Bowie Books with Discographical Information

Other Books with Discographical Information

DAVID BOWIE:
Books and Links
Other Bowie Books

Discographical Bowie Websites

Other Discographical Websites


When looking for information on my records I used a variety of sources. Sometimes I got information from labels, sometimes I relied on my own memory (concerning release dates, label colours, etc.) and sometimes I even simply made a guess (about the origin of some bootlegs). However, most of the information compiled here is based on second-hand knowledge, that is, I consulted various printed and online sources. I will present the most important of them here.
First comes a list of those books that have directly provided me with discographical information of all kinds (release dates and countries, but also recording dates and so on). For the sake of completeness I have added a list of other Bowie books I have. They might have influenced this website, though I didn't consult them while compiling it.
Then there is a list of websites I have used, both Bowie sites and others that I have repeatedly visited. The problem with online sources is that the web keeps changing all the time... so who knows how long this website will be online? However, at least those websites from the list that are exclusively dedicated to Bowie seem to be alive and well!
(Note, though, that at the time of writing this - March 2012 - the Mindwarppavilion website has just suffered a fatal server breakdown.)
Top ↑ Books on Bowie with Discographical Information Other Books with Discographical Information ↓

Carr, Roy & Charles Shaar Murray (1981) David Bowie - An Illustrated Record, Avon/Eel Pie Publishing, London & New York, ISBN 0-380-77966-8

It's old (more than 25 years old), outdated... and still one of my favourite books on Bowie. Being an ideal introduction for beginners rather than specialists, it nonetheless contains a lot of useful information for collectors, especially the release dates of US-American albums. And it's simply a pleasure to read and look at.


Charlesworth, Chris (1981) David Bowie - Profile, Proteus Books, New York & London, ISBN 0 906071 67 4

A typical biography of the time, with some discographical information. But a lot of that information is wrong: the picture of "David Bowie's first single", for example, shows a promo for the 1978 re-issue.
Nonetheless, there is a weak spot in my heart for this book, since it made me familiar with the concept of bootlegs: in 1981, at the tender age of 14, I leafed through this book in some record shop and was stunned to see the covers of Bowie records I had never heard about! Well, in one case this wasn't any wonder, since the record didn't actually exist: the legendary The Missing Link album of 1974 recordings, which is also listed in other publications (and has nothing to do with the really existing bootleg of that name). And Charlesworth doesn't realise that the Live in Stockholm 79 bootleg couldn't have been recorded that year...


Charlesworth, Miles & Chris Charlesworth (1988) David Bowie Black Book, third edition, Omnibus Press, London, New York & Sydney, ISBN 0-7119-1438-9

A glossy biography with lots of pictures. It's been a long time since I've read it, but I remember that it didn't give me many new insights. Anyway, it has some interesting discographical information on compilations (release dates!).


Darke, Tamsin (2016) David Bowie - Rare Records Price Guide - Volume One (Singles 1964-2016), fully updated February 2016 edition, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN 978-1523856268

See volume 2 for a (preliminary) comment.


Darke, Tamsin (2017) David Bowie - Rare Records Price Guide - Volume Two (Albums 1967-2017), fully updated January 2017 edition, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN 978-1540759467

I haven't had the time to go through the books by Darke in detail, so I can't say if all the discographical information in them is correct. It'll take some time to work that out.
The books cover only US/UK/EU pressings, which is a pity, but it would be too much to expect a price guide for Bowie records worldwide. In some cases, especially those of many albums and the early singles, the prices given seem a bit too high to me - even provided they are for mint copies. However, maybe the prices have actually risen to that level - which would make me quite rich, in fact...


Frifelt, Christian (1990), The Illustrated Bowie Bootleg File, private print, Sweden

Frifelt, who also provided the bootleg section of Bassman's David Bowie Page, is certainly the number one specialist on Bowie bootlegs. In this rare book, of which only 1.000 were printed, he gives an enormous lot of information about the contents, quality and different issues of almost every bootleg up to 1990. There is also a second book covering the following years, but it only circulates in a photocopied version. However, his contribution to the above-mentioned website covers the era until the mid-2000s.


