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30th Anniversary (2002)


The EMI Ziggy Stardust 30th anniversary edition was released on the 8th July 2002 in the UK and the 16th July 2002 in the US.  Featured here is the official press release, the promotional 2CD, the sleeve notes, track listing, timeline details, Yahoo UK promotion and some reviews.

A history of post-1980 Ziggy Stardust album releases:

  • 1984 - RCA CDs (sourced from analog tapes previously EQ’d as cassette manufacturing mastersThese Cassette masters (Umatic Digital Cassette Masters) were transferred from tape to digital and then to CD).
  • 1990 – Rykodisc/EMI remaster by Dr. Toby Mountain (with 5 bonus tracks)
  • 1994 – Rykodisc 24k gold (Au20) remaster by Dr. Toby Mountain (with 5 bonus tracks - Ltd Edition)
  • 1996 - EMI Japan using the 1990 remaster (with 5 bonus tracks)
  • 1999 – EMI/Virgin remaster by Peter Mew with Nigel Reeve (no bonus tracks)
  • 2002 – THIS EDITION - EMI 30th Anniversary remaster by Peter Mew with Nigel Reeve (Previously released bonus tracks + remix of "Moonage Daydream" and Take 4 of "Sweet Head")
  • With this edition, a number of early problems were noted (strangely not seen in the 30th Promotional CD): including left and right channels having been swapped, some tracks having diminished sound, some tracks missing their lead in and some fading out prematurely. Positively, EMI replaced the faulty releases with revised and restored editions.


Press release

30th Anniversary 2CD Edition of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust....(2002)

Release Date:
July 8th (UK) July 16th (US) 2002
Catalogue No: 5219002

One of rock’s seminal albums and polled as one of the Greatest Albums Of All Time in Rolling Stone, NME, Melody Maker and on VH-1, David Bowie’s ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars’, celebrates its 30th Anniversary on June 6th 2002 . To mark the occasion, on July 8th, EMI re-release the album with an additional 12 track disc.

This deluxe 2CD collectors’ package will be presented in book format with a 36-page booklet, including new sleeve notes by David Buckley (author of Strange Fascination and The Complete Guide To The Music Of David Bowie), a time-line, briefly tracing the recording history of the album by Kevin Cann and previously unseen photographs by Mick Rock. The original album will feature on CD1, whilst CD2 comprises of 12 tracks associated with the Ziggy album including a previously unreleased mix of ‘Moonage Daydream’ which originally featured in the Dunlop tyre TV and cinema advertisement campaign in 1998 and some previously unheard dialogue which can be heard before the intro. to ‘Sweet Head’. The album was highly acclaimed when it was originally released in 1972, giving Bowie a Top 10 album, keeping it in the album charts for a staggering 106 weeks – just over 2 years! A must for Bowie fans world-wide.

David Bowie is also marking the 30th anniversary with his first book, Moonage Daydream – The Life And Times Of Ziggy Stardust, a 340-page limited edition history of Ziggy, featuring a 15,000-word text by Bowie and 600+ photographs by Mick Rock, published July. Each of the 2,500 numbered copies is signed by David Bowie and Mick Rock, and quarter-bound in blue leather.

1. Five Years
2. Soul Love
3. Moonage Daydream
4. Starman
5. It Ain't Easy
6. Lady Stardust
7. Star
8. Hang On To Yourself
9. Ziggy Stardust
10. Suffragette City
11. Rock 'N' Roll Suicide
1. Moonage Daydream (Arnold Corns version)
2. Hang On To Yourself (Arnold Corns version)
3. Lady Stardust (Demo)
4. Ziggy Stardust (Demo)
5. John, I'm Only Dancing
6. Velvet Goldmine
7. Holy Holy
8. Port Of Amsterdam
9. The Supermen
10. Round And Round
11. Sweet Head (Outtake - Take 5)
12. Moonage Daydream (New Mix)


Yahoo UK Promotion

"Ziggy Stardust gets a makeover in the shape of this fantastic 2CD limited edition set. We urge Bowie fans to bag this one early as it's only available until the end of October! This deluxe 2CD package will be presented in book format with a 36 page booklet, including new sleeve notes, and previously unreleased photos by Mick Rock. The original album will feature as CD1, whilst CD2 comprises of 12 tracks associated with the Ziggy album. It also includes a previously unreleased mix of Moonage Daydream, and some previously unheard dialogue which can be heard before the introduction to 'Sweet Head'. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" - Yahoo UK

Promotional  2CD

David Bowie The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (EMI)
BBC Reviewer: Chris Jones

It sounds like a cliché, but to an entire generation this album has become a yardstick by which to measure all others. Why the hyperbole? Because the strength of Ziggy lies in its completeness. Not a track is out of place, in fact not a NOTE is out of place, and at just over 38 minutes it is (and this has been scientifically proven, boys and girls) the perfect length. Every R&B and Hip Hop artist in the universe take note. So, does it still stand up after 30 years? Is it a major strand in rock's rich tapestry, with its gender bending bravado and melodramatic sweep; or just an ephemeral piece of fluff about a bisexual pop star living through the apocalyptic countdown?

With its so-called classic status written in stone, a perverse logic makes you want to reassess the album in a negative light. It can't be as good as all that can it? But remember, there's a reason why all those bands have dined out on this sonic template (step forward Suede, Supergrass and countless others). Within two short years Bowie had transformed himself from fey folk wannabe into a glam icon, via a brief flirtation with heavy metal. In doing this, lest we forget, he forged the template for the truly modern pop star that has yet to be broken. How this was achieved had a lot to do with two factors.

One was his adoption of three lads from Hull as his backing band, renaming them the Spiders From Mars and thus making the wild Les Paul stylings of guitarist Mick Ronson an essential element of his sound. The second was young Davids choice of producer. Most people associate Tony Visconti (the man who gave Bolan his glam sheen and who had played on and produced the aforementioned metal album The Man Who Sold The World) with this period. It was, in fact, with his previous album Hunky Dory that DB found the perfect studio partner for this phase in his mercurial career. The pairing of Bowie with Ken Scott at Trident Studios allowed him to finally nail a simple format of guitar, bass, drums and piano into the place where the New York nihilism of the Velvet Underground met a quintessentially English way with a tune and a vocal. Ziggy represents the peak of their achievement.

