Monday, January 19, 2015

David Bowie - Fashions

Last Saturday, I spent a couple hours in Chicago's Reckless Records (Lakeview location) with a friend. Happy with the records we found, we made our way to the checkout counter. Reckless keeps all the actual vinyl discs stored on shelves behind the counter so, if you come to the counter with a stack of records, there's always a bit of a wait while they find this discs for the sleeves you have in your pile. It was during this wait when my friend spotted something behind the counter that would turn out to be the score of the day for me:  David Bowie's 'Fashions' - a bound book of 10x7" picture discs, released by RCA in the UK in 1982.

The moment I saw it, I knew I had stumbled upon a fantastic find. I had seen it shown by someone on the Vinyl Community Facebook page. I just never thought I would see one of these rare gems "in the wild". The price seemed pretty fair for such a collector's item, too.  There was only one catch; it was dirty. Not damaged at all, just grungy, like someone had stored it in a corner of a basement or attic where it had accumulated a fair amount of grime. The folks had Reckless had opted not to clean it but had priced it accordingly, making it a rather appealing deal for me. After deciding to pull the trigger on it, resigned myself to the idea that it was going to require a serious cleaning job before I could even hope to brag about it.

The following pairs of photographs are shots of various places on this book both before and after my cleaning job. I've posted them as thumbnails, but you should be able to click on any of them to enlarge. I encourage you to do so! 

The most noticeable grime was around the stamped edges of the plastic that made up the book itself, but this was also what had me most concerned. I really wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get the dirt out of all the divots and creases.

As you can see, it went pretty well. The back of the book was also pock marked with some sort of spotted grime but, thankfully, that came off as well.

So much of what made Reckless Records price this set reasonably was, to my delight, stuff that washed fairly easily off.

The sleeves for the discs were dusty, but that wiped away fairly easily. The sleeves had also yellowed, being the kind of plastic that tends to do that, but there wasn't anything I could do to reverse that condition. In case you're wondering, the discs themselves looked to be in excellent condition.

So here we have the finished product, looking really good, even if I do say so myself.

I'm not much of a fan of 7" singles or picture discs, but this particular collector's item was just way too cool to pass up. Here are the singles included in the book:

1A - Space Oddity
1B - Changes/Velvet Goldmine

2A - Life On Mars
2B - The Man Who Sold The World

3A - The Jean Genie
3B - Ziggy Stardust

4A - Rebel Rebel
4B - Queen Bitch

5A - Sound + Vision
5B - A New Career In A New Town

6A - Drive-In Saturday
6B - Around and Around

7A - Sorrow
7B - Amsterdam

8A - Golden Years
8B - Can You Hear Me?

9A - Boys Keep Swinging
9B - Fantastic Voyage

10A - Ashes To Ashes
10B - Move On 


  1. Hours has an unofficial picture disc that sounds really good. I had to buy it because Hours never got a vinyl release.

    1. Yeah, they really need to reissue Hours on vinyl. Music On Vinyl has done several of the other more recent Bowie records, and they've been excellent.

  2. I'm not much of a fan of picture discs or 45's, but if I found that reasonably priced and I just had to clean it up, I'd jump all over it. That's a really great find!

    1. Thanks. I feel the same way you do about both picture discs and 45s but, really, how could a Bowie fan pass this up?!

  3. My Dad has one of these, very rare. How much was yours (if you don't mind me asking)? We are trying to get an estimated value.