Frifelt, Christian (1996), The Illustrated Bowie Bootleg File II, photocopy, Sweden

A great follow-up to the first volume. It covers the years until 1996 and has a section of corrections and additions to the first book. The only problem is that this second volume was never released, so only photocopies circulate, but even these are difficult to find. This is a copy I got from Christian himself, with hand-written corrections by the author.


Frifelt, Christian (2017), The Ultimate Illustrated Bowie Bootleg File - Vinyl Only!, Sweden

Another great book from the above author. It comprises the information of the two previous volumes plus up-to-date information until late 2016. Unlike its predecessors it's in full colour! This time Frifelt confined himself to vinyl records, but since I primarily collect those, I'm perfectly happy with that.
Definitely one of the best discographical Bowie books.
This one is signed by the author and numbered 79/100.


Hoggard, Stuart (1980), An Illustrated Discography, Omnibus Press, London, ISBN 0-86001-772-9

Hoggard, Stuart, & Chris Charlesworth (1982), The Illustrated Discography, second edition, Omnibus Press, London, ISBN 0-86001-772-9

Well... Hoggard... a biography/discography that's nice to read. Clearly outdated, but it contains some nice details. The major problem is that some of them are wrong! Hoggard's book is certainly one of the major sources of the rumour about the second King Bees single (a mistake that is still repeated in Chris Welch's We Could Be Heroes from 1999). So Hoggard's information should be treated with care.


Jarman, Marshall (1994), David Bowie - World 7" Records Discography 1964 - 1981, B&B Press (Parkgate) Limited, Rotherham, ISBN 0 9522275 0 9

Despite the fact that - for all I know - there has never been a second edition, Jarman's discography still remains the "bible" for collectors of Bowie 7" singles. Especially the data on release dates and the various issues are indispensable. Of course, the discography is not complete (it was issued before people from all over the world started selling Bowie stuff on eBay) and there are also some minor mistakes. However, these issues are negligible. A fantastic book.
Sadly, it has become something like a rarity of its own. Originally priced £19,95, copies now fetch up to £100! Which, ironically, makes it much more expensive than many of the rarities listed in it. But try to get one if you can.


Lelivelt, Hans (1986), Events of David Bowie, private print, The Netherlands

A nice illustrated discography, providing track lists for many albums (including bootlegs). What is strange is that it doesn't give release dates for the records, not even years! However, a useful publication that also includes a flexi with the 1964 Tonight interview.


Pegg, Nicholas (2002), The Complete David Bowie, second edition, Reynolds & Hearn, London, ISBN 1-903111-40-4

Pegg, Nicholas (2011), The Complete David Bowie, sixth edition, Titan, London, ISBN 9780857682901

Pegg, Nicholas (2016), The Complete David Bowie, seventh edition, Titan, London, ISBN 9781785653650

When it gets to information on individual songs (recording dates and places etc.), Pegg is my first choice. The book also comprises a lot of discographical information. There can hardly be a more comprehensive introduction to the music of David Bowie. Pegg has regularly revised and updated his book, so that it has become the reference book on all things Bowie.


Pitt, Kenneth (1983), David Bowie - The Pitt Report, Design Music, London, ISBN 0 9508816 0 0

Of course, Pitt's fantastic account of Bowie's early years is no discography, but it gives a lot of background information on recording sessions, etc. And sometimes it's quite telling what Pitt does not write: for example, Pitt's failure to mention that Bowie anonymously sang on hit compilations is strong evidence for the assumption that Bowie never did. And Pitt, as Bowie's manager in the 1960s, would have known!


Thompson, Dave (1987), Moonage Daydream, Plexus, London, ISBN 0-85965-140-1

Another pleasant biography with a lot of discographical information. However, some of it seems to be based on hearsay. For example, I really doubt that there were Russian Bowie singles on RCA. If there had been Russian single releases in the 1970s (which I don't believe at all), they would certainly have been issued on the government-owned Melodija label. Moreover, he turns the US release Starting Point into a German compilation, etc.
But who's perfect? At least he gives release dates for some compilations, a kind of information that can't be found anywhere else. Of course, I don't know how reliable these dates are.


