IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK – I HOPE ALL MY FRIENDS, CUSTOMERS – REGULAR & NEW – HAVE REMAINED SAFE IN THIS MOST CHALLENGING TIME.
Postage: UK £4.75 (£1 per extra record). Europe (including Russia) £12.50 (£2 per extra record). Rest of World (including ALL parts of the USA) £16.50 (£3 per extra record). All boxes signed for in quality, safe packaging – I NEVER use mailing envelopes that offer virtually no protection at all, and records WILL arrive damaged in them at some time as most record buyers will already know. Here, you get what you pay for – SAFE PACKING in BOXES using 7mm DOUBLE-WALL STIFFENERS including full side protection and bubble wrap, the records removed from the covers of course. All this very safe packing means I lose money on every box I post, but safe delivery is, and will always be paramount. You WILL see the difference when my packet arrives. Also, I will pay for insurance on any record that sells for over £100 at NO extra cost – that is UK and abroad. Also I aim to post the very same day after payment is received if possible. PLEASE NOTE: I will NOT send any item, no matter what its value without a Royal Mail or courier tracking number. ALL my items must be signed and trackable to comply with Ebay delivery rules. Please do NOT ask me to make any exceptions to this rule as no country offers 100% reliable service without it.
Posting to Russia: Yes, I do post to Russia. But delivery can take longer from the UK. So please be patient. I will submit a tracking number to the winning bidder, and when the packet arrives there it can be followed online using the Russian post website.
ALSO: I now apply the Ebay ‘2-day’ rule for non-payment to keep things moving – cash-flow is important for any small business.
ANY ITEM or ITEMS TO BE PAID WITHIN A MAXIMUM OF 6 DAYS or they will be cancelled – NO EXCEPTIONS.
FINALLY: Late payers, non-payers and ‘0’ bidders will now be blocked or cancelled at my discretion, as will any bidder who cancels a bid. Please only bid on my items if you want them.
Artist or Band: DAVID BOWIE
Album Title: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Producer(s): David Bowie & Ken Scott
Side 1: Five Years; Soul Love; Moonage Daydream; Starman; It Ain’t Easy.
Side 2: Lady Stardust; Star; Hang on to Yourself; Ziggy Stardust; Suffragette City; Rock n Roll Suicide.
Label/Format: RCA Victor – these have the beautiful, bright gently textured shiny surfaces, later ones were matt. This a very first issue that include that ‘Titanic Music’ credits and ‘A Gem Production’ text, all details seen on my pictures.
Label Conditions: Both ultra clean, incredibly fresh and highly attractive, even under my brigh grading lamp, I am struggling to see a single spindle trace at all. These have to be seen for real to be fully appreciated, these appear vitually as-made with the deepest orange colour you can imagine. All evidence strongly suggests this has hardly been played and owned by one person from new. This copy also impressively and cleanly pressed with sound to match. Remember, this was quite a mass-produced album soon after the very first pressings were sold, and audio quality invariably suffered, especially at a time when vinyl was used sparingly or mixed with impurities. Indeed, this album was also pressed on the wafer-thin Dynaflex vinyl substitute and most will know what those usually sounded like. The difference owning and playing a genuine first press copy is significant – and they do not earlier than this.
Catalogue Number: SF 8287 (LSP 4702)
Mode / Speed: Stereo / 33.3 rpm.
Warps: Assume all records I offer have no warping of any significance and all tracking is easy and effortless and should play on all turntables and even ‘budget’ decks. This has a minimal trace of movement being very critical with no issues.
Weight of this Record: 128 grams.
