In the latest Carter’s Catalog, Carter Alan examines the impact and legacy of David Bowie’s unforgettable concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, which came out on this day in 1972.
The album launched Bowie into global super-stardom and has stood the test of time as an undisputed great. As Carter explains in the video above, the music itself was what put this theatrical telling of a bizarre tale over the top as an awesome record.
“If it were all just fluff and glam and no substance, it would not have gone any further. But Ziggy Stardust has a lot of great songs on it,” he said. “some of David Bowie’s greatest music is on that album.”
Along with the great songwriting that permeated the album in classics like “Starman”, “Suffragette City”, “Rock N’ Roll Suicide” and the title track, Bowie had a distinct persona that he embodied himself as the “Ziggy Stardust” character. And his backing band bought in as the “Spiders from Mars”.
Though “Space Oddity” may have been the single that got Bowie noticed in the mainstream in the first place and “Changes” legitimized him as a hitmaker, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars was the first complete album from him that defined his sound and persona and signified his arrival as a significantly important artist.