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Review of the Ziggy Stardust album (2/4)

by John Tiven - Phonograph Record Magazine (July 1972)

David Bowie, England’s Answer-To-Alice-Cooper-But-He’s-For-Real, has finally made an album with positive commercial potential and consistent strength. ZIGGY STARDUST is the AFTERMATH of the Seventies, where every track is a hit and no fillers; what’s more Bowie is with his band and rocking at the seams of his kelly green jump-suit all the way down to his screwed down hairdo.

Bowie’s tale is of a rock-star from start to finito, and is pretty all-inclusive: screaming teenies, frantic groupies, envious band members, et cetera. There are no bad songs on this album, just great songs and good ones. There has been a single released, "Starman" and its the fusion of all mod British pop and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Bowie has a way with words, uses keen phrases like "leper messiah", "Hazy cosmic jive" and "tongue twisting storm." "Starman"s chorus features the absolute most exquisite pronunciation of "boogie" ever, rhymes it with "loose it."

The band is marvellous, from the tone of Mick Ronson’s electric guitar to the bass lines of Trevor Bolder. The production is outstanding, even for Bowie (whose previous albums haven’t been bad either, mind you). Strings are used sparingly, arrangements are complex but come across as simple pop rock.

This album is obviously one of the finest records released this year, but even more importantly, this is the most universally enjoyable disc in a long time. Play ZIGGY for hippies, mods, AM'ers, they’ll all like it. Hell, my mother asked me to play it again when I gave it a spin in the downstairs living room, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she bought herself a copy. Anyway, my high school graduation is this year and what a perfect record to remember as being from my 17th and a half year on this planet!

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---This page last modified: 13 Dec 2018---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)