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David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars CD (album) cover

THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS

David Bowie

 

Prog Related

4.16 | 386 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAM

Deeply inspired by the rise and fall of Vince Taylor (whom Bowie incidentally met in 1971). David/Ziggy will mix this story with science-fiction themes, the atmosphere of the star rock system mixing the whole stuff with his androgynous look. Ziggy will appear as such on stage. Intelligent glam rock? Probably.

Bolan was considered as the first glam-rock star and Bowie did appreciate him a lot (even if they are going to have some personal problems). In an interview, Visconti declared that the first glam-rock concert he has ever seen took place as soon as March 70. During a performance from "The Hype" which was the first incarnation of a pre-Spiders lineup (Bolder and Woodmansey joining later). Nothing new then.

Now about the album.

Dear friend Ziggy came from Mars to free our good old blue planet. "Five years", that's all we've got before the big clash. It is my fave from the album. A fantastic and emotional crescendo fantastically orchestrated. The first highlight (it's the opening number) out of many, many, oh so many...

As "Tommy", "Ziggy Stardust" has recurring themes and therefore is considered as a concept album as well, although two songs don't really sit here. The single "Starman" (even if its theme is sci-fi driven) and the cover "Ain't It Easy" which could have been released on "The Man." since it is a really heavy one. The latter being the less interesting of the whole. But competition was tough. As usual when talking about a masterpiece.

"Moonage Daydream", which was written a year prior to the Ziggy rehearsals is quite remarkable since it depicts Ziggy's transformation. But do remember that one can find a trace of "Lilywhite Lilith" (from a band you might have heard of.) as soon as in 1971 (in an unreleased song called "The Light") so.

Noticeably enough, the second side of the album is stronger while usually, the concept falls rather flat in this type of projects. "Lady Stardust", strongly making strong references to Bolan (during the Rainbow shows, a giant picture of Marc will be projected on screen during this song). Bowie was a fan (so was/am I). And he showed it.

Little by little, Ziggy is reaching fame "I could fall asleep at night as a rock & roll star. I could fall in love all right as a rock & roll star ("Star").

The fall is severe during "Ziggy Stardust". The character play between the members of the band and the star is quite hard: "Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo. Like some cat from Japan, he could lick 'em by smiling. He could leave 'em to hang Came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan".

The last words are rather premonitory: "Making love with his ego, Ziggy sucked up into his mind. Like a leper messiah When the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band"!

That's exactly what David/Ziggy will do a little later.

A highlight of course, but the next two songs are absolutely on par. The fantastic rocking "Suffragette City" describing Ziggy's paranoia and finally "Rock & Roll Suicide". Ziggy's anthem.

This song is superb, dramatic, emotive, passionate, desperate, dark, dark, dark. but so beautiful. Gosh, how many time did I ever listen to that one? And the same magic is still there. "Oh no love! You're not alone. No matter what or who you've been, No matter when or where you've seen. All the knives seem to lacerate your brain I've had my share, I'll help you with the pain. You're not alone".

What a great song. Thanks a lot Ziggy.

The whole tour is a full dementia. Outrageous make-up, weird clothes, provocative sexual attitudes (have a look at the video/DVD of the Rainbow concert to figure out).

David is more and more turning into Ziggy and they both will end up as one entity (and he was not alone). This situation will turn him into a major schizophrenic crisis and he will decide dramatically to put an end to the Ziggy adventure on stage.

None of the Spiders had a clue about it. But all of a sudden they just lost .their job. But we've seen that it was written in the lyrics, so.

The album peaked at the fifth spot in the UK. The "Rolling Stone" magazine placed this album in the 35th spot of the 500 albums of all times. Not bad.

Did I say masterpiece?

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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