The recent 180g reissue of the David Bowie hits collection ChangesOneBowie came with an unusual feature. Half of the reissues came in black vinyl and the other half in a lovely new clear vinyl.
For those of us who already own an original copy of the album, or indeed for anyone who is savvy enough to know that copies of ChangesOneBowie can be picked up in used record shops for £5, shelling out £14.99 for a record you already own seems rather pointless.
The clear vinyl, on the other hand, is more tempting. But how to make sure you get the version you want?
The problem is that it is impossible to distinguish a clear vinyl version from a black vinyl version without opening the LP, something that you can only do after you have bought it.
If you only want a clear copy (or for that matter, a black version) it is a game of Bowie Roulette.
On eBay, clear vinyl versions of the album have been sold for up to £40, presumably by people not wanting to possibly end up spending £45 on three black vinyl copies of the album, if that’s the way their luck goes. That, or they have more money than sense…
So here’s a foolproof method of ascertaining which version of the album you buy:
- 1 friendly record shop.
- 1 mobile phone
Take your phone, and turn on the torch function.
Press the LP directly on top of the light.
Look through the sleeve. Do you see an orange / red coloured light shining through (except in the middle where the centre hole is)?
See the photo below for an example of what I mean.
If you do see a light, then you have a clear version. If not, you have a black vinyl copy. You can check with other copies to make sure.
I just tried this method in my local shop, Five’s Records in Leigh on Sea. We had a fair bit of fun working out they had more clear vinyl versions than black vinyl copies!
So there you have it: It’s very simple, and I hope useful!
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