In the most exciting news since megastar astronaut Major Tom was sensationally outed as a junkie, the UK is releasing a set of David Bowie stamps!
David has been on a UK stamp before, as part of a Classic Album Covers release in 2010. (You can also spot a wild Bowie issue hiding in this post about tortoise stamps from Namibia. Yes, you read right.)
Now Royal Mail is releasing this fabulous set of six iconic Bowie album covers, plus four photos from live tours combined in a stamp sheet.
For the completist, the covers: Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, “Heroes”, Let’s Dance, Earthling, and Blackstar. The tours: the Ziggy Stardust tour, the Stage tour, the Serious Moonlight tour, and A Reality tour, with a background from the Glass Spider tour.
The Queen signs off on every Royal Mail issue, did you know that? I bet she had strong opinions on this one. “We are not amused. Where’s Scary Monsters, bracket, And Super Creeps, close bracket? Harrumph! Somebody crack one open a Pimms.”
Royal Mail loves this vinyl-peeking-out-of-an-album-cover template. It’s the same one used for Classic Album Covers, and a Pink Floyd issue in 2016. They’re clearly planning to dust it off every time another baby boomer, punk or glam rocker dies.
The Beatles also got their own Royal Mail stamp issue, but this is the first time that a solo muso has had a release all to him-or-herself.
It’s fabulous to see postal authorities worldwide shrug off concerns of philatelic traditionalists to embrace pop culture – and specifically pop music – as being of sufficient cultural relevance to a nation. As long as this practice honours someone who deserves it – like Bowie – and isn’t just tacky commercialism, it ought to be applauded. (Well, OK, at ten pricey stamps, an issue like this borders on commercialism at some level, but all I’m saying is, at least it’s not One Direction.)
I dips me lid to this admirable Change.org petition which I suspect had exactly zero to do with this issue happening. But they’re right, David Bowie DID give “so music to the entertainment industry (Acting & Musicly)”.
Massive Respect to Royal Mail for this one. Side note: if I don’t get an invite to the Royal Mail philatelic department Christmas party for my PR services lately, I shall be very grumpy.
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