David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

jb_ziggystardustEarly in his career, Bowie pulled off the near-impossible, a cohesive ‘concept’ album that was a set of really great tunes. It works due to the simplicity (or stupidity) of the concept: a spaceman falls to earth to rock out. And not even the story-bound tracks, (including the hyperdramatic bookends, “Five Years” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”), are so beholden to context that they can’t be enjoyed as good old rock. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s working with the best straight-up rock band of his career, the Spiders From Mars. No prog tendencies are lugged to muddy the glittery intent of the music; the Spiders are perfect ciphers for this material. Just listen to Mick Ronson’s guitar solo at the end of the grand and dirty “Moonage Daydream” – that’s not stately neo-classic blues interpretation, that’s balls-to-the-wall rock wailing. The first in a triptych of the hardest-rocking albums in DB’s catalog (with Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs), all that’s dated is the mix of hard rock and pop tunefulness. That’s a negative comment on today’s music, not this album. To be played at maximum volume.

Rating: A-

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com