Gallery: The art of David Bowie on 7″

Gallery: The art of David Bowie on 7″

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For us, a fitting way to pay tribute to David Bowie is to celebrate the extra-ordinary records he released over a career that spanned fifty years. While his albums redefined the form time and again, Bowie will also be remembered as the recorder of iconic tracks, that resonated in jukeboxes around the world.

Similarly, such was his universal influence, many of his singles were released and repackaged differently depending on their territories, German pressings with alternate covers and Japanese language editions rubbing shoulders in the lesser-known annals of the great Bowie discography.

First compiled in 2013, artist, designer and collector Toby Mott shares a selection of his favourite Bowie 7″ sleeves.


Words: Toby Mott


It’s June 29th 1978, I’m about to see David Bowie perform Heroes, the London leg of what is to become known as The Stage Tour. All three nights are sold out, inside is packed with a polarised mix of fans. We are ‘Punks’, too young to be Ziggy fans. But now we listen to ‘Aladdin Sane’, ‘Diamond Dogs’ and ‘Spiders from Mars’

Bowie is one of a few artists who manages to cross the great Rubicon from Glam into the ‘New Wave’. The white fluorescent tubes covering the back of the stage are pulsating in time with the Musik. From the soaring opening of ‘Station to Station’ I’m transported through the Thin White Duke’s repertoire and on into the drama of ‘Heroes’.

I last saw Bowie perform at a stadium concert during the Glass Spider Tour in New York 1987. I was house painting for Martin Scorsese, who gave me tickets. The following day he asked: “So, what d’ya think of David’s show?” I told him of my amazement at witnessing the stadium audience rising from their seats in formation with their arms in the air. He was surprised, “Ohhh you mean the Mexican Wave! So you haven’t seen that before?” No I hadn’t. It was new to me like a Bowie character, the wave moving through the stadium taking new form in its capacity for endless change.

This selection of David Bowie sleeves are a window into my shared memories of that magical past of endless possibilities…


David Bowie_starman

David Bowie
Starman
(RCA, Germany, 1972)


David Bowie_Drive In Saturday

David Bowie
Drive in Saturday
(RCA, Germany, 1973)


David Bowie_Life On Mars

David Bowie
Life on Mars?
(RCA, Germany, 1973)


David Bowie_Sorrow

David Bowie
Sorrow
(RCA, Germany, 1973)


David Bowie rock n roll suicide

David Bowie
Rock ‘n Roll Suicide
(RCA, Germany, 1974)


david bowie_rebel rebel

David Bowie
Rebel Rebel
(RCA, Germany, 1974)

Photography: Mick Rock


david bowie_diamond dogs

David Bowie
Diamond Dogs
(RCA, France, 1974)


david bowie_yong americans

David Bowie
Young Americans
(RCA, France, 1975)

Photography: Eric Stephen Jacobs


david bowie_golden years

David Bowie
Golden Years
(RCA, Germany, 1975)


david bowie_sound and vision

David Bowie
Sound and Vision
(RCA, Germany, 1977)

Photography still from the film ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’: Nicolas Roeg


david bowie_heroes

David Bowie
Heroes
(RCA, Germany, 1977)

Photography: Masayoshi Sukita


daid bowie_heroes2

David Bowie
Heroes (Version Anglaise)
(RCA, France, 1977)


david bowie_breaking glass

David Bowie
Breaking Glass (Blue Vinyl)
(RCA, Netherlands, 1978)

Photography: Gilles Riberolles


David bowie_japan

David Bowie
Soul Love
(RCA, Japan, 1978)


david bowie_fashion

David Bowie
Fashion
(RCA, Germany, 1980)

Design: Edward Bell


david bowie_ashes to ashes

David Bowie
Ashes to Ashes
(RCA, Germany, 1980)

Photography: Brian Duffy


david bowie_japan2

David Bowie
Crystal Japan
(RCA, Japan, 1980)


david bowie_wild is the wind

David Bowie
Wild Is The Wind
(RCA, Germany, 1981)

Photography: Greg Gorman


david bowie white light white heat

David Bowie
White Light / White Heat
(RCA, UK, 1983)

Design: Alexander Da’Lama, Photography: Nick Sangiamo


See the complete collection here.