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Lady Stardust

Side One: Five Years / Soul Love / Moonage Daydream / Starman / It Ain't Easy
Side Two: Lady Stardust / Star / Hang On To Yourself / Ziggy Stardust / Suffragette City / Rock n Roll Suicide

Albums: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars (1972) (edited version of demo issued as a bonus track on Rykodisc 1990 release).

Singles: None issued.

Time: 3:21


First song on the second side of THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972) and recorded at Trident Studios in November 1971. The original working title was "He Was Alright (The Band Was Altogether)" and/or "A Song for Marc" for the demo recorded in April 1971.

A special recording of "Lady Stardust" was broadcast on the Sounds of the Seventies (Broadcast: 19 June 1972). On 8 January 1997 for his 50th birthday, Bowie also broadcast a new semi-acoustic version of Lady Stardust for the BBC's ChangesNowBowie radio show featuring Gail Ann Dorsey on bass and vocals.

"This, I think, is a really lovely song.  It sounds really good even today.  I like this one - I think its a good bit of song-writing" - Bowie (1997)

It is believed that "Lady Stardust" was performed live only on the 19th and 20th August 1972 at the Rainbow Theatre shows.  At these concerts Bowie sang "Lady Stardust" as the shows opening number while projecting, amongst other images, a picture of Marc Bolan on a large screen, implying that the song was about him. However, some fans report remembering that it also opened some or all of the 1st-7th September 1972 UK concerts which immediately followed.

A bonus for Bowie fans in the 1990's was the edited release of the acoustic demo on the Ryko/EMI 1990 re-issue, which featured slightly different lyrics to the final version. Prior to the re-issue series, the existence of this demo was unknown and reportedly was not played to either The Spiders nor producer Ken Scott before the recording of the Ziggy Stardust album.  Instead Bowie would introduce each song to the band members on his acoustic guitar and the structure was then worked on in the studio from this basic blueprint. Of note is the interesting lyric change from the demo version's which mimics Christ's denial by Peter, his disciple.

"Oh! how I lied when they asked if I knew his name"
to the final version's
"Oh! how I sighed when they asked if I knew his name."

Recording notes

* @ 0:16 seconds into the piano introduction you can hear some extra channels being opened up before Bowie's vocals start i.e.: you suddenly hear more 'tape hiss'.

* A slightly longer version of the demo "Lady Stardust" exists which shows that the official release faded-in the introduction to cover a studio mistake. See ALBUM OUTTAKES for more detail.

* Amusingly, Bowie added the softly spoken words "Get some pussy now" right at the end of the song - although you have to listen very hard to hear it.


Lady Stardust (Bowie)

People stared at the makeup on his face
Laughed at his long black hair, his animal grace
The boy in the bright blue jeans
Jumped up on the stage
Lady Stardust sang his songs
Of darkness and disgrace

And he was alright, the band was altogether
Yes he was alright, the song went on forever
Yes he was awful nice
Really quite out of sight
And he sang all night long

Femme fatales emerged from shadows
To watch this creature fair
Boys stood upon their chairs
To make their point of view
I smiled sadly for a love I could not obey
Lady Stardust sang his songs
Of darkness and dismay

And he was alright, the band was altogether
Yes he was alright, his song went on forever
And he was awful nice
Really quite paradise
And he sang all night, all night long

Oh how I sighed when they asked if I knew his name

For he was alright, the band was altogether
Yes he was alright, and his song went on forever
He was awful nice
Really quite paradise
He sang all night long


---This page last modified: 11 Dec 2018---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)