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ALADDIN SANE (1973)

'It was Ziggy meeting fame...a subjective Ziggy talking about America, my interpretation of what America means to me.' - David Bowie

ALADDIN SANE (1973) was the first album that Bowie released after THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972). It had advance orders of 150,000 which was the biggest advance sale in the UK since The Beatles and also became Bowie's first #1 album. It reached #1 in the UK album charts (Total weeks=72) and #17 in the US charts (Total weeks=8).

Rolling Stone Magazine review (19 August 1973)

The title was a play on the phrase "A Lad Insane." Other titles considered for the album were "A Land Insane" and "Love Aladdin Vein" or just "Vein" but the latter was rejected due to the too obvious drug connection. The album was banned before release in Rhodesia as "undesirable."

The album cover, photographed by Brian Duffy, was revolutionary in that it was printed in seven colours, a process not possible in the UK at the time and so the task was carried out in Switzerland instead. A Picture disc of this album was released by RCA (BOPIC 1) and a French 3LP set which contained ALADDIN SANE, HUNKY DORY and THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD ("Early Years" - RCA NL 89494) was released in January 1987.

The original LP release included a David Bowie Fan Club membership form as above.

Ryko 1990 CD Face

"It's no surprise that ALADDIN SANE and PIN UPS came out in the same year. Each drip with the seedy sexuality of London's late '60s sexual revolution. Yet, while PIN UPS was a mid-'60s sampling of influences--a glorified cover album--ALADDIN SANE was all Bowie. Stepping out of the Ziggy Stardust shadow (Bowie would announce his temporary retirement from the stage later that year), ALADDIN SANE was the aftermath of Ziggy's visit, a brutal memoir of the drugs, sex and glamour that a young starlet could find at the time. "Forget that I'm 50/'Cause you just got paid," Bowie croons, adopting the persona of a "Cracked Actor," and one wonders how far stardom had pushed Bowie. Was he indeed a lad insane? The macho guitar rave-ups are a brilliant spewing of the PIN UPS influences. Mick Ronson's searing guitar is beautiful trash, made of Stonesy grind and dangerous Kinks-like riffing. Bowie is at an evocative peak, his vocals at once voyeuristic and enticing. His cover of "Let's Spend The Night Together" sends an unwashed shiver up the back, and his youthful exuberance on "Panic In Detroit" is charmingly believable. ALADDIN SANE showed that Bowie was an artist with staying power that reached beyond his previous Martian Cult status." - CDNOW

"Ziggy Stardust wrote the blueprint for Bowie's hard-rocking glam, and Aladdin Sane essentially follows the pattern, for both better and worse. A lighter affair than Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane is actually a stranger album than its predecessor, buoyed by bizarre lounge-jazz flourishes from pianist Mick Garson and a handful of winding, vaguely experimental songs. Bowie abandons his futuristic obsessions to concentrate on the detached cool of New York and London hipsters, as on the compressed rockers "Watch That Man," "Cracked Actor," and "The Jean Genie." Bowie follows the hard stuff with the jazzy, dissonant sprawls of "Lady Grinning Soul," "Aladdin Sane," and "Time," all of which manage to be both campy and avant-garde simultaneously, while the sweepingly cinematic "Drive-In Saturday" is a soaring fusion of sci-fi doo wop and melodramatic teenage glam. He lets his paranoia slip through in the clenched rhythms of "Panic in Detroit,"" - AMG EXPERT REVIEW by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

RCA RS 1001 (UK); gatefold sleeve and lyric inner sleeve
RCA AFL1 4852 (US); gatefold sleeve and lyric inner sleeve

Released: 12 April 1973 UK

Lyrics (For more information on each track see the Encyclopedia)

1. Watch That Man 4:28 (Bowie)

Shakey threw a party that lasted all night
Everybody drank a lot of something nice
There was an old fashioned band of married men
Looking up to me for encouragement - it was so-so

