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Shane’s Music Challenge: DAVID BOWIE – 1972 – The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars

| 6 February 2014 | Reply

DAVID BOWIE – 1972 – The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars

David Bowie - the Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars cover

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this record. When it landed in Britain in 1972 the country was grey and miserable and still wallowing in an extended post-war funk. A Beatlemania hangover was in full effect and the Sixties had officially stopped swinging.

Suddenly, there’s David Bowie – a man who already had more than enough flops under his belt (early proof that folk singing dudes wearing dresses are unlikely to succeed, and The Laughing Gnome is not a cool song idea) – became a sensation with Space Oddity, then BAM, he’s shaved his eyebrows, invented glam by dressing in spandex and glitter, invented cocaine ‘cos he couldn’t get famous smoking dope, and invented bisexuality ‘cos he’d shag a table leg given half the chance.

Was David Bowie God? Well… he thought he was at one point, but it was probably cocaine delusions.

He and his Spiders From Mars – Trevor Bolder, Woody Woodmansey and Mick Ronson – shook the whole bloody country up, and didn’t take long to make a splash worldwide either.

Ziggy Stardust was one of those perfect storms where everything comes together perfectly – the concept, the look, the songs, the style, the people on stage and behind the scenes – they were all perfectly right for the times. I mean, RIP and bless Bolder – but look at any photo of him from his many years with Uriah Heep. He’s a bloody brick shithouse of a man. Only in 1972 could Bowie have dressed him in knee high sparkleboots and gold lame tops and a mullet, and got away with it.

It’s a mad, rad story – the concept album one and the reality of it all, and although Bowie used his collaborators up and discarded them disturbingly easily, the music remains their legacy.

Choosing Finest Moments from an album like this is nearly impossible, but I have to mention the adorable Five Years and Lady Stardust alongside the rockers Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City and Rock n’ Roll Suicide. There’s also the wonderful single Starman which was a huge hit, and Moonage Daydream and the rest ain’t bad either.

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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