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Classic Album Review: David Bowie | Aladdin Sane Remastered

The glam icon's looser Ziggy Stardust followup gets a 30th anniversary makeover.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Next to his high-concept glam-rock opus The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, the less-ambitious followup Aladdin Sane seemed like “a treading-water album,” says David Bowie in the liner notes to this reissue. Which only goes to show: Even he doesn’t know what he’s talking about sometimes.

Fortunately, history has a different view of this 1973 disc. Rather than branding it as inferior, its looser vibe and more experimental approach — not to mention the timeless appeal of glam classics like The Jean Genie, Cracked Actor and the title cut — helped make Aladdin Sane even more commercially successful and nearly as critically respected as Ziggy. For its 30th anniversary, EMI gives it the deluxe reissue treatment: Remastered tunes, a nifty hardback-book case, plenty of liner notes and picture, and an entire CD of bonus tracks and live cuts. A Bowie fan would have to be insane to pass it up.


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