Country of Manufacture: England
Rarity & Info: The album itself moderate, a big-selling album that promoted all his previous and subsequent works. But this copy is a little special. An ultimate first issue pressing, purchased on, or very close to issue day. It includes the prized machine punched -1E/-1E matrixes. These are much harder to find, and this copy has appears very little played. Finding this classic album like this goes beyond difficult, so many were played to near destruction, often by teenagers of the time on the most basic of equipment and trashed. This record is impressive and importantly cleanly pressed.Pressing quality is the most important factor, so many are let-down by invisible issues and unwanted sounds, often severe and degrading. The play-grade proved a delightful experience with hardly anything unwanted. I know for a fact this album can, and often does have serious sound issues – this is not one of them. As this album embraced the record-buyer’s imagination, sales and demand grew. Repressed in considerable numbers, some even on Dynaflex, an inferior vinyl substitute as oil became scarce and expensive, the standards became variable and often poor. Prior to this album, Bowie’s catalogue was not selling overly well and his earlier albums only pressed in small numbers – that was soon to change after Ziggy. Mass production means variable standards just to get items in the shops. This ultimate first issue – and matrixes never lie – and suffers no such issues. Put simply: this is an high quality record that was a joy to hear and experience. The classic cover also hardly worn at all, and also one of the very best I have seen. Made with thin card, few avoid rubbing, creasing and grubbiness, this one cover-protected and little short of immaculate – certainly by the standard most are seen, this too on a first print without the Mainman credit. The same word can also be used for the ultra fragile inner sleeve which sets a standard few can match nowadays, even the edges are unsplit and the paper still white and unaged. Such copies in this all-round condition are rare, even very rare when this criteria is met and a great opportunity to own one of Bowie’s best ever albums. No better way to remember Ziggy, the ‘Starman’, a rare opportunity and one not to let go lightly.
Original Year of Release: 1972
Matrix Nos: BGBS 0864-1E / BGBS 0865-1E [deeply and very clearly machine punched as seen, NOT scripted or scratched like most].
Other Codes: A1AM / A1AF
Musicians: David Bowie – vocals, guitar, saxophone; Mick Ronson – guitar, piano, vocals; Trevor Bolder – bass guitar; Mick Woodmansey – drums.
Brief Info: The most suprising statistic about this groundbreaking glam-rock masterpiece, is the fact it only made number 5 in the UK and a lowly 75 in the United States, for without doubt this is one of greatest rock albums ever made. Up until this point, his previous albums had not sold in any great numbers, thus true first issues of Ziggy Stardust are rare – the -1E/-1E deeply punched matrixes are highly prized and cherished by fans and collectors. Totally timeless, it’s popularity and charisma only strengthens as it ages. Bowie’s ability to reinvent himself allowed the singer to follow a fascinating career – his sudden death came as a massive shock to his worldwide audience. The blend of rock star persona and alien creature defining Ziggy Stardust was probably his greatest creation. Buoyed by the support of legendary guitarist Mick Ronson, Bowie produced some of his finest songs, from the raucous ‘Suffragette City’ to the prophetic ‘Rock n Roll Suicide’. Also ‘Starman’ which has reached legendary status. Science fiction was combined with his love of theatre to bring a visual nature to an album that remains central to Bowie’s wide-ranging catalogue. The opening song is chilling: the apocolyptic ‘Five Years’ is bleak in its intensity, and pulls no punches lyrically as planet Earth is dying ‘…With just five years left to cry in’. This is early 1970s glam-rock as it’s ultimate best. It boasts one of the most famous covers in music history and this one does it nigh-on maximum justice. This copy on offer is strong all-round condition. Combine that fact with ultimate first pressing matrixes, high-pressing quality, this will rarely be seen or heard better. The labels are gorgeous, the cover is beautiful and this rarely wears well, with few ever stored in protective covers quickly enough to avoid wear and ageing. Well this appears hardly handled and retains surpreme deep colour and freshness with hardly any of the usual rubbing, creasing and ring wear. Check out the incredible spine as well. The well-known lyric inner sleeve also impressive with hardly anything to fault and naturally intact. This record plays great and was a genuine joy to play-test. Bowie gave the world Ziggy – the Starman – and one of the most famous phrase-lines ever to burst-forth from any record – ‘WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM’! This was his route to immortality, his sad loss shocked the music-loving public and for those of my age, especially so.
