Ranking songs on David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album

Some artists are lucky if they have a defining moment in their music career, David Bowie has had too many to mention. But most definitely one of those moments was when he officially introduced the world to his rock and roll alien, Ziggy Stardust on his titular album.

The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the spiders of Mars, not only defined a generation of glam rock kids who sat sparkly and sparkly, ready for their banality rocket, but also presented David Bowie as an artist like no other.

To commemorate the album’s release, which took place that day in 1972, we thought we would go back to Bowie’s flagship album and try to rank the songs from worst to best. Eleven tracks of pure alien triumph make this a pretty difficult list to complete, especially given the weird and wonderful design point.

The album is sort of a concept album and was explained by Bowie to his own personal writing hero, William S Burroughs. “There are five years left before the end of the earth,” Bowie begins, savoring his story. “It has been announced that the end of the world will be due to the lack of natural resources. [The album was released three years prior to the original interview.] Ziggy is in a position where all children have access to the things they thought they wanted. The elderly have lost touch with reality and the children are left to loot everything on their own.

“Ziggy was in a rock and roll band and kids don’t want rock and roll anymore. There is no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s advisor tells him to collect news and sing it, because there is no news. So Ziggy does that and there is terrible news. ‘All the Young Dudes’ is a song about this short story. It is not a hymn to youth as we thought. It is quite the opposite. ”

“It doesn’t end the world for Ziggy,” the singer continues, “The end comes when the infinites come. They really are a black hole, but I made people out of them because it would be very difficult to explain a black hole on stage.

Bowie continues to delve deeper into character design, allegedly based on famed rocker Vince Taylor: First Hope News the People Have Heard. So they get hooked on it immediately. The men of the stars he talks about are called the infinites, and they are black hole jumpers.

“They have nothing to worry about in the world and are of no use to us. They just accidentally fell into our universe while jumping through a black hole. Their whole life travels from universe to universe.

The story is as old as it looks, as Bowie draws comparisons to false prophets and the destruction of a hero. He ascends to incredible spiritual heights and is kept alive by his followers. When the infinites arrive, they take pieces of Ziggy to make themselves real because in their original state they are anti-matter and cannot exist on our world.

“And they tear him to pieces on stage during the song ‘Rock and Roll Suicide.’ As soon as Ziggy dies on stage, the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible. It’s a sci-fi fantasy today and that’s what literally blew my head when I read Nova express, which was written in 1961. Maybe we’re the Rogers and Hammersteins of the ’70s, Bill!

It’s a complicated story that reveals how thoughtful Bowie’s creations have been, how much every push of genius or push of sonic exhilaration has been constructed. It might sound a bit confusing. However, one thing is easy to confirm, The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the spiders of Mars is a conceptual masterpiece.

David Bowie Ranking Ziggy stardust from worst to best:

11. “Love of the soul”

Keeping up with ‘Five Years’ is always a difficult feat and ‘Soul Love’ suffers, lending a decidedly more upbeat tone to the previous track. It’s full of Mick Ronson’s assignments and dripping with Bowie’s growing confidence.

When you hear the singer’s light and airy sax come on stage, you know it was another announcement to the world as Bowie changed the face of rock. “The worst” is too harsh a feeling, maybe “the less the better” is more appropriate.

10. “It’s not easy”

Not unusual for later albums, Bowie included this cover of the track written by Ron Davies “It Ain’t Easy,” which appeared as the title track for the Night of the three dogs album, which itself has quite a few legs.

A slight jump back to the days of Hunky-dory, the opening song provided a brief respite from the cosmic riffs pushing through every crack in the record. Soon ‘It Ain’t Easy’ followed suit and added another conceptual layer to the album.

9. “Hold on to yourself”

Ladies and gentlemen, Trevor Bolder. Bowie’s bassist, and owner of the most fabulous favorites of all time, takes the lead on this track as a bassline, dripping in the glimmers of punk rock revelry and is covered in New York schmutz.

The song was taken from Bowie’s previous incarnation with his side project Arnold Corns, but had been tightened up to Lou Reed. Given a more menacing undertone, it blends in perfectly with Bowie’s vision for the album and delivers a glorious moment.

8. “Lady stardust”

Mick Ronson proves he was not just a guitarist and delivers beautiful piano moments on the ‘Lady Stardust’ face-to-face.

Originally billed as “He Was Alright (Song For Marc),” the song saw Bowie dip his toe into a hazy future as he presented his stand as an icon.

