The Man Who Sold The World

Well, the MWSTW album on the Mercury label is a holy grail for many Bowie collectors. in particular the "dress sleeve" and the round German issue. The dress sleeve has been counterfeited at least twice. This page is simply designed to teach you what to look for.

United Kingdom Pressing

The original UK issue of the MWSTW "dress sleeve" had an embossed textured sleeve. It was matte and not glossy. The album pressing number or matrix number in vinyl run-out had closely spaced numerals. Some UK pressings spelt Tony Visconti as "Tonny". View the images below. Ecah image should open in a new window.

United Kingdom MWSTW: front | rear | figurine detail | texture | label | matrix number |

Japanese Counterfeit

The Japanese counterfeit that became available about 1979 was excellent. It also had a textured sleeve but the embossed textured was more cross hatched. the counterfeiters also cropped the original artwork. As a result the clock on the mantlepiece is truncated and the figurine is closer to the right border of the sleeve. The colour is not as deep as the original. The font used on the label is quite different to that on the Mercury original. The numerals in the matrix number on the vinyl runout are more widely spaced out than on the original and the font is larger. It is an excellent counterfeit and being Japanese the cardboard is better and more durable than the UK original! Sorry that the front cover is a little out of focus.

Japanese MWSTW Counterfeit: front | rear | figurine detail | texture | label | matrix number |

Italian Counterfeit

The Italian countefeit is poor. they photographed an original that must have been in poor condition. The sleeve has no embossed texture although it is visible in the album artwork due to the high contrast. The figurine is truncated and the clock on the right hand side has almost disappeared from the sleeve. The labels are the wrong colour, etc. Overall, a poor effort.

Italian MWSTW Counterfeit: front | rear | figurine detail | label |

Australian Pressing

The official Australian issue of the MWSTW on the Mercury label had an album sleeve quite similar to the UK edition except that they very sloppily added a reference to its origin on the rear of the sleeve. The labels are quite different.

There was also a MWSTW dress sleeve picture disc. Of course it was a bootleg.