David Bowie – Aladdin Sane – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

THE BIG BOWIE SOUND for this wonderful follow-up to Ziggy Stardust! We just finished shooting out a number of imports and domestic pressings of this album, and this British Orange Label pressing was THE KING — on both sides! This one’s got the kind of “meat on the bones” sound that takes these great glam-rock songs to a whole new level! You won’t believe how dynamic the sound is!

This copy’s got it all — textured vocals, big time WHOMP to the bottom end, off-the-charts energy, tight bass, depth to the soundfield, and so much more. I’ve never heard this album sound any better and I don’t expect to anytime soon. The overall sound is clean, clear, open, spacious, and incredibly transparent. Sometimes the vocals are mixed a little far back, but at times Bowie will be IN THE ROOM with you.

Special Bonus Gift Inside!

Whoever takes home this copy will also receive a VERY COOL Bowie Fan Club Membership Card, pictured above. We’ve never seen one before — I’m guessing these only came with the British Originals, and most of them we’re probably filled out and sent in. (I can’t imagine they’ll accept your fifty five pence and make you a member, but it’s a cool souvenier nonetheless!)

A Brief Bowie Overview

Aside from Young Americans, Bowie didn’t record another studio album that sounded this good until he did Let’s Dance in the ’80s. It’s exceedingly difficult to find good sounding copies of Diamond Dogs, but we’re working on it. We’ve found decent Hot Stamper copies of Station To Station, but we’ve never heard one that really blew our minds. The Eno-assisted trilogy of Low, Heroes, and Lodger are three more titles that we’ve never heard sound amazing, and we’ve just never found the time to do any serious evaluation for Scary Monsters — but stay tuned.

What does that leave for us audiophile Bowie fans? Young Americans and Let’s Dance can both sound wonderful on the right pressing. We knocked out a David Live shootout last week and were thrilled with how good it can sound. Ziggy Stardust, of course, can be out of this world, but it’s very difficult to find good imports in clean condition. Hunky Dory is an even tougher ticket. We love the music, so we’ll keep on trying to find you exceptional pressings, but don’t expect to see too many Hot Stamper Bowie albums available on the site on a regular basis.

As An Aside…

Those of you who didn’t read the Crime Of The Century listing probably didn’t catch that I had the opportunity to hear Ken Scott recently (July ’08) at an AES meeting here in Los Angeles. This is the man who recorded some of the All Time Great Rock Albums, the likes of Ziggy Stardust, The White Album, Tumbleweed Connection, All Things Must Pass, Son Of Schmilsson, America debut, … this is one seriously talented guy! (I won’t bore you by trying to recap his talk, but if it ever comes out on youtube or the like, you should definitely check it out. The Behind-The-Scenes discussion of these artists and their recordings was a thrill for someone like me who has been playing and enjoying the hell out of most of his albums for more than thirty years.)

A Note About Condition

Every copy in our shootout had some sort of condition issues and/or noise. Luckily, we had a few Hot Stamper copies that were on the quieter side of the bunch. First things first, this Side One is MINT MINUS! Unbelievably quiet for this title let alone any Bowie on RCA vinyl. Side two has a noisy edge during the piano intro to Time. It’s slightly ticky between some of the tracks. Track five has 14 light ticks during the quiet moment.

Further Reading

…along these lines can be found below.

Click on this link to find more records and commentary about the low end whomp factor we discuss above.

Transparency, the other side of the Tubey Magical Richness coin, is key to the better pressings of this album as well as many of our other favorite demo discs.

This is another example of a record that really comes alive when you commentary from way back in 2005.

Here are more entries in our ongoing Shootout Advice series.