Cover Grade and Format: EXCELLENT(+): a single unlaminated format that has the RCA Victor logo, with the GEM production logo and NO ‘Mainmain’, those came a little later in 1973, or when the first print run were used up. Those reprintings included ‘Mainman’ near the top right corner. This has matt, smooth surfaces and made with quite thin card – hence very prone to all forms of wear. Printed and made in England by Robert Stace. This includes the very fragile, thin paper lyric inner sleeve.
Cover Front: An iconic cover for a classic album, one of the most famous in the history of rock. Most collectors will want only the near very best, and this puts in a strong claim. It retains a high degree of freshness and deep unfaded, hardly rubbed artwork with no fading or sticker issues. Only a faint trace of rim impression but no ink erosion. A little fine surface creasing near the top, but this has not broken any, hence, it shows little. Finding a first print 1972 cover with zero is close to impossible. As stated, this has been cover-protected and carefully stored and clearly handled little. A front to hold and admire.
Cover Back: Very similar again, and even better if anything with minimal creasing at all, also the lack of ugly penetrating ring wear is a massive plus. This is highly impresssive and rarely seen better.
Top Edge: Thin, but straight, without even a hint of bowing or bending, the surface hardly rubbed at all bar a very small fine trace near the centre, this and all edges are all naturally strong and fully intact.
Bottom Edge: Again straight with any rub traces on this more vulnerable storage edge very few, tiny and faint. Few will fare better.
Right Edge(s), and Type: Clean, mostly very sharp with any thickening traces minuscule, these entrance edges are guaranteed untrimmed or enhanced in any way.
Spine and Text: A superb spine, a word more than justified, just take another look, few will ever remain so white and clean, this has hardly aged at all. Solid, straight with any compression or crease traces tiny and light. All text is pristine, strong and unworn with nice centering as seen, such details make the difference between exceptional and average. Only protected covers have any chance of including a spine like this.
Corners: Any tip rubbing or creasing tiny and light with better than excellent to near mint shape retained with no knocks or dinks. Again, so hard to avoid on these thin card covers, the classic popular ones especially that were usually handled many times rarely avoid knocks and dinks as this has.
Cover Summary: Never under-estimate how difficult a pre-Mainman, genuine 1972 first print example of this famous cover is to find with such little wear. Few who bought this initially stored them in protective covers and owners (a high percentage teenagers) often wrote names on them for loaning out. Yes, a little gentle surface creasing that registers very little, but still close to an archive-quality example, and an ultimate first, stored with considerable care for 48 years, and clearly handled little, it should please many, if not most collectors.
The Inner Sleeve: MINT(–): and one of the very best one I have seen. Few avoid edge splits, major creasing or the paper considerably darkening – this has avoid them all and even any natural rim impression is minimal because the owner stored in a replacement inner. This truly is an outstanding inner sleeve that has the Gem production only text and also the ‘Titanic Music’ credits with the 1971/1972 copyrights. No hard creases and even minimal traces of crinkle, the top recessed opening and corner tips are still crisp with barely any paper thickening. The word exceptional is not misplaced on this fragile inner, few will survive like it now, and being fully intact with no repairs, it is more than worthy and a match for the rest of the set. These are rarely found like this.
Vinyl Condition/Visual Grading: EXCELLENT(+): arguably better, it hardly does this lovely record full justice and I am as certain as I can be, it’s almost as when purchased. A very impressive visual copy that is very clean with equally fine shine and solidly pressed. A copy appearing little played on all the evidence with hardly any ‘usage’ blemishes at all. Purchased from new by a discerning owner. Any visual blemishes are light and faint as seen under bright light, these purely within the pressing which is a common trait for this label at the time. Barely a user or stylus mark at all and any pressing impurity has no affect on sound whatsoever. Viewed in average room light, little even show. An album pressed at the time of the great oil crisis where vinyl was often mixed with recycled vinyl or pressed very thin. This copy appears almost as fine as any I have seen and importantly, plays great. Subsequent pressings became more of a lottery as did the audio quality. Many fans and vinyl collectors know this already, the final song ‘Rock n Roll Suicide’ often has loud crackle and even distortion and is always the first song I will play to test a pressing prior to a full play-grade. This song plays impressively on this copy, as does the rest and that never to be taken for granted. Visually a lovely record that should please many collectors.
