Aladdin Sane is the sixth studio album by English musician David Bowie, released on 13 April 1973 through RCA Records. The follow-up to his breakthrough The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), it was the first album he wrote and released from a position of stardom. It was produced by Bowie and Ken Scott and features contributions from Bowie's backing band the Spiders from Mars — comprising Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodmansey — as well as pianist Mike Garson, two saxophonists and three backing vocalists. Recorded at Trident Studios in London and RCA Studios in New York City between legs of the Ziggy Stardust Tour, the record was Bowie's final album with the full Spiders lineup. Bowie wrote most of the tracks on the road in the US between shows. Because of this, many of the tracks are greatly influenced by America and Bowie's perceptions of the country. Due to the American influence and the fast-paced songwriting, the record features a tougher and raunchier glam rock sound than its predecessor. The lyrics reflect the pros of Bowie's newfound stardom and the cons of touring and paint pictures of urban decay, drugs, sex, violence and death. Some of the songs are influenced by the Rolling Stones, and a cover of their song "Let's Spend the Night Together" is included. The album features a new character called Aladdin Sane, a pun on "A Lad Insane", whom Bowie described as "Ziggy Stardust goes to America". The cover artwork, shot by Brian Duffy and featuring a lightning bolt across Bowie's face, was the most expensive cover ever made at the time and represents the split personality of the Aladdin Sane character and Bowie's mixed feelings of the tour and stardom. It is regarded as one of his most iconic images. Preceded by the singles "The Jean Genie" and "Drive-In Saturday", Aladdin Sane was Bowie's most commercially successful record up to that point, topping the UK Albums Chart and helped garner immense popularity for the artist there. It also received positive reviews from music critics, although many found it inferior to its predecessor. The popularity continued throughout the latter half of the Ziggy Stardust Tour, which featured various setlist and stage production changes. In later decades, Aladdin Sane has appeared on several best-of lists and is viewed by Bowie's biographers as one of his essential releases. It has been reissued several times and was remastered in 2013 for its 40th anniversary, which was included on the 2015 box set Five Years (1969–1973).Wikipedia
Ziggy Stardust wrote the blueprint for David Bowie's hard-rocking glam, and Aladdin Sane essentially follows the pattern, for both better and worse. A lighter affair than Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane is actually a stranger album than its predecessor, buoyed by bizarre lounge-jazz flourishes from pianist Mick Garson and a handful of winding, vaguely experimental songs. Bowie abandons his futuristic obsessions to concentrate on the detached cool of New York and London hipsters, as on the compressed rockers "Watch That Man," "Cracked Actor," and "The Jean Genie." Bowie follows the hard stuff with the jazzy, dissonant sprawls of "Lady Grinning Soul," "Aladdin Sane," and "Time," all of which manage to be both campy and avant-garde simultaneously, while the sweepingly cinematic "Drive-In Saturday" is a soaring fusion of sci-fi doo wop and melodramatic teenage glam. He lets his paranoia slip through in the clenched rhythms of "Panic in Detroit," as well as on his oddly clueless cover of "Let's Spend the Night Together." For all the pleasures on Aladdin Sane, there's no distinctive sound or theme to make the album cohesive; it's Bowie riding the wake of Ziggy Stardust, which means there's a wealth of classic material here, but not enough focus to make the album itself a classic.
the epitome of glam rock. it made me desperately want to watch him perform this live. the keys! the sax! his vocals! he's just oozing charisma that's funky, ostentatious, and wild, making you feel like if you had a night out on the town with him it would be the craziest and most fun night. some may say it's unfocused, but I think the disparate stories under this funky glam rock persona cater to Aladan Sane - he's dynamic, chromatic, fluid, and a bit mad.
It would be hard for me to give anything but a 5 to the original material put out by Bowie between 72 & 77. I didn't like this so much when I first heard it back in the day, but I started listening to it again in the last year. The title track and erie ballads really stand out with the crazy piano playing. The glam rockers sound greasy & unpolished compared to those on Ziggy but the fact that he was listening to alot of the Stones when he was writing these songs could explain that - they have an Exile on Main Street feel. I'm disappointed that such a prolific writer would do a top 40 cover, but that's only one song, and it's a pretty good cover.
