Saturday, April 21, 2007

267. David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (1972)

Track Listing

1. Five Years
2. Soul Love
3. Moonage Daydream
4. Starman
5. It Ain't Easy
6. Lady Stardust
7. Star
8. Hang on to Yourself
9. Ziggy Stardust
10. Suffragette City
11. Rock & Roll Suicide


Here we go, this is one of those albums, one of the most important albums of the last century, one of those which you will find in all lists of bests. It's probably Bowie's most famous album, but it my opinion it is not his best, Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane and Low are still better than this one in my opinion. But really in the end this is nitpicking. This is still a work of immense talent and freshness.

Bowie goes much rockier here than in Hunky Dory, guitars never blared like this before, and it also the birth of one of Bowie's greates innovations, the character of Ziggy Stardust himself. That is one thing you miss incredibly from the album itself, the whole idea of theatre surrounding it, and for that you should really get the film of the last performance of Ziggy at the Hammersmith.

This is at the same time a work of great innovation, but it is also an easier album than Hunky Dory, it is never as challenging or ultimately as interesting. As a concept album though it works fantastically in the way that you are not necessarily aware of the fact that it is a concept, each song works by itself and all the tracks really work. There is also some really inspired orchestration here, nothing on the level of Roxy Music's debut, but again this has a much wider appeal.

This is when you start seein the chameleon that Bowie is, with the creation of a character, the extreme change from the music in Hunky Dory and the variety of the music in the album itself. Bowie continues to show his genius here and this is an essential album for anyone's collection, get it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Ziggy Stardust
2. Suffragette City
3. Moonage Daydream
4. Hang On To Yourself

Final Grade

10/10 (it's still a ten though)


From Wikipedia:

In 1997 Ziggy Stardust was named the 20th greatest album of all time in a 'Music of the Millennium' poll conducted by HMV, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM. In 1998 Q magazine readers placed it at number 24, while in 2003 the TV network VH1 placed it at number 48. It was named the 35th best album ever made by Rolling Stone on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2000 Q placed it at number 25 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.

Some quotes by Bowie on the Album:

"I fell for Ziggy too. It was quite easy to become obsessed night and day with the character. I became Ziggy Stardust. David Bowie went totally out the window. Everybody was convincing me that I was a Messiah, especially on that first American tour. I got hopelessly lost in the fantasy."

"Ziggy, particularly, was created out of a certain arrogance. But, remember, at that time I was young and I was full of life, and that seemed like a very positive artistic statement. I thought that was a beautiful piece of art, I really did. I thought that was a grand kitsch painting. The whole guy. Then that fucker would not leave me alone for years. That was when it all started to sour. And it soured so quickly you wouldn't believe it. And it took me an awful time to level out. My whole personality was affected. Again I brought that upon myself. I can't say I'm sorry when I look back, because it provoked such an extraordinary set of circumstances in my life. I thought I might as well take Ziggy to interviews as well. Why leave him on stage? Looking back it was completely absurd. It became very dangerous. I really did have doubts about my sanity. I can't deny that the experience affected me in a very exaggerated and marked manner. I think I put myself very dangerously near the line. Not in physical sense but definitively in mental sense. I played mental games with myself to such an extent that I'm very relieved and happy to be back in Europe and feeling very well. But, then, you see I was always the lucky one."

Ziggy Stardust:

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