Having perfected the format Bowie took his greatest leap forward by taking a cycle of songs and moulding it into a loose story of the nominal Ziggy and his Christ-like rise and fall at the hands of adoring fans. It allowed Bowie to take the central role onstage, hiding behind a mask of glamorous decadence that some would say he's yet to renounce. The songs weren't bad either. The part sci fi, part demi-monde narrative unfolds via the sophisticated use of shifting perspectives, beginning with "Five Years" and its tale of despairing humanity at the brink of destruction. Ziggy is observed through the eyes of one besotted fan who, following the star's death, takes their own life in the thrilling climax of "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide". From piano-led sumptuousness ("Lady Stardust") to plain old dirty riffage ("Suffragette City") Dave was on a creative roll that would catapult him to the heights of success but ultimately lead him to destroy the Frankenstein's monster that had him and his audience confusing fantasy and reality.

So here it is, with the obligatory second disc featuring early versions by fake band Arnold Corns, demos, outtakes that most bands would kill to have as prime material (including "Velvet Goldmine": yes, the film was named after it), b-sides and one of Bowies greatest singles, "John I'm Only Dancing". It's a worthy treatment of such an aural treasure and one can only hope that generations to come will come to love it as much as their peers. Ultimately, what Ziggy really represents is an artist who was in the right place, with the right people and the right songs at the right time. The future held plenty more surprises; but for millions this will always be the place where the world's most famous Martian truly fell to earth.

Bowie's 'Ziggy' celebrates anniversary

If anyone qualifies as rock royalty these days, it's David Bowie. So it's only fitting that EMI gives Bowie's glam-rock breakthrough album Ziggy Stardust the royal treatment in this 30th anniversary reissue.

Besides the superbly remastered version of the album -- which contains a cornucopia of classics including Five Years, Starman, It Ain't Easy, Hang on to Yourself, Suffragette City, Moonage Daydream and, of course, the title track -- you get 40 pages of liner notes and photos, all bound in a mini-hardcover book any Bowie-phile will find irresistible. Less essential, however, is a second CD of demos, old singles and leftovers that didn't make the original LP. It's not that these cuts are inferior; Velvet Goldmine, Holy Holy, Amsterdam and The Supermen are classic Bowie cuts. But most, if not all of them, have already trickled out on various compilations over the years, devaluing them from a collector's point of view. Still, it's hard to complain about this set, which easily qualifies as the ultimate version of a bona fide rock classic.

SLEEVE NOTES - David Buckley

Stardust Memories

Thinking The Unthinkable

‘All modern thought is permeated by the idea of thinking the unthinkable’ (Michel Foucault)

Some new music sounds very old indeed. Some of the music recorded twenty, thirty, even forty years ago, still sounds futuristic. Some pop stars are never content to pastiche the past; their desire is to think the unthinkable, their mission to articulate those thoughts and fantasies that remain buried or confused. This is what set David Bowie apart in the 1970’s, and it’s this sense of endless seeking which makes the albums from the era, whether it be the still weirdifying megalomania of Diamond Dogs, or the still uniquely troubled Low, the defining records of their age. Thirty years on from the first release of David Bowie’s fifth album, it’s what makes Ziggy Stardust a defining moment in the lives of so many.

With Ziggy Stardust, Bowie wished himself into a future of superstardom. Ziggy is an album written by an aspirant rock star in the guise of a hugely successful one. This nifty deceit has led to it being dubbed the first post-modern pop record. Its songs obtusely referenced aspects of rock history, whilst at the same time tell a story of a future world of extraterrestrial intervention and space-age androgyny. The real and the imaginary would eventually combine to overwhelm Bowie, his real-life near rock ‘n’ roll suicide between 1974 and 1976, when drug addiction almost took him away from us; a chilling self-fulfilling prophecy only narrowly cheated.

The unsettling relationship between authenticity and artifice has always been one of the central themes within David Bowie’s music. For Ziggy, Bowie drew on his experience of meeting one of his heroes, Lou Reed, backstage at a concert in 1970. He chatted away with Lou for half an hour, later recounting the meeting to a friend, who pointed out that he had, in fact, been discussing the merits and demerits of ‘Waiting For The Man’ with Doug Yule, Lou Reed’s replacement in the Velvet Underground and a dead ringer for the original. Initially agog, Bowie went on to ponder the significance of the deceit: ‘It was at that point that I realised at the time it didn’t matter to me whether this was the real one, or the fake one’. This realisation that the fake, the contrived, the artificial could be more ‘true’ than the original, or the authentic, powered the Ziggy myth. So, Bowie/Ziggy/Aladdin Sane/the Thin White Duke would sell us dreams of pop deception where we never quite knew whether Bowie was for real or nothing more than a deliberate pop forgery, designed to disquiet and stun us. After years of rock stars in denims singing about their ‘real’, and ‘heartfelt’ passions, Bowie’s stance in 1972 was wonderfully liberating.

The second source of inspiration for Ziggy was Vince Taylor, the ‘French Presley’. Taylor, whom Bowie briefly befriended, was the archetypal example of rock star turned nutty, and the blueprint for Bowie’s own ‘leper messiah’. ‘He was an expatriate American who went to France and became a kind of Elvis. He was huge’, recalled Bowie in 2000. ‘And one night he decided - he’d done a lot of drugs! - to sack his band. He went on stage in white robes and said, "I am Jesus Christ and I bring you the Lord’s message!"’ In so doing, Taylor effectively committed rock’n’roll suicide, and the incident lodged in Bowie’s imagination, powering his own writing of the archetypal doomed rock star whose superstardom grew too big for a mere mortal to handle.

Ziggy Stardust works so well because it’s a concept album with the ‘concept’ taken out. ‘We certainly didn’t go into it thinking that the entire album would be a concept album’, says Ziggy’s producer, Ken Scott. ‘It was a bunch of songs that worked together. Now yes, there is a story for a few of the tracks that hook them together, but, that’s it, a few of the tracks.’ ‘I think the best thing I did was to leave him so open-ended’, Bowie rightly pointed out. ‘It wasn’t a specific story. There were specific incidences within the story, but it wasn’t as roundly written as a usual narrative is. The only trouble about copying someone who is really well known is that you know all the facts about them, so you can’t actually be that person. But, because Ziggy was kind of an empty vessel, you could put a lot of yourself into being your own version of him.’

Ziggy Stardust allowed us all to live the dream of rock celebrity. For some, the record has been the soundtrack to our lives over these thirty years. For a small number, the songs of searching fired a passion to become rock stars themselves. ‘So inviting, so enticing, to play the part’ sang Bowie in 1972, and, from that ground zero a new pop edifice has been built stage by stage. Without Ziggy Stardust and Bowie’s early ‘70’s albums there would probably have been no punk (where would the hairstyles have come from?), no New Romanticism, no Britpop, and no Marilyn Manson. In fact, so much of pop music would have been unthinkable, unimaginable, without this record. ‘So much of Ziggy Stardust is about the fantasy of being in a rock band’, says Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet. ‘That was the place I wanted to be, that was the planet, that was the other place’.

