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


David Bowie


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4.22 | 607 ratings

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3 stars This album has always left a bad taste in my mouth. Listening through it again today, I can't help but feel a little cheated. The album's best known numbers, "Suffragette City" and "Ziggy Stardust", are two of Bowie's finest songs from his early career, and if the remaining songs showed even half the energy these two songs do, this would be a much better album. As it is, for the remainder of the album we have the proto-Ramones rocker "Hang on to Yourself" (yay) and a bunch of power ballads (boo).

I can't even really see what's so "glam" about this album (it's usually referred to as a quintessential glam album), apart from Bowie's makeup. Mick Ronson kicks up some dust with his guitar riffing on "Moonage Daydream" and maybe "It Ain't Easy", but elsewhere it's just a bunch of slow melodrama, and not the catchy decadent fun usually associated with glam. Take the opener "Five Years". An unremarkable repeated chord progression, with nasally vocals (which sound almost out of tune to me; maybe that's why it bugs me) ostensibly building tension, but really just getting a little louder as the song reaches its "climax". This is unfortunately typical of most of the album.

The compressed sound of the backing band on most of the cuts also renders the tunes lifeless and not nearly as vital as most fans would have you believe. If you want some good glam rock, go check out T. Rex or Alice Cooper. If you want some good Bowie from this period in his career, try his next album "Aladdin Sane" instead. It feels a lot more natural and has better songs, to my ears. This one just kinda stiffs for me. Two stars, but the presence of the trio "Hang on to Yourself", "Ziggy Stardust" and "Suffragette City" generously raises it to a three.

HolyMoly | 3/5 |


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