WHAT? Another DAVID BOWIE reissue? Get out! No, it’s true! As many artists have been doing in the last decade or so, when one of their classic albums celebrates a round-number anniversary (as in, one ending in a “0″ or a “5”), they put out some kinda re-release to capitalize on the moment. And as has been lamented about throughout the world wide web – and even here! – sometimes a new super deluxe box set or reissue is completely welcome… and sometimes it ain’t. Luckily for you and me, this 50th anniversary vinyl reish of Aladdin Sane is absolutely worth it. And here’s why.
First of all, let’s put it out there: This is my favorite Bowie album. I own the clear vinyl Rykodisc Analogue edition, the double CD 30th anniversary reissue, a silver vinyl reissue from a few years ago, and now this: a half-speed master that’s just come out. It’s no secret that I am also a big fan of these audiophile releases, be it Mobile Fidelity’s decades old Original Master Recording series, Classic Records’ killer and collectible reissues (The Who, Big Star) or other labels’ own such releases. I can hear the difference! And having already picked up last year’s Ziggy Stardust half-speed master and being overwhelmed by how much better it sounds than any of the handful of other Ziggys I have had ’n’ heard, I knew I’d be all over this one. Could “Cracked Actor” sound any better? Not unless you were in the studio when Ken Scott and Bowie were doing the final mix! Could “Drive-In Saturday” sound any better? No, my friends, for this is, indeed, a crash course for the ravers. I could go on. But then I’d have to use my brainpower to keep coming up with clever quips instead of to just TAKE IT ALL IN. At the end of a listening session with this baby, all I can say is that I am definitely a sucker for quality vinyl. And let’s face it: All I have to give is guilt for dreaming! – Marsh Gooch
5.5/5 (Parlophone DBAS 50, 2023)