Laughed out loud at the off-key piano solo on the title track. Bowie truly is a lad insane. "We told David to lay on the keys and he actually did it, the absolute mad man!" Alex made the observation on Station to Station that the vocals were mixed lower than the instruments, and I think the same is true here, especially on the opener. Sometimes I can barely make out the lyrics, and as a result, I find myself paying less attention to what Bowie has to say. But that doesn't get in the way of enjoyment for me because the music is really good! Just like Station to Station, a good bit of variety here. "Jean Genie" sounds like it could've been on the Rolling Stones album we just reviewed. Like that album, this one didn't blow me away or move me too much, but it's a solid effort from the Starman. Favorite tracks: Aladdin Sane, Panic in Detroit, The Jean Genie. Album art: Definitely iconic. That lightning bolt makeup look is one of the most easily recognizable symbols in rock culture. I'm not up to speed on my Bowie lore but I thought this was Ziggy Stardust. Apparently this is a character called Aladdin Sane, who Bowie described as "Ziggy Stardust goes to America." You think it's insane to visit the Land of the Free, Mister Brit? 3.5/5
The Midas touch. This is Bowie in his absolute pomp… what an album!
What David Bowie sounds like in front of a great rock band, The Spiders from Mars. Particularly enjoy Mick Robson’s guitar and Mike Garson’s barking mad piano on the title track .
Ziggy goes to America. I love this album, I think it's my 4th favourite Bowie. A great chaotic follow-up to Spiders. The piano work is incredible.
One of my all time favorites! I discovered Bowie in like 8th grade with Ziggy Stardust. I think I first heard Aladdin in college. Watch That Man - A driving rock opener. Simple, but gets your grooving. Shades of Rebel Rebel Aladdin Sane - Just perfection. Bowie essentially has a seizure on a piano during what is ostensibly a pop rock album. Love the screaming squeaky sax and the bass line that just repeats forever. Drive In Saturday - Bowie does Motown. This feels like it would be appropriate at a high school type dance or in a movie about a high school type dance. Sax areas the show again. Panic in Detroit - I’ll never forgive him for pronouncing Detroit wrong. But he does good guitars and bass so it’s okay. Cracked Actor - This song is filthy. Five stars. Time - Second best track. Haunting. Carnivals! Fun! Imagine what it would look like for time to “fall wanking to the floor”. It’s important to remember that Dave was surviving on a diet of milk, bell peppers, and cocaine at this time. The Prettiest Star - the only forgettable track I think. Nice. Doo-wop vibe. Let’s Spend the Night Together - The crazy piano comes back! A driving desperation throughout. Jean Genie - Bluesy as heck. Harmonica and all. I don’t know what a jean genie is but maybe you meet one after you’ve had enough milk and cocaine. Lady Grinning Soul - The piano on this and Bowie’s vocals are breathtaking. Tender and sad. Most underrated track. John I’m Only Dancing - Dumb and Fun. I like both versions, but this one is better because of the sax. All the Young Dudes - I know he wrote this for Mott the Hoople, but it’s always been Bowie’s song. This version is so much better than theirs.