The ladies looked bad but the music was sad
No one took their eyes off Lorraine
She shimmered and she strolled like a Chicago moll
Her feathers looked better and better - it was so-so

Yeah! it was time to unfreeze
When the Reverend Alabaster danced on his knees
Slam! so it wasn't a game
Cracking all the mirrors in shame

Watch that man! Oh honey, watch that man
Well he talks like a jerk but he could eat you with a fork and spoon
Watch that man! Oh honey, watch that man
Well he walks like a jerk but he's only taking care of the room
Must be in tune

A Benny Goodman fan painted holes in his hands
So Shakey hung him up to dry
The pundits were joking the manholes were smoking
And every bottle battled with the reason why

The girl on the phone wouldn't leave me alone
A throw back from someone's LP
A lemon in a bag played the Tiger Rag
And the bodies on the screen stopped bleeding

Yeah! I was shaking like a leaf
For I couldn't understand the conversation
Yeah! I ran to the street, looking for information

Watch that man! Oh honey, watch that man
He talks like a jerk but he could eat you with a fork and spoon
Watch that man! Oh honey, watch that man
He walks like a jerk but he's only taking care of the room
Must be in tune

Watch that man. Watch that man. Watch that man
Watch that man. Watch that man
(Watch that man)
(Watch that man)
(Watch that man)
(Watch that man)
(Watch that man)
(Watch that man)
(Watch that man)

2. Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?) 5:07 (Bowie)

Watching him dash away, swinging an old bouquet - dead roses
Sake and strange divine - you'll make it
Passionate bright young things, takes him away to war - don't fake it
Sadden glissando strings - you'll make it

Who'll love Aladdin Sane
Battle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise
Who'll love Aladdin Sane

Motor sensational, Paris or maybe hell - (I'm waiting)
Clutches of sad remains
Waits for Aladdin Sane - you'll make it

Oooh Who'll love Aladdin Sane
Millions weep a fountain, just in case of sunrise
Oooh Who'll love Aladdin Sane

We'll love Aladdin Sane
Love Aladdin Sane

Oooh Who'll love Aladdin Sane
Millions weep a fountain, just in case of sunrise
Oooh Who'll love Aladdin Sane

We'll love Aladdin Sane
We'll love Aladdin Sane

Oooh Who'll love Aladdin Sane
Millions weep a fountain, just in case of sunrise
Oooh Who'll love Aladdin Sane

We'll love Aladdin Sane
Who'll love Aladdin Sane

3. Drive-In Saturday 4:36 (Bowie)

Let me put my arms around your head
Gee, it's hot, let's go to bed
Don't forget to turn on the light
Don't laugh babe, it'll be alright
Pour me out another phone
I'll ring and see if your friends are home
Perhaps the strange ones in the dome
Can lend us a book we can read up alone

And try to get it on like once before
When people stared in Jagger's eyes and scored
Like the video films we saw

His name was always Buddy
And he'd shrug and ask to stay
She'd sigh like Twig the Wonder Kid
And turn her face away

She's uncertain if she likes him
But she knows she really loves him
It's a crash course for the ravers
It's a Drive-in Saturday

Jung the foreman prayed at work
Neither hands nor limbs would burst
It's hard enough to keep formation with this fall out saturation
Cursing at the Astronette
Who stands in steel by his cabinet
He's crashing out with Sylvian
The Bureau Supply for ageing men
With snorting head he gazes to the shore
Once had raised a sea that raged no more
Like the video films we saw

His name was always Buddy
And he'd shrug and ask to stay
She'd sigh like Twig the Wonder Kid
And turn her face away

She's uncertain if she likes him
But she knows she really loves him
It's a crash course for the ravers
It's a Drive-in Saturday

His name was always Buddy
And he'd shrug and ask to stay
She'd sigh like Twig the Wonder Kid
And turn her face away

She's uncertain if she likes him
But she knows she really loves him
It's a crash course for the ravers
It's a Drive-in Saturday, yeah, yeah

