David Bowie / Blackstar deluxe

Blackstar Deluxe2

Although David Bowie‘s last album, ★ (Blackstar), wasn’t issued as an kind of ‘deluxe’ edition CD, there was a version issued with alternative, enhanced packaging, apparently exclusively, for a German retailer.

As the photos show, this special edition of the album comes in a lift-off lid box (very similar, if not identical to the one used for the The Next Day Extra deluxe edition) and the design utilises the same spot varnished black type on black as used on the standard CD. Inside is an exclusive ★ (Blackstar) metal pin badge, along with what looks like the standard digi-pack edition.

These were on sale in-store at the SATURN retailer across Germany, although it is not known at the time of writing whether this particular exclusive is still in stock anyway.

Following the shocking news of Bowie’s death last week, ★ (Blackstar) is now the number one album in the UK and is David’s first number one album in America.

Thanks go to Mychael Gerstenberger for the photos.

davidbowie_ blackstar_CD



Vinyl LP


Blackstar Deluxe1

Blackstar Deluxe

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I purchased this album on Vinyl. I listened to it and did not like it. I felt my views would be worth a review on a well know on line retailer (where i purchased it from), to give a balanced view of the product rather than Hard Core Bowie fans just saying “what an excellent last album”. It is not a great album at all, its awful – not tuneful, not memorable and nothing on it that makes you want to listen again. One particular ‘Bowie’ fan took offence at my dislike of his heroes last offering and started to keyboard abuse, troll and insult me because I gave his ‘heroes’ last album a less favorable review. His attempt failed and my review stands. It is not compulsory to like an album ‘just because its Bowie’. If that’s a typical Bowie fan I am glad i’m not one!


Well as a “real” Bowie fan, I think it is a great album. Much better than anything since Heathen on. It could easily fit into the late ’70’s post-Heroes/pre-Scary monsters era. I actually left it over a year to buy as I didn’t want the same looks from record store staff as I did when I bought the Happy Xmas (War Is Over) single the morning John Lennon was assassinated. My brother, who was a dj at the time, sent me to get it for him. Never again. Seriously though, you should take time to listen to ★ (to give it its correct title) again.

[…] 25 unsurprisingly remains at no. 1, although Best of Bowie is number two and David Bowie‘s Blackstar is still in the top ten (#9) of the UK physical album […]

Neil Wilkes

That link goes straight to the regular CD edition, Paul – not a deluxe package.
Are there any locations where this alternate can be got?

Mic Smith

I have no inside knowledge but from what Tony Visconti has said and from the meticulous process Bowie went through in the run up to his passing, it seems most likely he has made plans for the material he had control over to be handled most respectfully. Hopefully all future releases will honour and not tarnish his legacy. Having viewed Amazon last night it seems a few unofficial releases are already slated for release…….

Carlton Fisher

With the few “official” statements that we’ve had that Blackstar was planned as a farewell piece, I could see it either being Bowie’s vision that the album stays exactly as is with no expansions or bonus versions, or that there is an “after” edition on deck for later in the year that was set up and ready to go during the process of completing the album we have now, knowing that (hopefully) he would survive to see the album released, but then have a second, final statement to make when the world outside his immediate circle knew that it was meant as an actual good-bye.

In terms of how much we’ll see his back catalogue milked for ongoing returns, that’s going to depend on who owns the rights to the masters and what role they intend to play as the curator of that material. If the record company owns the rights to any portion of his masters, then we’ll see that portion of his work re-issued and re-issued until no one can remember what the actual original albums were for that time period anymore. I’m fairly certain that, at least since the 90s, if not before, however, he’s owned his masters for the work he released during that time. Whoever become the executor of his legacy will be the one to make the decisions about what will or will not be released, likely with something in the way of some sort of guidance left behind by him. I doubt we’re going to see “Too Dizzy” unless it’s out of his estate’s hands, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Toy within the next two years.

I’d like to see something that focuses on physical releases of the remixes, one-offs, and b-sides from the 80s, as there’s quite a bit of material there that isn’t readily available on physical media, and the material that IS available is scattered across so many different out-of-print box sets or re-masters that it’s almost impossible to put it together as a collector who doesn’t have a bottomless wallet to invest in the process. Heck, even some quality 90s material is missing, even with all the re-issues that were put out around those albums. (I JUST found a copy of the “Strangers When We Meet” single that has the in-studio re-recording of The Man Who Sold the World with Brian Eno producing during the Outside sessions.)

