What we have here is one of the most sought after worldwide David Bowie collectables – the original pressing of what is generally regarded as the first Bowie album proper, performed by Bowie and a cast of uncredited ‘Friends’ including Herbie Flowers, Rick Wakeman, Moody Blues bassist John Lodge and [on ‘Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud’] Mick Ronson.
Despite this stellar line-up and the success of the ‘Space Oddity’ single, the 1969 pressing of the album was a commercial failure, hence it’s scarcity today – it would be reissued in 1972 by RCA, but with a new title and a totally different sleeve
The colour gatefold sleeve on this issue is literally a work of art in itself. It features an image of Bowie on the front based on Hungarian-born artist Victor Vasarely’s piece ‘CTA 25 Neg’, with George Underwood’s drawing ‘The Depth Of The Circle’ on the reverse illustrating aspects of the album’s lyrics. The lyrics themselves are printed across the centre of the gatefold.
The sleeve shows light print wear around the edges, although nothing which distracts from the superb artwork; there is a little edge scuffing and the text on the spine is all legible. There is a small ink spot to the reverse, which luckily is on a dark area of print and therefore not especially noticeable. The interior has just a little light foxing creeping in, but nothing severe. The sleeve is free from splits and tears.
The vinyl is stunning; nothing but a few faint spindle marks on otherwise spotless labels, whilst the vinyl itself retains a deep sheen with just a few faint scuffs – easily Excellent, with an eye on Near Mint.
This is an item that defines ‘rare’. They just don’t come along very often – this is only the second EX copy we’ve had in over twenty years!
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