A friend from Europe emailed me recently asking some advice as to weather or not he should buy a copy of Blackstar on clear vinyl. The only conundrum was that the asking price was over $600 US! It’s a lot of dosh to fork out for an album that was only released in January this year. Of course the first pressing is limited. And more so, even more limited is the clear vinyl. And, if you want to go one step further, the clear vinyl with the “exclusive” lithograph set would make it an even more appetizing option for collectors.
But where does one draw the line on buying “collectible” items?
For me, Bowie’s death put an end to my hard core collecting. It had been on the wane for a couple of years though it ended with an abrupt full stop the day Bowie passed away because I had known for a long time that, with his passing, the price of his memorabilia would sky rocket to absolutely absurd prices with collectors paying way over the odds. And so it did.
My European friend who was keen on this particular item was a little deflated when I told him that paying such an extortionate price would be something he might later regret. I argued the point that it was unreasonable to expect a vinyl pressing to increase by such a large margin (twelve times the original price) in such a short space of time. You can happily waltz into a record store this weekend and buy a copy of Blackstar for a cheap price due to a second pressing being released in late January. However, the week following Bowie’s passing, some copies of the clear vinyl were selling for over 900 GBP’s! Yes, people actually were stupid enough to pay that sort of money! It defies belief but then again, when you are buying on impulse, anything can and will happen.
Thankfully, he didn’t follow through with the purchase of an expensive clear vinyl Blackstar and nor should you. Perhaps if more Bowie fans resisted the impulsive urge to pay way over the odds for items then the market might come back to a reasonable and level playing field for all? At the end of the day it is just a possession. And, as the saying goes, the more we possess, the more want and in turn, we fill our lives with possessions that deep down, we all know we don’t really need.
As I grow older, I am more than happy to listen to the music of my favorite artists through a singular copy of their album. However, my days of buying an album in sixteen different formats for collectability so they can sit in the corner of a room and collect dust are, like Bowie himself, long gone.