(Drive-in Saturday)
(It's a Drive-in Saturday)
(It's a Drive-in Saturday)
Drive in Saturday
(It's a Drive-in Saturday)
It's a, it's a, it's a drive in Saturday
(It's a Drive-in Saturday)
It's a, it's a, it's a, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir
(It's a Drive-in Saturday)
(It's a Drive-in Saturday)

4. Panic in Detroit 4:27 (Bowie)

He looked a lot like Che Guevara, drove a diesel van
Kept his gun in quiet seclusion, such a humble man
The only survivor of the National People's Gang
Panic in Detroit, I asked for an autograph
He wanted to stay home, I wish someone would phone
Panic in Detroit

He laughed at accidental sirens that broke the evening gloom
The police had warned of repercussions
They followed none too soon
A trickle of strangers were all that were left alive
Panic in Detroit, I asked for an autograph
He wanted to stay home, I wish someone would phone
Panic in Detroit

Putting on some clothes I made my way to school
And I found my teacher crouching in his overalls
I screamed and ran to smash my favourite slot machine
And jumped the silent cars that slept at traffic lights

Having scored a trillion dollars, made a run back home
Found him slumped across the table. A gun and me alone
I ran to the window. Looked for a plane or two
Panic in Detroit. He'd left me an autograph
"Let me collect dust." I wish someone would phone
Panic in Detroit
Panic in Detroit
Panic in Detroit

5. Cracked Actor 3:00 (Bowie)

I've come on a few years from my Hollywood Highs
The best of the last, the cleanest star they ever had
I'm stiff on my legend, the films that I made
Forget that I'm fifty cause you just got paid

Crack, baby, crack, show me you're real
Smack, baby, smack, is that all that you feel
Suck, baby, suck, give me your head
Before you start professing that you're knocking me dead
Oh stay
Please stay
Please stay

You caught yourself a trick down on Sunset and Vine
But since he pinned you baby you're a porcupine
You sold me illusions for a sack full of cheques
You've made a bad connection 'cause I just want your sex

Crack, baby, crack, show me you're real
Smack, baby, smack, is that all that you feel
Suck, baby, suck, give me your head
Before you start professing that you're knocking me dead
Oh yeah
Oooh stay
For a day
Oh yeah
Don't you dare
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah
Hoo
Hoo
Yeah

6. Time 5:14 (Bowie)

Time - He's waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me, boy

Time - He flexes like a who
Falls wanking to the floor
His trick is you and me, boy

Time - In Quaaludes and red wine
Demanding Billy Dolls
And other friends of mine
Take your time

The sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain
Incestuous and vain, and many other last names
I look at my watch it say 9:25 and I think "Oh God I'm still alive"

We should be on by now
We should be on by now

Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai

You - are not a victim
You - just scream with boredom
You - are not evicting time

Chimes - Goddamn, you're looking old
You'll freeze and catch a cold
'Cause you've left your coat behind
Take your time
Breaking up is hard, but keeping dark is hateful
I had so many dreams, I had so many breakthroughs
But you, my love, were kind, but love has left you dreamless
The door to dreams was closed. Your park was real dreamless
Perhaps you're smiling now, smiling through this darkness
But all I had to give was the guilt for dreaming

We should be on by now
We should be on by now
We should be on by now
We should be on by now
We should be on by now

Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la

Yes time

7. The Prettiest Star 3:30 (Bowie)

Cold fire, you've got everything but cold fire
You will be my rest and peace child
I moved up to take the place, near you

So tired, it's the sky that makes you feel tried
It's a trick to make you see wide
It can all but break your heart, in pieces

Staying back in your memory
Are the movies in the past
How you moved is all it takes
To sing a song of when I loved
The Prettiest Star

One day though it might as well be someday
You and I will rise up all the way
All because of what you are
The Prettiest Star

