Published on March 11th, 2013 | by AlexandreG.1
Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars
David Bowie has a lot to manage in relation to his patrimony left tohumanity since the second half of the twentieth century. The celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is a case in point, a magnificent new edition of one of the best rock albums that have changed Bowie’s life forever. And who is this Ziggy Stardust?
There are so many stages on Bowie’s sound (the Glam of Ziggy to the Pop of the Let’s Dance), there are so many characters created (Major Tom, Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke , etc) that there should be few like him, capable of a total re-invention of a picture combined with music. Case to say, he better than anyone else managed to unite ‘Sound and Vision‘.
Ziggy Stardust is undoubtedly the biggest character (alter ego) ever created by David Bowie, the most interesting phase of the Chameleon (although i like a lot of The Berlin Trilogy). Ziggy Stardust caught immediately the public’s attention during the first small live appearances. It not fit on the head of anyone (or in Bowie’s own) that this character would mark an era in rock, and it would be a unique landmark in the history of music. Ziggy Stardust is why we can say, one of the most iconic aliens in fictional story.
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is a concept album that tells the story of an alien who comes to Earth with a message of hope (presumably because the Earth only has 5 years of life). Spiders from Mars, composed by bassist Trevor Bolder, drummer Mick Woodmansey and guitarist Mick Ronson, would become a rock band with great success, but his fall will be so sudden as the rise. As they increase the success, it also increases the excesses from their lifestyle, that consequently leads to the death of the primary star (The Rise and Fall …). The story is told through 11 tracks, among others contains pearls like Five Years, Lady Stardust, Suffragette City and Rock’n’Roll suicide. The sound of the album is fabulous, without excesses. Bowie at his best.
The album opens with Five Years, with theatrical training, Bowie was well aware of the importance of a prologue in a conceptual work and this is how this music works. Five Years is the music that puts us in history. After the romanticism of Soul Love and the phenomenal Moonage Daydream, the album soars to the stratosphere with the hit single Starman, one of the biggest hits in the career of David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust has a reference to the late Jimi Hendrix (‘he played it left hand giving us … That we were voodoo’). The side one closes with the only non Bowie composition It Aint Easy.
Side two begins with Lady Stardust, Ziggy and the Spiders from Mars will be presented to the public for the first time . Laughter seems to be the reaction of people when faced with a musician in orange hair, bright clothes and painted face , but they barely knew the legend that they were witnessing. While we hear Sufragette City, we realize that Ziggy has everything and everyone to his feet, but the wild ride ends with the sound of Rock n Roll Suicide, a farewell note from Ziggy and perhaps the best analogy to all rockers who left us too soon (Hendrix, Morrison, Jones, Joplin, etc.).
David Bowie was extremely shy, therefore believed that his alter-ego would allow him freeing up more, just did not know that the character would grow so large and get hold of him. Ziggy had become a monster, Bowie was always Ziggy, not only on stage and in interviews, but also in their day-to-day. David Bowie said in an interview in 2002 that he began to feel tired and unhappy with the characters past 6 months of its creation and he hasn’t saw the need to interpret it for the rest of your life. On 3rd of July, of 1973, after a year and five months of its debut, Bowie destroyed its character forever. The news caught the Spiders From Mars by surprise, who thought they could continue with that success for many years. Life imitated art and so, as in the song Rock & Roll Suicide, Ziggy was dead. Bowie killed him on stage.
The success of Ziggy Stardust launched a whole new movement, glam rock, in which the stars wore makeup and androgynous look for attention and building a new aesthetic differentiated the hippies of the 1960s. In the wave, they went artists and bands like Elton John, Marc Bolan and T-Rex, Slade and Queen , led by Freddie Mercury. There were more people doing Glam Rock, but Ziggy came and overshadowed all competition.
Over the years, the fifth studio album by David Bowie has been included in several lists of the best albums of all times in publications like the Rolling Stone, NME and Time.
If Bowie had not written anything more in his life, you could say that this work was enough to write his name in the history of Rock. A remarkably brilliant album and recommended to all generations.