Bowie once said that the 21st Century started in 1972. For many, it started in July of that year on BBC television one Thursday night.

‘Hey, That’s Far Out!
So You heard Him Too?’

Let’s take the music second. What really sent a shudder down the spine of many a pre-teenager, and fairly horrified most of the parental population, was the way David Bowie looked in 1972. An army of pre-teenies did a cartoon double take when they saw the former David Robert Jones on the telly that year. The music may have been sing-along, but the imagery was awe-inspiring, disturbing, almost. It wasn’t just the make-up, the red hair, the costuming, it was that face, the smile, the teeth. Bowie’s was an alien physiognomy, not literally so (though some impressionable types would later claim that his ancestry was not of the Brixton variety), but alien to the culture of mainstream celebrity to which pop fans were accustomed.

The appearance of Bowie on BBC’s Top Of The Pop’s in the summer of 1972 was a defining moment in pop culture. When he drooped an arm round Mick Ronson, or pointed to the camera and wiggled his forefinger (‘I had to phone someone / so I picked on you-hoo-hoo’), it was like a calling into a pop cult.

Ian McCulloch, the stately tunesmith from Echo and the Bunnymen, recalls how it was for him.

‘As soon as I heard "Starman" and saw him on Top Of The Pops I was hooked. I seem to remember me being the first to say it, and then there was a host of other people saying how the Top Of The Pops performance changed their lives. In 1972, I’d get girls on the bus saying to me, "eh la, have you got lippy on?", or "are you a boy or a girl?" Until he turned up it was a nightmare. All my other mates at school would say, ‘Did you see that bloke on Top Of The Pops?’ He’s a right faggot, him!’ And I remember thinking, ‘You pillocks’, as they’d all be buying their Elton John albums, and Yessongs and all that crap. It made me feel cooler.’

Gary Kemp, songwriter for Spandau Ballet, remembers:

‘I watched it at a friend’s council flat. My reality was so far removed from this guy’s place, that my journey from that moment on was to get there, and I think the same applies to most of my generation.’

Bowie’s first TV appearance dressed as Ziggy had in fact been back in January [Ed: February 8] 1972, live on The Old Grey Whistle Test. ‘Starman’, the big single, had actually been previewed not on Top Of The Pops, but on a rival network’s pop show, as Marc Riley formerly of The Fall, and now the BBC Radio 1 broadcaster Lard, remembers only too well:

"I first saw Bowie performing ‘Starman’ on a kids’ TV programme called Lift Off, presented by Ayshea Brough and an owl puppet called Ollie Beak. June 15th 1972 I believe. I’ll never forget the moment my friendly little mate Ollie left the screen and on came this… thing with his weird mates. I was absolutely gob-smacked. My gran was shouting insults at the TV (which she usually saved for Labour Party Political Broadcasts), and I just sat there agog. I was experiencing a life-changing moment. I know it sounds ridiculous - but it really did knock me for six. It was three weeks later when he popped up again on Top Of The Pops…and for the second time in my life I was transfixed by a bloke in a quilted jump-suit and red leather boxers boots! There’s no doubt that Bowie’s appearance on Top Of The Pops was a pivotal moment in British musical history. Like the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester in ’76 - his performance lit the touchpaper for thousands of kids who up till then had struggled to find a catalyst for their lives.’

‘Don’t Tell Your Poppa
Or He’ll Get Us Locked Up In Fright’

Whilst it would be an overstatement to say that post-July 1972, the streets of England were populated by men in make-up, there was still no mistaking Bowie’s influence. ‘Bowie made people so much sexier’, said his friend, the mime artist Lindsay Kemp, in 1974. ‘I mean, men in make-up, aren’t they much sexier? It’s a pity he’s made women look like male impersonators, but he has brought glamour to the streets’. ‘I remember having my hair cut like Bowie’s and having this absolute obsession with wanting to be this man’, remembers Gary Kemp. ‘Unlike nowadays when all our pop stars look like us anyway which is terribly depressing!’ ‘Prior to him, blokes just looked like blokes. If you didn’t have cheekbones, and the look, and a longish neck, you weren’t in the in-crowd’, is Ian McCulloch’s take on the Bowie style revolution. Bowie didn’t just bring glamour, though heaven knows it was needed in an era of denims, lank hair and authentic rock sounds. He also brought a new way of looking at the world. ‘With people like me, it helped forge an identity and a perspective on things helped us to walk in a different way, metaphorically, and to see things differently’, says McCulloch. ‘And that’s the major influence it had - as an inspiration in itself - to find yourself, not to clone yourself.’

Being a Bowie fan was a dangerous business, though. Straight, bi or gay, all were subjected to the rough treatment by deeply unimpressed homophobes: ‘One of my least fond memories of the time is of being slapped on a regular basis by Big Sean’, says Marc Riley. ‘He was a local Slade fan who took umbrage at my allegiance to a "puff."’ We can all now imagine how David Bowie himself must have felt when, dressed in full Ziggy regalia, he took his seat, in the front row of an Elvis Presley Madison Square Garden gig:

‘I walked in on the Saturday evening in full Ziggy garb into Madison Square Gardens to see Elvis. They nearly crucified me! I felt such a fool and I was way down at the front. I got incredible seats and I sat down there and he looked at me. And if looks could kill!! I just felt - Elvis is roasting me! I just hobbled down in my high-heeled shoes as fast as I could and got to my seat … but, we nearly stopped the show.’

It wasn’t just Elvis who was offended by Ziggy and his clones. By and large, parents were aghast. ‘I don’t think my mum and dad were best pleased that I’d chosen a spiky-haired bisexual in a pink jockstrap to be my role model’, is how Marc Riley puts it.

‘I can see why. I remember when the Aladdin Sane tour came to Manchester in June ’73, my sister - who’d taken the Bowie oath some months after me - had sneaked out and bought herself a ticket for the Manchester Free Trade Hall show. I was heart-broken. No way would my mum let me go on my own, because obviously, if I were to have caught Bowie’s eye (on the back row in the cheapest seats no doubt) he would’ve immediately dropped his 12-string, scaled the balcony and seduced me there and then. Even in ‘75 my mum obviously still had her worries. One day I returned to my bedroom only to find my treasured ‘handcuffed’ Bowie poster somewhat smaller than when I had left it. The bottom couple of inches (which coincidentally included DB’s pubic region) had been butchered with a pair of blunt scissors. Oh how I laughed…not.’

