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Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust Original recording reissued, Extra tracks

4.6 out of 5 stars 403 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 July 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Extra tracks
  • Label: EMI Records
  • ASIN: B00000ILT0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (403 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,362 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Ziggy Stardust / Spiders From Mars

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: Audio CD
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.
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