer.

18479_295436898378_2306981_n.jpg

My only regret about these shows is that I didn’t see more of them.  I could have and probably should have caught more gigs along the way but it’s always easy to say these things in hindsight.  On the flip side, I did manage to take in five extraordinary Brett Anderson concerts which is still nothing to be scoffed at.  What’s more, he played numbers from all three (at the time) solo albums so how can anyone not enjoy a concert embracing beautiful numbers in the shape of Back To You, Love Is Dead, Chinese Whispers, Julian’s Eyes, A Different Place and To The Winter to name but a few?

Long may live the musical output of Brett Anderson!

When The Arctic Monkeys Morphed Into David Bowie

I remember a quote by Oscar Wilde from my formative years which has always rung true in the world of art and music.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”

Whilst not exactly mediocre, the Arctic Monkeys have released their sixth studio LP as of last Friday and the throng of journalists and fans alike who appear to be lining up with the one thought.  It’s sounds just like a Bowie record.  Whilst this may be true in some respects, I’ve found it to be a bit harsh on the band because Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is much more than a band morphing into one of their idols.  The album is a definite switch away from their traditional sound which has left some fans puzzled and scratching their heads.  Still, you gotta respect a group for taking a more ballsy approach and not becoming stagnant and dated in sound and vision.  Like Bowie before him, Alex Turner is well aware of the need to constantly evolve and move into new areas and that is certainly what he and his band mates have done here.  Still, to label the album a pure slice of Bowie-esque indulgence is not doing Tranquility Base Hotel& Casino justice.  Upon first listen, one is left a little surprised, bemused and even excited by the new direction.  Admittedly, the more, shall we say, “chav” base of Monkeys fans will obviously be bitterly disappointed to not get what they have in the past however, if I am being brutally honest, who the fuck wants to please the chav crowd anyway?  They’re all bell ends who just follow the trends anyway.

Arctic-Monkeys-Tranquility-Base-Hotel-And-Casino-1525894980-640x640.jpg

In parts, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino sounds like a chorus of estranged jazz musicians who have decided to break way and record a rock album but just can’t ride clear of their jazz roots.  Think of it like this.  Imagine if Duke Ellington was alive today and decided to record a contemporary rock album.  His only problem is this.   He keeps allowing himself to be drawn back into his comfort zone.  That’s kind of how I feel about this album.  You kind of know where the band want to go but not quite sure if they can make it all the way.

Yours truly could sit here and dissect the album tracks one by one but I think you are best left to come to your own valuable conclusions because Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is not your typical modern album.  More than any other LP released in recent years, it’s a vast step away from the norm and you will assuredly need at least four to five spins before getting your head around proceedings.  This is a good thing in our current age of processed pop for the masses.  For me, on a personal level, it sounds like a band moving forward into uncharted waters, yet they are still not too sure where they are headed but excited by the potential.  It’s almost as if they are a group of young pilgrims getting together for the first time.  That’s what makes Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino such a riveting ride.

hOYqNCcg_400x400.jpg

So what are you waiting for?  Should you have been foolish enough to be put off by the early and incredibly unjustified criticisms of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, you have, thus far lost out big time.  I mean, you could always go back to listening to the back catalogue however, you run the risk of being stuck in that time warp which happens to so many thirty somethings and beyond who seem to think music has never been as good as “back in their day” which is what I hear far too often from the punters today.  Sure, the frequency of quality music may not be at the level it once was yet, by closing your eyes on the future, you are going to be missing out on so many fantastic albums in the process.

xgfxgf.jpg

So what can you do aside from getting stuck in said time warp?  This is exactly what you should do.  Continue to evolve as a human being and do yourself a favor by listening to Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.  Chances are that you may not like it at first but I promise you, it will quickly become an album you can’t put down.  And may the Arctic Monkeys long continue to grow and release interesting albums.  Even if they do slightly morph into their heroes in the process.

 

Almost The Best Gig(s) Of My Life!

