4 November 2023
Fifty-three years ago today – on 4 November 1970 – the late genial starman
DAVID BOWIE released his third album THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD
in the US. Six months later, in April 1971, it came out in his home country.
The LP’s artwork – featuring a cowboy in front of a mental asylum – designed by a Bowie friend, an underground comics artist called Michael J. Weller wasn’t really a Bowie-style image. At first Bowie thought it was a ‘horrible’ idea but later in 1999 he stated that he “actually thought the cartoon cover was really cool”.
Six months later the UK front cover artwork featured the iconic image we all know
with Bowie on a chaise longue in a cream and blue satin ‘man’s dress‘, an early indication
of his interest in exploiting his androgynous appearance.
Despite laudatory criticisms, the album wasn’t a big commercial success at first
but went on selling more copies over the years as Bowie became a superstar.