Music. David Bowie. The Man Who Sold the World (RSD 2016 Edition).

I did a thing this week: I catalogued every record I own in Discogs. I have 93 releases on vinyl. It’s not a ton, but it’s enough to start taking a closer look at some of those records, particularly ones I picked up in grab bags and from boxes on the curb, things I have expressly for the purpose of filling out a collection.

Happily, when browsing my collection on Discogs, I noticed the link that brings you to a random release from the collection. Every week I’ll be grabbing a random record, listening to it, and writing about it, because…well, because why not?

This week: David Bowie’s iconic The Man Who Sold the World.

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tmwstw-frontThe picture that would eventually become the commonly-accepted American cover for The Man Who Sold the World once the Bowie canon was released on CD is an odd one; David Bowie in a “man’s dress” was certainly a statement in the early ’70s, but it seems oddly muted and domestic today. while it makes sense that the cover might have made American executives nervous in the ’70s (hence its relegation to UK-only status), by the time the ’90s came around, its dull color palette and tame, posed look allowed it to fade into the background almost too easily when presented alongside Bowie’s many other iconic album covers. Okay, maybe Michael Weller’s cartoon was a little too “’70s schtick” to attract much attention, the black and white stage photo was a little too “unofficial bootleg”, and the German cover was a little too “bad acid trip”. Continue reading