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A lad at #1 this day in 1973

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MessagePosté le: Lun 5 Mai - 20:25 (2014)    Sujet du message: A lad at #1 this day in 1973 Répondre en citant

27 APRIL 2014

A lad at #1 this day in 1973

“Battle cries and champagne...”

Before we start, it’s probably best to warn those of a weak disposition that this item is of a pedantic and trainspottery nature (not to mention being overlong) and for that reason it likely has limited appeal to normal folk.

Aside from the fact that Drive-In Saturday peaked at #3 on this day in 1973 on the official UK singles chart, we’re also celebrating the arrival of David Bowie’s classic 1973 album, Aladdin Sane, at the #1 spot on the official UK album chart 41 years ago today.

The album entered the chart at #1 (helped by the strength of pre-orders) and this fact throws the release date we have celebrated all these years into doubt.

Generally recorded and celebrated (including by us up to last year) as having an April 13th release date, the chart entry date makes that impossible with Aladdin Sane, going straight in at #1.

Back in 1973 the majority of albums were released on a Friday in the UK (it's Monday these days) and the chart position (when charting after one week’s sales) was fifteen days later. This did change in the 80s, but more of that another day.

Official chart entry dates are recorded accurately and armed with this information, along with press adverts, release sheets and weekly news stories from the music press, we can work out when records were actually released.

The first music weekly adverts in the UK appeared in editions dated Saturday April 21st and even though the likes of NME, Melody Maker, Record Mirror and Sounds were available a few days before the Saturday, what would be the point in advertising an album the week after it had been released?

If the release date was ever scheduled for the 13th, there are reasons why it could have been delayed for a week. Friday the 13th isn't a good omen for those of a superstitious nature, but it’s more likely the release was put back because the promotion of Aladdin Sane was one of the most expensive and complex RCA had embarked upon up to that point.

We may do a feature on the production and promotion of Aladdin Sane at some point. But briefly, the coordination and assembly of the various parts of the hugely expensive seven-colour sleeves (printed abroad) along with cassette and 8-track versions of the album and the distribution of 1,000 life size standees of the inner sleeve image and posters to record stores as well as the creation of a TV advert, were all potential trouble spots when trying to hit a national release date.

So we’re going to stick our neck out and say that Aladdin Sane was actually released in the UK on Friday, April 20th, 1973, not the 13th. We have more controversial claims of this nature to bring to your attention in the coming months.

OK, those of you who couldn’t be less interested in such trivia can now wake up!

FOOTNOTE: Being an item about the UK release of Aladdin Sane, what better way to illustrate it than with the French and US adverts!?

David Bowie (Official)

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MessagePosté le: Lun 5 Mai - 20:25 (2014)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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