One day, I’ll be on my death bed pondering over a life of achievements and memories.  Most likely, I settle some lists of my more memorable experiences and no doubt, a series of six concerts in just over a week from May 2011 will stand head and shoulders above the rest.  When news first broke of Suede’s trilogy shows in London and Dublin over the latter half of 2010, I immediately thought to myself, “David, you need to be at these shows!” and of course, I was.  It wasn’t easy though.  The first agenda was securing tickets to each and every night at London’s Brixton Academy and the historical Olympia Theater in Dublin.  I still remember the thrill when I finally captured tickets to all the shows.  The buzz was immense and, a few weeks after, I had plane tickets booked to London.  My only previous experience seeing Suede was at The Livid festival in Brisbane all the way back in 1999 though that was a timid affair as the band looked like they just didn’t want to be there (they had been on the road for 6 months prior) and being an Australian festival, they were considered too queer for the bogan audience in attendance.  Because of this, Brett spent the evening on stage dodging bottles being thrown at him.  It was sad really, watching my favorite band live for the first time and seeing them having to endure heckles like “Go back to England yer poofs” and “Fuck off the stage ya faggots!”.  Yep, Australia rolled into one right there.  Of course, it didn’t help that The Offspring were on their stage next so a high percentage of the crowd watching Suede were impatiently holding out for a rather boring band.

228375_10150182313223379_6126969_n.jpg

In early 2010, I had managed to follow Brett on some solo shows around France, Germany, Italy, England and Ireland.  They were all fantastic gigs.  Very intimate performances with Brett showcasing his talent as a solo artist.  The Milan concert was the best in many respects because the venue, The Tunnel held only a couple of hundred people.  It was almost as if he was performing in our living rooms.

Moving forward to the 2011 concerts.  They were nothing short of sublime.  The first night encompassed the debut LP in full with a selection of b-sides and hits as the encore.  Night number two consisted of Dog Man Star, still one of my all time favorite albums and night three was dedicated to Coming Up.  These two nights also included stunning encore performances of b-sides and hits.  Once the series of shows were completed at Brixton, the band rested up for a few days before moving onto Dublin where they would do it all over again and then some.  By the early 2000’s, it was becoming common for bands to re-visit albums in full before live audiences.  The Cure were the first to launch the “trilogy” shows in 2002 with the collective sets from Pornography, Disintegration and Bloodflowers all being performed back to back. Robert Smith had earlier seen Bowie perform Low and Heathen in full a few months prior and said it was the best he’s seen Bowie in years so decided to take the concept a step further with the trilogy shows in Europe.  Over the following decade, many bands took on the “complete” album performance concept where they could dip their hats to historically significant albums.  Shows were often mainly for the purists and included rare material during the encores.

249390_10150184174068379_7028874_n.jpg

Seeing Suede up on stage performing this absurdly beautiful trilogy of records in full remains one of my greatest moments in life.  All three records had seen seen me through high school and beyond with each release holding a special place in my heart for different reasons.  If I had to chose one of these albums to take to my grave, it would be Dog Man Star.  That album, without a shadow of a doubt is easily one of the most progressive LP’s from the past 50 years of recorded music.  The gloomy soundscapes capture the band on the verge of self destruction as Bernard Butler had left before its release and with it, he deserted a soaring collection of songs that have not been bettered by the band before or since.  Being able to hear The Asphalt World live on stage is something akin to heaven on earth.  Richard Oakes somehow managed to master the song with near perfection.  At one point during the show in Dublin, I closed my eyes during his solo and drifted off into another world all together.  Honest to god, I wasn’t even on drugs at the time but fuck me, it was something else all together.  The only way to have possibly better this performance would be transporting myself back to 1994 and hearing it live during the Dog Man Star tour or one step beyond that, being in the studio when Bernard was laying it down on tape.

