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Aladdin Sane

David Bowie

1973

Buy At Rough Trade
Aladdin Sane
Album Summary

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

Rating

3.63

Votes

14117

Genres

  • Rock

Reviews

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

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.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

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.

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Mon May 22 2023
5

Yeah, by the end of the second track I’d decided this is probably one of the greats. Were I less uptight, I’d use that corny rolling-eyes emoji alongside the admission I’d never heard this before. Rockist teenager decided Bowie isn’t for him, takes near thirty years to start listening beyond the hipster Berlin-era albums, ouch. The title song, built around a spannered piano improv on four note bass line, is just my kind of jam. Love it. He’s one of the few English-singing artists who has taken in that Brel-like chanson mode, singing narrative, and still make the songs hook, rather than chatter. ‘Panic in Detroit’ is fantastic. Surprised by how Stooges-esque the guitars sound - the teenage rockist in me approves. Didn’t spend as much time with this over the weekend as it warrants, but easily five stars.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
3

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

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Tue Jun 06 2023
3

This list wants me to be a Bowie fan so badly and it’s just not happening.

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Wed May 18 2022
2

This album sounds like a forced attempt to be considered on a plane above the rest. It’s a concept album for which I don’t understand the concept. The overwhelming thought I’m left with is the improvisational jazz piece, Alladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?), was awful. I could not wait for it to be over. And back to my first thought, the date sequence in parentheses of the track name is a prime example of the over indulgent pretentious feel of the whole album.

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Mon Jan 29 2024
2

This album completely misses for me, I feel like nothing that made Hunky Dory or Ziggy Stardust special was here. I had never heard this album, just Jean Genie which was always an ok song. I think the title of the album is not good either, it’s not clever. However, the strange thing about this album is the iconic image that will live on forever. The album cover is what I think of most when I hear David Bowie and yet I had never heard the album. It got me thinking about the importance of album art. A picture is worth a thousands words and bands need to convey the album and their music by one picture. It used to be more important when we didn’t have access to the music until we brought the album and sometimes all we had was the cover. Going forward I’m going to try to give my brief thoughts on the album covers. This one is an A and is iconic David Bowie an artist who is split in half by a bolt of lightning but also maybe he is electric. It’s a beautiful image. I wish I enjoyed the album more.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
1

I hated this album. One of the David Bowie Albums I haven’t listened to. After this it makes sense why he had to go to Berlin and reinvent himself steeped in minimalism. Compared to the previous 3 albums this is trash, those albums had beautiful melodies, construction, lyrics. Later albums had more edge and minimalism. This album is just a mess. It’s decadent. Too much is going on, he’s trying to do too much and sounds confused, congas, brass, backup sinners, bad jazz piano solos. He says “qualudes and red wine” in one song and I’m guessing he was on a steady diet of both when he made this album. Oddly, the face paint on this album is the iconic image everyone thinks of when they think of Bowie. This sounds like a rock opera, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Everything Roxy Music got right around the same tone, this album gets wrong. The cover of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” which is much worse than the original points a spotlight at the shittiness of this album. Jean Genie stands out as the only thing good in this. There were some ballady piano songs that start pretty but get fucked during the chorus by his dissonant maximalism. I love Bowie, but hate this album.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

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.

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Mon May 22 2023
5

Yay! A great one for the weekend. Sometimes my favorite Bowie album (although you'll probably read that again), just a collection of great-sounding and perfectly-constructed songs. Loud, sharp and virtuoso band keep it tight and, frankly, thrilling with Mike Garson's work on here just incredible (check out King Crimson's Cat Food for something in the same ballpark). Drive-in Saturday could be my favorite tune if you had a gun to my head, and even the Rolling Stones cover deserves its place. Love it love it love it! Best album cover ever also to boot? PS nerd observation: this was the only RYKO remaster in the '90s not to include any bonus tracks, I think. Perhaps they couldn't find anything to add to the perfection already present

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Fri Jan 26 2024
3

Whenever I listen to Bowie that age old question pops into my head…how many dicks do you have to suck before you’re gay? I guess the answer is if you do it under aliases and alter-egos…A LOT! Musically I really like some Bowie songs and have actual physical adverse reactions to others (hives, rash, hemorrhoids). All the songs on this album fall somewhere in the middle. “Time” is definitely the high point on this one. Solid 3.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
5

The Midas touch. This is Bowie in his absolute pomp… what an album!

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

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 .

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

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.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

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.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

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.  

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Wed Jul 14 2021
5

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.

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Tue Jul 19 2022
5

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.

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Thu May 11 2023
5

Big fan of Bowie’s Rolling Stones abum. Or his Ziggy in America album. Whatever its inspiration, Bowie’s venture into blues rock for Aladdin Sane is a far stranger affair than even expected. I love, love Mike Garson’s piano work. And I’ll never forget the first time my dad played Mick Ronson’s riff from “Panic in Detroit” for me. I think Aladdin Sane is often overlooked in Bowie’s ouevre (album art aside), but to me it is one of his most fun, rockingest, and essential albums.

