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The Record Collector review: David Bowie World 7″ Records by Marshall Jarman & Reto Stocklin

This is the unedited version of the review that appears in the current June 2018 issue of Record Collector magazine, though it wouldn’t be RC if it didn’t have a few unexplained errors among the copy. I can assure you the publisher isn’t Faber & Faber, the price isn’t £12.99 and no, my writing name is not and never has been Steven Pafford. Ho hum. Here’s the ‘proper’ copy…


David Bowie World 7” Records 1964-1981 by Marshall Jarman and Reto Stocklin

In 1994 Marshall Jarman, long established Bowie dealer and mail order supremo par excellence, published the first edition of this book, which covered the vinyl 45s of the first 17 years of The Thin White Duke’s recording career; essentially his celebrated RCA years and all the weird and wonderful oddities that came before.

World 7” really was the first of its kind, and reviewing the tome in my sadly short-lived self-published fan magazine, Crankin’ Out, I referred to its encyclopaedic quality as “almost biblical”. Twenty-four years on, and everything has changed. Fanzines were superseded by the internet, vinyl is undergoing a spectacular Lazarus-style resurgence in desirability, and the dear old Dame finally went to meet his Starman in the sky. 

But what a legacy, and what a book. This beautifully printed new edition – for which MJ’s been ably and admirably assisted by Swiss super-collector Reto Stocklin – is also much transformed. It’s now undeniably 100% biblical; a spotters’ rarities resource like no other. Things still draw to a close when Bowie’s glory years came to an abrupt halt, but there is much to enjoy here. The whole production has seen an exhaustive upgrade, and details, with incredible diligence and patience, a neat 1,000 records accompanied by 900 colour illustrations and more across its 244 pages. A must for vinyl junkies and record collectors everywhere. 


£42 | Marmot ISBN 978-2-8399-2188-6

Reviewed by Steve Pafford, co-author of the BowieStyle book

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