225565_10150182314398379_5308792_n

I’ve got to stop myself here because I am doing an incredible injustice to both the debut album and the commercial charm of Coming Up.  By 1996, Suede were top of the pops and producing TOP 10 UK singles without even trying.  Their already magnificent collection of b-sides only added to the euphoria that surrounded the band during the mid 90’s.  They were untouchable for around 5 years.  Actually, the b-side were that good that Suede released a collection of b-sides (Sci-Fi Lullabies) and it reached number 9 in the U.K charts whilst garnering critical acclaim in the United States, something unheard of for British bands at the time.  Essentially, Coming Up was the kind of album you would put on at a party and just let go from start to finish.  Now, if you think that was a cracking album, how does one even begin to describe the bands debut offering in 1993?  Let me try.

251422_10150186716658379_7045913_n.jpg

Off the back of grunge and house music, Suede’s self titled debut appeared in early 1993 where it shot to number 1 in the U.K charts, only to be knocked off the top, ironically, by Bowie’s Black Tie, White Noise in the April.  The album was a fresh take on classic British production and for many, kick started what was to become the ill fated Britpop movement that would last for the remainder of the decade.  England hadn’t witnessed such an important band since The Smiths a decade before.  It wasn’t just the album itself that gained praise.  Anderson’s sparkling on stage presence sparked plenty of attention from the press as he single handily put androgyny back in the spotlight.  Bernard Butler was his Mick Ronson and together, they gave teenage boys and girls around Britain a very good reason to smile again.  I can’t think of a combo that has lit the stage alive so well as these two did over such a short period.  The album is a devastatingly powerful work of sheer genius so being able to hear it in full not once, but twice was a dream come true.  Come to think of it, has there been a better debut album since Suede’s first offering.  That’s 25 years of music under the bridge and I doubt I’ve heard a debut album that has captured the imagination of the public as strongly as this offering managed.

Another aspect of the shows led me to meeting some pretty amazing people, some of which I remain friends with to this day.  With Suede touring again later this year, there is every chance I will be able to catch up with these lovely souls once more to embrace yet another coming of the band many had thought washed up after 2002’s A New Morning LP which was sadly (unfairly) savaged by fans and critics alike.  The band have come out the other end and here’s to another few albums and tours before they finally decide to call it a day on one of the most substantial and important careers of modern times.  May Suede live long and hard into our collective memories.

247265_10150181624658379_8076652_n

Suede – London – May 19 Set List: So Young/Animal Nitrate/She’s Not Dead/Moving/Pantomime Horse/Sleeping Pills/The Drowners/Breakdown/Metal Mickey/Animal Lover/The Next Life

Encore: High Rising /He’s Dead /My Insatiable One /To The Birds /Killing of a Flashboy/Can’t Get Enough/Trash/Beautiful Ones

Dog Man Star – London – May 20 Set List: Introducing The Band/We Are The Pigs/Heroine/The Wild Ones/Daddy’s/Speeding/The Power/New Generation
This Hollywood Life/The 2 Of Us/Black Or Blue/The Asphalt World/Still Life

ENCORE: Living Dead/My Dark Star/Stay Together/Killing Of A Flashboy/So Young/Metal Mickey/Animal Nitrate

 
Coming Up – London – May 21 Set List: Trash/Filmstar/Lazy/By The Sea/She Beautiful Ones/Starcrazy/Picnic By/The Motorway/The Chemistry Between Us/Saturday Night

ENCORE: Europe Is Our Playground/This Time/Young Men/Together/Can’t Get Enough/So Young/Metal Mickey/Animal Nitrate
Suede – Dublin – May 24 Set List: So Young/Animal Nitrate/She’s Not Dead/Moving/Pantomime Horse/The Drowners/Sleeping Pills/Breakdown/Metal Mickey/Animal Lover/The Next Life

