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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ziggy Stardust in sparkling sound at last, with just a few oddities
Ziggy Stardust is one of those classic albums that has been reissued many times, but never done quite right. Until now? This is undoubtedly the best release yet, though there are a few peculiarities.

First, a note on the music. First released in 1972, this was the album that propelled Bowie to stardom. The band is Mick Ronson (guitar), Trevor Bolder (bass),...
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by Mr. T. Anderson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Great album, disappointing remaster
Classic album but disappointed with this 40th anniversary edition CD remaster, far too clean sounding for my liking. The 1999 release has a richer, warmer sound and is altogether more ballsier. I'll stick with my old copy and won't bother with the 40th anniversary edition Aladdin Sane if this is any guide.
Published 14 months ago by Belmez


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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ziggy Stardust in sparkling sound at last, with just a few oddities, 6 Jun 2012
By 
Mr. T. Anderson "onlyconnect" - See all my reviews
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Ziggy Stardust is one of those classic albums that has been reissued many times, but never done quite right. Until now? This is undoubtedly the best release yet, though there are a few peculiarities.

First, a note on the music. First released in 1972, this was the album that propelled Bowie to stardom. The band is Mick Ronson (guitar), Trevor Bolder (bass), Mick Woodmansey (drums) and Bowie on almost everything else. It was a tight band, but what makes the album is the immaculate songwriting and Bowie's own vocals, presence and energy. From the first drumbeats of Five Years to the dying chords of Rock `n' Roll Suicide, the album is nearly perfect.

The original UK LP sounds great, but subsequent releases have had various problems. The RCA CDs from the eighties are OK, though not a lot of trouble was taken with them, and they are hard to find now. The EMI release (Ryko in the USA) was clean but thin-sounding. Subsequent issues have been over-processed resulting in a slightly fatiguing sound. Even the SACD in 2003 was not that special, though it did feature a 5.1 mix that now reappears here.

But I am getting ahead of myself. This 2012 release comes in two forms, a single CD and a deluxe package with an LP and an audio-only DVD. It is the result of a new remaster done by the original engineer Ray Staff with the involvement of the original producer Ken Scott. The sound is excellent, perhaps the best it has ever been, though I still like the sound of my old original LP. Still, no pops and crackles, just a sparkling, clean remaster which finally does Ziggy Stardust justice.

There is one oddity. Starman has a "morse" section which comes after "Hazy cosmic jive" and is repeated later. It is loud and clear on the original LP and single, but on all the CD versions, recessed in the background. Why? A mystery, but also a shame if you are nostalgic for the original sound.

Now for the packaging. The CD is fine for what it is, but there are no bonus tracks. The LP package on the other hand has various extras on the DVD:

- The original mix in 24/96 PCM
- The Ken Scott 2003 5.1 mix in DTS, Dolby Digital, and 24/48 PCM
- Four bonus tracks also in 5.1 and 24/48. These are:

1 Moonage Daydream Instrumental
2 The Supermen
3 Velvet Goldmine
4 Sweet Head, complete with studio chat

Bowie fans will have heard most of these before, since all but the Moonage Daydream instrumental were on the 30th Anniversary CD package, but it is good to have the surround mixes. Moonage Daydream sounds odd to me without the vocals, but it is great music nonetheless.

The annoying thing is, that to get the high resolution stereo, the surround mixes and the bonus tracks, you have to get the vinyl LP even if you do not want it. You could also ask: what about all the other bonus tracks that could have been included?

Still, the price is reasonable, unlike some super deluxe packages we have seen, and the LP is an attractive piece as well as offering good sound.

Looking more closely at the LP, you get a gatefold with a high-quality reproduction of the original cover, lyrics on an inner bag, and a set of black and white photos on the innner gatefold which are new to me and seem to be from the cover photoshoot. The DVD is pocketed in a cheap cardboard sleeve cutting into the gatefold and therefore spoiling one of the small photos, but this is a minor gripe. I like the way the outer sleeve is left exactly like the original.

Even if you no longer play vinyl, it is a small price to pay for the best digital Ziggy yet.