So my first COVID mask (other than plain coloured Costco specials) had Bowie sporting his Aladdin Sane lightning bolt makeup. Guess you know where this rating is heading. This one of four Bowie albums that I claim is my all time favourite whenever I play it. Mike Garson's piano playing is nothing short of amazing. Highlights are the title track as well as Time and Lady Grinning Soul. I also think Mick Ronson delivers some of his strongest playing as his playing style is perfect for the raw glam sound of this album. His solo to start Prettiest Star as well as his solos on Cracked Actor and Time are quintessential Mick Ronson. His acoustic playing on Lady Grinning Soul is also impressive. Drive-in Saturday is my favourite song on the album. But like my favourite Bowie LP claims, take it with a grain of salt since it's playing as I write this. How can you not love a song that has the words like "it's a crash course for the ravers" ? Also, I have a painting of Twiggy in my living room so the words " she sighed like Twig the wonderkid" seal the deal. I also like how he sucks up to Mick Jagger in this song by referring to Mick as the sex symbol who the futuristic sexless society is trying to emulate. As is typical with great albums, it's hard to say whether side 1 or 2 is better. Side 2 starts w Time. It's pure genius how the words "sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain" capture the horror of an early demise by overdose. I suppose in another decade, the words "goddamn you're getting old; you'll sneeze and catch a cold cause you left your coat behind" will resonate more with me. I would have bet lots of money that Let's Spend the Night Together was on Pinups. Hmm. I guess its being on this album is consistent with the "sucking up to Mick J'' theme on Aladdin Sane. As is the case with all my four favourite Bowie albums, this one also ends with a ballad, Lady Grinning Soul, the beautifully haunting song about the hauntingly beautiful Claudia Lennear. It's also another connection to Mick J since he was another of this lady's grinning souls and he also wrote a song about her, although his name for her - Brown Sugar - made his song just a wee bit less romantic.
One of the pillars of Bowie's loft discography and possibly his most iconic album cover. All the songs here are noticeable in their own unique way.
Aujourd'hui, j'ai décidé de prendre tout le monde à contre-pied et de m'adresser directement à David Bowie. David, tu fais partie du cercle très fermé des plus grands escrocs de la musique mondiale, dirigé je le rapelle par Frank Zappa. Ton album est une mixture dégueulasse de sonorités ratées, que tu tentes de porter avec une voix des plus banales et insignifiantes. La présence d'un guitariste correct te permet de sauver un 3/5 inespéré au vu de l'entame d'album expérimentale nauséabonde. Maintenant, je vais m'adresser a toi robtenaillère. ça fait maintenant plusieurs jours qu'aucune review n'a été postée de ta part, ce qui met Robert dans une colère noire. Dans cette colère, par ta faute, Robert a décidé d'aller porter quelques coups de fouets à Ray Charles afin de se calmer. Ce dernier est maintenant encore un peu plus recroquevillé dans sa celulle mitoyenne aux New York Dolls, qui ne cessent de le pointer du doigt en gloussant et poussant des cris aigus. Je te suggère, au nom de Robert, de rapidement te reprendre en main, sans quoi tu sais à quelles sanctions tu t'exposes...
Not Bowie at his best but enjoyable. Some parts felt too generic instead of that Bowie style of crazy expression that I like, but nothing bad.
Not his best work, still some very good tracks on here, would give it a 3.5/5 if I could
No this was not sensational nor did it particularly stick out. But that doesn't mean I was bored and that I didn't come away without any highlights. I explicitly refer to 'The Prettiest Star' and 'Lady Grinning Soul'. 3.5, I liked it a lot, but at least I possess a greater confidence in my ratings for Bowie's better albums. God the anticipation for 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' is just so palpable.
Not sure what to think but full respect to a legend
Modern, kind of jazzy, chromatic.
Bowie always great. Favorite part about doing these albums is listening to things I haven't heard from greats like him.
Could be my #1 Bowie. It’s close.
Great album. Not much to say other than glam rock/bowie essential listening.
Panic in Detroit is one of Bowie's best songs.
Excellent. Classic Bowie
What more is there to say than it's classic bowie?
Bowie was always versatile - he shifts around from rock songs to more theatrical type performances. I love how he tries different vocal styles for different songs. Also love Mick Ronson’s guitar sound and his playing. Jean Genie’ and ‘panic iin Detroit’ are the 2 stand-out tracks. The stones cover and some of the theatrical pieces aren’t great: the album is a 4 but he gets an extra point because he is David Bowie - one of the greatest rock n roll stars of all time
I mean, what can I say? This shit was life changing.
This David Bowie guys pretty good. Who woulda thunk
damn fantastic album
Hi: Watch That Man, Drive-In Saturday, Time, Let's Spend The Night Together There's literally nothing wrong with this album, but as far as Bowie albums go it isn't my favorite. It's raucous and not too moody, pretty good rock n' roll Bowie album. No bad tracks, just better tracks.
