David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars

Garnering decent sales on release, Ziggy Stardust still failed to reach the top of the charts, peaking at #5, but has since become one of the most highly regarded albums of all time, thanks in no small part to it’s longevity and the delightful, if loosely constructed narrative that runs throughout.

The story itself revolves around a rock singer (Ziggy Stardust) living in a world in which natural resources are swiftly running out. The album opens with the song ‘Five Years’, which provides the time at which the world will end, and continues to follow Ziggy through prophecies of a ‘Starman’ coming to save the world, which catapult him to stardom, right to the point at which the starmen arrive to save the world, and destroy Ziggy on stage in order to give themselves physical form.

The music itself is rightly revered, and is a timeless example of why the album is such an important art-form. From the soaring highs of ‘Starman’ and ‘Suffragette City’, to the mournful, sombre strains of ‘Five Years’ and ‘Lady Stardust’, there isn’t a single bad track on the album, and musicians of today could learn a lot from the diversity and quality that is inherent throughout. Chunky riffs, wailing solos, wonderful lyrics and a throbbing rhythms, this album has it all in spades, and one can only hope that Ziggy Stardust stays on the turntables, CD players and iPods of future generations of musical wannabes, so that one day a new album of this calibre can come along and revive the dying embers of the rock concept album.

‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars’ was released on 06/06/1972 by RCA Records.


About Steve Hancock

Steve is the host of the Cosmic Fragments radio show, he is also the creator and main contributor to the Cosmic Fragments website. On the side, he is also a failing musician, dog owner and shabby boyfriend, he does all of this while maintaining a full time job that provides little financial reward.