The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (often shortened to Ziggy Stardust) is a 1972 concept album by English musician David Bowie, which is loosely based on a story of a fictional rock star named Ziggy Stardust. It peaked at number five in the United Kingdom and number 75 in the United States on the Billboard Music Charts.
The album tells the story of Bowie's alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, an alien who visits Earth in the form of a rock star. Bowie created Ziggy Stardust while in New York City promoting Hunky Doryand performed as him on a tour of the United Kingdom, Japan and North America. The album, and the character of Ziggy Stardust, was known for its glam rock influences and themes of sexual exploration and social commentary. It has been consistently considered as one of the greatest albums of all time, with Rolling Stone ranking the record the 35th greatest ever. It was ranked the 20th greatest album ever in a 1997 British survey, the 24th greatest of all time by Q magazine and one of the 100 greatest releases ever by Time magazine. A concert film of the same name, directed by D.A. Pennebaker, was released in 1973.
The album presents, albeit vaguely, the story of a rock and roll character called "Ziggy Stardust". Ziggy is the human manifestation of an alien being who is attempting to present humanity with a message of hope in the last five years of its existence. Ziggy Stardust is the definitive rock star: sexually promiscuous, wild in drug intake and with a message, ultimately, of peace and love; but he is destroyed both by his own excesses, and by the fans he inspired.
The character of Ziggy was inspired by British rock 'n' roll singer Vince Taylor whom Bowie met after Taylor had had a breakdown and believed himself to be a cross between a god and an alien; though Taylor was only part of the blueprint for the character, other influences included the Legendary Stardust Cowboy and Kansai Yamamoto, who designed the costumes Bowie wore during the tour. The Ziggy Stardust name came partly from the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, and partly, as Bowie told Rolling Stone, because Ziggy was "one of the few Christian names I could find beginning with the letter 'Z'".He later explained in a 1990 interview for Q Magazine that the Ziggy part came from a tailor's shop called Ziggy's that he passed on a train, and he liked it because it had "that Iggy [as in Iggy Pop] connotation but it was a tailor's shop, and I thought, Well, this whole thing is gonna be about clothes, so it was my own little joke calling him Ziggy. So Ziggy Stardust was a real compilation of things."
Bowie covered a Legendary Stardust Cowboy song, "I Took a Trip (On a Gemini Spaceship)" thirty years later on Heathen.
All songs written and composed by David Bowie, except where noted.
|5.||"It Ain't Easy" (Ron Davies)||3:00|
|8.||"Hang On to Yourself"||2:40|
|11.||"Rock 'n' Roll Suicide"|