RCD 10135 Aladdin Sane
Produced by David Bowie & Ken Scott
Released on April 1973
UK CHART POSITION #1 (RE-CHART #49, 1982; #43, 1990) . . . US CHART POSITION #17 . . . GOLD RECORD (8/3/83)
Find it at GEMM
RCD 10135 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

W ho’ll love Aladdin Sane? You will. Here Bowie pushes the boundaries, an excitable moth aflutter at the lamp of inspiration. Unlike Ziggy Stardust, which ostensibly told the story of a mythic performer in a desperate future world, Aladdin Sane is less controlled. This is science fiction that careens into your life, explosive music interspersed with islands of surreal calm. That Ziggy gets the higher marks is a reflection of our critical minds, which maintains that there must be a consensual summit where the devoted can agree upon to pray. It’s a rational need into which the irrational Aladdin Sane fails to fit. But where do “Time” and “Lady Stardust” really differ? Are “Moonage Daydream” and “Drive-In Saturday” so far apart? Bowie was clearly expanding on the discoveries made with Ziggy, and it’s fair to say that Aladdin Sane aspires to more than its predecessor. But critics had already named their champion and labeled Aladdin Sane its reckless offspring. Perhaps “Aladdin Sane” and “Lady Grinning Soul” smacked of pretension, embarking for new and foreign shores before Bowie’s rock fans had a chance to pack. And his cover of “Let’s Spend The Night Together” is unrepentantly noisy. But what a wonderful floor show it all makes. Bowie’s beau monde is darker than anything this side of Lou Reed, though he still seems to find a human side to the ego-driven characters of “Watch That Man” and “Cracked Actor.” As for “The Jean Genie” and “Panic In Detroit,” they’re riveting. I also think “The Prettiest Star” is one of his prettiest songs. In fact, Aladdin Sane might be Bowie’s most emotionally draining album to listen to, at least this side of Scary Monsters. Reconciling the different musical sides of David Bowie is problematic, as his ability to embrace new musical ideas has been his salvation and his bane, but Bowie is the penultimate protean performer and Aladdin Sane proves it.

AYL1-3890 front cover AYL1-3890 back cover
AYL1-3890 front cover AYL1-3890 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. WATCH THAT MAN    4:25
  2. ALADDIN SANE (1913-1938-197?)    5:06
  3. DRIVE-IN SATURDAY    4:29
  4. PANIC IN DETROIT    4:25
  5. CRACKED ACTOR    2:56
  6. TIME    5:09
  7. THE PRETTIEST STAR    3:26
  8. LET'S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER    (Mick Jagger/Keith Richard)    3:03
  9. THE JEAN GENIE    4:02
  10. LADY GRINNING SOUL    3:46

    All selections written by David Bowie unless noted. Arranged by David Bowie & Mick Ronson.

CREDITS

DAVID BOWIE -- vocals, guitar
T.J. BOLDER -- bass
MAC CORMACK -- vocal back-up
KEN FORDHAM -- bux-saxophones & flutes
JUANITA "HONEY" FRANKLIN -- vocal back-up
MIKE GARSON -- piano
LINDA LEWIS -- vocal back-up
MICK RONSON -- guitar, mixing
WOODY WOODMANSEY -- drums
Ken Scott -- engineer, mixing
Mike Moran -- engineer
Duffy & Celia Philo (for the Kitchen Tool Shop) -- album cover design
Pierre Laroche -- make-up

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK April 1973 RCA LP/CS RS-1001 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
US 1973 RCA LP/CS LSP-4852 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
BRA   RCA LP 1044 034  
JPN 1976 RCA LP RVP 6128 gatefold cover, lyric insert
US 1977 RCA LP AFL1-4852  
US 1980 RCA LP/CS AYL1/AYK1-3890  
UK February 1981 RCA LP/CS INTS/INTK 5067  
GER 1981 RCA LP NL83890  
NET/SPA 1981 RCA LP/CS NL/NK-13890  
JPN 1982 RCA LP RPL-2103 lyric insert
SAF 1982 RCA CS ZMMT 1164  
UK   RCA CD PD 83890  
UK 1990 EMI LP EMC 3579 gatefold cover
US 1990 Rykodisc LP/CD/CS RALP/RCD1 0135 digital remaster, clear vinyl
UK 1999 EMI CD 5219020 24-bit digital remaster w. booklet

 

The Last Word

"It's my interpretation of what America means to me. It's like a summation of my first American tour." -- David Bowie, describing the album Aladdin Sane. (Source: Circus, 7/73.)

 

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