Loved every song, but it's Bowie so... that's to be expected
Yeah it's good, but feels like he's trying too hard if anything.
Loved it! David Bowie in the USA. From the play on words within the title I was ready to see through his eyes how America looked to a Ladd from across the pond. A beautiful cover, understandable lyrics and fun beat all worked together to make this is a great album. This is the first album I liked more that 50% of the songs. Favs were Jean Genie, Lady Grinning & AlladIn Sane. I truly enjoyed this album. He was before his time for extravagant display of art, persona and musical talent. “Ground control to Major Tom” is looking down on us all!
Me ha gustado mucho desde la primer escuchada, que buen álbum.
Had never listened to this and was really impressed by this album. It felt like there was some thought put into the full album rather than just kind of piling songs together - really enjoyed it all the way through.
Loved it. Love Bowie, Love the album and the style. Honestly didn't listen to it again but hey I remember it being great...
I'm probably not biased in this one, because Bowie is my favourite artist, but this album is a jem.
Of the seven Bowie albums on the list, this is probably the least essential (well, this or Young Americans), but I do love it anyway. It's the sound of Ziggy Stardust coming undone, and it's a fun, wild ride.
A really good follow up album after the extremely high bar set by Ziggy Stardust. It's not as good as Ziggy but it still holds it's own. I would have probably given it 4.5/5
amazing album, the others all felt great to listen to but this broke that barrier and went more than great. 10/10.
41 minutes of pure listening pleasure!
Blown away Sounds like a modern release from the 70s
Wonderful album full of songs I've never heard. Definitely one to return back to.
este es un álbum increible, con buena música, la voz increíble de david bowie y sus composiciones hermosas, obviamente le voy a dar 5 estrellas
liked this a lot, surprisingly!
I hate to say this is my first time listening to this album cover to cover. Of course like ever other Bowie album I've listened to, its terrific.
This album was amazing from start to finish. I listened to it twice in a row, I enjoyed it that much. My highlights were Watch That Man, Aladdin Sane and The Jean Genie.
What an incredible run of albums - Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane. Bowie’s consistency over this period is astounding. There are some absolute classics here - jazzy dance with a horn section on Watch That Man, nutty piano solos on Aladdin Sane, the masterful ‘50s homage Drive-In Saturday, gritty Panic in Detroit, the affecting Prettiest Star and the floor filler Jean Genie. The Bowie reinvention continues apace and he keeps you guessing.
One of Bowie's best, 'Panic in Detroit' is one of his most overlooked classics
This was more of a rock album than many of Bowies other releases. So not as much up my alley than other albums. But, it's still Bowie before his 90s phase so it's still fantastic. I like the inclusion of a bunch of piano, particularly the solo on Aladin Sane. There are also some entertaining lyrics; "Time (falls) wanking to the floor" made me chuckle.
One of my favorite albums ever: sound, songs, all perfect. I thought this album was seen as bit uneven but very solid Bowie album, so great that this is on the list after all.
It's Bowie, so of course it's brilliant.
Classic. Not a bad track, although of course there are some good and some great. Drive in Saturday, let's spend the night night together, jean genie and the title track the best known, and most immediate for me because of that. Look forward to hearing plenty more from one of the best artists there ever was.
4.5/5. Has Bowie ever missed?
For some reason in my head I always think this album came out in the early 80s or very late 70s, and am always shocked when I see 1973. Bowie was always ahead of his time. Anyway, it's spectacular.
- Uma das capas mais bonitas de todos os tempos - PURO GLAMOUR - Só tem hit
25th January 2022 Listened on Monday while pottering. Had a chilled one in the evening with Victor watching the lighthouse. Zavid strides that line between rock and art masterfully.
40 minutes of the craziest glam-rock to ever be recorded. One of Bowie's best without a doubt.
