There it was: a reasonably unassuming 7″ single in a monochrome sleeve. But what a sleeve. A-SideStraightaway, it drew me in. The typeface said this is a sleek, possibly electronic, modern record – no surprise there. But the image that accompanied it was unlike anything on any other artist’s record at the time. It depicted an absence, (and as the eighties were gearing up, mainstream pop acts wanted the opposite – they wanted presence – their faces everywhere). Here was mystery. Who had been vapourised, leaving only their clothes behind? Was this a comment on prevailing trends in the music business? Whatever it meant, the image was striking – a combination of sci-fi, noir and French new wave (and designed by John Foxx). I knew I had to own this record. Unfortunately, the gift tokens only covered the cost of the Bowie album, and in the brief time that I’d had it in my hot little hands I’d decided that it and I were not to be parted. In order to secure the single, I had to admit to my mum that not only had I found something in Boots to spend my tokens on, but now I needed to borrow extra…

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