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Classic Album Review: David Bowie | The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars: 30th Anniversary Edition

The rock icon's glam-rock breakthrough gets the royal treatment for its 30th birthday.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


If anyone qualifies as rock royalty these days, it’s David Bowie. So it’s only fitting that EMI gives his glam-rock breakthrough album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars the royal treatment in this 30th anniversary reissue.

Besides the superbly remastered version of the album — which contains a cornucopia of classics including Five Years, Starman, It Ain’t Easy, Hang On To Yourself, Suffragette City, Moonage Daydream and, of course, the title track — you get 40 pages of liner notes and photos, all bound in a mini-hardcover book any Bowie worshipper will find irresistible.

Less essential, however, is a second CD of demos, old singles and tracks that didn’t make the original LP. It’s not for lack of quality; cuts like Velvet Goldmine, Holy Holy, Amsterdam and The Supermen are great pieces of work. But most, if not all of them, have already trickled out on various compilations over the years, devaluing them from a collector’s point of view. Still, it’s hard to complain about this set, which may be the ultimate version of a bona fide rock classic.