Bowie Books with Discographical Information ↑ Other Books with Information about Bowie Records Other Bowie Books ↓

Heylin, Clinton (1994), The Great White Wonders - A History of Rock Bootlegs, Viking, Harmondsworth, ISBN 0-670-85777-7

Heylin gives an entertaining account of the development of the rock bootleg scene from its beginnings to the early 1990s. Of course, Bowie is repeatedly mentioned. The infamous "Operation Moonbeam" of 1979 is discussed in much detail.


Strong, Martin C. (2006), The Essential Rock Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, ISBN 1 84195 860 3

Not a book on Bowie, but a discography of what the author considered to be "the most important" rock musicians at the time of writing. Of course, it includes Bowie, and - unlike all other books I've seen - gives exact months of release for most of the RCA CDs. But, alas, most (if not all) of the dates are wrong, as can be concluded from information provided by Rob Davison.


Other Books with Discographical Information ↑ Other Bowie Books Discographical Bowie Websites ↓

Bowie, Angela & Patrick Carr (1993), Einmal und immer wieder - Mein wildes Leben mit David Bowie, translated by Gabriela Prahm & Bernhard Schmid, Goldmann, Munich, ISBN 3-442-42226-4

This is the German edition of the infamous Backstage Passes, and it's a very interesting book... After having read some early biographies of Bowie, I had always had the feeling that Angela had been treated a bit unfair. After reading this book I fully understood why he divorced her.
Things would be better if the book was at least entertaining, but even a professional co-writer couldn't improve Angela Bowie's style, which I would simply call dull, primitive and vulgar.


Claire, Vivian (1977), David Bowie - His Private and His Public Lives, His Music, His Films, His Future, Flash Books, New York, ISBN 0-8256-3911-5

Claire, Vivian (1980), David Bowie, translated by Gabriele Meierding-Schwitzkowski, Bastei-Lübbe, Bergisch-Gladbach, ISBN 3-404-60016-9

The second book is simply a slightly updated German translation of the first.
Claire's quite outdated book wasn't particularly good, but it was the second Bowie biography I've ever read. And, by and large, the general facts were correct (more or less...).


Currie, David (ed.) (1985), The Starzone Interviews, Omnibus Press, London, New York, Sydney & Cologne, ISBN 0-7119-0685-8

A collection of interviews with all kinds of people Bowie had been associated with so far.


Douglas, David (1980), David Bowie - Sänger, Filmstar und Exzentriker, translated by Michael Kubilak, Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich, ISBN 3-453-80037-0

The German translation of a rather obscure 1975 biography called Presenting David Bowie (with a few short updates). I once liked it, but forgive me, I was 14 when I first read it. A rather poorly written book.


Hewitt, Paolo (2012), Bowie - Retrospektive, Edel, Hamburg, ISBN 978-3-8419-0159-0

This is the German edition of Hewitt's Bowie - Album by Album, and it's the ultimate coffee table book on Bowie, well-written and nice to look at, with numerous glossy pictures. There are some minor mistakes in it, but I couldn't find anything serious. The only problem is that the author writes from the point of view of a fan: there's some careful criticism concerning Tonight and Never Let Me Down, but apart from that Bowie seems to have released only masterpieces. But by and large, it's a nice introduction to the work of David Bowie.


Hutchinson, John "Hutch" (2014), Bowie & Hutch, Lodge Books, Bridlington, ISBN 978-1-291-90403-1

The story of John "Hutch" Hutchinson, of Bowie & Hutch and Feathers fame, who also played guitar for Bowie in 1973. Hutchinson is neither a professional writer nor a rock critic, so he has a very down-to-earth style. And, of course, this is one of those "inside view" books, so that we do not only get the rock'n'roll, but also the sex and the drugs! Does that sound alarming? Don't be afraid, it's written with a fondness for Bowie and the "olden days" and never goes into detail where it would become embarrassing. A really recommendable book!


