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by James Johnson - New Musical Express (3 June 1972)
With most of his material either dealing with the flashier style of city living or looking far into the future, Bowie must rate as our most futuristic songwriter. Sometimes what he sees is just a little scary, and perhaps there's a bit more pessimism here than on previous releases, but they're still fine songs.
Like the first track, "Five Years," about the imminent death of a decaying world, is a real downer to start with, but Bowie brings a new approach to the rather overworked theme.
Certainly all the tracks, written by Bowie with the exception of Ron Davie's "It Ain't Easy," are never less than entertaining. "Soul Love" features some withdrawn sax from Mick Ronson [Ed: the sax was actually played by Bowie]. "Ziggy Stardust" deals with the destruction of a rock star, while "Hang Onto Yourself" is a real little sexual gem. Also included is Bowie's current single "Starman."
Mick Ronson (guitar), Trevor Bolder (bass) and Mick Woodmansey (drums) handle the backing all through.
Of course there's nothing Bowie would like more than to be a glittery super-star, and it could still come to pass. By now everybody ought to know he's tremendous and this latest chunk of fantasy can only enhance his reputation further.
---This page last modified: 13 Dec 2018---