Three years after being revealed with the play Space Oddity, David Bowie settles definitively in the musical landscape with the character of Ziggy Stardust. An androgynous alien who was born on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars, who turned 50 on June 16. An opus on which we find the titles Five Years, Soul Love, Starman, Ziggy Stardust and Suffragette City.
It is with this disc, his fifth, that the British David Robert Jones will find his way.
Powered by the success of singles Starmanperformed on July 5, 1972, during the broadcast Top of the Popson the airwaves of the BBC, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars will reach, seven months later, the 5e position on the UK charts and will climb to 21e rank in the United States.
On this album, the androgynous character of Ziggy Stardust is sent to Earth, as a savior, in anticipation of an apocalypse. The glam-sounding album will sell 7.5 million copies worldwide and will become one of the major and defining albums of the “Thin White Duke”.
On the BBC, Bowie, who was obsessed with space, wore a multicolored jumpsuit, astronaut boots and he had red hair. The musicians, the Spiders, were equally colorful.
More rock ‘n’ roll
Bono, lead singer of U2, was in front of the television. He was seeing Bowie for the first time.
“It was like a creature falling from the sky. The Americans had sent a man to the moon. We had our Brit from space,” he said in the book. On Bowie by Rob Sheffield.
After the album Hunky Dory, David Bowie wanted to embrace more rock’n’roll sounds. It was in this state of mind that he found himself at Trident Studios, London, in November 1971, with guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Mick Woodmansev.
The 11 songs are recorded in 10 days. Bowie was inspired. He knew what he wanted. He would give directions to the musicians and even hum the guitar solos to Mick Ronson. Five Yearsfor example, was recorded in a single take on November 15, 1971.
The British artist is influenced by Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, Marc Bolan and Iggy Pop.
“I’m a person who can take on the appearance of people I meet. I am a collector, I collect personalities and ideas, he said,” said bassist Trevor Bolder in an interview published in the magazine. NME.
“He wanted to go beyond all of his influences and combine it all because he wanted to change the music industry. He thought it was boring.”
Dennis Katz, who was the head of the record label RCA Records, found that there was no song, among those constituting the album, which could become a single for the radio. It is in this context that Starman was recorded at the end of the studio sessions.
Ziggy Stardust will have a short lifespan. On July 3, 1973, during a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, in London, David Bowie will announce, three months after the launch of the album Aladdin Sanethat this is the last show of this strange character that will have allowed him to distinguish himself.
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Launched 50 years ago, the opus that gave birth to Bowie
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