Juby, Kerry (ed.) (1986), David Bowie - In Other Words, Omnibus Press, London, New York & Sydney, ISBN 0-7119-1038-3

Another Bowie book by Omnibus Press. This time one that complements their In His Own Words. Bowie's career is told in the words of old companions, collegues and... er... Angela Bowie. Although I've had this book for quite a while, I must admit that I haven't had the time to read it yet. So it's just here for completeness.


Kelleter, Frank (2016), David Bowie. 100 Seiten, Reclam, Stuttgart, ISBN 978-3-15-020423-8

This is not a biography, but a kind of long essay on Bowie, analysing Bowie's career from several points of view, especially in the light of recurrent motives in his work.


Marchbank, Pearce (ed.) (1983), Bowiepix, Omnibus Press, no place, ISBN 0-7119-0278-X

Well... the title says it.


Miles (ed.) (1987), David Bowie - In His Own Words, fifth edition, Omnibus Press, London, New York, Sydney & Cologne, ISBN 0-86001-645-5

The title says all... But, by the way, I still wonder who "Miles" is. It might be Miles Charlesworth, who has also worked for Omnibus Press (see the David Bowie Black Book), but who knows?


Palmer, Jim (1984), David Bowie - An Independent Story in Words and Pictures, Anabas, Romford, ISBN 1 85099 003 4

An issue from The Anabas Look Book Series - and that's what it looks like. Despite the title there are more pictures than words, but some of them are really great (at least as long as you don't mind incorrect captions...).


Rock, Mick & David Bowie (2002), Moonage Daydream - The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust, translated by Anne Litvin, Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin, ISBN 3-89602-682-8

This is the German edtion of the English book of the same name. A beautiful selection of Mick Rock's famous photos from the Ziggy-era, with comments by Bowie himself.


Sandford, Christopher (1997), David Bowie - Ein Mythos will nicht müde werden, translated by Kirsten Borchardt & Alexander Schmitz, Hannibal, St. Andrä-Wördern, ISBN 3-85445-143-1

The German translation of Sandford's Loving the Alien. Informative, entertaining and well-written.


Seiler, Christian et al. (eds.) (2003) Du 741 - David Bowie - Beruf Popstar, Tamedia AG, Zurich

Du is a Swiss glossy magazine for intellectuals. In 2003 they dedicated an entire issue to Bowie, full of interviews, analyses, photos etc. I didn't feel the urge to buy all 22 different cover pictures it was published with.


Thomas, Gareth (2011) David Bowie - The Illustrated Biography, Transatlantic Press, Hertfordshire, ISBN 978-1-907176-73-9

Basically a lookbook, but nice...


Thompson, Elizabeth & David Gutman (eds.) (1993), The David Bowie Companion, Macmillan, London, ISBN 0-333-52226-2

This is a collection of articles on various aspects of Bowie's music and personality, written by music journalists, and, occasionally, fellow musicians, etc. Nice to read.


Tremlett, George (1976), The David Bowie Story, second edition, Futura Publications, London, ISBN 0 8600 7051 4

In the context of Bowie somebody (though I can't remember who and where) once called him "the inevitable George Tremlett". In fact, the first edition of this book (from 1974) was the first true biography of Bowie ever written. Note that the second edition is simply a re-print, except for the chronology at the end, which was updated to cover most of 1975.


Tremlett, George (1995), David Bowie - Die Biographie, translated by Thomas Hag, vgs, Cologne, ISBN 3-8025-2305-9

This is the German edition of Tremlett's Biography of David Bowie (which was soon re-written to become David Bowie - Living on the Brink). About twenty years after his first book on Bowie, Tremlett published a major update. Think of him what you like, but at least he's got an entertaining style of writing.


