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Olympiaditus Group

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Reggie Broome
Reggie Broome


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Described as a loose concept album and rock opera, Ziggy Stardust is about Bowie's titular alter ego Ziggy Stardust, a fictional androgynous and bisexual rock star who is sent to Earth as a saviour before an impending apocalyptic disaster. In the story, Ziggy wins the hearts of fans but suffers a fall from grace after succumbing to his own ego. The character was inspired by numerous musicians, including singers Vince Taylor and Iggy Pop. Most of the album's concept was developed after the songs were recorded. The glam rock and proto-punk musical styles were influenced by Pop, the Velvet Underground, and Marc Bolan of T. Rex while the lyrics discuss the artificiality of rock music, political issues, drug use, sexual orientation, and stardom. The album cover, photographed in monochrome and recoloured, was taken in London outside the home of furriers "K. West".

Preceded by the single "Starman", Ziggy Stardust peaked at number 5 in the UK and number 75 in the United States. It initially received favourable reviews from music critics; some praised the musicality and concept while others were unable to comprehend it. Shortly after its release, Bowie performed "Starman" on Britain's Top of the Pops in early July 1972, which propelled him to stardom. The Ziggy character was retained for the subsequent Ziggy Stardust Tour, leaving Bowie unable to differentiate between Ziggy and himself. Not wanting Ziggy to define him, Bowie created a new character for his next album Aladdin Sane (1973), which Bowie described as "Ziggy goes to America". Performances from the tour were later released on a concert film of the same name with an accompanying live album (1983) and Live Santa Monica '72 (2008).

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars is about a bisexual alien rock superstar named Ziggy Stardust.[28][29] It was not initially conceived as a concept album; much of the story was written after the album was recorded.[30][31] Tracks rewritten for the narrative included "Star" (originally titled "Rock 'n' Roll Star"),[31] "Moonage Daydream",[32] and "Hang On to Yourself".[33] Some reviewers have categorised the record as being a rock opera,[34][35][36] although Paul Trynka argues that it is less an opera and more a "collection of snapshots thrown together and later edited into a sequence that makes sense."[37] The characters were androgynous. Mick Woodmansey said the clothes they had worn had "femininity and sheer outrageousness". He also said that the characters' looks "definitely appealed to our rebellious artistic instincts".[38] Nenad Georgievski of All About Jazz said the record was presented with "high-heeled boots, multicolored dresses, extravagant makeup and outrageous sexuality".[39] Bowie had already developed an androgynous appearance, which was approved by critics, but received mixed reactions from audiences.[40]

The album's lyrics discuss the artificiality of rock music in general, political issues, drug use, sexual orientation, and stardom.[41][20] Stephen Thomas Erlewine described the lyrics as "fractured, paranoid" and "evocative of a decadent, decaying future".[29] Apart from the narrative, "Star" reflects Bowie's idealisations of becoming a star himself and shows his frustrations at not having fulfilled his potential.[42] On the other hand, "It Ain't Easy" has nothing to do with the overarching narrative.[31][43] The outtakes "Velvet Goldmine" and "Sweet Head" did fit the narrative, but both contained provocative lyrics, which likely contributed to their exclusions.[44][45] Meanwhile "Suffragette City" contains a false ending, followed by the phrase "wham bam, thank you, ma'am!"[46][47] Bowie uses American slang and pronunciations throughout, such as "news guy", "cop" and "TV" (instead of "newsreader", "policeman", and "telly" respectively).[48][49] Richard Cromelin of Rolling Stone called Bowie's imagery and storytelling in the track some of his most "adventuresome" up to that point,[47] while James Par


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