Results for The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

classic album dissections
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David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

It's been forty years since David Bowie released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, making this a prime time for Jim and Greg to get out the scalpels for a Classic Album Dissection. Not that Jim and Greg need much prompting to reopen The Bowie Debate (right up there in Sound Opinions lore with The Springsteen Debate and the Tom Waits Debate). The major bone of contention: was Bowie simply an assimilator of others‘ musical styles or an innovator in his own right? While Greg touts Bowie as a rock legend, Jim stops short at“master assimilator.”But even Jim has to admit Ziggy Stardust is among the best records in Bowie’s career, if only because of all of his guises, it's the most unabashedly over-the-top.

Jim tackles side one of the album, which lays out the Ziggy Stardust story. Bowie's vague on the details, but it seems the alien Ziggy has come to earth to rock humanity in the last five years of its existence. It's a tough plot to follow, but Jim says the Spiders make it all worthwhile. Inventive instrumentation and Mick Ronson's stellar guitar work make songs like "Moonage Daydream" rock classics. Greg takes on side two - the harder rocking side of the album. Here you really hear those Ronson riffs that were so influential for punks like The Sex Pistols. Whereas Bowie's theatricality and tendency to take on personas can put Jim off, Greg thinks the value of Bowie's experimentation with glam fashion and especially gender roles can‘t be understated. At a time when it was dangerous to be anything other than straight, Ziggy welcomed in a new audience of outsiders singing "Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful."

Go to episode 347
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Rock's Best Lead-Off Tracks

This week's show is dedicated to the true rock geeks out there. Continuing in the tradition of "Track 1, Side 1" Jim and Greg take the discussion into the post-vinyl age. What songs best kick-off an album? Here are their picks for the best Lead-Off Tracks of all time:

Go to episode 92