David Bowie as Ziggie Stardust, the Greatest Rock Star Ever

Roxana Anton

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Following his death in 2016, Rolling Stone magazine named David Bowie as the "Greatest Rock Star Ever".

Bowie is one of the most interesting artists who ever appeared on this planet, even if not so much popularised today.

But his originality, interesting sounds, and influences make him worthy of a new rediscovery, among today's people, more used to sounds like reggaeton.

Since the Eurovision Song Contest was conquered by the Italian Rock Group Maneskin, the musical world could come back to the rock style, and its numerous manifestations, bringing on some new life and energy.

So let's take a look back, at one of the best glam rock episodes in music's recent history.

Born in the UK, in the South of London, the singer-songwriter and actor David Bowie came to fame in 1972, during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust.

The character was made famous by the success of Bowie's single "Starman" and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity. (Wikipedia)

In 1975, Bowie's style shifted towards a sound he characterized as "plastic soul", initially alienating many of his UK fans but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single "Fame" and the album Young Americans.

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During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at over 100 million records worldwide, made him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. (Wikipedia)

In the UK, he was awarded ten platinum album certifications, eleven gold, and eight silver, and released eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and nine gold certifications. (Wikipedia)

In 1976, Bowie starred in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth, directed by Nicolas Roeg, and released Station to Station. In 1977, he further confounded expectations with the electronic-inflected album Low, the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that came to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy". "Heroes" (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise. (Wikipedia)

After some commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had number one hits in the UK, with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes", its album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), and "Under Pressure", a 1981 collaboration with Queen. (Wikipedia)

He reached his commercial peak in 1983 with Let's Dance; its title track topped both the UK and US charts. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including industrial and jungle. (Wikipedia)

He also continued acting; his roles included Major Jack Celliers in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth (1986), Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Nikola Tesla in The Prestige (2006), among other film and television appearances and cameos. (Wikipedia)

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is a space concept of epochal songs, written by David when he was only 25.

This is a wonder - album of British glam rock (with worldwide influence), with touches of folk and moments that anticipated the 1976-1977 punk style. (source: professor D.A.)

Described as a rock opera and a loose concept album, Ziggy Stardust brings to attention Bowie's titular alter ego Ziggy Stardust, a fictional androgynous, bisexual rock star who is sent to Earth as a savior before an impending apocalyptic disaster. (Wikipedia)

The music on Ziggy Stardust has been characterized as glam rock and proto-punk.

Unlike its predecessor Hunky Dory, which was generally piano-led, the songs on Ziggy Stardust are primarily guitar-based, mostly due to the departure of keyboardist Rick Wakeman. (Wikipedia)

The songs were influenced by Iggy Pop of the Stooges, Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground, and Marc Bolan of T. Rex. (Wikipedia)

The album's lyrics discuss the artificiality of rock music, political issues, drug use, other types of orientation, and stardom.

The album cover, photographed by Brian Ward in monochrome and recolored by Terry Pastor, was taken in London, outside the home of furriers "K. West". (Wikipedia)

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#Forgotten Gems

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Freelance Writer, Translator, and Fiction Author, with the pen name: Gabrielle Queen. Check out my spicy romance on Amazon: Santorini Holiday (A fun, feel-good romantic comedy)

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