Album Played For Grading: Yes. [I play ALL records I offer before submitting to Ebay, also the record is played in its entirety unless clearly stated otherwise. I do NOT play snippets or joining grooves to check for sound quality and quietness – I play from the beginning to end via clinically revealing equipment, all listed further down.]
Sound Quality and Audio Grading: This brilliant Bowie classic plays even above it’s high visual grading with hardly anything to fault. It offers strong, distortion-free sound, all frequencies are sharp and clear – sound quality is very high with a wide dynamic range and very detailed sound. Any surface sounds are minimal indeed, and compared to several other copies I have heard in the past, an exceptional clean pressing with no tracking issues*, pressing rasps, distortions or inherent noises from spots or pits which this pressing has avoided. Few available copies will outperform this ultimate first pressing I feel sure. Both channels are clean and sharp, the separation and audio quality simply fantastic. These very early first matrix copies have the very best chance in offering the best sound and details – not all records sound the same – and this very much a case-in-point, especially when played on a revealing system. My Linn LP12 Sondek really excelled playing this record, a rare and genuine thrill to hear like this. I am certain this record has been played very lightly and has been equally well stored and carefully handled within a non-smoking environment. Nothing spoilt my pleasure when play-grading this wonderful record – something I have rarely stated for this album. It will prove immensely difficult to find better and merits my highest possible recommendation.
* As played-graded on a high-end Linn LP12 Sondek turntable with Ittok Mk II arm and Ortofon Quintet Black moving coil cartridge tracking at 2 grams. Records are a ‘contact’ format, and few will avoid the odd minor sound blemish.
I am one of the most established sellers on Ebay, trading since 2001 and offering the finest records I can find. I pride myself on offering a variety of genres to keep my site as interesting as possible. I will rarely offer any record that falls below a true Excellent grading, unless its of a certain rarity which will justify offering a lesser grade. I try, to the best of my ability to describe as accurately and as honesty all elements of the items I offer for sale. You may notice I only submit records quite sparingly on Ebay as I Play-Grade every record I offer in their entirety – also on higher-end equipment – not just bits to guess a grade – visuals alone do not always tell a true story. I will try to mention any defects or flaws no matter how small that I notice to be fair as possible to any interested collector – I am very fussy and my buyers have the right to be too. Every record I offer, whether it be a common or rare item deserves the same respect as far as I am concerned and will be treated the same – just because an item is rare does not always mean it’s good. I get just as much pleasure offering a relatively common record in near mint condition as the real rare items. All the pictures I use for your guidance are the item being offered with no digital enhancements. Room light factors can make things vary sometimes, that is hard to control, especially in winter. I hope the item below is to your liking – any questions can be emailed and I will do my best to answer you. I am enthusiastic, and have a fair degree of knowledge about many genres and I promise quality items. Please assume all records I offer have NO jumps, sticks, major warps or writing on covers or labels unless clearly stated to the contrary. Thanks for your interest and Good luck – MIKE.
Deck: Linn LP12/Hercules/Cirkus with Ittok Mk II arm and Ortofon Quintet Black moving coil cartridge (tracks at 2 grams). Amps: Naim Supernait 2 with Project USB phono stage and Tellerium Black interconnects. Speakers: B&W 805 Nautilus (bi-wired with Tellurium Black terminated cable) with REL subwoofer. All records I offer on Ebay are cleaned on a professional Nessie vacuum machine before play-grading for the cleanest and best possible sound and will include a brand new lined inner and protective cover too. Pictures taken with a Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera.
