David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
"David Bowie’s landmark 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars was recorded in November 1971, close on the heels of Hunky Dory, which hadn’t even been released when Bowie and his band revisited the familar surroundings of Trident Studios in London. With sessions starting in mid afternoon and the day’s work finishing around midnight, Ziggy, astonishingly, was recorded in less than three weeks, with, according to engineer Ken Scott, all the vocals and the majority of performances being first takes."
"Musical inspiration came from a trip to New York that Bowie had made earlier in 1971, when he decided he wanted to give his own take on the musical style of Iggy & The Stooges or The Velvet Underground, to whom he dedicated Queen Bitch on Hunky Dory. Engineer Ken Scott recalls, ‘I remember David coming to me, prior to doing the album, and saying, ‘You’re not going to like this album. It’s gonna be much harder.’ I don’t know who he compared it to; maybe it was Iggy. He thought I would hate it, but I loved it!’
The album was intended by Bowie to serve as the soundtrack and musical basis for a stage show or television production telling the story of Ziggy. As well as the songs on the album, Bowie also intended songs such as All The Young Dudes, Rebel Rebel and Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me (the latter two later recorded for Diamond Dogs) for this realisation of the Ziggy story. All The Young Dudes was of course to be recorded by Mott The Hoople and became their breakthrough recording. Two songs that were to be incorporated into the extremely loose narrative had been written at the time of the sessions for The Man Who Sold The World in 1970: Moonage Daydream and Hang On To Yourself. They had in fact been released as a single under the pseudonym The Arnold Corns, fronted by Bowie’s friend, clothes designer Freddie Burretti.
Explaining the story of Ziggy, Bowie said: ‘The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of a lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock and roll band and the kids no longer want rock and roll: there’s no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, ’cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news. All The Young Dudes is a song about this news.‘"