Top positive review
53 people found this helpful
Review for the vinyl LP
on 1 March 2016
I mostly buy vinyl on Amazon but most of the reviews I have seen are for the CDs or downloads and generally consist of opinion on the content which is of little use to me. Though not my favourite of Bowie's, I do like this album but as its quite old and has already been heavily reviewed and raked over I feel there is little of constructive use I can add. Furthermore I think anyone prepared to shell out for a vinyl copy will most likely be already familiar with it, or at the very least be well informed about it. therefore this review will concentrate on the LP and packaging only.
First the sleeve. As you can see from Amazon's images the LP is now a Parlophone release, so the RCA logo's are gone. The front cover is laminated as per the first pressings. To the rear its the same image and handwritten style track list and annotations, but no 'Mainmain' or 'Gem Productions' although 'Gem Productions' appears on the labels and the logo is on the insert. The stereo recordings info is printed top left and there is a new catalogue number top right in small, bold type where RCA used to be. To bottom left is the UK copyright and licensing blurb, which brings me to my only real gripe about this item. The old US RCA blurb has been brushed over and the new one printed over the top. Unfortunately it has not been done very well on my copy. I can still read the words 'corporation 1971, RCA records, New York, NY, printed in USA' under the UK print. It's not glaringly obvious and OK, it's a bit of a nit - pick, but are these repressings not all about attention to details like this?
One good thing. I dislike bar codes very much, especially on records from the 60s and 70s as they look out of place and I think they always spoil the look of the thing. Here the bar code is on a sticker attached to the outer shrink wrap meaning it's very easily removed. A far better idea I think.
On opening the sleeve I find the vinyl housed in a plain white and poly lined inner. It has a, more or less, carbon copy of the original lyric insert and my copy also came with a second inner sleeve. This one was also plain white but without a liner and I think must be meant to represent the original RCA one, however it does not have the RCA records print on it. The records labels are the same orange as the old RCA one's and formatted in the same way. Where the originals had the RCA logo, these have 'BOWIE' in the RCA style outline lettering.
Regarding the LP itself - I have heard and read many reviews from people on and off Amazon expressing problems with modern 180gm pressings - edge warps and tracks jumping or skipping being the main ones. Well, I am happy to report no such problems here. The disc sits perfectly flat on my turntable and has played through both sides without issue. This is the first time I have heard the remastered version and I have to admit to being impressed. The whole album sounds fresher, cleaner and more defined and is considerable better at meaningful volume than my original.
I have given this item the full marks as I think it a good quality thing. With the exception of my little grump about the rear sleeve I have found nothing really wrong with it. If you are looking for a replacement for a knackered original or you are just curious about this album and fancy the vinyl, I see no reason not to buy it.