The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars (30th anniversary edition)

Just as David Bowie's new Heathen disc is out to remind us of the artist's remarkable vitality, EMI reissues the first landmark installment in his peerlessly chameleonic career of genre-defining album

Just as David Bowie's new Heathen disc is out to remind us of the artist's remarkable vitality, EMI reissues the first landmark installment in his peerlessly chameleonic career of genre-defining albums. This double-disc 30th anniversary edition of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars presents the ultimate glam-rock statement in its fullest glory yet, with bold, 24-bit remastered sound, copiously illustrated, limited-edition hardback book packaging, and a second disc of often rare contemporaneous material. The 1999 Virgin reissue of Ziggy Stardust came with excellent Abbey Road remastering but dropped the handful of bonus tracks that graced the album's previous Rykodisc reissue. The second disc of this new version boasts the Ryko bonus tracks and more. Most notable are the great non-LP single "John, I'm Only Dancing" and an excellent new mix of the classic album track "Moonage Daydream," as well as the B-side covers of Jacques Brel's "Amsterdam" and Chuck Berry's "Round and Round," demos of "Lady Stardust" and "Ziggy Stardust," and early versions of "Moonage Daydream" and the proto-punk "Hang On to Yourself." And, of course, the original album program on disc one sounds as strangely exciting today as it did in 1972, with the closing hard-rock triptych of the Baroque "Ziggy Stardust," evergreen hit single "Suffragette City," and grand farewell "Rock'n'roll Suicide" serving as a potent reminder of just how important the late guitarist/ arranger Mick Ronson was to Bowie's Ziggy-era sound. This deluxe anniversary tribute should help remind those at major companies how music that seems hopelessly idiosyncratic and excessively provocative at the time can eventually be celebrated as utterly timeless.—BB