David Bowie | The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [40th Anniversary Edition]

Virgin/EMI (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  June 5, 2012
4.0 4.0 Stars


Bowie's greatest album? Depends on the day. Canonically, however, this is and will always be a BFD: an archetype of alternative commercial rock, the primo platter of the so-called glam era; and arguably the best record ever made about apocalypse, interplanetary lust, singer-songwriter role playing, and rock-and-roll-as-alien-outsider stuff. Stylistically, Ziggy is a terrific fusion of Bowie's multiple personalities (not to mention his knack for presciently co-opting someone else's thang), mingling hippie folk with T. Rex riffage. Though its surface is burdened with concept, its greatest asset is its songs. The giddy piano boogie "Star," the woozy philosophical come-on "Soul Love," and the big-guitar rush of "Suffragette City" are repeat-listen highlights. Granted, this has been reissued ad nauseum over the last two decades, but the real hallelujah here is the vinyl reissue. Mastered at Air Studios by Ray Staff, the 180-gram disc mutes much of the sharp, thin characteristics that have plagued previous CD versions. It's accompanied by a DVD-audio edition, with 5.1 remixes and essential rarities "Velvet Goldmine" and "Sweet Head," in which Bowie/Ziggy boasts, "I'm your rubber peacock angelic whore." That's the kind of talk that will take you straight to the pantheon.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , character, ego, disc,  More more >
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