As you might expect, the song was seen as an admission to Bowie’s flirtations with his glam rock counterpart Marc Bolan before the singer replaced it with Ziggy and brought out the pansexuality of his character. Bowie at his best.

7. “Star”

A spirited track that sees Bowie not only using an important narrative device for the concept of the album, allowing our hero to dream of delivering his youth empowerment message, but yet another reflection of Bowie, the showman.

Competing with its theatrical production Lazarus For “musical theater,” “Star” sees Bowie throwing his hips at it and keeping the imagery of the intergalactic rock star alive.

6. “City of suffragettes”

Denied by Mott The Hoople (the band chose “All The Young Dudes” instead – not a bad choice), the song remains one of Bowie’s most iconic songs of all time.

Super loaded with the electric riff Ronson brought up, it was Ziggy and his Spiders in high gear.

Often referred to as the kind of songs the band would sing, a notion punctuated by the closing cries of “Wham, bam thank you ma’am!” and golden by the sparkle of glam rock glory that resonates with every note.

5. “Ziggy Stardust”

The anthemic song introducing Bowie’s listener to the character he had created in great detail could easily have been lost on the floor of the editing room.

As a basic idea for a pop song, the idea of ​​telling the story of a well-hung, snow-white alien rock lifeform is kinda present, but in some way or another. other, Ronson and Bowie bring everything back to earth.

Ultimately, the song becomes an uplifting narrative as Ziggy arrives on earth in the midst of the last five years of the planet’s existence. He comes with a message but soon gets too wrapped up in his own ego and alienates everyone around him. Bowie’s voice is near perfect, and Mick Ronson has his hands on one of rock’s greatest riffs.

4. “Rock’n’roll suicide”

Some songs need explanation, some songs need a little more investigation, but David Bowie’s “Rock n Roll Suicide” only needs one thing: to be heard.

The track not only deals directly with ideas of overwhelming loneliness, but does so in the most lavish and enlightened way imaginable.

Bowie kicks off the song after a series of slow-paced acoustic reflections when he shouts, “Oh no, my love, you’re not alone!” in desperation. Like Ziggy, Bowie has always wanted to connect with his audience and get his message across; for an artist as ubiquitous as Bowie, that message was that being different was ultimately a good thing.

3. “Moonage Reverie”

Another leftover song from Bowie’s time with Arnold Corns, “Moonage Daydream” is one of the singer’s most iconic tracks of all time, perfectly exemplifying everything Bowie was and remains to this day. The song may be the archetypal Ziggy Stardust melody, but the Spider from Mars stole the show on this one.

Across the record, Ronson’s sound is terrific, but there is one moment that characterizes Ronson’s work – the solo on Bowie’s iconic track “Moonage Daydream”. It lands around the 3:12 mark, and after Bowie says “Freak out.” Far outside. (after an array of extraordinary lyrics), Ronson lets an alien life form escape from his guitar.

Perfectly capturing the song’s bizarre and insane intensity, Ronson’s sound mirrors that of a terrifying but alluring machine from another world. It wouldn’t be a ridiculous idea to think that without her the song would struggle to land as heavily as it did and continues to do.

2. “Five years”

Arguably one of the greatest opening songs of all time, this track is magnificent for many reasons and all of them are magical and mystical lyrics by David Bowie. In it, he manages to authentically describe a scenario where “the earth is really dying” and the world needs Ziggy and his spiders.

The seventies landscape was a strange place, and Bowie seemed to intend to capitalize it. Using the rapid modernization of the globe, Bowie began his idea of ​​the impending apocalypse. In a way, he does everything with charm and wit.

The real moment of joy comes when Bowie delivers a line that characterizes the singer’s off-stage personality; he breaks the fourth wall and addresses his audience directly: “I think I saw you in a glacier”. It is this sense of connection that has kept Bowie in the business for decades.

1. “Man of the stars”

We may have disappointed Bowie by choosing “Starman” as the best song on the album – he never liked predictability – but we can’t avoid the singer’s power, strength and continued relevance, or may – should we say, the number of Starman’s hymn. .

The song is finely crafted with lyrics that are not only perfect for the album, but also keep a pop audience engaged. Musically, Ronson and Bowie’s vision is perfectly staged, but maybe the song’s shining moment is that legendary octave leap on “Star-MAN”. It’s a musical trope that’s launched many careers, just ask Judy Garland, and here it’s used to perfection.

Intergalactic concepts and time travel aside, the real note of this song is that it added another moniker to the growing list of ways David Bowie has become an icon. Arguably, it was only after “Starman” that Bowie as we know him was born.

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