UK, 1972, glam rock / pop rock

David BowieThe Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars: For me, this is the glam rock album par excellence. Bowie, who started off as a folk singer, made the switch to rock and decided to create alter egos he could explore on stage. In later interviews, he said it was because he didn’t know himself and was searching—fair enough! We all reap the benefit of his quest for self discovery. On stage, in the 1970s, Bowie was a very different person than he was off. He became a new person as he adopted each disguise. And Ziggy is perhaps his most famous disguise: a rock-star alien doomed in his quest to save the Earth, an alien complete with orange hair, fantastic makeup, and futuristic costumes. Ziggy Stardust is musical role-playing at its finest without coming off as musical theater. The lyrics of the album create vivid images in the mind of the listener as the vocals shift from person to person within a song. The music is subtler, though it is full of vocal and instrumental hooks that make every song memorable. Ziggy is mysterious but demands attention, he is simultaneously accessible and ambiguous, and in this creation, Bowie raises role-playing to an art form.

One thought on “

  1. Role-play as art–an endlessly fascinating topic, just like this album itself. It rewards repeated listenings, and Bowie’s beauty reverberates in every note.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s