The One-Take Merchant

The astonishing thing about this album is that many of the basic tracks are played live, and a majority of Bowie’s vocals are first takes. This was the aspect of Bowie that most impressed his producer, Ken Scott. ‘They are single takes’, confirms Scott. ‘There are very few artists I have worked with whom could do lead vocals first take almost every time. He was the one. These days, especially with pro tools, you can sing one line incorrectly and they’ll put it in tune. With David it was always there; it was amazing.’

Ken Scott had worked with the Beatles as far back as the mid-1960’s, and, of course had already managed to tease one classic album out of Bowie in Hunky Dory. Indeed, 1971 was to be a fecund year for the twenty-four-year-old singer-songwriter, one in which he recorded both Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust, with only an interval of weeks rather than months between the two. One of the tracks that would later end up on Ziggy, the Ron Davies song, ‘It Ain’t Easy’, was in fact a left-over from the Hunky Dory sessions. The bulk of Ziggy was recorded in just a two-week period in November 1971.

For the Ziggy sessions, Bowie, still longhaired, and hitless for over two years, already had demos for ‘Lady Stardust’ and ‘Ziggy Stardust’ (both versions included here on the bonus CD), when he set to work on his fifth album at Trident Studio with his band, the Spiders From Mars. Trevor Bolder and Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey provided the rhythm section, whilst Mick ‘Ronno’ Ronson worked closely with David as he explains:

‘The arrangements were by Mick and I, or me alone. Mick wrote stunning string arrangements. A perfect foil and collaborator, Mick's raw, passionate Beck style guitar was perfect for Ziggy and the Spiders. It had such integrity. You believed every note had been wrenched from his soul.

Another of Mick's singular abilities, which I've encountered in only a few players since, was the facility to take a hooky line that I might whistle to him or play badly on my guitar, and he would make it sing, often reinforcing it with a second line overdub.

We worked together so well because of this talent of his, as an interpreter, adding the Beckisms to simple lines like this. I would also literally draw out on paper with a crayon or felt tip pen the shape of a solo, the one in 'Moonage Daydream' for instance started as a flat line that became a fat megaphone type shape and ended as sprays of disassociated and broken lines. I'd read somewhere that Frank Zappa used a series of drawn symbols to explain to his musicians how he wanted the shape of a composition to sound. Mick could take something like that and actually bloody play it, bring it to life. Very impressive.’

Bowie himself smiled his way through the sessions. Just listen to the banter at the start of the song ‘Sweet Head’ included on the Ziggy disc two, and you’ll see Mr Bowie as relaxed as can be. ‘We’d start around 2 pm, eat when we felt like it when we felt there was a natural break, and went through until round about midnight, not much later’, says Ken Scott. ‘We’d drink tea; Ronno would probably have a couple of beers, that’s all.’ As David Bowie’s George Martin figure Ken Scott’s role was to make the collective work. The sound of Hunky Dory, that whimsical and disturbing masterpiece, was modified on Ziggy in accordance with Bowie’s latest pop obsessions.

‘David said he wanted a more rock ’n’ roll album. He wanted it to sound more like Iggy Pop. The Iggy and Lou influence has definitely been overplayed. The influence it had on David getting into that album was crucial. It was important in forming the way he wanted the album. But for anyone else connected with the album, and this goes for the listening public as well, I don’t think it came out sounding anything like Iggy.’

However, David recently stated that he believes that he was referring to the Velvet Underground rather than Iggy Pop at the time.

As David himself has noted, another big musical influence for Ziggy, and in particular the track ‘Moonage Daydream’, was the Hollywood Argyles 'b'-side, 'Sure Know A Lot About Love'.

While The Velvets/Iggy influence may well have been overplayed, the input of the late Mick Ronson is ineluctable. ‘Ronno just seemed to know what was needed from the orchestra’, says Ken Scott. ‘For David, he always came up with unique and perfect orchestrations. There was that feeling of simpatico between David and Ronno. Ronno scored every time!’

One of the big musical shifts between Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust was that made by the drum sound. ‘In the period between Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust, Woody and I were talking, and he said how he wasn’t particularly enamoured of the drum sound on Hunky Dory. He said it sounded like a bunch of cornflake boxes as far as he was concerned and he didn’t want that sound again. So, on the first day of recording, I had the tea boy at the time and go out and buy as many different sized boxes of cornflakes he could get and myself and the roadie set up a full drum kit, with no drums, and just different-shaped cornflake packages waiting for Woody’s arrival so he’d feel nice and at home. He fell about laughing!’

The Ziggy sound - the hard Bechstein piano at Trident, the electric guitar playing in tandem with the acoustic, the shrill, nasal backing vocals - was perfect for the material, and was perfectly done, as Ian McCulloch says:

‘The two best-produced records I’ve ever heard are probably Hunky Dory and Ziggy. The production made great songs into timeless classics. They took me into a totally different world that was beyond just listening to music. There were atmospheres pretty much on every song. Regardless of Ziggy Stardust, it just seemed other-worldly in terms of the way he sang. The tunes seemed to be coming in from another place, certainly different to any place I’d ever been.

It’s one of the greatest albums of all time. It was a complete thing, it was groundbreaking, it was magical. Although some of it has dated, you put it on in the dark and it’s what it’s all about, you know? It lets you enter a world in which you can be someone else in. I think, more than anything, it made us all feel that we could be Ziggy Stardust. Growing up in Norris Green in Liverpool, that was important! He changed my life.’

For Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, Ziggy’s futurism was the key to its seismic effect:

‘These were great existential stories, very much set in the future somewhere. We all wanted to live in the future. In 1969 I watched a man step onto the moon, and I thought my future was going to be in space. And then here comes Ziggy, and he’s playing me the soundtrack to that.’

And Ziggy’s influence is as keenly felt today as it was in the more Bowie-saturated early 1980’s. As a pre-teen, Dougie Payne from Travis was turned on to Bowie by his sisters’ cool record collection, and Ziggy Stardust has provided part of the soundtrack to his life:

‘Having first heard it when I was seven or so, it’s stayed with me, so I’ve had like a twenty-year relationship with the record that hasn’t faded at all. As a wee boy you think about big guitars and space men, and then as you start listening to it and as you grow up, the songs are sort of unimpeachable, just fantastic pieces of music. From the outset, the drum intro to ‘Five Years’, it just completely drags you in. It’s a great sounding record - the sound of a band playing brilliantly. His singing is operatic in places, this kind of octave-scaling stuff which is just outrageous. The song that sticks with me is ‘Lady Stardust’. I think it’s one of his lost little gems: the melody is beautiful, the piano is beautiful. Apparently it’s about Marc Bolan, which is really kind of sweet - evidence of the glam fraternity being really self-referential.

