David Bowie is one of a deluge of artists who’ve passed away since the calendar flipped to 2016. There’s a great chance he’s the most missed as well.
For Randy W. Hall, the “Ziggy Stardust” album is one he’s favored since his late teens and has been dying to talk about. For Dan Minard, not so much, as Bowie is an artist he’s always admired, but not really embraced. But that doesn’t mean things can’t change.
When 1972 rolled around David Bowie’s career was at a precipice. He’d already tried being a folkie and an avant garde cult artist, to critical acclaim, but his commercial prospects were beginning to dim.
Lucky for Bowie, he had already found himself a crack band in guitarist Mick Ronson (an excellent one at that), drummer Woody Woodmansey and bassist Trevor Bolder for the preceding ‘Hunky Dory’ album to bring his theater-meets-rock-meets-futuristic-annihilation vision to life. And he was also creatively peaking for a period of 18-months in 1971-73.
While it’s been debated by fans whether the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ LP was a full-on concept album when being made, there’s little doubt the artistic vision of ‘Ziggy’ arrived fully-formed when the group hit the airwaves on “Top of the Pops” to perform ‘Starman’ in July of 1972 making Bowie a true star on both sides of the Atlantic and put the music world on notice the he and glam rock were here to stay.
As the years have worn on the album has only grown in esteem due to the cohesive nature of it and its undeniable set of outstanding songs. Opening with the apocalyptic bliss of ‘Five Years’, bolstered by the virtuosic ‘Moonage Daydream’, the titular track and it’s signature riff and the fantastically pulse-pounding “Suffragette City”, the album is dotted with highlights throughout. For my money it’s David Bowie’s most rewarding album.
So listen in as Dandy Classic pays homage to a true artistic visionary and ambassador and hear us break down how this record became a self-fulfilling prophecy and landmark.