It’s 1973. You’ve just made an LP (The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars) that has catapulted you into rock’s Big League and you’ve retired your stage persona at the peak of his success. What do you do next? Invent a new one and make an album that’s even better, of course.
Despite giving Bowie one of his most recognisable visual images (blue and red lightning bolt across face), Aladdin Sane has been unfairly overshadowed by its predecessor.
Unfairly because it’s a quite brilliantly thrilling rock LP.
The title track and Drive-in Saturday are quite breathtaking in their grandeur, while Watch that Man, Panic in Detroit and The Jean Genie are three of the most exciting songs Bowie has ever recorded.
The rest are no slouches either, with only an admittedly fun version of the Rolling Stones’ Let’s Spend The Night Together remotely disposable.
It’s far more consistent than Ziggy ever was and the packaging, a replica of the original vinyl issue right down to the postcard advertising the David Bowie fan club (send a cheque or postal order for 50p!) is worth the price of admission alone – despite the annoying ‘40th anniversary edition’ strap. Have these people not heard of stickers?