PACKING – THIS IS WHAT YOU GET.
What You Get: To confirm to the strict Ebay rules on shipping, I must now send ALL my packets ‘Signed-For’ with NO exceptions. Both buyers and sellers want their packets to have a safer journey and this is not a bad thing.
PLEASE NOTE: I now exercise my right to open a dispute after the Ebay rule of TWO days if no payment is received. I will then cancel the dispute to end the bid, again after the mandatory FOUR days and then offer the item to the runner-up or relist. The non-payer will also be blocked from my Ebay site as will any suspicious bids or bid bid retractions. Small businesses need prompt payment to trade and these strict rules WILL be applied.
SHIPPING COSTS & CONDITIONS – THESE comply with EBAY’S RULES - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:
Posting & Packing: UK & CHANNEL ISLANDS all now sent via Recorded Delivery:
1 LP (FIRST-CLASS Recorded Delivery with Standard Royal Mail Insurance) [Signed For] = £4.75
1 LP (Special Delivery with Standard £500 Maximum Insurance) [Signed For, Next Day] = £7.50. (this includes insurance of £500). Add £1 per extra LP.
Posting & Packing: EUROPE & SCANDINAVIA. (Airmail Only):
1 LP (Small Packet ‘Signed For’ with Standard Royal Mail Insurance [£50 maximum]) = £12.50 (enhanced Royal Mail insurance is an optional extra £3). Add £2 per extra LP.
Posting & Packing: ALL OVERSEAS (non-European) e.g. USA (ANY PART OF); South America; New Zealand; Australia; Canada; Japan and other Far East; (Airmail Only: I NEVER use Surface Mail):
1 LP (Small Packet ‘Signed For’ with Standard Royal Mail Insurance [£50 maximum]) = £16.50 (£17.50 for double sets). Add £3 per extra LP. (enhanced Royal Mail insurance is an optional extra £3)
I prefer PayPal or cheque from UK winning bidders. I only accept PayPal from overseas bidders or direct payment into my bank account.
Potential Bidders: I will cancel any bids I feel are time-wasters. A maximum 2 days for communication and 7 days for payment to arrive – if not I will relist the item or offer to the runner-up.
My Guarantee: If any winning bidder is not satisfied with their purchase I will offer a complete refund if the item is returned in the same condition is was sent e.g. as per the listing pictures.
SOME GENERAL GUIDES TO WEAR AND CONDITIONS TO HELP YOU DECIDE
My Use of Description Terminology: Surface Marks = Superficial, usually light marks, hairlines or light scuffs that rarely sound. Scratch = a needle mark that goes below the record’s surface, some will sound, some will not, my play-grade will inform. Original = a record that has been pressed with the first label design which does NOT necessarily mean a very first pressed record. First Pressing = A record that I believe or know to be a genuine very first pressed record. I do not claim to always know for sure, and that’s why I state the stamper and matrix numbers if at all possible, for those who claim to know what they all mean, the information is there for the collector to decide. I prefer to use terms like ‘Early Copy’ rather than ‘First Pressing’ if I am not totally sure. Surface Sound = Mild, light sound, usually light crackle or similar. Distortion = Break up of the actual sound caused by groove wear or damage from a chipped stylus – the most undesirable form of unwanted sound, vintage mono records were the most prone to this happening but not exclusively so. The symptoms of distortion are high frequency clipping, moderate constant crackle or an echo type sound quality. Violin, piano and vocals are most prone to groove-wear distortion. Feathering = Fraying or softening of the entry edge of a cover. Covers with feathered entrance edges are more likely to have had the actual record inserted and removed more than a non-feathered, sharp-edged cover which are always far more attractive. Set Off, a printer’s term for dark ink leaving mild residue on pale or white ink when rested upon. e.g. when a gatefold cover has black ink closed against white, this can leave some black residue on the pale area – this is mostly unavoidable or course.