RCD 10134 The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Produced by David Bowie and Ken Scott
Released on June 1972
UK CHART POSITION #5 (RE-CHARTED #33 in 1980) . . .
US CHART POSITION #75
Find it at GEMM
RCD 10134 cover  

T he disenfranchised desperate for some sort of emotional connection that transcended the mundane, the starchildren assembled by a vagrant prophet named Bolan who were waiting for direction, the dreamers tired of terrestrial rock and hungry for an artist that understood how much the music really meant to them… they listened to Ziggy, and they weren’t alone anymore. This is rock played for life-or-death stakes, an alter ego lived at maximum volume who eventually threatened to usurp its own creator. Though I’ve read that Ziggy wasn’t conceived as a concept album from beginning to end, immersion in Ziggy’s world is inescapable, his persona so strong that everything gravitates around him. “Five Years” and “Soul Love” set the stage for this strange new world: time is fleeting, chaos rules, love is reckless and all powerful. In these circumstances, the wild “Moonage Daydream” makes perfect sense. If some saw this as a hell on earth, it was heaven to many (myself included): reason was discarded, excess ruled the day, rock and roll aligned with the stars. It was in these circumstances only that the ultimate rock star could be conceived: Ziggy Stardust. The dream is already over when “Lady Stardust” begins, but for our edification a tired Spider recalls the beginning of the greatest show on earth. Sympathetic, beautifully tragic, “Lady Stardust” might be the crown jewel of the whole album. The cobwebs of recollection are swept, and we’re transported to the hungry young artist on stage, “Star” musing what might lie beyond the hill. “Hang On To Yourself” is another blur, Ziggy rushing to meet his destiny. The real mythmaking takes place on “Ziggy Stardust,” perhaps a composite of Bolan, Iggy and Bowie, but ultimately a demigod who didn’t exist (and yet has always existed as an archetype in the collective conscious). “Suffragette City” suggests disintegration, and the record closes with Bowie’s sermon to the lost sheep, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide.” Again, Ziggy has never held up to close scrutiny as a concept album (it simply wasn’t designed that way), but as a self-standing musical universe it is beyond compare. Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs would take place in parallel dimensions, but no Bowie album loses itself so magnificently in the music as The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust does. The cord to reality cut, Bowie dangles dangerously between life and death for our benefit, and the result is one of the most uncompromising and magnificently alien rock albums in history. (I’ve failed to do this justice, of course, but my brain’s been getting a busy signal all day. Must be the rain.)

MFSL 1-064 front cover MFSL 1-064 back cover
MFSL 1-064 front cover MFSL 1-064 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. FIVE YEARS    4:42
  2. SOUL LOVE    3:34
  3. MOONAGE DAYDREAM    4:40
  4. STARMAN    4:10
  5. IT AIN'T EASY    (Ron Davies)    2:58
  6. LADY STARDUST    3:22
  7. STAR    2:47
  8. HANG ON TO YOURSELF    2:40
  9. ZIGGY STARDUST    3:13
  10. SUFFRAGETTE CITY    3:25
  11. ROCK 'N' ROLL SUICIDE    2:58

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  12. JOHN, I'M ONLY DANCING (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MIX)    2:43
  13. VELVET GOLDMINE    3:09
  14. SWEET HEAD    4:14
  15. ZIGGY STARDUST (ORIGINAL DEMO)    2:35
  16. LADY STARDUST (ORIGINAL DEMO)    3:35

    All songs written by David Bowie unless noted. (Note that Rykodisc track 1-11 run times vary from above by a few seconds in some cases.)

CREDITS

DAVID BOWIE -- guitar, sax, vocals, piano, arrangements
TREVOR BOLDER -- bass
MICK RONSON -- guitar, piano, vocals, arrangements
MICK WOODMANSEY -- drums
Jonathan Wyner -- mixing (14)
Brian Ward -- photographs
Terry Pastor of Main Artery -- art work

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK June 1972 RCA LP SF 8287  
US June 1972 RCA LP LSP-4702 picture sleeve
US   RCA LP AFL1-4702 picture sleeve
US 1979? RCA LP AYL1-3843 dynaflex reissue
UK 1980 RCA LP INTS 5063 reissue
US   Mobile Fidelity LP MFSL 1-064 original master recording
UK 1985 RCA CD PD84702  
UK April 1990 EMI CDX CDEMC 3577 digital remaster w. bonus tracks,
booklet
US 1990 Rykodisc CDX RCD 10134 digital remaster w. bonus tracks,
lyric sleeve
JPN 1990 EMI/Toshiba CDX TOCP-6205 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
UK 2002 EMI 2CD 539826 30th aniversary edition
UK 2003 EMI CD 521900 super audio remaster

 

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