The record has something for anyone of any age. It’s spacemen and glitter for wee boys, then, on ‘Five Years’, you’ve got this kind of angst which is perfect when you’re walking around in a big long coat in the rain with your fringe in your eyes and feeling really adolescent! It’s evocative of something, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is. The lyrical twists in it are so obtuse. That song for me, coming from Glasgow, has got London all over it. It encapsulated my idea of what it would have been like walking round Leicester Square, or something.’

Ken Scott’s choice as musical highlight of the album is track three, ‘Moonage Daydream’, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s simply stunning. The end-of-song solo by Mick Ronson, which dissolves into spacey, phased high strings, makes it, even more so than ‘Space Oddity’, the definitive space-rock Bowie anthem. ‘It would be on my list for Desert Island Discs’, enthuses Scott. ‘Ronno played exactly what was needed, his string arrangement is superb, David’s vocals too, everything came together and it works perfectly.’ ‘Star’, and, most importantly, ‘Hang On To Yourself’ were precursors of punk rock. ‘Starman’, recorded after the main session had been completed because RCA ‘didn’t hear a single’, is such a crafty steal from ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ that it was bound to be huge. The title track’s closing salvo, ‘Ziggy played guitar’ is so famous now that its three words could be Bowie’s tombstone epitaph. ‘Suffragette City’ became a Bowie classic: its powerhouse of a riff, booming ARP synthesiser, and ‘Wham Bam Thank You Ma’m!’ are still ludicrously thrilling. ‘Soul Love’ and ‘Lady Stardust’ are beautiful little songs and surely two of Bowie’s most underrated. But it’s the astonishing opener and the killer of a closing number that take you into Bowie’s parallel universe. The scene of anarchy on the streets melded with a simple love story that is ‘Five Years’ is surely one of Bowie’s greatest moments. Everything from the heartbeat drum figure which opens the song to the hysteria of the ending works perfectly. And ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’ is an impassioned performance, as Ken Scott remembers:

‘The vocal done in two parts, each part was done take. He was going to be singing the first part of the song very quietly. Then he was going to belt it. We set it up so that he would only sing up to a certain point, he would stop, I’d make some adjustments so that I wouldn’t suddenly get blasted and then we’d carry on again.’

Bowie, the one-take merchant, was not merely some ‘information service with red hair’ as Bowie would later refer to his earlier incarnation. He was a technically-gifted singer and exceptional songwriter. And Bowie’s musicality is supreme on Ziggy.

Make Me Baby

Bowie made Ziggy, and Ziggy was to make David Bowie. In 1972, Bowie was possessed with a touch so deft, that even the less-than-promising building blocks for the album’s artwork could be turned into a work of genius, with photographer Brian Ward and sleeve designer Terry Pastor’s help, of course. Marc Riley:

‘Mark Radcliffe (fellow Radio 1 presenter and Bowie-nut) and I were talking about this the other day. It’s such a brilliant cover, but by rights it shouldn’t be, should it? The concept? DB: "OK I’ll stand in a quilted jump-suit with a guitar - outside a nondescript non-relevant building surrounded by cardboard boxes... from a distance… in black and white so we can tint it later… and on the back - a photo of me in a phone box! Bish bosh". It shouldn’t have worked really, but it did!’

Arguably better Bowie albums were to follow, but, whether we like it or not, it’ll be this record more than any other which will be associated with him. In pop, you’re always best remembered for your initial breakthrough. Bowie’s career trajectory through soul, electronica and avant-garde pop is perhaps, in part, an attempt to free himself from this stereotyping circa 1972.

‘I’m amazed that thirty years after the event that we’re still bloody talking about it’, says Ken Scott:

‘It was never meant that way when we originally did it. Back then we thought that an album would have a six-month life. We had no idea that thirty years down the line we’d still be talking about it and people would still be interested. Rock ‘n’ roll wasn’t even that old at that point, how were we to know?

For good or ill, Ziggy Stardust and its creator, David Bowie, have been responsible for more careers in pop music than one could imagine. ‘I haven’t enough years left ahead of me to give a comprehensive list of bands and artists inspired and influenced directly by Bowie’, says Radio 1’s Lard. ‘It’s easier to name those who haven’t! So here goes: Lighthouse Family… Puddle Of Mudd… Dire Straits… Bob Marley and the Wailers… and The Rutles. There - I think that just about covers it!’

This Version In Your Hands Right Now!

The version you have in your hands is the best quality Ziggy Stardust you are ever likely to hear. It’s never felt better about being digitalised, miniaturised, burnt and turned into a bit of plastic and metal in its life. At the age of thirty it has plenty of dependents (punk, post-punk, New Romanticism, Britpop, the riff rock of the noughties) and would appreciate another outing in a CD player near you.

The new Ziggy comes with a second CD. So, marvel at the glam-rock wonders of ‘Velvet Goldmine’, Alan Moulder and Alan Wright’s fantastic 1998 re-mix of ‘Moonage Daydream’ previously heard in a TV commercial for Dunlop tyres , and various space oddities and soddities from Bowie’s warehouse of material.

And remember: this CD is ‘TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME’


Press Release Track by Track Annotation (ZSC notes inserted in blue)

Moonage Daydream (Arnold Corns version)
Hang On To Yourself (Arnold Corns version)

Recorded in early 1971 these tracks were released on a single under the name Arnold Corns after the success of the Ziggy album for which they were re-recorded.

This early version of Moonage Daydream was originally recorded by the Arnold Corns project (the early May single release - B&C CB 149 - has different lyrics and arrangement - see Moonage Daydream - Arnold Corns version) and then re-recorded for THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972).

An early demo version of Hang On To Yourself was recorded in February 1971 in the US - some say with Gene Vincent (but Bowie denies this) and has appeared on recent bootlegs. A couple of months later this song was recorded again with the Arnold Corns project (both of these featured different lyrics and arrangement to the final version on the Ziggy Stardust album- see Hang Onto Yourself - Arnold Corns version).

Lady Stardust (Demo)
Ziggy Stardust (Demo)

These tracks were probably recorded at Luxembourg Studios in early to mid 1971 and previously appeared for the first time as extra tracks on the EMI/Ryko release of Ziggy in 1990.

The original working title for "Lady Stardust" was "He Was Alright (The Band Was Altogether)". A bonus for Bowie fans in 1990 was the release of the acoustic demo "Lady Stardust" on the Rykodisc re-issue, which featured slightly different lyrics to the final version; namely "...ooh how I lied when they asked if I knew his name..." rather than "sighed". Prior to the re-issue, the existence of this demo was unknown. A fractionally longer version of "Lady Stardust" can also be found on some bootlegs which show that the official release of the demo faded-in the introduction to cover a studio mistake.

