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David Bowie: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars

by on April 5, 2013

29_Ziggy

The Classic Albums Live season series concludes Thursday, April 18 at 7:30pm with what could be called the ultimate glam album by the ultimate glam artist – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

Wikipedia describes the plotline thusly: “Ziggy is the human manifestation of an alien being who is attempting to present humanity with a message of hope in the last five years of its existence. Ziggy Stardust is the definitive rock star: sexually promiscuous, wild in drug intake and with a message, ultimately, of peace and love; but he is destroyed both by his own excesses of drugs and sex, and by the fans he inspired.”

Based loosely on the British singer Vince Taylor of The Playboys, this is the album where David Bowie fully moved from the folk and singer/songwriter genres of his earlier days and into the glam first promised on The Man Who Sold The World (1970) and Hunky Dory (1971)

Bowie’s ability to be a chameleon, evidenced by a career that has always been fascinating, vital, and unique in its many twists and turns over the 40 years since the album’s release, sees him in the role of Ziggy on this disc, cooing and crooning, wailing and wassailing.

He was in his element, and given the perfect backdrop by an ace band quarterbacked by guitar ace Mick Ronson.

Bowie, in fact, viewed the work as a soundtrack for a subsequent stage, film, or television production.  That said, we will hear musical theatre on April 18.

The Classic Albums Live model will be, once again, a note for note replication of a studio creation for a standard bearers and pioneer of the rock era.  We will hear a live performance of a work that contains career defining tracks from the chilling opening track “Five Years” through the 3 song closing punch of “Ziggy Stardust”, “Suffragette City”, and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”.

Wilfred Langmaid is a Fredericton resident who has written music reviews in The Daily Gleaner since 1981.

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