I rarely buy magazines nowadays as I never seem to have the time to read them when I do, apart from ‘Record Collector’ now and then, however, I was in town with a couple of hours to spare a few weekends ago and wandered into WH Smith with a view to getting something, although I hadn’t thought much about what, when I spied a new magazine, called ‘Long Live Vinyl’. It’s the size of a record sleeve, about 12″ x 12″, which is a nice idea and comes in at 114 pretty big pages, it is pricey though at £9.99.
I retired to a coffee shop with a Hazelnut Latte and set about reading. It had articles that I would probably expect to see, such as most valuable records in the world, classic album: Revolver, Essential Bowie and a nice piece on Roger Dean, who did the Yes albums and more. None of these came as much of a surprise but were interesting nonetheless and well illustrated with photographs. A guide to Brighton record shops was a good read and if I ever go there I’ll be re-reading before I set off and there was a nice 8 page piece featuring a collector of Price records. Also included were equipment reviews, headphones was one, turntables another, cleaning tips for records along with album releases, new and re-releases.
It was a good read and I ended up in the coffee shop for about two hours, without reading everything, I still have some pages to go yet. I liked it, I didn’t like the price, but the magazine was really good and it’s great to see a magazine solely focused on vinyl so I wish them all the best with this venture.
Everybody should be able to remember what the very first album they bought with their own money was, I do, it was ‘Lodger’ by David Bowie. Up until that time we had family records or ones that were my Brother’s but that I got to listen to, either in the same room or through the wall of my bedroom. ‘Lodger’ was my own, to keep in my room and to play whenever I wanted, which was quite often as it was the only one I had. If you are wondering which album it is, it has ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ and ‘DJ’ on it although I think ‘Fantastic Voyage’ may have been my favourite track from it.
Yesterday I was in the record shop in town holding a vinyl copy of ‘Blackstar’ and trying to decide if I actually had £22 that I could spare to buy it. I had my sensible head on and decided against, it would have to wait until pay day. I met up with my wife and we went for a coffee where she asked me if I’d bought anything and I rather proudly declared how sensible I’d been in not buying the album. We then talked about how good he looked for his age and google imaged recent Bowie pictures on our phones.
Then there was this morning’s news, which saddened me deeply. I had envisaged a whole series of albums over the next 10 or so years, which sit in, what for me, is my favourite period if his, from 1999’s ‘Hours…’ up to today. Perhaps there is more to come, it seems clear that he felt he had more to do and I hope very much that there are a couple more properly completed albums just waiting to be released. I feel that is just the sort of thing he would do.
After lunch today I received a call from my wife, let’s call her Pip, because that’s her name. She had called the record shop as soon as it opened and had a vinyl copy of ‘Blackstar’ put behind the counter, which she picked up at lunchtime for me. They had 6 copies and the other 5 had sold before she got there. Today’s sad is therefore tempered to a degree by this little joy.
So, at this point, my first and last albums bought were both by Bowie. Which, I think, as a tribute, speaks for itself.
Side 2, Track 12:
Total Run Time: 50:00
David Bowie/Giorgio Moroder: Cat People: 6 Minutes 39 Seconds: 1980
There are a lot of Bowie singles that I could have chosen but this one has always resonated with me for some reason. It may well not be the best choice, actually, it probably isn’t, but I’ve chosen it now and that’s that.
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I was in town today not looking for records, nor intending to look, but as I was passing the record shop I thought I’d just nip in, and I found ‘Let’s Dance’ by David Bowie for £4, which is about right as it isn’t exactly rare, but I didn’t have it, now I do. I did have a copy when it was originally released back in 1983 but have no idea what happened to it. At some point, when I put all my records away, I must have misplaced it, along with several others. They may turn up some day.
It’s an odd one as an album. I know that Bowie sat down with Nile Rodgers and wanted hits, which there were of course and it was, in many ways, another comeback for Bowie in a career full of them. It had been 3 year since the release of Scary Monsters and Let’s Dance was quite a departure, but my favourite track has always been ‘Cat People’, which doesn’t really seem to fit on the album, and may well have been included only due it appearing on the soundtrack to the film. The album is Bowie’s biggest selling to date, with around 7 million copies sold, which, to be honest, doesn’t seem that many as it felt like everybody had a copy in ’83, though obviously not.
I remember sitting up late one night recording music videos on VHS from the BBC who used to have late night Old Grey Whistle Test style music shows that would go on for several hours. I recorded ‘Let’s Dance’ amongst others, and have seen the video so many times I probably never need to see it ever again, but I’ve included what I could find at the bottom of this post.
Overall it’s a pretty good album, but even after all these years, I am so familiar with it from over playing that I have trouble really appreciating it. I did quote like hearing ‘Ricochet’ again though as I don’t recall liking it all that much at the time, but now, I rather do.