Another bonus of the Rykodisc 1990 reissue was the release of the acoustic demo of Ziggy Stardust featuring Bowie on vocals, piano and guitar. Prior to the re-issue series, the existence of this demo was unknown.

John, I'm Only Dancing

This original version was initially released as a single after the release of the album but was recorded during the Ziggy sessions.

Mistake?  Reportedly John, I'm Only Dancing was recorded at Olympic Studios on June 26th 1972 and released as the follow-up single to Starman in September 1972, two months after the Ziggy album was released. RCA considered it too daring for the US market and it remained unreleased there until the ChangesOneBowie (1976) album. 

There are a number of versions.  In chronological order, they are as follows:

  1. The original single - "John, I'm Only Dancing/Hang Onto Yourself" (RCA 2263 - 1 September 1972) recorded in June 1972.
  2. A live version from the US Ziggy Stardust concert at the Boston Music Hall on the 1st October 1972 which can found on the CD video SOUND + VISION PLUS (1989).
  3. The "sax mix" version - "John, I'm Only Dancing/Hang Onto Yourself" (RCA 2263 - 14 April 1973) recorded in January 1973 at Trident Studios for possible inclusion on the Aladdin Sane (1973) album (but not used) and generally regarded as the best version of this song. While this version has the exact same catalogue number as #1 above, it is a totally different song - featuring tighter guitar and the inclusion of saxophone by Ken Fordham.  It was later mistakenly included in the first 1,000 copies of the LP ChangesOneBowie (1976) before the original single replaced it as intended.
  4. A studio disco version called "John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)" was recorded during the YOUNG AMERICANS (1975) sessions.
  5. A 1979 remix of the original 1 September 1972 single was made which is four seconds longer and in which the echo on Bowie's vocal was reduced resulting in it being placed higher in the mix. It was released by RCA as the A-side on "John, I'm Only Dancing/John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)" (RCA BOW 4 - December 1979) and included as a bonus track on the 1990 Rykodisc CD re-issue.

Velvet Goldmine

Initially released as a B-side to a 1975 reissue of Space Oddity but recorded during the Ziggy sessions.

The original working title for "Velvet Goldmine" was "He's a Goldmine" and was scheduled to be on Side Two of the Ziggy Stardust album. However, in an early 1972 radio interview, Bowie indicated that while the song was a "lovely thing" and very "David Bowie", it was dropped from the Ziggy album because "the lyrics were a little bit too provocative." "Velvet Goldmine" was eventually released, without Bowie's permission, as a single by RCA in 1975 on "Space Oddity/Changes/Velvet Goldmine" RCA 2593 UK (September 1975) and re-released as an approved bonus track on the 1990 Ryko re-issue of the Ziggy Stardust album.

Holy Holy

Initially released as a B-side to Diamond Dogs but recorded during the Ziggy sessions.

This song was first released as the A-side on "Holy Holy/Black Country Rock" (Mercury 6052049 - 17 January 1971) and re-recorded (in a superior version) during the November 1971 Ziggy sessions by Bowie and The Spiders for inclusion on Side Two of THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972). However, it was eventually dropped from the Ziggy Stardust album and released as the B-side of "Diamond Dogs/Holy Holy" (RCA APBO 0293 UK) in June 1974. The Bowie and Spiders version of "Holy Holy" was first included as a bonus track on the 1990 Rykodisc/EMI THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (1970) CD where, confusingly, it is mislabeled as the original 17th January 1971 version!


Initially released as a B-side to Sorrow but recorded during the Ziggy sessions.

Also known as Port of Amsterdam a Bowie studio version of this Jacques Brel/M Schuman song (Bowie also covered Brel's "My Death") was recorded during the Trident sessions in November 1971 for inclusion on Side One of THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972). However, while eventually forming a regular part of Bowie's live Ziggy Stardust set, it was dropped from the album line-up and released two years later as the B-side of "Sorrow/Port of Amsterdam." (RCA 2424 - 28 September 1973). It was included as a bonus track on the Rykodisc PINUPS (1973) CD.

The Supermen

This version was initially released on the very rare Glastonbury Fayre album but recorded during the Ziggy sessions.

Song from THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (1970). A superior alternate version was re-recorded at the Ziggy Stardust Trident Studios as Bowie's contribution to REVELATIONS - A MUSICAL ANTHOLOGY FOR GLASTONBURY FAYRE (1971) and is included as a bonus track on the Rykodisc HUNKY DORY (1971) CD. A live version of this song from the Ziggy Stardust concert at the Boston Music Hall on the 1st October 1972 is also included on the CD video SOUND + VISION PLUS (1989).

Round And Round

Initially released as a B-side to Drive-In Saturday but recorded during the Ziggy sessions.

This Chuck Berry song was recorded by Bowie and the Spiders in November 1971 for inclusion on Side One of THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972) but dropped from the final line-up. In an early 1972 radio interview, Bowie says that while "Round and Round" would have conceptually been the perfect kind of number that "Ziggy" would have performed on stage, the song was only a studio jam and eventually (remaining in contention until March 1972) it was replaced with the more appropriate "Starman." "Round and Round" was released as the B-side on "Drive-In Saturday/Round and Round" (RCA 2352 - 6 April 1973) and can also be found on the Rykodisc SOUND + VISION I (1989). and the Rykodisc "Sound + Vision: The CD Press Release" (RCD PRO 0120/21/22 1989)

Sweet Head (Outtake - Take 4)

Outtake recorded during the Ziggy sessions.

The real bonus of the Rykodisc 1990 reissue was the release of this powerful rocker with very risqué lyrics. Prior to the Rykodisc re-release programme, this song was completely unknown to collectors. Judging by the lyrical content, and like "Velvet Goldmine", it was probably considered too provocative to release at the time. The rumour is that, even in 1990, Bowie was reluctant for this song to be released, but eventually agreed.

The previously unheard 36-second studio chatter is interesting and shows the up-tempo nature of the recording session. The press notes state Take 5, but its clear that Ken Scott says Take 4.

Ken Scott: Right
Bowie: Reckon we can cope with this one?
Ken Scott: Yeah - Its Take 4
Bowie: Like now man!
Ken Scott: Ready? - That was pretty good - lot of times it was really wonderful
Bowie: Yeah - belt it out like that again and we're...we're himindri (home and dry)....himindri (home and dry)....
Ken Scott: Ready?
Bowie: Yeah - fine
Bowie: Oh its fun-time, fun-time, fun-time....don't we all
Mick Ronson: One, two three, four ....

