Sound + Vision is David Bowie's box set compilation released on Rykodisc in 1989. By the end of the 1980s, the rights to Bowie's pre-1983 catalogue (released under the RCA label) reverted to Bowie. Rykodisc had approached Bowie in 1988 to re-release albums on CD and Bowie agreed, and in September 1989 the Sound + Vision box set was released. By April 1990 the box set had sold over 200,000 copies, which, for a set costing $50–$60 (or about $100 today) was considered "phenomenal."
Sound + Vision contains few of Bowie's greatest hits in their original form, instead frequently opting for demos, live versions and even a German vocal version of "Heroes" ("Helden"). This box set was originally conceived in 1989 as less of a comprehensive career retrospective than as a "teaser" for the then-upcoming Rykodisc CD reissue campaign covering Bowie's output from 1969 to 1980. As a result of this commercial logic, none of the "rarities" originally included on the 1989 edition of Sound + Vision (the rare single versions of "Wild-Eyed Boy From Freecloud" and "Rebel Rebel," or the previously unreleased studio outtakes "London Bye Ta–Ta," "1984/Dodo," "After Today," or "It's Hard To Be A Saint in the City") were included as bonus tracks on the Rykodisc editions of Bowie's albums. Conversely, some rarities were reserved exclusively for the Rykodisc re-releases and do not appear in this release.
The set won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Album Package, including Album Cover, Graphic Arts, with photography by Roger Gorman. The quality of the boxset was so high that Rolling Stone said the boxset "stood above the rest [of the 1989 boxset releases]" and called the release a "promising harbinger" for the then-upcoming re-release of Bowie's RCA back catalogue on CD with Rykodisc, for which Bowie launched a world-wide supporting tour.
It exists in two primary editions, each of which has been released in an original version and a subsequent repackaged version:
The original 1989 Rykodisc edition, in an LP-size box, was either in LP, audiocassette or CD format, as six LPs, three cassettes or three CDs and one CD-Video (a Laserdisc type disc that was retired in 1991), with the latter containing audio tracks and the music video of "Ashes To Ashes". Content from this release included material from Bowie's catalogue through 1980 (including several live performances from the 1970s). A second Rykodisc version of this edition, released in 1995 on CD, replaced the CD-Video with a regular CD-ROM and was packaged in a smaller slipcase. The contents of this release are otherwise identical to the original release.
A new edition of the album, issued by Virgin/EMI in 2003, added Bowie studio material released from 1982 - 1993 (plus live tracks from 1983 and 1997), and replaced some of the tracks from the original set with alternate versions. This version contains more tracks on each CD than the original release, and does not include the CD-Video/CD-ROM tracks from the original release. This edition was re-released on CD, in a smaller slipcase, under the Rhino imprint in 2014.