The ZIGGY STARDUST Companion

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EMI / VIRGIN
1999 Re-issue Series

2/2

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The 16 page booklet contains all the lyrics and artist/credits information but nothing more which I found mildly disappointing because even CD bootlegs are now coming out with great liner notes.  Things I would have enjoyed reading and which are missing from the booklet include the history of the making of the album, release dates, single releases etc.  Instead the pages of the booklet are solely devoted to the lyrics and new images of Ziggy Stardust.  However, the latter are the real gems of the re-release with a number of rare and previously unseen images on display, mostly from Brian Ward's early Ziggy Stardust promotional work.   There are two Mick Rock photos also in the booklet - but these have already been seen so they are not shown here in this review (They are a live shot and the famous "guitar blowjob" image). Just a note that none of the 1990 Rykodisc artwork is to be found in this re-issue. However, one set of pictures that is missing and which would have been highly appropriate for the booklet is the original LP innersleeve mugshots of David Bowie and The Spiders.

Of note is that the lyrics to "It Ain't Easy" are now reproduced for the very first time. However, one criticism is that the lyrics as a whole, continue to repeat a few minor mistakes made in the Ryko/EMI 1990 releases for the songs "Ziggy Stardust" and "Rock n Roll Suicide", i.e for the former it should be "...Weird and Gilly and the Spiders from Mars" not "...Weird and Gilly. The Spiders From Mars." For the latter it is "But the day breaks" not "But day breaks" and it is also "Don't let the milk float ride your mind" not "....milk floats ride your mind."

Page 4 -  Brian Ward Ziggy image

The short multimedia presentation on the CD which you access through your computer is a nice multi-screened advert for BowieNet, with a small degree of interactivity (there are repeating clips of Bowie's later songs) but there is no Ziggy Stardust content.

Page 8 and 9 - wonderful photo and also used for the cover of the EMI catalogue "Pulse"

How does it sound?  Well it is listed as 24-bit digitally mastered so it should sound very good and it does. This is very subjective of course but at the same audio levels, I compared it against both the Ryko/EMI 1990 CD and the Ryko 1994 Au20 CD (which was 20-bit mastered & gold-based). While it does sound better to my ears than the standard 1990 Ryko/EMI CD (clearer with more bass and warmth), overall I felt that the Ryko 1994 Au20 CD is still the best listening experience (which you'll also need it for the bonus tracks!). Perhaps an audiophile remastered gold CD reissue is also needed??

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---This page last modified: 18 Jan 2007---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)