David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars - Review
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critics' view

“Hunky Dory” had given David Bowie a wide-eyed fan-base, dead-keen on the next episode – the hazy cosmic jive of “Ziggy Stardust” didn’t disappoint. Bowie was on a creative roll here, and with his trusty producer Ken Scott and the Spiders from Mars – Mick Ronson (electric guitar, backing vocals, keyboards, piano); Trevor Bolder (bass, trumpet) and Mick Woodmansey (drums) – they were out of sight maaaan.

Like some sort of modern-day Flash Gordon, Ziggy, a struggling Rock n Roll star played by Bowie, is out to save our souls; the Earth only has 5 years left apparently, and our Zig has been chosen by black-hole jumping extra-terrestrials to communicate news. The album tells of Ziggy’s rise and fall – a thrilling journey without a happy ending.

On “Starman” Ziggy sings:

“There's a starman waiting in the sky, he'd like to come and meet us, but he thinks he'd blow our minds, There's a starman waiting in the sky, he's told us not to blow it, cause he knows it's all worthwhile, he told me: ‘Let the children lose it, let the children use it, let all the children boogie’”

Starman sounds alright to me.

By the end of the album Ziggy begins to believe his own hype and that is the undoing of him as the tale unfolds with a classic end-trilogy of “Ziggy Stardust”, “Suffragette City” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”.

I don’t usually approve of “rock opera” – but for Ziggy's Pop I’m prepared to make an exception. Let all the children boogie indeed…

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