David Bowie’s ‘Heathen’ album to see vinyl reissue

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Seeing as I was just celebrating the acquisition of some rare David Bowie records just yesterday, how appropriate is today’s news from BowieNet? It seems that the Music on Vinyl label is re-issuing David Bowie’s Heathen album on heavyweight 180 gram vinyl. The 2002 album was one of the rare late-era Bowie albums I never reviewed. Probably because I was so traumatized by the weakest album of that period, 1999’s …hours, which I gave a 2-and-half-star review for in “Goldmine” magazine (that “Goldmine” review was re-printed on the Bowie fansite Teenage Wildlife at the bottom of this post).

Heathen was Bowie’s second to last album before his unofficial retirement (is it actually real?), and one of my all-time favorite Bowie albums, post-Scary Monsters (1980). I’ve had the vinyl version on my Amazon wishlist for years and have not seen one appear for less than $90, so the current pe-order price of this new version for $38.43 is a welcome sight (Support the Independent Ethos, purchase on Amazon). I would hope dealers will soon appear offering it at lower prices, but if you cannot wait, this new version will ship on Dec. 27 from Amazon.

I’m also curious to wait and hear reviews regarding the sound quality, as I do not own any releases by this reissue label based in the Netherlands. But after some false starts regarding some classic Bowie albums last year (EMI/Capitol Vaults delays Bowie reissues… again), it’s nice to see a truly rare piece of Bowie vinyl get a reissue treatment that actually seems legit and around the corner. Here’s to hoping Bowie’s last album, Reality, will see a similar treatment (though it was never released on vinyl).

Up-date: A source at Music on Vinyl has written me an email stating: “We’ve used the same master as was used for the original LP.” This, tied with the fact the Bowie’s official website announced the news first about this vinyl reissue, offers positive hope for the sound quality of this record.

Hans Morgenstern

(Copyright 2011 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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