One of the many good things about collecting vinyl is that it makes for much more of an interesting time to look through than CDs or, god forbid, an iTunes library. This means that looking through a friend’s music suddenly becomes a fun and enjoyable discussion rather than a disinterested scroll through an iPod. Well, imagine if you’d been able to look through the collections of your music idols. Bowie gave us that option before he sadly passed on.
In 2003, Bowie went through his old vinyl collection of 2,500 LPs to list off his favourite 25, that he believed “could change your reputation.” If you’re interested in starting up a vinyl collection, you could do a lot worse than this lot!
The Last Poets — The Last Poets
Shipbuilding — Robert Wyatt
The Fabulous Little Richard — Little Richard
Music for 18 Musicians — Steve Reich
The Velvet Underground & Nico — The Velvet Underground
Tupelo Blues — John Lee Hooker
Blues, Rags and Hollers — Koerner, Ray and Glover
The Apollo Theatre Presents: In Person! The James Brown Show — James Brown
Forces of Victory — Linton Kwesi Johnson
The Red Flower of Tachai Blossoms Everywhere: Music Played on National Instruments — Various Artists
Banana Moon — Daevid Allen
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris — Cast Album
The Electrosoniks: Electronic Music — Tom Dissevelt
The 5000 Spirits of the Layers of the Onion — The Incredible String Band
Ten Songs by Tucker Zimmerman — Tucker Zimmerman
Four Last Songs (Strauss) — Gundula Janowitz
The Ascension — Glenn Branca
The Madcap Laughs — Syd Barrett
Black Angels — George Crumb
Funky Kingston — Toots & The Maytals
Delusion of the Fury — Harry Partch
Oh Yeah — Charles Mingus
Le Sacre du Printemps — Igor Stravinsky
The Fugs — The Fugs
The Glory (????) of the Human Voice — Florence Foster Jenkins
Have a look at the original intro that Bowie gave along with his list:
“There is really no way to do a list of my favorite albums with any rationality. I do only have about 2,500 vinyls. There is a possibility there. I’ll look through the albums and pull together a list of those I have re-bought or am in the process of re-buying on CD. I have little time, and there are just too many to sort through. So, I’ll keep pulling stuff out blindly, and if it’s too obvious (Sgt. Pepper, Nirvana) I’ll put it back again till I find something more interesting. A lot of the rock stuff I have is the same as everyone else’s, and I have so many blues and R&B albums that it would topple over into trainspotter world if I went that route.
O.K., no rules then. I’ll just make ’em up as I go along. I’d say half of this list below is now on my CD racks, but many are finding impossible to trace. The John Lee Hooker album, for instance, or The Red Flower of Tachai Blossoms Everywhere. I have done the only thing possible and burned them to CD myself, reduced the cover art down to size, and made reasonable simulacrums of the originals.
If you can possibly get your hands on any of these, I guarantee you evenings of listening pleasure, and you will encourage a new high-minded circle of friends, although one or two choices will lead some of your old pals to think you completely barmy. So, without chronology, genre, or reason, herewith, in no particular order, 25 albums that could change your reputation.”