Moonage Daydream (New Mix)

A new mix by Alan Moulder and Andy Wright of the Ziggy classic as used in a Dunlop tyre TV and cinema advertisement in 1998.

A fantastic remix - which highlights a chugging Ronson guitar, excludes backing vocals, adds about 4 seconds to the fadeout and a lovely counterpoint guitar ending not in the original.


Time Line by Kevin Cann


Early February 1971

On a promotional visit to California, David is introduced to record executive and producer Tom Ayres. He stays at Ayres house during his visit (occasionally utilising the recording equipment there) and records a demo of 'Moonage Daydream'. While writing out ideas, David informs Ayres about a new experimental character he is working on called Ziggy Stardust.

May 7th 1971

'Moonage Daydream'/'Hang On To Yourself' single released by The Arnold Corns, early versions of tracks later updated for Ziggy Stardust. Arnold Corns is a short-lived group project, devised, written and produced by David, who is also featured on lead vocal and guitar.

July 9th1971

David records his cover version of Ron Davies’ ‘It Ain’t Easy’ at Trident Studio. The track is initially included on a GEM (management) promotional LP pressing featuring one side of tracks by David, the other by Dana Gillespie. The pressing helped to secure David’s contract with RCA. David’s side became the backbone for Hunky Dory, although his recording of ‘It Ain’t Easy’ would have to wait until Ziggy Stardust before it is issued.

September 9th 1971

David signs to RCA records in New York.

September 10th 1971

David meets Andy Warhol at the Factory in New York, their first meeting.

November 8th 1971

Work begins on LP Ziggy Stardust at Trident Studio in London's Soho and an historic new phase in David's career gets underway. Tracks recorded include ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ (later re-titled ‘Star’) and ‘Hang On To Yourself’. The majority of the LP is recorded within two weeks.

November 11th 1971

More new tracks recorded include final takes of ‘Ziggy Stardust’, ‘Star’, ‘Velvet Goldmine’ and ‘Sweet Head’.

November 12th 1971

"Moonage Daydream’, ‘Soul Love’, ‘The Supermen’ and ‘Lady Stardust’ recorded.

November 15th 1971

‘Five Years’ recorded. The same day, an early running order for Ziggy Stardust assembled including 'Round And Round', 'Amsterdam', 'Velvet Goldmine' and 'Holy Holy'. All of these tracks would later be substituted.


Mid January - early February 1972

The year begins with a flourish for David and his new (as yet untitled band). In interviews David now dresses in full ‘Ziggy Stardust’ stage costume. In early January 72 the cover and inner sleeve photos for Ziggy Stardust are taken by Brian Ward.

January 7th 1972

'Changes'/'Andy Warhol' single released, David's first single release for RCA, taken from his previous LP Hunky Dory.

January 8th 1972

David's 25th birthday.

January 11th 1972

David and the burgeoning Spiders From Mars record their first radio session for John Peel's Sounds Of The 70s show at BBC Kensington House, including four tracks from Ziggy Stardust.

January 13th 1972

Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange opens in London. David and Mick Ronson see the film soon after its release, before the director had the film withdrawn later in the year. David draws upon much of Kubrick's stylish vision for his new Ziggy Stardust LP and stage concepts.

January 22nd 1972

'Oh You Pretty Thing' Melody Maker interview published. Journalist Michael Watts quotes David as saying, "I'm gay and always have been."

January 29th 1972

David, with Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Woody Woodmansey make their first public performance in glam-rock/Clockwork Orange style costume at the Borough Assembly Hall, Aylesbury. A warm up performance for David's first major tour since 1969.

February 2nd 1972

A new running order for forthcoming Ziggy Stardust LP is prepared. 'Round And Round' is replaced with an early version of 'Starman', 'Amsterdam' with 'It Ain't Easy'. 'Velvet Goldmine' and 'Holy Holy' are replaced by two last minute Bowie compositions; 'Suffragette City' and 'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide'.

February 4th 1972

Master takes of ‘Starman’, ‘Suffragette City’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’ recorded at Trident, completing the recording of David’s fourth LP.

February 8th 1972

David and the Spiders important Old Grey Whistle Test performance broadcast. David and the band watch the show at home in Beckenham.

February 10th 1972

First major UK tour as 'Ziggy Stardust' begins at the Toby Jug, Tolworth, South London. This is the last pub gig David would play.

March 17th 1972

Town Hall, Birmingham. Mick Rock meets and photographs David for the first time.

April 28th 1972

'Starman'/'Suffragette City' single released in the UK, his second single for RCA and his first top-ten hit since 1969.

June 6th 1972

The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars LP released. Ziggy would be David's first LP breakthrough, making No.5 in the UK and No.75 in America.

June 9th 1972

David flies to New York for a three day trip, partly for business and promotion, but mainly to see Elvis Presley perform at Madison Square Garden.

June 17th 1972

Town Hall, Oxford.

During the finale, David performs his famous simulated fellatio act on Mick Ronson's guitar for the first time. Mick Rock photographs the moment.

June 26th 1972

'John, I'm Only Dancing' master recorded at Olympic Studios, Barnes. (See group listings.)

July 1972

Revelations - A Musical Anthology For Glastonbury Fayre triple fund raising LP released. David's offering; a Spiders update of 'The Supermen', recorded during the Ziggy Stardust sessions on November 12.

July 6th 1972

Appears on Top Of The Pops performing 'Starman', with hindsight one of David's most important TV appearances ever, securing Ziggy's place in rock history.

July 8th 1972

David and the Spiders From Mars play the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank in aid of Friends of the Earth, proceeds going to the 'Save the Whale' fund. Ray Coleman"s Melody Maker review proclaims ‘A Star Is Born’. This notable concert also features the first UK appearance of Lou Reed who is David's 'very special guest'. Reed performs three numbers accompanied by David and the band including 'White Light/White Heat' and 'Sweet Jane'.

July 15th 1972

Friars Borough Assembly Hall, Aylesbury. US pressmen fly in especially for the show in a well-planned MainMan initiative, preparing ground for David's first US tour.

July/August 1972

Iggy and the Stooges record Raw Power at CBS Studios, London. The LP would later be re-mixed by David and Iggy in Hollywood before release. The recording is largely perceived to be one of the first punk LPs to be issued.

July 16th 1972

David conducts a busy Sunday of interviews at the Dorchester Hotel, London, mainly with US press representatives. Lou Reed and Iggy Pop also attend the gathering.

July 28th 1972

'All The Young Dudes' single released by Mott The Hoople, the A-side written, produced and arranged by David who also features on backing vocals and rhythm guitar.