Johnny Feathers

Also, I wouldn’t be completely certain that Bowie wouldn’t have allowed for deluxe editions, remixes, etc. We may think of it as potentially tarnishing a legacy–he might have thought of it as taking care of his family after he was gone. And Bowie having his first US #1 ever, and all of the hype and discussion with his passing, are likely making the record company drool with how to take advantage of the sudden interest.

Johnny Feathers

Assuming they do release a deluxe version of this album with more songs, I hope they do it the same way they did for the Next Day, with an easy download option for just the bonus songs. As it is, I hadn’t realized they had done it that way, and ended up buying the album twice.

Blackstar is also the first Bowie album I deliberately chose to buy on iTunes rather than CD, since my CDs only serve to be ripped for use on iTunes anyway.

Pete {in Australia}

Hi All, I was in two minds whether to grab the clear vinyl, for my collection, and days before “Blackstar” was released. I finally ordered it. via a local supplier, who said it was exclusive to them in Australia. After having my card charged on the day of release, I was getting more excited about recieving that, than the CD in the mail on the follwoing Monday. Cd arrived played, and then ……….my sister rang in the evening with the news……that i am still reeling like many others about. A week after ordering still no sign of the vinyl, so I made an enquiry, next day it was shipped. Yest it arrived, but as yet, I have not been able to open it, to really look at it. I am really APPALLED at the prices this is now going for on Ebay. Yes it is a limited edition, yes more collectible now because of David’s sad passing, but come on guys……………… $1,000 + Aus, when it was retailing for $60. Last year I was lucky enough to grab, at the Bowie exhibition here in Melb, one of the 500 only Let’s Dance yellow 7″, for $50Aus. One company on Ebay, had four copies {one per customer only at exhibition}, selling after it had sold out, at $750 Aus, now they have up their price to $1, 000 Aus. SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thx for the ebay Blackstar MSD link – but my German is hopeless and the translation worse! Does anyone know how much the postage would be to the UK, and is it straightforward to arrange as it looks at first sight that you have to contact mediamarkt to arrange overseas shipping?


re Clear Vinyl – I pre ordered through Barnes and Noble and still have not received. My order is still shown as processing. Customer service is appalling giving me several conflicting responses and I still don’t know if it’s actually coming. Not betting on it now…


If anybody does want to buy a badge, there’s a circular 1″ diameter badge available via Amazon that bears a striking resemblance to the sleeve art:


NB – This is a button badge and not the type of enamel pin shown in the main photo above.

(Hope it’s OK to give the link, Paul. Otherwise, please delete this post)


@Andreas: I thought the same as you. I am sure that Bowie ensured that nothing is released after his death that he has not authorized before.


Michael: Yes, certainly wouldn’t want inferior posthemous releases tarnising such a legacy. I dont think anyone would have the balls to anyway ;-).

Ian Hicks

I got the clear vinyl with the lithographs. Ordered back in October. Can’t believe the ridiculous prices people are paying for it. Profiteering on Bowie’s death


I doubt there will be a deluxe edition due to David’s passing. He’s smart enough to have ensured his legacy isn’t tainted by remixes and demos. I dont expect Timbaland will be adding beats to unfinshed tracks anyday soon!


Remixes were issued when the great man was alive, I expect the record company to cash in as they did with TND. I have the clear vinyl and will wait to see if a Deluxe Edition is release. I have no interest in badges, it’s just the music that matters and David left us a great legacy.


Richie: Bowie would have ensured that no one can release ‘new music’, unless previously sanctioned by himself (incl remixes). The will be no clearing out the closets here (and rightly so).


The remixes of The Next Day were thee highlight of that release for me. Especially Love is Lost which is just phenomenal. If there is anything as good as that we have something to look forward to.



I too live in Austria and I can confirm that the standard CD is identical
to the one in the box,only difference is the box itself and the pin.
I bought the box on the day of release and had the standard CD on pre-order from an austrian seller.
This arrived on Monday 11. 1. , shortly after I read about the sad passing of David Bowie and I had not the nerve to return it,
so I gave it to a friend as a present.

I missed the clear vinyl as it was available, which I regret now……..

Yesterday I was lucky to find the greek version of “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)” with the gatefold cover on ebay and bought it.

