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Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust [Original recording remastered]

David BowieAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (411 customer reviews)

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Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The cliché about David Bowie says he's a musical chameleon, adapting himself according to fashion and trends. While such a criticism is too glib, there's no denying that Bowie demonstrated remarkable skill for perceiving musical trends at his peak in the '70s. After spending several years in the late '60s as a mod and as an ... Read more in Amazon's David Bowie Store

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Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust + Hunky Dory + Aladdin Sane
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol Catalog
  • ASIN: B007OTZ654
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (411 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Five Years (2012 - Remaster)
2. Soul Love (2012 - Remaster)
3. Moonage Daydream (2012 - Remaster)
4. Starman (2012 - Remaster)
5. It Ain't Easy (2012 - Remaster)
6. Lady Stardust (2012 - Remaster)
7. Star (2012 - Remaster)
8. Hang On to Yourself (2012 - Remaster)
9. Ziggy Stardust (2012 - Remaster)
10. Suffragette City (2012 - Remaster)
11. Rock 'N' Roll Suicide (2012 - Remaster)

Editorial Reviews

Originally released through RCA Victor on 6th June 1972, Ziggy Stardust was David Bowie's fifth album, co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott. Incredibly, the album was written whilst Bowie was recording 1971's Hunky Dory album, with recording beginning a couple of months before that album's release. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London between 8th November 1971 and 4th February 1972, with the line up: Mick Ronson (guitar, piano, backing vocals, string arrangements), Trevor Bolder (bass), Mick Woodmansey (drums), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and backing vocals on `It Ain't Easy' by Dana Gillespie. As well as performing vocals, Bowie also played acoustic guitar, saxophone and harpsichord on the album and was involved in the arrangements, too.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
130 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Basics June 6, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Note: This a review of the 40th Anniversary CD remaster, issued in 2012.

There is a curious phenomenon happening in the world of Bowie CD remasters, which we can hope portends an attitude change in the music industry as a whole regarding the remastering of classic albums. This phenomenon is, simply put, going back to basics. More specifically, it appears as though EMI is actually starting to recognize that the sound of the original Bowie albums, at the time they were made, doesn't require improving upon. Rather, the best a remastering can do is present the original sound in the most faithful manner possible, from the best possible sources. This 40th Anniversary remastering of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars does just that.

Ironically, the original RCA Bowie CDs from the 1980s, which were lambasted at the time as subpar, actually did a pretty good job of staying faithful to the sound of the original LPs. Although they are rumored to have been from latter-generation sources, rather than the original master tapes, they have nevertheless held up very well in light of the reissues that followed: the anemic and overly bright Ryko reissues of the late `80s, and the bloated, heavily compressed Virgin/EMI remasters of the late `90s, which remain the standard versions available today. However, it was the 30th Anniversary edition of Ziggy Stardust that represented the nadir of all Bowie remasters: it sounded worse than even the '90s EMI remaster; worse yet, it actually removed portions of the music and reversed the stereo channels.
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101 of 107 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great album, but poorly planned, rip-off reissue July 3, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Wow. 3-stars for Ziggy Stardust? Let me emphasize something right from the start: 3-stars is not indicative of my feelings towards the music contained on this set. Ziggy is a classic album, and deserves that status. In fact, in deserves far more than is offered in this poorly planned, shoddy two-disc "30th Anniversary Edition" offered from EMI.
Ziggy Stardust has been reissued countless times on CD in the past 15 years. In fact, let's take an inventory. There was the original, from-second-generation-tapes-but-unprocessed RCA disc that's currently having something of a critical renaissance. There was the original Rykodisc issue which came with bonus tracks. There was the anniversary Ryko box, with the same disc but a great box/booklet (far nicer than the one in this 30th Anniversary volume, and packaged much better to boot). Then there was the gold, Au20 series disc issued by Rykodisc (remastered again), and then in 1999 the Virgin reissue of the disc, which deleted the bonus tracks. And then this. While not publicized quite as much, it seems as if David might be competing with Hendrix or Elvis for "most endlessly reissued album" in this particular case.
So, uh, what do we have here, then? Well, we've got a two-disc set, held together by some *very* fragile packaging (the booklet seems almost designed to fall apart!). The main set is remastered again (although not very well...we'll get to that in a moment), and is supplemented by a second disc of bonus tracks.
Unfortunately, the iteration of "Ziggy" here is, I dare to say, the worst version on CD. The sound is slightly muddier than the already-overcompressed Virgin CD, but that isn't the main problem.
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sonic problems with this edition November 2, 2002
Format:Audio CD
My five issues with the mastering on this edition of one of my favourite rock albums:
(1) Some tracks have rather muffled sound: "Ziggy Stardust" is just a tiny bit congested when compared with the old EMI disc, but "Suffragette City" is noticeably lacking in upper-end bite. There's more low-end on the new disc, so this may represent an intentional change in emphasis, but it still sounds odd to my ears: much of the snarl is missing from Ronno's chugging guitar riffs.
(2) The little tiny three-note guitar lick at the very end of "Ziggy Stardust" -- the one *right* before "Suffragette City" crashes in -- has been faded out, so that the two songs no longer flow continuously one into the other. I can't imagine why this was done.
(3) The *really* puzzling one: the new disc has the stereo image REVERSED. Check out the opening of "Ziggy Stardust": the new disc has the acoustic guitar in the left channel, when it's been on the right on every previous release. Similarly, the five little hits on the ride cymbal at the very start of "Suffragette City" should be in the right speaker: here, they're on the left. It's not a remix: they've just swapped the L and R channels.
(4) The very first piano note in "Lady Stardust" is missing its initial attack: it sounds as if the track was faded up from silence, and a little bit of the initial "thunk" was lost. It's quite noticeable when compared with the 1999 EMI disc.
(5) The "one-two" count-in at the start of "Hang On To Yourself" is gone. Not reduced in volume: it's *gone*. The song just starts off with the two-chord hook. As far as I'm aware, every previous release of the album has had the count-in.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great condition. I am happy with this purchase.
Published 7 days ago by Dana E Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Bowie, therefore it is good listening.
I will definitely be buying more of his records after listening to this one
Published 8 days ago by Tyler J Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, a musical and social landmark
The original a
Bum bore a note advising that this album should be played at MA imum volume. Still should be!
Great album, a musical and social landmark.
Published 13 days ago by JimEDiego
5.0 out of 5 stars This time period Rocks!
Bowie and the Spiders were sooo different! The era had some of the best in Rock and Roll. I love Glam, and this album was one of the BEST EVER! Love it!
Published 16 days ago by C. Gillespie
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice.
What more can I add? Ziggy Stardust is Bowie's ultimate masterpiece. Its sounds as fresh and exciting now in 2014 as it did upon it's release in 1973. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Perseus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Hot Tunes
Published 23 days ago by Jim Swarthout
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous album gets a good remastering
Ziggy Stardust is a phenomenal recording of some of David Bowie's finest. Having grown up in the 80s, I really only knew Bowie's 80s pop phenomenons, not the progressive... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stephen M. Lerch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by sharla sare
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album
I loved this album when it first came out. Yep, bought it as vinyl back in the day. I've lost a lot of music over the years and I just slowly replace it. Still a GREAT album. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Debra Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it on vinyl if you can!
I don't know, I'm not a huge audiophile but this is one of those ones where the original media format makes the experience somehow. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Benjamin K. Olson
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