The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

1972 studio album by David Bowie / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (often shortened to Ziggy Stardust[1]) is the fifth studio album by the English musician David Bowie, released on 16 June 1972 in the United Kingdom through RCA Records. It was co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott and features Bowie's backing band the Spiders from MarsMick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodmansey. It was recorded from November 1971 to February 1972 at Trident Studios in London.

Quick facts: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the S...
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
A man with blonde hair and a blue jumpsuit, holding a guitar with his foot on a higher step, dimly lit by a streetlight in an urban street
Studio album by
Released16 June 1972 (1972-06-16)[lower-alpha 1]
Recorded
  • 9 July, November 1971 – February 1972
StudioTrident, London
Genre
Length38:29
LabelRCA
Producer
David Bowie chronology
Hunky Dory
(1971)
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
(1972)
Images 1966–1967
(1973)
Singles from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
  1. "Starman" / "Suffragette City"
    Released: 28 April 1972
  2. "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide"
    Released: 11 April 1974
Close

Described as a loose concept album and rock opera, Ziggy Stardust is about Bowie's titular alter ego Ziggy Stardust, a fictional androgynous and bisexual rock star who is sent to Earth as a saviour before an impending apocalyptic disaster. In the story, Ziggy wins the hearts of fans but suffers a fall from grace after succumbing to his own ego. The character was inspired by numerous musicians, including Vince Taylor. Most of the album's concept was developed after the songs were recorded. The glam rock and proto-punk musical styles were influenced by Iggy Pop, the Velvet Underground and Marc Bolan. The lyrics discuss the artificiality of rock music, political issues, drug use, sexuality and stardom. The album cover, photographed in monochrome and recoloured, was taken in London outside the home of furriers "K. West".

Preceded by the single "Starman", Ziggy Stardust reached the UK top five. Critics responded favourably; some praised the musicality and concept while others struggled to comprehend it. Shortly after its release, Bowie performed "Starman" on Britain's Top of the Pops in early July 1972, which propelled him to stardom. The Ziggy character was retained for the subsequent Ziggy Stardust Tour, performances from which have appeared on live albums and a concert film. Bowie described the follow-up album, Aladdin Sane, as "Ziggy goes to America".

In later decades, Ziggy Stardust has been considered one of Bowie's best works, appearing on numerous professional lists of the greatest albums of all time. Bowie had ideas for a musical based on the album, although this project never came to fruition; ideas were later used for Diamond Dogs. Ziggy Stardust has been reissued several times and was remastered in 2012 for its 40th anniversary. In 2017, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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