Collectors seeking David Bowie vinyl are quick to take notice when rare copies of his 1971 ‘Hunky Dory’ album appear on the market. The trained eye searches for the limited pressing (500 copies) hoping to score what is widely known as the BowPromo; an extremely rare album promoting selections from ‘Hunky Dory.’ No training could have prepared collectors for this unique, preview copy that recently surfaced and sold for over $10 thousand on eBay.

This vinyl is the earliest, complete version of ‘Hunky Dory’ known to exist and could trump the dream of owning the collectible BowPromo. Bowie’s then-manager Tony DeFries was desperate to get Bowie in the spotlight and when the limited BowPromo failed to create the awareness he desired, he pressed up a handful of these records to promote his soon to be superstar.

This copy of ‘Hunky Dory’ is pressed on the Gem label and features all 11 songs. A contact address and phone number is clearly printed on the lime green label for easy access to management while the sleeve features the handwritten name, title and date. Though Bowie had already signed a three-record contract with RCA in the U.K. a month earlier, DeFries' persistence secured a major deal for Bowie in the uncharted U.S.A..

This version is rare on so many levels that it will remain unmatched until another copy surfaces. The packaging is especially unique in that it has a gatefold sleeve containing press pockets that house carefully selected Bowie reviews and interviews. The sepia toned photo used for the cover print is also of interest as it would undergo a pastel colored makeover for its official release. Some light cover wear and hairline scratches are noted in the grading but given the record’s age that can be expected.

Previously, we listed ‘Changes’ as one of our favorite Bowie songs and when it comes to finding a rarity like this, singing along to “ch-ch-ch-ch-changes” could easily sound off a “ch-ch-ch-ch-ching!”


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