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Mon May 15 2023
5

Proper start to finish excellent. Songs like Cracked Actor, The Prettiest Star, The Jean Genie, in fact the whole lot, just sound amazing. An album to be played LOUD and fill the house. Delighted this was a full weekender

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Fri Jul 28 2023
5

You can’t really say that any Bowie albums were transitional records, you know what I mean? He was constantly evolving, his records would always foreshadow what he was going to do next, constantly moving forward….the past is the past, *this* is what next. Every record was a transitional record, because he wasn’t going to the same thing on the next record. I fucking love that about him.

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Thu Feb 01 2024
5

I listened Aladdin Sane before, but this time i’ve got a chill. Thank u, David Bowie

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Thu Apr 20 2023
4

No one captured lightning in a bottle with more flair, nor more frequently, than Bowie.

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Tue Jul 11 2023
4

Van dit album vind ik “Time” het beste nummer. Heb die dit jaar relatief grijs gedraaid.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
3

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...

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Mon Jan 09 2023
3

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.

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Sun Jan 15 2023
3

Not his best work, still some very good tracks on here, would give it a 3.5/5 if I could

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Mon Feb 20 2023
3

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.

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Thu Mar 02 2023
3

Not sure what to think but full respect to a legend

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Sat Mar 11 2023
3

Very bowie. Some weird shit in there.

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Wed Nov 15 2023
3

Aladdin Sane oder A Lad Insane…? - Bowie hat das Album als "Ziggy goes to America" beschrieben, das trifft den Nagel auf den Kopf -> viele amerikanische Einflüsse (v.a. Jazz, Blues, Rock'n'Roll) gepaart mit dem für ihn typischen Prog-/Artrock - spannende Produktion -> es passiert viel in den Songs - Der athmosphärische, fast musicalartige Stil ist wie bei jedem Album der Kustfigur Ziggy Stardust stark vorhanden. - Nicht mein favourite Bowie Album, dafür fehlen die Hits. Aber grundsolides Konzeptalbum, das den Hörer auf eine Reise schickt. - 3,5/5

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Sun Jan 28 2024
3

Not my favorite Bowie Album, but definitely iconic.

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Mon Jun 03 2024
3

This may be blasphemous but is Bowie just a more boring Elton John? This album felt very similar to Yellow Brick Road to me, but the songs never managed to hit the same highs. None of them really swept me away. I'm not a fan of the kind of talk singing he does, it's similar to Nick Cave but Bowie does squeeze some singing in there. I don't think I'll be adding any of these songs to my playlists. 5/10

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Tue May 28 2024
2

Struggled with this one. Don't usually mind Bowie, but there was nothing on this album to grip my attention.

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Tue Sep 29 2020
5

Modern, kind of jazzy, chromatic.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

Bowie always great. Favorite part about doing these albums is listening to things I haven't heard from greats like him.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

Could be my #1 Bowie. It’s close.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
5

Great album. Not much to say other than glam rock/bowie essential listening.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Panic in Detroit is one of Bowie's best songs.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

What more is there to say than it's classic bowie?

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Mon Apr 26 2021
5

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

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

I mean, what can I say? This shit was life changing.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

This David Bowie guys pretty good. Who woulda thunk

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Fri May 14 2021
5

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.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

Loved every song, but it's Bowie so... that's to be expected

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Yeah it's good, but feels like he's trying too hard if anything.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

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!

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Sat Mar 27 2021
5

Me ha gustado mucho desde la primer escuchada, que buen álbum.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
5

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.

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Thu Apr 15 2021
5

Loved it. Love Bowie, Love the album and the style. Honestly didn't listen to it again but hey I remember it being great...

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

I'm probably not biased in this one, because Bowie is my favourite artist, but this album is a jem.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

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.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

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

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Sat May 22 2021
5

amazing album, the others all felt great to listen to but this broke that barrier and went more than great. 10/10.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
5

41 minutes of pure listening pleasure!

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Sat Oct 02 2021
5

Blown away Sounds like a modern release from the 70s

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

Wonderful album full of songs I've never heard. Definitely one to return back to.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

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

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

liked this a lot, surprisingly!

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Sun Nov 14 2021
5

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.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

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.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

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.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
5

One of Bowie's best, 'Panic in Detroit' is one of his most overlooked classics

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Tue Nov 23 2021
5

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.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
5

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.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
5

It's Bowie, so of course it's brilliant.

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Sat Dec 25 2021
5

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.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

4.5/5. Has Bowie ever missed?

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

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.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

- Uma das capas mais bonitas de todos os tempos - PURO GLAMOUR - Só tem hit

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

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.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

40 minutes of the craziest glam-rock to ever be recorded. One of Bowie's best without a doubt.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

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.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

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.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

Aladdin Sane can stay stuck in my head forever.

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Sat Feb 19 2022
5

Features two of his best songs, Jean Genie and Lady Grinning Soul. Great stuff overall and a career highlight in a legendary discography.

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Sat Mar 12 2022
5

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.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
5

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

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

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.

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Wed May 11 2022
5

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!"

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Thu May 12 2022
5

Great album - cracked actor underrated! Some big songs.

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Sat May 14 2022
5

One of my favourite Bowie albums.

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