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David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

April 5, 2012

[Album 35/1001]

The terms ‘concept album’ and ‘alter ego’ are often understandably greeted with hesitation; for every record/alter ego that goes on to legendary status (Sgt. Pepper), a few others are at best, forgotten, or at worst, remembered as being ill-advised career moves.

It’s safe to put Ziggy in the exclusive former category. 

Despite glam rock not aging well as a genre, these 11 tracks still sound great 40 years later.  Recorded by any other artist, it would probably be ridiculous, but Bowie makes it work.

As good as Mick Ronson’s contributions are, it’s Bowie’s acoustic guitar that propels the songs forward.  The chord patterns are unorthodox, I was a big fan. 

The Rise and Fall… also confirms Bowie’s status as music’s top chameleon, later brilliantly demonstrated in the Flight of The Conchords episode Bowie.

In fact, that was my only complaint about the experience listening to this record: I was constantly struggling to get Bowies in Space out of my head!

From → 1970s

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