1-10-12 David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust (5.1)
Disc o’ the day: David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust (5.1 SA-CD, Virgin Records US)
I first bought “Ziggy Stardust” as a US RCA LP in the summer of 1972. I liked the ‘A Clockwork Orange’ references (“droogie” etc.) and nifty cover art / lettering. The original LP was an RCA dynaflex – super flimsy (they said it wouldn’t warp, but they were all warped). I might’ve tried either a UK or German LP, perhaps even a Japanese LP of it, much later. It’s a classic 1972 release.
CD’s went from RCA original, to Rykodisc re-issue (with bonus tracks!), to Toshiba Japan paper sleeve edition, to SA-CD with 5.1 audio. I also have a minidisc of the Rykodisc version. Could they get me to buy it again? I opted to not keep the 2CD Deluxe edition, preferring the original running order tracks only.
Marvel at Michael Chapman’s guitarist cutting loose with some solid riffage! Definitely the 2nd best Mick Ronson album, after Mr. Chapman’s “Fully Qualified Survivor”!
I have often read that Bowie claimed to have been taught sax by British jazzer Ronnie Ross; I believe that “Ziggy Stardust” has Bowie’s most accomplished sax playing on it.
Ooh, is this one of them there “concept albums”? Those songs look darned thematic!
Now, I get to listen once again – in 5.1 audio. It cost about $10, as a used disc, so no sticker shock on this one. Probably not originally intended as a quad LP, the 5.1 mix isn’t stupendous, but it’s better than some I’ve heard. Still sounds like all the right performances / mixes etc. I’ll be keeping my stereo-only Toshiba little paper album cover CD of this one (it even re-pro’s the inner-sleeve!).
Glam rock? A bit on the early side to be said that it’s “following” glam rock, but this album certainly has heaps of glammy make-up all over it’s face; and stronger songs than on the Bowie LP’s that came before and after it.
Enjoying it’s 40th anniversary this year, “Ziggy Stardust” is a good example of a “fan favorite” that came along exactly at the time (1972) when most people were making their minds up about what they thought of Mr. Bowie. Yes, he has many other good (better?) albums, but Ziggy helped a lot of folks make up their minds to listen (or not) to Mr. Bowie.
We wish him all the best, and hope he continues to make new records as our century progresses. Try as they might, nobody will ever be able to forget “Ziggy Stardust” (even after one hearing).