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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 | 658 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars There are some serious pitfalls waiting for a reviewer expressing opinions on an album like Ziggy Stardust. First, it frequently makes its way onto those "100 Best Rock Albums of All Time" lists, so what the heck can I say that hasn't already been said? Secondly... David Bowie's recent passing makes most readers view this album with rose-colored glasses. So first a bit of background...

My introduction to Bowie was his performance as Jareth, the Goblin King in a fantasy film that is perennially popular with people of my generation. In that film, he's more memorable for his one-liners and epic tights. This makes me predisposed to enjoy him as a persona, but other than the handful of musical numbers he performs in the movie, I'm ignorant of his real skills as a musician. If you're like me - this review is mostly for you.

So what can a newcomer expect with Ziggy? Is it really as good as every one says it is? Probably. Like all music it'll hit some harder than others, but it would be silly to deny that this album is a genuine pleasure to listen to; it's well- crafted, soulfully performed, and filled with interesting songs that shimmer with the slinky vibe of the era.

As a semi-concept album, Bowie's lyrics and storytelling are entertaining, playful, and filled with double-meaning to discover. His voice is passionate, distinct, and uniquely masculine. If you lean towards the approachable side of prog- rock, the strong delivery and choruses of Bowie found throughout this album are first rate.

The songs themselves are highly varied and quite lush. String arrangements abound, and even the "simple" tunes have instrumental gems sprinkled throughout to enjoy. Ronson's guitar is understated, though his soloing is great, and Bolder's smooth bass lines help give the album a lot of that vintage '70's class. There are upbeat rockers, folksy ballads, bluesy throwbacks, sing-alongs that seem to be pulled from a stage musical... all thrown into a playful vaudevillian mix.

The final experience is a real delight. Is it one of the best rock albums of all time? Maybe. It's a product of its time, in the literal and figurative sense in that it represents a phase of Bowie's career. As a prog album it's light in content, but as a piece of music and entertainment it's a first rate addition to any rock fans library.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |


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