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Ziggy Stardust: 30th Anniversary Limited Edition, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 601 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, July 16, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This 2 CD set is an out of print collectible! It is the 2002 EMI 30th Anniversay edition. Catalog #7243-5-39826-2-1. It is designed as a hardcover book, filled with color photos, nice liner notes, and individual sleeves for each disc. CD is still sealed. There is a saw cut through the UPC.Track Listing:Disc One:1. Five Years2. Soul Love3. Moonage Daydream4. Starman5. It Ain't Easy6. Lady Stardust7. Star8. Hang On To Yourself9. Ziggy Stardust10. Suffragette City11. Rock 'N' Roll SuicideDisc Two:1. Moonage Daydream (Arnold Corns Version)2. Hang On To Yourself (Arnold Corns Version)3. Lady Stardust (Demo)4. Ziggy Stardust (Demo)5. John, I'm Only Dancing6. Velvet Goldmine7. Holy Holy8. Amsterdam9. The Supermen10. Round And Round11. Sweet Head (Take 4)12. Moonage Daydream (New Mix)

Thirty years on, Ziggy Stardust more than holds up, sounds incredibly refreshing, is truly timeless, comes as a revelation, etc., etc. Over the years, much has been made of what a visionary work this is, and it's still fun to marvel at how its themes encapsulate the entire history of rock--including rock-yet-to-come in the forms of punk, and even the deaths of Elvis and Kurt Cobain. Bowie merged rock archetypes from the '50s and '60s with theater to create a brand-new mythology. In that sense, he was sort of Bruce Springsteen in makeup. But beyond that, it's astonishing to hear how great the late, wonderful Mick Ronson's guitar and the Spiders from Mars still sound today. When they sing "Wonderful" behind Bowie on the "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide" finale, they could be referring to this album. This 30th anniversary edition includes a second disc of demos, singles (including the very Berlin cabaret-esque "Arnold Corns" releases), and a few essential outtakes--notably the decadent "Sweet Head"--that haven't been available in nearly a decade. --Bill Holdship

Track Listings

Disc: 1

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

Disc: 2

  1. Moonage Daydream (Arnold Corns version)
  2. Hang On To Yourself (Arnold Corns version)
  3. Lady Stardust (Demo)
  4. Ziggy Stardust (Demo)
  5. John, I'm Only Dancing
  6. Velvet Goldmine
  7. Holy Holy
  8. Amsterdam
  9. The Supermen
  10. Round And Round
  11. Sweet Head (Outtake - Take 4)
  12. Moonage Daydream (Alan Moulder Mix)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 16, 2002)
  • Limited Edition edition
  • Original Release Date: 1972
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B000067CQK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (601 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,749 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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