August 11th 1972

David and Mick Ronson begin production duties for Lou Reed's new LP at Trident Studio. 'Hang On To Yourself'/'Man In The Middle' single released by The Arnold Corns, even though this group project had long since been discarded by David.

August 18th 1972

Promotional film for 'John, I'm Only Dancing' shot at the Rainbow Theatre, directed by Mick Rock.

August 19th/20th 1972

David and the Spiders play the Rainbow Theatre, London, the start of their second UK Ziggy tour. The 'Ziggy Stardust' shows also feature Lindsay Kemp, members of his troupe and a multi-layered stage set.

September 1st 1972

'John, I'm Only Dancing'/'Hang On To Yourself' single released in the UK and Europe only. The single makes No.12 in the UK charts.

September 17th 1972

David arrives in New York on the QE2 for his first tour of the United States.

September 22nd 1972

Appears at the Cleveland Public Hall, Ohio; David's first ever US public performance. Keyboard player Mike Garson plays his first gig with David and the band.

September 28th1972

Carnegie Hall, New York, David's important New York debut. A complete sell out and a huge success, despite a bad bout of flu.

October 6th 1972

'The Jean Genie' recorded in New York and quickly released on November 24.

October 20th/21st 1972.

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California.

October 27th/28th 1972

San Francisco Winterland Auditorium. Mick Rock films part of one concert for 'The Jean Genie' promo.

November 1972

Ziggy Stardust (LP) is released in Japan. 'Walk On The Wild Side'/'Perfect Day' released by Lou Reed, produced by David and Mick Ronson. The single becomes Lou's biggest selling record to-date.

November 8th 1972

Transformer LP released by Lou Reed, co-produced and part-arranged by David.

December 11th 1972

Before leaving New York, David, attends a press conference/party at RCA Studio 3.

Mid-December 1972

Returns from New York on RHMS Ellinis. During the journey home David writes the lyrics for the title track of his next LP Love Aladdin Vein, later retitled Aladdin Sane.

December 23rd/24th1972

David and the Spiders play the Rainbow Theatre, London, including a special Christmas Eve show.

December 28th/29th 1972

Ends a busy year touring at the Hard Rock, Stretford, Manchester.

EMI Dresses Up Bowie's 'Ziggy' With Book Package
by Larry Jaffee - newsletter for August 2002

(August 9, 2002) London, U.K. - EMI last month marked the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking David Bowie album Ziggy Stardust and Spiders From Mars with a deluxe, two-CD bound book package.

More than 100,000 units were manufactured in Europe for worldwide distribution, reports Nigel Reeve, EMI's A&R manager for catalog, based here. Since EMI, through its Virgin imprint, reissued a remastered albeit no-frills version of the entire Bowie back catalog in 1999, "we knew that it had to be a bit special," said Reeve, who had "a free reign to do what I wanted [with the Ziggy reissue]."

Reeve's role in the project included coordinating "everything from start to finish." That entailed supervising the remastering and digging out the unreleased tracks, as well as packaging considerations such as conceiving the book presentation and "sitting with the art director to make sure that the right things went where."

Once Reeve decided to go with an all cardboard-constructed book sized for store racks, he "received figures from two or three suppliers, and went with one which gave us exactly what we wanted but at a reasonable price." The supplier turned out to be a London packaging firm called CMCS, but because of the tight deadlines, the work was split with another vendor as well, Italian media packaging specialist Pozzoli.

Reeve acknowledged that "there are always cost implications" with special packaging, but there was a realization within EMI that the anniversary Ziggy edition had to be special because the company had already reissued a digitally remastered version of the album nearly three years ago. "I had a little more leeway," Reeve said, referring to budget considerations, without revealing exactly how much he had to spend on the project.

Bowie himself didn't have much input in the packaging for the Ziggy reissue because the artist was busy with his new album Heathen, which was released in June on his own label ISO Records, distributed by Sony's Columbia Records. Meanwhile, EMI retains the rights to the back catalog through 2013, noted Reeve, who has worked at EMI for 17 years.

"I would have liked [Bowie] to be more involved with the packaging. In the end, he got a nice package, but you never know how good it can be [without an artist's participation]," he said, noting that Bowie was involved in the packaging for EMI's 2000 triple-CD release Bowie at the BBC. Although Bowie wasn't available to bounce off ideas, Reeve noted that the EMI art department did have access to the musician's personal photograph archive, maintained by the same company that administers the "BowieBond" securities, which raised the artist $55 million a few years ago using his back-catalog royalties as collateral. EMI's deluxe two-CD collectors' package includes a 36-page booklet, including new sleeve notes by David Buckley (author of The Complete Guide To The Music Of David Bowie), a time line, briefly tracing the recording history of the album by Kevin Cann and previously unseen photographs by Mick Rock. The first disc covers the entire album, digitally restored; the second disc compiles outtakes from the sessions.

Inside the package is a cardboard insert promoting a new £350 book also published in July co-authored by Bowie, Moonage Daydream - The Life And Times Of Ziggy Stardust, a 340-page limited edition history of Ziggy, featuring a 10,000-word text by Bowie and 500 photographs by Rock. Each of  the 2,500 numbered copies is signed by Bowie and Rock, and quarter-bound in blue leather.

EMI art director Drew Lorimer noted that the package features "a fair amount of new (previously unseen) photography-based material."

"We also tried to take the old images [associated with the album] and Photoshop them, Warhol-style," he said, citing the colorized negatives of familiar images as an example. "I laid it all out in one evening and then tweaked it over a week-and-a-half to see how copy flowed with the images," Lorimer said. A frustrating part of the process was not being able to come up with the original negatives for the album cover. "It's like a jigsaw [puzzle] how to find these things. We asked EMI employees to bring in their copies of the original vinyl album (released in 1972 by RCA), and on each of the three copies brought in, the cover jacket artwork looked different," he noted. Lorimer ended up going with the graphic files used the last time that the CD was reissued because they comparatively were in the best shape.

Lorimer entered the project thinking, "I didn't want a jewel case; I thought that would be really boring," and he likes that the package "reads more like a book than a CD booklet."  The release has had a few minor packaging gaffes. Lorimer thought that the paper stock for the book was going to be thicker, and Reeve admitted that the discs slightly protrude from the bottom of the two disc sleeves due to an error in the gluing process. That problem has been since corrected in reorders.  Early sales reports show the book package moving at a brisk pace. Assuming that the anniversary release performs to expectations, Reeve added that he has in mind special packaging for five or six other Bowie albums.

Next up: 1973's Aladdin Sane.

---This page last modified: 21 Jan 2019---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)