The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars RCA 1972

MUSICIANS: David Bowie: vocals,guitar,sax / Mick Ronson: guitar, piano, harpsichord, vocals / Trevor Bolder: bass / Woody Woodmansey: drums

Produced by Ken Scott with David Bowie and Mick Ronson

OVERALL: This is the best rock concept album and one of the best rock albums of all time. Every track flows perfectly in to the next like nothing since the Beatles Sgt. Pepper. The arrangements, production, tightness of the group, and instrument sounds are impeccable. Some people say the songs sound old and dated, but I don't think so!!! It was the most creative thing around then and still is one of the most creative works going in to the 21st century.Grade:A+

1. Five Years 4:42
The story starts here with one of the best lost classic songs ever. Punctuated by a superb string section and harpsichord. Grade: A+

2. Soul Love 3:33
One of the best love songs of all time. It's not boring, it's not Bowie singing to his lost love(like most love songs), and it features the best sax solo in a Bowie song (some people would relegate that to Bowie's sax solo in Sorrow). The bongos keep the rhythm perfectly, and the acustic guitar is crystal clear. Mick rocks out in the chorus.  Grade: A+

3. Moonage Daydream 4:37
Soul Love leads perfectly in to this excellent space rocker.  The piano stays in the back with the acustic guitar, where it should be, and Mick's guitar and the beatiful string arrangement stand out  Grade: A+

4. Starman 4:16
The single from the album is another space rocker that is made by the rythymic acustic guitar, great strings, and Trevor and Woody working off each other like magic.  Grade: A+

5. It Ain't Easy 2:57
An obscure cover (there's one on nearly every Bowie album) but a good 'un. This one doesn't get talked about a lot but is a very good harpsichord led power ballad. Grade: A+

6. Lady Stardust 3:21
A beatiful ballad about Mark Bolan(T Rex). Mick shows that he's a piano player too. The rhythm section keeps a steady backbeat. Grade: A+

7. Star 2:47
A nice li'l rocker that proves Mick can play piano in a faster mode. Very glam lyrics and loud guitar, especially at the end. Grade: A+

8. Hang On To Yourself 2:38
A song that got twice as hard when it was played live, the studio version is kept to speed by hand claps, but it's not as hard due to the acustic guitar. Grade: A+

9. Ziggy Stardust 3:13
The smash title track, a time piece in the world of glam and rightfully so. Mick shines in the guitar part that was vastly improved grom the simple demo. The clear acustic guitar keeps the rhythm perfectly. Grade: A+

10. Suffragette City 3:25
A fast, furious, spectacular heavy synth led rocker. The piano and guitar also get in. Grade: A+

11. Rock N' Roll Suicide 2:57
One of my favorite ballads ever and the icing on the cake. Never have I heard such a beautiful mold of as string and brass section. The rhythm section is great too, with the Spiders working off each other like magic. I couldn't think of a better ending. Grade: A+

Velvet Goldmine 3:09 Ziggy outtake, on Ryko issue
A magnificent, strange song, especially the chorus at the end. The piano and bass go together wonderfully. Not to mention Mick's guitar break. Grade: A+

Sweet Head 4:14 Ziggy outtake, on Ryko issue
A heavy song with a Ziggy Stardust like riff and some pounding drums. Nice lyrics and a creative break. Grade: A+

Ziggy Stardust 2:35 Demo, on Ryko issue
A great first version. Similar to the demo of Quicksand minus the double tracked vocal. The repeat of the last line at the end is a nice touch. Grade: A

Lady Stardust 3:21 Demo, on Ryko issue
Mysteriously, this demo is lacking the introduction. Anyway, it is o.k. but nonetheless not as good as the other two aformentioned demos. The piano part is very "chunky" and his vocals sound very thin( they are double tracked in parts). Grade: B

John, I'm Only Dancing
This song has been recorded in many different forms . The original single version was released near the release of Ziggy Stardust. It is a gay song (that's why it wasn't released initially in the U.S.) but it's good anyway. There is an uninteresting mix on the Ryko issue of Ziggy Stardust. The original version can be found on many compilations, including Changesbowie. Grade: A

Round and Round 2:39 Ziggy era outtake B side of The Jean Genie; recently released on the Sound And Vision box set.
A stomp version of an old Chuck Berry song. It is a loose performance with a good guitar. Almost made the album, but it was taken off in favour of Starman. Grade: A+

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