This is glam, glam, and more glam. Wham glam, thank you ma’am… with your 5 o’ clock shadow and all. (If 'Aladdin Sane' doesn’t share a proud place among folks like T. Rex and Slade and Queen on the national Pride Day’s playlist of rock selections, then I don’t know who should. I don’t know if I’m buying the offered interpretation of that dollop of liquid on Bowie’s shoulder as a tear drop, are you?) I lost count on the number of sub glam genres Bowie explored in a mere eleven tracks : Glam rock, of course, right off the bat on ‘Watchin’ That Man,’ but also the classic glam rock hit, ‘The Jean Genie,’ complete with what Bruce Springsteen lyrics would have sounded like had the boss put on a little eyeliner. Bowie served up some exotic glam jazz on the title track that eventually morphed into a jazzy drone, very Roxy music. And who besides Bowie can get away with lyrics like ‘Sadden Glissando Strings’? Come to think of it, what other lyrics would you expect on this LP? ‘Drive In Saturday,’ a glam 50’s do wop song in 3/4 tempo made an appearance along with the shot of glam western saloon on ‘Time.’ And, for the record, Bowie does not like ‘Him,’ Time. I guess no proper glam artist would. Time can’t seem to shake his tag-a-long kid brother, Age. There was a bit of tribal/world glam on ‘Panic In Detroit,’ complete with a tasty addition of maracas, ala 'Beggars Banquet' Stones (I’d love to hear a Rolling Stones cover of this). Glam punk smacked us across the face on Bowie’s re-do of another Stones’ hit, ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together,’ with Bowie’s version actually out-sexing the Stones more subtle original! Frankly, I’d be more scared to spend the night with this Bowie than with those Stones. By ‘Prettiest Star,’ the seventh track- which could have resided easily among the other tunes on Queen’s 'A Night At The Opera' LP- I was starting to get a little camp-weary. A little bit of this sparkling shooting star Bowie, as glorious as that is, goes a long way. That said, though, this LP was a winner, from start to finish. And how about that finish- glam latino? I imagined this as a score to a Spaghetti western movie, if Sergio Leone had ever come out. ‘Lady Grinning Soul,’ was the perfectly exotic ending to this romp through the many glam lands of the expansive reign of Bowiedom. And what traveling company, too: the legendary Mick Ronson on guitar, who does one of the coolest little variants on a traditional rock chord progression I’ve ever heard; and, in that playfully sassy, trashy, slutty, nasty, crunchy guitar sound for which he was identified. Don’t forget players Mike Garson and Ken Fordham on wild piano and crazy sax, respectively (‘Aladdin Sane’). Incidentally, Aladdin Sane, just like Ziggy Stardust, was yet another persona of Bowie’s. Apparently, he felt Ziggy was too polished, so Aladdin was born to move more towards the more unpolished sound of, again, the Stones. And it works, baby, it works. It rocks AND rolls. Sometimes it even rolls and rocks. I could quote a whole laundry list of lyrics like, ‘You sold me illusions for a sack full of checks. You’ve made a bad connection ‘cause I just want your sex.’ What’s more glam than that? But here’s the defining one for me, and it was on the very first track. I couldn’t help but wonder if Bowie was dissing someone else, or perhaps, if this was actually autobiographical. Either way, its still very much… uh huh… glam: ‘Watch that man! Oh, honey, watch that man. He talks like a jerk but he could eat you with a fork and spoon. Watch that man! Oh, honey, watch that man. He walks like a jerk but he’s only taking care of the room.’ I was entering my freshman year of high school in 1973- awkward, not enough knowledge of self to even know what to esteem, horny, lonely, disaffected, moody… you know, pretty normal for a new teenager. I don’t think I had much exposure or was especially drawn to glam, although looking back on it my love for Elton John’s 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' should have served as a sign that my musical orientation might be a little more curious than I had considered. Bi-curious, by rock standards. I enjoyed every song on 'Aladdin Sane,' and several even more than that. Don’t know how this one remained in my closet. Glad it’s out now.
