Home Read Albums Of The Week: Easy Star All-Stars | Ziggy Stardub

Albums Of The Week: Easy Star All-Stars | Ziggy Stardub

Yes, it's a full-length reggae revamp of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. No, it's not a joke. Yes, it's as bizarre as you think. But it's also strikingly impressive and pretty cool.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Blending musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies, and a premier rhythm section, Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as one of the top international reggae acts on the scene for nearly two decades. During this time, they’ve toured in over 30 countries on six continents, bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock, dub, and indie rock into one big family.

This year, the band will release their first new tribute album in 11 years. The series began with Dub Side Of The Moon (2003), the critically acclaimed reggae revamp of the classic Pink Floyd album, then continued with Radiodread (2006), Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009) and Easy Star’s Thrillah (2012), as well as the remix album Dubber Side Of The Moon (2010). Easy Star All-Stars have also released two original collections, Until That Day EP (2008) and First Light (2011), since forming in the early 2000s.

The new tribute is a complete reggae reimaging of David Bowie’s The
Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars album. Featured guest performers on the record include Macy Gray, Maxi Priest, Steel Pulse, Fishbone, Mortimer, The Skints, The Expanders, Samory I, Naomi Cowan, SunDub, Alex Lifeson of Rush and Vernon Reid of Living Colour. The band will incorporate songs from this tribute into their 2023 sets, including potentially playing the album in full at some shows and festivals.

Dub Side Of The Moon was a sensation when originally released and spent more than seven years straight on the Billboard Reggae Chart. It got positive coverage and reviews in many magazines and publications. The record has, over time, garnered positive quotes and notices from members of Pink Floyd (most notably David Gilmour and Nick Mason), as well as from others involved in the original album, such as engineer Alan Parsons and singer Clare Torry. The followup album Radiodread, which tackled Radiohead’s OK Computer, continued the band’s reputation for creative reinterpretation. To this day, two songs from this record (Karma Police, featuring Citizen Cope, and Let Down, featuring Toots & The Maytals) are regularly the band’s most streamed and listened to tracks. Thom Yorke gave a glowing mention of Let Down and the album from the stage in Philadelphia upon the record’s release.

Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (a reworking of The BeatlesSgt. Pepper) debuted to the highest-charting success of the band’s career thus far. During that cycle, the band performed each of their three tribute albums in full during a memorable three night/three stage performance at Glastonbury, earning the All-Stars a nomination for best festival show in 2009 in the U.K. The last tribute (Easy Star’s Thrillah) kept things going with a celebrated version of Michael Jackson’s most famous album. After that, the band have kept touring, but had taken a break from completing full-fledged new tribute material — until now.”