THANK YOU to all concerned for the high quality sound.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hang On To Yourself!, 25 May 2007
By 
Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco, CA. (Hercules)) - See all my reviews
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From the slow beat of "Five Years" to the lamentable closing, "Rock & Roll Suicide", "Ziggy Stardust" has held its own in Rock history. Add the element of SACD (surround sound) and the album takes on a new life. From the acoustical clapping of "Soul Love" to the hard driving guitars of "Suffragette City", this new mix finally and clearly separates all the instruments without isolating them. It is a full band experience as if you were in the studio. The acoustic guitars sound so crisp and clean and Mick Ronson's guitar work sounds like new. I can't over-emphasize how great this version sounds, especially after marveling over "Dark Side Of The Moon" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". Hang on to yourself!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Album, Almost Perfect Re-Master., 9 Jun 2012
By 
S. Muzyka (Rugby,Warwickshire,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars: 40th Anniversary Edition (Audio CD)
So, yet another re-issue of one of the most iconic British rock albums ever. Is it worth investing in again? Well, yes it is. After the total debacle that was the 30th Anniversary edition (marred by poor re-mastering and bad editing, although the bonus tracks were a slight saving grace) we have the 40th Anniversary. Newly re-mastered, it's a big improvement in sound, although still not perfect.(And has no bonus tracks - Boo!) It might sound like nit-picking but why have they persisted with the USA album mix of 'Starman'? To answer the question posed by another reviewer the original mix as it appeared on the UK vinyl and single had a much louder and drier piano build-up before the choruses, devoid of the phasing applied to the mix of the track on the American pressings of the album. All subsequent CD releases have used the US mix, depriving those of us who treasure our original UK vinyl a chance to own the track in digital format. Unfortunately, this re-issue is no different so the wait goes on. That aside, if you don't own this album already (and let's face it, if you're a fan of proper music you really should) then this is the one to go for. I won't go into detail about each track - suffice to say there's many high points here - but it contains some of Bowies' finest moments. Opening track 'Five Years' 'Moonage Daydream' 'Starman' 'Suffragette City' not to mention the closing song 'Rock N Roll Suicide'. A magnificent example of how to build a track from simple to grandiose in just three minutes. It's not Bowies' greatest album but it IS his most important and for that reason alone you cannot call yourself a David Bowie fan and NOT own it. 50th Anniversary anyone?
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music From The Red Planet, 7 Feb 2006
By 
John Heaton (Budapest, Hungary) - See all my reviews
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The opening track ’Five Years’ introduces this album as it means to continue. Sounding weird, beautiful, compelling and completely other worldly. The previous album had had the track ’Life On Mars’….well, frankly one listen to this album at the time should have prompted the question are there recording studios there too ’cos it sure as hell sounds like it. This is not just down to Bowie’s alien vocals which are superbly evocative throughout this set but the sound of the whole band too. They use the same instruments as had been used on countless albums beforehand. Yet here the piano sounds ghostly, the drums surreal and the guitar I can only describe as ziggy. If such a word exists. If not, it bloody well should.
So back to the start. ’Five Years’ is a marvellous futuristic piece full of fear and love and things just slipping away. These were to become major themes on Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album two years later. ’Soul Love’ is beautiful. A general comment: Bowie rarely reached the melodic heights he reaches on this album. ’Moonage Daydream’ is wonderfully freaky…far out as Bowie sings…great guitar from Ronson and a good punchy horn section in the middle. ’Starman’ was a hit single and is about as catchy as anything Bowie has recorded. And what’s wrong with that? Any song with the line ’Let all the children boogie’ is alright by me. ’It Ain’t Easy’ brings Side 1 (vinyl) to an uneasy close. A little depressing this one.
Side 2 (vinyl) opens in superb fashion. ’Lady Stardust’ is my favourite Bowie piano song, rivalling anything in this vein from ’Hunky Dory’ (where it’s up against some pretty stiff competition to quote Edmond Blackadder). And another tune from another world.
’Star’ is the only track here which doesn’t amaze. It’s OK. But then the album closes so strongly that one quickly forgets anything but perfection. ’Hang Onto Yourself’ is a superb frantically paced number where the intense playing perfectly matches the desperate lyric. The title track should need no introduction. It is brilliant. And also recorded at Record Plant Mars. It’s funny that at the time Bowie’s whole persona was this mad Ziggy character. Now 34 years later, this album survives as just Great Music. So it’s not all in the presentation, thank God. Otherwise we’d all be still raving about Adam And The Ants.
’Suffragette City’ is compulsive stuff, both musically and lyrically. Presumably this is the capital of The Red Planet. And you can see why. Then the album closes as all great albums do with a stupendous number. ’Rock And Roll Suicide’ contains one of Bowie’s most captivating lyrics and most affecting vocals. Give me your arms…cos you’re wonderful. The kind of words you would say before everything turns black.
The great thing about listening to this timeless classic album from 1972 is that one almost feels as if one is there. In some mad parallel universe. Where people freak out to moonage daydreams whilst pushing through the market square. Where Time takes a cigarette and puts it in your mouth. And where all the children boogie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Sound, 12 Dec 2007
Always loved this album, and it just blows away the standard cd. Not into surround sound myself, but the extra quality sound from the SACD stereo track is more than worth the money - I've tried them side by side and there is no comparison, everything on this SACD sounds richer and more true to life. It's only a shame that there isn't more music released with recordings of this quality.

