Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars CD (album) cover


David Bowie


Prog Related

4.26 | 701 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Quirky, British, and shallow in all the wrong places, but oh baby, does this thing ooze personality and charm...

Best Song - A good half the record qualifies, really.

..And good melodies, too. Yes, this is the most famous Bowie album for miles, and one of the most famous rock records in existence, so you're either thinking it's gonna be absolute garbage, or a timeless master-work for the ages, huh? Well, after listening to this sucker four times in a row, and still at least -liking- every track, I gotta say... it's a minor masterpiece.

The biggest detrimental draw is to call it all stupid glam trash and go listen to your fancy Yes records or something, but, I just don't get it. At their core, most of these songs are interesting acoustic rock songs that are 'glammed' up by driving electric guitars, sure. But, these songs got much more than image backing them. Even in the album's weakest tracks, there is some form of fantastic and engaging melody, or stunning Bowie vocal moment. Usually, I don't tout David's singing as ever having been phenomenal, but here he packs each song, along with some help from his head guitarist, with such a raw and hard hitting energy, again, all tied neatly into concise and melodically strong rock tunes.

I can't really attach any of the typical glam rock accusations here, either. None of the songs are overtly shallow or fake. They all sound convincing, even if the so called rock opera's plot is a nonsensically vague and disconnected mess. It's mainly just a collection of wonderful, if mildly related, hard rocking pop songs. David is at his most polished and paranoid, right from the start, with the grooving and almost bar-room quality of "Five Years". And, as much as I might see the second rate rocker "star" as just that, a typical, if not quite energetic and memorable rocker, there are no filler songs. Besides, if there's something you don't like, it's barely going to be two or three minutes long, anyway. Indeed, ol' Bowie practices the fine art of quality over quantity, and gives us all a short assault of top class stuff.

There's diversity, too. You got your up front hard rockers (Star, Suffragette City) and you got your versatile mixes of both in your face blasting and softer acoustic/piano bridging (Moonage Daydream, Ziggy Stardust), and even a damned Elton John style balled (Lady Stardust). Even if the whole play is a singer/guitar show, it's a smash. I can't really find any glaring flaws. The weakest links are still fine and dandy, while the several classics are all ....well, classic. It's got too many high points to be ignored, and the lows are grand, anyway. Now, if only mister Bowie can explain to me exactly how all these songs fit to make a coherent plot...

13/15 - A minor masterpiece.

Alitare | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this DAVID BOWIE review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.