All the best to you all.


I am living in Austria and can confirm that this is the standard edition here. You can not only find this in SATURN but in every shop, there is no other version available at the time here in Austria. I can imagine that this may be the first edition and will be replaced with the standard edition soon, but at the time I have not seen another version than the box version.


Some others may have already pointed this out that the deconstructed star along the bottom seems to spell out B O W I E. Maybe it’s just that it’s obvious.


I have the clear vinyl in addition to the standard die-cut vinyl. Ordered the former upon announcement last year and the latter as an afterthought prior to it’s release.

Michael Bird

I did get the clear vinyl but I had to go through Barnes & Noble’s website. When I learned how dreadfully rare it is, I’m afraid I couldn’t bare to break the wrap on it. I have no intentions of selling it, but I also can’t handle knowing opening it is to cut its value. I really hate limited releases for this reason.


I bought the Saturn/Media Markt exclusive on the day it was released, and guess what – at € 12.99 it was even cheaper than the standard version (€ 14.99). Have been wearing the black star badge ever since …
Unfortunately I missed the clear vinyl. Those ebay and discogs prices are totally ridiculous – even the black vinyl goes for € 100 and more!

Yesterday, an old friend of mine and I had a private Bowie day, listening to his music and watching his videos all day long. Oh those fond memories!

Alan Jones

Yes I have one Rob. I pre-ordered the clear vinyl from JPC back in Nov for only 18.39 Euros as it was cheaper than the official site I didn’t fancy the lithographs. I received it on 12 Jan and it plays lovely on my Linn Axis.

Big Steve

I pre-ordered a clear vinyl from the bowie website but you had to order it with one of three lithographs (or all 3 if you wanted). They seemed to be on sale right up until his death and didn’t seem popular until the sad news. Hopefully all those on discogs will be forever on sale.

Rob Wilcock

Anybody manage to bag a copy of the clear vinyl edition then? This would be the one to get as it was limited to 5,000 worldwide copies according to Discogs.com.

Tom of FIN

Me of course with the art print preferred in presale from official Bowie site. That is before death. NOT SELLING of course either.


I guess we are all expecting a deluxe version to appear, but no fan is going to hold off buying a new album when it is released, just in case a deluxe version may appear further down the line.

It is that cynical catch 22 which enables the powers that be to make money off us. If there are going to be alternative formats and editions of a particular album, then I believe all of them should be released on the same day so the consumer can make an informed choice.

I suppose this is where streaming has the edge and the loss of physical product revenue to streaming is why we are faced with such marketing ploys.


Not too much to attract me, the badge would be more attractive it had some of the strange typeface letters. As it is it’s just…a black star.


After seeing the way The Next Day was issued and then reissued ten months later, I wasn’t going to buy Blackstar until it was reissued in the Deluxe format. However, with Bowie’s unfortunate passing, I decided to pick it up. I suspect I’ll be buying it again when it is reissued with b-sides/remixes/etc. Hopefully then they’ll decide to include the pin.



Having been able to listen for 3 days before the news dropped is something I’m very grateful for. To have had those three days of listening one last time with the great excitement of new Bowie, alive and already thinking of the next step…

And who could wait 10 months?

Michel D.

This edition is probably sold out as I can’t seem to find it on Saturn’s site.

Ken Moore

Sadly, or happily, there will eventually be a deluxe version with bonus tracks available. I’m one of the suckers who know this, but still purchase the standard edition when it comes out anyway.


To my mind, this is just the new method that has mostly replaced actually putting out singles with b-sides, and it’s actually usually cheaper than trying to collect import single versions.


Unfortunately, they are not available anymore at Saturn or Mediamarkt, either in the stores or thru their website. You can however find people at ebay selling them.


Yep, the lid is like the TND deluxe edition. It’s the standard Blackstar CD edition plus pin badge. This edition is out of stock and is now a new Ebay favourite just like the vinyl edition.
Would be interesting to know why and how SATURN was able to produce that special edition.

Julian H

Saturn & MediaMarkt often have special editions, it’s a bit like the Target or BestBuy things…

Status Quo – Aquostic (included two bonus tracks)
Aquostic Live (included two more live tracks from the Stuttgart concert)

Mark Knopfler – Tracker (added “Hot Dog” on both the standard and deluxe version)