Had never before listened to this in its entirety. Listened twice today, once in the background this morning and a second time more focussed while walking Lucy ( my Vizsla). Only knew Jean Genie and “lets spend the night…” - rolling stonspes cover- the rest were new to me. It has the feel of a unique artist very much in his element. Great and original album. A classic.
Aladdin Sane can stay stuck in my head forever.
Features two of his best songs, Jean Genie and Lady Grinning Soul. Great stuff overall and a career highlight in a legendary discography.
Bowie was insanely talented. Every song is unique. Every song could have been a single. He could compose. He could sing. He could perform. He was a full-stack musician.
Pucha, nada que hacer. Uno de mis discos favoritos de David y uno de los más rockeros. Ya me imagino cómo era escuchar esta obsenidad por allá en 1973. Mi favorita es Jean Genie, pero tiene otras joyas como Watch that Man o Aladdin Sane. Un clásico
My favourite Bowie album - although every Bowie album is my favourite album from Hunky Dory through to The Lodger whenever I play them. This was his sixth album - SIXTH ffs. It was recorded almost as an afterthought in-between legs of the Ziggy tour. It gets a little deep in places and shows where the cracks were starting to appear. Mike Garson's haunting piano ramblings darken the mood, as well as adding a touch of Les Dawson humour. Pretty much flawless. His name was always Buddy. Yep.
This album is disturbing and glam. The title track has the extended free jazz solo that sounds like razor blades falling down a bunch of stairs. Panic In Detroit is probably my favorite song on the album. No, it's Cracked Actor. No, Let's Spend The Night Together is it. No, it's Jean Genie! this album goes to some fabulously depraved places with a vaudeville sensibility. Almost to say "Come See The Freak Show, Watch The Descent From The Bottom Up!"
Great album - cracked actor underrated! Some big songs.
One of my favourite Bowie albums.
This experimental (yet accessible) record is more like the type of Bowie music enjoy. There's lots of variety with up-tempo rock and roll tracks like 'Watch That Man', spooky numbers like 'Aladdin Sane' (with an extended instrumental free jazz coda of piano and sax), mellow mid tempo pop like 'Drive-In Saturday' and 'Panic In Detroit' features exotic percussion. Every track is a winner for different reasons (love the diversity), Bowie sings well, the production is ragged and dense, yet it's sounds crisp and clear. I'm not familiar with his whole catalogue, but this rock/pop record is one of his best I have heard so far, in short a timeless classic
Album that just gets better while listening to it. Starts off a little odd but has a good vibe.
One of the very best
Definitely one of my fav Bowie records.
Heard before: yes Awesome album. Great pop songs, the band sounds amazing. The piano playing is crazy! Favourite tracks: Drive-In Saturday, Jean Genie, Panic in Detroit Least favourite tracks: none
This queer, weird eyed lesbian punk really turns my stomach, but what a joyful record this is. I can feel myself turning for him and it's only compounded by the knowledge that he's dead and I'm a prolific necrophile.
Fun, rythym heavy, Bowie vibes
Underrated Bowie album often overshadowed by ziggy and it’s iconic album art. guy in youtube video essay said it best: “it’s like an americanized version of Ziggy Stardust”
Great album. Jean Jeanie.
Aladdin Sane frames itself as a straight rock record, but upon a closer listen, it shows itself to be much more. Flashes of experimentalism alongside nods to 50s rock, and straight glam rock show a more forward thinking side. The lyrics detailing excess seem to continue the Ziggy Stardust story, as though the line between Bowie and Ziggy had become blurred.
Such a weird and amazing album
Decisamente un buon inizio. Decisamente da riascoltare.
Even though I prefer other Bowie albums (slightly) this one still rates!
Probably my favorite album of his. Very rock forward.
As iconic as it's front cover is, Aladdin Sane fails to reach the lofty heights of it's predecessor in continuing Ziggy Stardust, but as a stand alone album the only true misstep is in Bowie's Rolling Stones cover. A gracious and bolstering farewell to The Spiders from Mars.
what a neat album! nice and weird with that quick-ass piano going all over the place! super fun - 10/10
Extremely solid rock'n'roll. David doing some of his finest work.