Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Ziggy played guitar!"

So I've come across a copy of the 30th Anniversary editon of David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. I'm a longtime Bowie listener so I know a lot of the songs already, but have never heard them all together like this in one cohesive package before.

I know, I know, how could I call myself a Bowie listener and not be intimately familiar with Ziggy, but that's just the way it is. My first Bowie album was Black Tie, White Noise (the last and in my opinion one of the best, of his pop albums and that phase of his career), being sucked in by the hypnotic rhythms and haunting saxaphone of "Jump, They Say". I've picked up everything since then, like Buddha of Suburbia, Outside, Earthling and Heathen (yeah, yeah, Reality is on the go get it list, dont worry), but going backwards has always been a slow going process with greatest hits albums and a small mp3 collection being the extent of my exposure to that stuff.

But I digress.

I knew how legendary Ziggy was as an album and how it has been a huge influence on many other bands. There's a great quote in the liner notes for the 30th edition from a radio 1 announcer who says "I haven't enough years left ahead of me to give a comprehensive list of bands and artists inspired and influenced by Bowie. It's easier to name those who haven't! So here goes: Lighthouse Family...Puddle of Mudd...Dire Straits...Bob Marley and the Wailers...and The Rutles. There - I think that about covers it!"

So, anyways, what I didn't know about Ziggy was just how absolutely fabulous the whole thing is! I've been listening to it everywhere I go lately and it's just a spectacular album. There isn't a single song on the whole thing that makes me think, ""

And even better, I went to see The Life Aquatic the other night and the damn thing was almost completely underscored by old Bowie tunes, so it's like there's some sort of universal Bowie convergence going on for me.

I think I just might go out and grab Hunky Dory, then work my way up from Ziggy and do the catalogue properly, now.

New project, yay!

So that's my post for the day. Maybe catch you again later!



Johnny B said...

I don't know...Starman sounds a little Rutle-ish...

Aw, I kid. All I can add is that Aladdin Sane should be at the top of your go-get list! And Reality is a hell of a record.

Never warmed to Black Tie, though...

Mike Jozic said...

JB...I've heard a few tracks off of Aladdin Sane before and they never really grabbed me, but I'm going to leave the ol' noggin wide open based on your recommendation.

Not surprised by your not liking Black Tie.... I'd actually be surprised if a lot of people didn't. The pop years are much maligned (and in some cases, rightly so) but I think Black Tie... had some strong efforts like the aforementiond 'Jump, They Say' as well as his cover of 'Nite Flights' his cover of 'I Know it's Gonna Happen Someday' (which he saw as a sequel to 'Rock 'n' Roll Suicide') and I consider 'Miracle Goodnight' a guilty pleasure.

I will say that the album is a little too synthy at times, and the title track is...challenged, to say the least, but I think it's a good closing chapter for that period of his career.

Anyway, this is running long, so I'll finish up here and say thanks for the comment and that Aladdin Sane is now on the radar.

Johnny B said...

Bear in mind that Aladdin, like its successor Pinups, is a showcase for the arranging skills of his then-guitarist Mick Ronson, of whom I've been a longtime fan, so that's probably why I dig it as much as I do. To me, it's a very diverse record, with a lot of Stonesy flavor and even Weill-ish influence on the Dietrich tribute "Lady Grinning Soul". And Mike Garson's extended piano solo in the title track is a truly amazing thing.

Johnny B said...

Oh, and I meant to add "Time" in the Brecht/Weill influence part...!