Staying back in your memory
Are the movies in the past
How you moved is all it takes
To sing a song of when I loved
Prettiest Star

One day though it might as well be someday
You and I will rise up all the way
All because of what you are
The Prettiest Star

8. Lets Spend the Night Together 3:08 (Jagger - Richards)

Well, don't you worry 'bout what's been on my mind
I'm in no hurry I can take my time
I'm going red and my tongue's getting tired
Out of my head and my mouth's getting dry
I'm hi-hi-hi-high

Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together now

I feel so strong that I can't disguise, oh my
Well, I just can't apologise, no
Don't hang me up but don't let me down
We could have fun just by fooling around, and around and around and a

Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together now

Oh
You know I'm smiling baby
You need some guide baby
I'm just deciding baby

Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together now

This doesn't happen to me every day
No excuses I've got anyway, heh
I'll satisfy your every need
And I'll know you'll satisfy me, oh my-my-my my-my

Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together
They said we were too young
Our kind of love was no fun
But our love comes from above
Do it!
Let's make love
Hoo

Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together, now 

9. The Jean Genie 4:06 (Bowie)

A small Jean Genie snuck off to the city
Strung out on lasers and slash back blazers
Ate all your razors while pulling the waiters
Talking bout Monroe and walking on Snow White
New York's a go-go and everything tastes right
Poor little Greenie

The Jean Genie lives on his back
The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
He's outrageous, he screams and he bawls
Jean Genie let yourself go!

Sits like a man but he smiles like a reptile
She loves him, she loves him but just for a short while
She'll scratch in the sand, won't let go his hand
He says he's a beautician and sells you nutrition
And keeps all your dead hair for making up underwear
Poor little Greenie

The Jean Genie lives on his back
The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
He's outrageous, he screams and he bawls
Jean Genie let yourself go!

He's so simple minded he can't drive his module
He bites on the neon and sleeps in the capsule
Loves to be loved, loves to be loved

The Jean Genie lives on his back
The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
He's outrageous, he screams and he bawls
Jean Genie let yourself go!

10. Lady Grinning Soul 3:54 (Bowie)

She'll come, she'll go. She'll lay belief on you
Skin sweet with musky odour
The lady from another grinning soul

Cologne she'll wear. Silver and Americard
She'll drive a beetle car
And beat you down at cool Canasta

And when the clothes are strewn don't be afraid of the room
Touch the fullness of her breast. Feel the love of her caress
She will be your living end

She'll come, she'll go. She'll lay belief on you
But she won't stake her life on you
How can life become her point of view

And when the clothes are strewn don't be afraid of the room
Touch the fullness of her breast. Feel the love of her caress

She will be your living end
She will be your living end
She will be your living end
She will be your living end
She will be your living end

LP gatefold foldout

Producers: David Bowie & Ken Scott for MainMan

Engineers: Ken Scott & Mick Moran

Arranged by: David Bowie & Mick Ronson

Personnel:

David Bowie: vocals, guitar, harmonica, saxophones
Mick Ronson: guitar, piano, vocals
Trevor Bolder: bass
Mick Woodmansey: drums
Mike Garson: piano
Ken Fordham: bux: saxophones, flutes
Juanita "Honey" Franklin / Linda Lewis / Mac Cormack: backing vocals
Studio: Trident Studios, London, UK.

Singles:

"Drive in Saturday" 7" single from ALADDIN SANE (1973) is released on 6 April 1973.

"Drive in Saturday/Round and Round" RCA 2352 UK. Highest chart position = #3
"Drive in Saturday/Life on Mars?" RCA 310936 Spain
"Time" 7" single from ALADDIN SANE (1973) is released in the US and Japan on 13 April 1973.

"Time/Prettiest Star"RCA 0007 US
"Time/Panic in Detroit" RCA 552299 Japan in picture sleeve

 1973 Aladdin Sane UK Tour Programme

---This page last modified: 28 Oct 2002---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)