This release has stamped matrix numbers in the dead wax. All other versions with this cover are counterfeits (with etched matrix numbers) and should not be listed here.
This US release is the first release on LP of The Man Who Sold the World. It was only released in two countries - US and Japan (SFX-7345) - with this original cover. The building in the background is the Cane Hill Hospital where David Bowie's half-brother Terry was a patient.
The album was released in a further three countries on the Mercury label - Germany (The Man Who Sold The World
) in a large circular fold-out cover and the United Kingdom and Australia with a picture of David reclining in a dress. This latter cover is the one used on contemporary releases.
The US Mercury album was counterfeited (see The Man Who Sold The World
) in the early 1970s after Bowie became popular. It was possible for a potential buyer to choose between the official RCA reissue (in yet another cover, see The Man Who Sold The World
) and the widely distributed counterfeit.
The following visual indicators can be used to confirm an original US Mercury LP:
• The matrices in the runout (the space between the label and the grooves) are machine stamped (the counterfeits are hand etched).
• The space between the final lyric line of The Supermen and the cartoon bubble "Oh By Jingo" on the back cover is approximately the height of a line of text, while on the counterfeits the space is notably wider.
There are other differences, though these can be more easily seen and described in a side-by-side comparison.