ENCORE: He’s Dead/My Insatiable One/To the Birds/Trash/Beautiful Ones

Dog Man Star – Dublin – May 25 Set List: Introducing The Band/We Are The Pigs/Heroin/The Wild Ones/Daddy’s Speeding/The Power/New Generation/This Hollywood Life/The 2 Of Us/Black Or Blue/The Ashpalt World/Still Life

ENCORE: Whipsnade/Killing Of A Flashboy/So Young/Metal Mickey/Animal Nitrate

Coming Up – Dublin – May 26 Set List: Trash/Filmstar/Lazy/By The Sea/She/Beautiful Ones/Starcrazy/Picnic By The Motorway/The Chemistry Between Us/Saturday Night

ENCORE: Europe Is Our Playground/New Generation/Can’t Get Enough/So Young/Metal Mickey/Animal Nitrate

The Bowie Concert Tape Files: Orpheum Theater, Boston, Massachusetts, USA -October 1 1997

What a cracking tour!  Of course, I am speaking of The Earthling Tour from 1997 which began on May 17 in Dublin with the first of four warm ups shows at various venues before the tour kicked off on June 7 in Germany. Before winding up the tour in November, Bowie would play two consecutive nights in Boston beginning September 30. The second night was recorded live for a worldwide internet broadcast, one of the first of its kind. A year before, Bowie had been the first artist to release a song, Telling Lies, via the internet as a download only. He was certainly back in groundbreaking territory that’s for sure.

There is very little one can fault with this live webcast. The full show is captured and there were some fantastic renditions of old songs (think Waiting For The Man, The Jean Genie, My Death, Fame and so on) as well as some blistering new songs to throw out there. By the time of this Boston gig, Bowie and his band had been on the road on and off for over 2 full years and they were sounding incredibly tight. With the addition of Quicksand, V2 Schneider and Always Crashing In The Same Car to the set list, it gave Bowie the impetus to once more enjoy playing live and that’s another big selling point of this concert. No Changes, no Ziggy, no Rebel Rebel? No worries!

The highlight of the entire concert for me comes at the midway point with a blistering reworking of Panic In Detroit. You have to ask yourself how an already brilliant song can be improved in any way from its original format to sound even better? Well, it’s works a right treat on this tour. It’s just a shame Bowie didn’t stick to his original plan to split each show into two parts. One half drum’n’bass and the other half more conventional. It would have made the tour even more amazing than it already was. And that my friends, is saying something.

For a live webcast that was performed with the internet still in its infancy, the sound is quite impressive with only the slightest hint of tin and echo in the sound. The Sky Cries Mary and The Rolling Stones had both performed live concerts over the internet in 1994 but at the time, very few people had access to the shows. Odd ball rockers, Aerosmith would go one better than Bowie a year later by holding the first interactive webcast concert in October 1998. It would only be onwards and upwards for live acts from here.

Being one for constantly evolving, it was nice to see Bowie still kept a selection of songs from his 1. Outside album in the live set up. After all, it was his most adventurous studio offering since the first Tin Machine album some 6 years before and he was happily treading the water again. I’d love to see this Boston webcast cleaned up by Tony Visconti and released in an official capacity at some point down the track. Concerts like this are just too enjoyable and important to be left by the way side, festering and gathering dust. It’s partly why I write articles about these concert tapes. There is a whole world of live Bowie material to be unearthed so one can only hope there are many more live releases coming our way soon.

SET LIST: Quicksand/Queen Bitch/Always Crashing In The Same Car/Waiting For The Man/My Death/Outside/The Jean Genie/Panic In Detroit/I’m Afraid of Americans/The Voyeur of Utter Destruction/Seven Years In Tibet/The Last Thing You Should Do/Strangers When We Meet/Fashion/Band Introductions/Looking For Satellites/Under Pressure/Telling Lies/Hallo Spaceboy/Scary Monsters/Little Wonder/Is It Any Wonder?/Battle For Britain/V-2 Schneider/White Light White Heat/O Superman/Moonage Daydream

David Bowie Is….. On My Doorstep

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.