Bowie’s estate is in reissue overdrive, and that’s cool I guess. I understand the family’s desire to keep the millions rolling in, and as a fan if it means I get more unreleased Bowie music then it’s a win/win.
I’ll keep up as long as I can, but unfortunately what often happens with popular musicians’ estates is that they end up releasing so much posthumous material that eventually I give up. I took great pride in my complete Zappa collection, for example, but the Zappa Family Trust kept sticking their hands in my pockets so often that I surrendered. So it goes with Bowie: We’re only halfway through 2019, and there have been three new box sets, a couple of picture discs, and a $60 two record set of demos, and we’re still waiting for the fifth box in the comprehensive reissue series they started a couple of years ago. I’m at the point where I no longer feel like a fan, but rather a sucker.
But who am I kidding? I’ll always be a fan, and that’s why I dig deep in the bins and the crates for real Bowie treasures. Don’t get me wrong: A box set of old demos is cool, but Bowie on a dead format like 8-track cassette? That’s my kind of clutter. Sure, 8-tracks sound awful, but if you want to hear the ’70s the way your mom, grandfather, or maybe even you did, there’s no better way than busting out a Panasonic TNT portable player and a stack of tapes.
If you happen across a Diamond Dogs 8-track at your local record shop, you can expect to pay around five bucks. At a yard sale or charity shop? Probably a buck. Online auction site? I’ve seen them trade for 10-15 dollars. No matter what you spend, you’ll have an interesting collectible, and one that won’t encourage Halloween Jack’s family to keep asking you for more money every month. Happy hunting.