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The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

by David Bowie

Released June 16, 1972 via RCA Records

Reviewed June 2, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Starman (56%), Five Years (54%), Rock 'n' Roll Suicide (39%)

The fifth studio album from David Bowie helped reach new heights of stardom. Ziggy Stardust would signal the start of a signature sound of Bowie and company. The ties to the otherworldly alter ego of Ziggy Stardust would welcome a sea change in style and sound. The artistic side of Bowie's repertoire is on full show on Ziggy Stardust; a complete journey from start to finish. The highs, the lows, and everything between is what makes it such a compelling record. Creeping to life through visions of market squares, mothers sighing and teachings of earth's dying: What a surprise! The opening scenes set up the album to be something of a religious experience. There isn't a wasted moment, all elements serve a purpose in the grander scheme of things. Ziggy Stardust is about as heavenly, fulfilled, and realized as they come. All recording artists spend their careers trying to make their own Ziggy Stardust. – Peter (9.5/10)

David Bowie’s best work always managed to push the boundaries of his time 50 yards down the field of musical creation. Ziggy Stardust was the first instance of that influence in Bowie’s career, and although later albums may be better in terms of cohesiveness or overall consistency, few ride the highs that Ziggy does. Without the trailblazing flair for the dramatic that Bowie effortlessly creates here, we would not have gotten the likes of Low, Heroes, or Station to Station. Bowie finally proved, to both himself and his biggest critics, that he was more than just a singer. He was an artist, a performer, and a symbol for creative expression that few of his time could compare to. Equal parts thematic, personal, and hypnotic, Ziggy Stardust is justifiably seen as Bowie’s crown jewel in a career that spanned decades. – Ben (Synth) (8.5/10)

Jared: 10/10 | DeVán: 9.5/10 | Peter: 9.5/10 | Pax: 9/10

Dominick: 8.8/10 | Cam: 8.5/10 | Alan: 7.5/10

Community Reviews:

Bowie’s best album by some measure, and that’s saying something because he’s a God-tier genius. Every song rocks, is undeniably weird, and pulls at your heartstrings. Masterful lyricism, singing, and playing all over this slab. As good as music gets, plus the recording is warm, punchy, and classic sounding. Takes me back to college and my first PC (a big ol’ HP circa 2005) all over again lol. Shout-out to whoever in the U of I dorms had the mp3s. – @newexperimentalhours (10/10)

An iconic masterpiece within the hall of rock music. – @charlie.respind (8.9/10)


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