Sunday 26 January 2020

Rare David Bowie Hunky Dory record set for auction

David Bowie's Hunky Dory album was officially released in December 1971 (Catawiki/PA Wire)
David Bowie's Hunky Dory album was officially released in December 1971 (Catawiki/PA Wire)

A rare acetate record of David Bowie's Hunky Dory album with a hand-written label by the singer himself is set for auction.

The acetate, which is the transitional stage between master tape and finished vinyl often used for test purposes, was used to create 600 promotional copies of Bowie's critically-acclaimed fourth album for music executives, before its official release in December 1971.

It was the precursor to the famous white label BOWPROMO which secured his record deal with RCA and this one-of-a-kind piece of music memorabilia is made more unique by featuring "David Bowie - Hunky Dorey" and the tracklist in Bowie's own hand, as authenticated by handwriting expert Margaret Webb.

The record, which still spins despite acetates typically suffering more wear than vinyls, is estimated to sell for over £36,000 when it goes on sale on April 22.

Featuring on the record is the song Bombers, which was replaced on the album by Fill Your Heart and only released as a single 20 years later in 1990.

The acetate was originally owned by Mick Ronson, lead guitarist of Bowie's backing band The Spiders from Mars, as they became officially known the following year with the release of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

It was passed through family and friends until it reached current owner Dennis Graham in 1973.

He said: "It's quite a funny story on how I came to own it.

"The record had been given to my neighbour as a gift from Mick Ronson's mum and he ended up giving it to me in exchange for a bottle of beer!

"I kept it for all these years and it's unbelievable to see how much it's now worth."

Hunky Dory was chosen by TIME as one of its "100 best albums of all time" in 2010.

The lot will go up for auction on April 22 through Catawiki.

PA Media

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