Welch, Chris (1999), We Could Be Heroes - The Stories behind Every David Bowie Song 1970-1980, Thunder's Mouth Press, New York, ISBN 1-56025-209 X

An interesting book, very nice to read. There isn't much discographical data in it, but maybe that's better: even as late as 1999 Welch was still spreading the rumour of the "second King Bees single" You're Holding Me Down (see here for more on that). Strangely, that single is mentioned in the text, but missing from the short discography at the end.


Zanetta, Tony & Henry Edwards (1986), Stardust - The Life and Times of David Bowie, Michael Joseph, London, ISBN 0-7181-2595-9

Zanetta, sometimes simply called "Z", had originally belonged to the Andy Warhol circle, and then, in the early 1970s, to MainMan's entourage. With the help of such "reliable" sources as Angie Bowie and Tony DeFries (and professional writer Henry Edwards, to prevent the book from becoming a mess) he felt obliged to write his own Bowie biography.


Some tour programmes (from left to right):

Isolar 2 - Bowie 1978 (USA, 1978)

Serious Moonlight Tour '83 (Europe, 1983)

Outside Tour 95 (1995)


Other Bowie Books ↑ Discographical Bowie Websites Other Websites with Discographical Content ↓
Click on the name of the website or the screenshot to go to it.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the contents of the websites I have provided links to!

Illustrated db Discography

My favourite Bowie site on the web, created by Ruud Altenburg. The title speaks for itself. It's always up to date and gives a lot of information about albums, 12" singles and CDs of any kind. Furthermore, you can find information about practically every known Bowie song.
Particularly recommendable are the forum, and within the forum the vinyl albums and 10"/12" singles discographies.

The forum
The vinyl albums discography
The 10" and 12" singles discography

Bassman's David Bowie Page

Although Stefan Westman's website doesn't seem to be updated anymore, it's still a fantastic site, especially because of its information on singles and bootlegs. In fact, it is still my standard (online) resource when looking for information about bootlegs.


David Bowie 7" Singles

Chas Pearson's great website on, well... what its title says - with complete 7" discographies of several countries!


Mindwarppavilion

Mindwarppavilion is a torrent tracker that concentrates on the unreleased work of David Bowie. It's not exclusively dedicated to Bowie, but you can find a lot of great stuff there. Nobody can buy every bootleg - and there you can find the stuff you couldn't get on CD, vinyl or DVD! There's a great artwork gallery and a nice forum, too. But you'll have to register - it's free! Moreover, you can find a lot of information about the content of bootlegs.
Note: To be on the legally safe side, I've removed all direct links to the page, but just enter "mindwarppavilion" in a search engine...


Pick'n'Mixed

This music blog is run by Rob Davison, co-ordinator of RCA Europe's CD programme, 1983-1987. Rob has given me a lot of valuable first-hand information on the release of Bowie's European RCA CDs. Here's his account of the history of RCA Europe's Bowie CDs.


Discographical Bowie Websites ↑ Other Discographical Websites
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the contents of the websites I have provided links to!

45cat

A website dedicated to discographies of 7" singles. You can sort them by artist, label, etc. As you might have expected, it's very incomplete, but nonetheless helpful.


Amazon Germany
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

The Amazon websites are not the worst starting point if you are looking for release dates of newer items (such as releases of the last 10 years). Although the release dates given might sometimes be the projected rather than the actual dates, they give you at least some idea of what time of year a record was released.


Discogs

Discogs is a website that collects discographical data on all kinds of musicians, provided by the users. It's not always reliable, but sometimes helpful.


Hot Hits

A website dealing with anonymous hits compilations. Gives some useful information on the Hits '67 LP.


PNP Records

A website on Russian rock music. It also has a lot of information on Russian vinyl record labels (including Melodiya).


Rockfiles

A great discography of Marc Bolan, also giving information on Bolan's contributions to Bowie's music and where he was not involved (Dib Cochran & the Earwigs).


Top of the Pops (sub-page dedicated to USSR records)

This website allows you to identify the pressing plant of Melodiya releases.


Wikipedia

And, last not least, Wikipedia might also be helpful in finding some information about records.


Other Discographical Websites ↑ Top