Oh, re: the reviewer below, plenty of low end on my system - must be a set up issue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Space Rock, 20 Feb 2010
A fabulously evocative album that hits every beat perfectly. I believe a lot of its power lies in the Ken Scott production as there is "space" left in the mix for you to get lost in the mood - from the lilting drumming of the doomed opener "Five Years" through the Ronson soaring solos of "Moonage Daydream" to the desperation of the closing "Rock'N'Roll Suicide", there is something here for everyone who has dreamed of making "a transformation as a Rock'n'Roll Star".....influential and sentimental - play in the dark to hear it at it's most powerful - and of course at maximum volume.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars getting it off my chest...., 28 Oct 2008
By 
I had this new when it came out so it shows how old I am. The record has been reviewed in depth so I won't repeat what's already been said by other reviewers. What I want to say is that this album had a massive impact back in the day partly because we didn't know Bowie then as some sort of Chamelion changing his identity every season. He WAS ziggy stardust...an alien fully formed and here on earth. Everybody who is a Bowie fan has their favourite periods but for me it's this album and the follow up Aladdin Sane, not just because I listened to them in my formative years, but also because of his band, The Spiders. Bowie's played with loads of highly accomplished musicians but none have suited him as well as this band, who he treated pretty damn badly. Here's to Trevor Bolder, Woody Woodmansey and the glorious Mick Ronson, without whom Bowie wouldn't be where he is today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another unecessary reissue of a great album!, 5 Jan 2007
By 
It's a classic! perfection that stands the test of time pretty well. If you don't own it, BUY IT!... or one oe the many reissues of it out there.

Can't help feeling Mr Bowie and has record companies are fleecing us one more time though!

This adds nothing to previous reissues and is in fact just a little gimmick. I'm aware of 4 versions of this album, (which i own) 1)the original vinyl,2) the first CD reissue, 3)the 'sound and vision reissue' with bonus tracks (which is the best if you ask me) and 4)the 30th anniversary reissue, with disapointing bonus tracks CD. i guess there are probably more out there too.

Insulting to think he's releasing a stack of these back catalogue albums with no real reason to buy unless you are a completest!

Warning! don't confuse it with the live version of Ziggy Stardust!!!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 30 Years On. Ziggy In 2002, 14 July 2002
By 
JH "JH" (Leeds, W. Yorks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
In 1972 Bowie recorded two albums in one year; Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust. Hearing this music was a defining moment for many teenagers as the sleeve notes to this 30th anniversary re-release testify to.
If you buy this for anything buy it for superb packaging, photo's and notes by, amongst others, Ian McCulloch (Bunnymen) and Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet).
It is not the first "digitally remastered" Ziggy release but it does have that added CD of out-takes and rare items.
On this subject please note that you get the original 45 release of "John I'm Only Dancing" which is absolutely excellent and the two Arnold Corns 45's of "Hang On To Yourself" and "Moonage Daydream" which are absolutely dire !
The "Bowie Rare" album re-surfaces with "Amsterdam", "Velvet Goldmine", "Holy Holy" and "Round and Round" all listenable and worth the entrance fee. "The Supermen" is the pared down Ronno and Bowie two guitar version as opposed to the "Man Who Sold THe World" album version. "Sweet Head" is interesting to say the least. Two demo's -"Lady Stardust" and "Ziggy Stardust" make up the balance along with a re-mix of "Moonage Daydream" (spot the difference !)
Fantastic photo's (have you bought the Mick Rock book yet ?) all add to a very collectable package at a good price.
Roll on the "Kimono My House" 30th Anniversary release ! Aaah.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ZIGGY 30 years young!, 4 July 2002
Although I don't feel that this is Bowie's best album (for me, that award would have to go to Hunky Dory or Low) this is certainly his most important, given that it broke his career after struggling for mainstream success for nearly a decade! This album has been released several times on LP and CD, this edition is probably most worthwhile to relative newcomers. Collectors like myself will be disappointed as almost all of the bonus tracks appeared during the 1990 'Sound + Vision' reissue series, either on "Ziggy" or the US box set. Of these "Round and Round" has been the least repeated (only previously collected in the UK on "Bowie Rare"), and "Sweet Head" is the most obscure. Not that it matters, if you're a completist you'll buy it anyway, and we can now own all the 1972 recordings under one roof. This album is not as glam-styled as others of the period, acoustic guitar and piano predominate (a la HUNKY DORY) with the exception of a few rockers in the second half. "starman" is still a perfect pop single, with snatches of "Over the Rainbow" and "You keep me hanging on" (listen to the 'morse code' riff closely!). Other subtle bits of referencing includes "Soul Love" following the melody line of "Stand by Me" (a la Life On Mars/My Way). But it is still an original sounding album. Mick Ronson's arrangements are truly beautiful, and Ken Scott's masterful production is economical yet effective, with a few nice mixing touches, such as the yelp bouncing between the speakers at the beginning of It Aint Easy, the 1-2 intro to Hang On, and the way the first three songs segue together seamlessly! If you don't already own it, this is probably a nice package to get.
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