David Bowie - Aladdin Sane (Vinyl)

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Aladdin Sane is the sixth studio album by English singer-songwriter David Bowie, released on 13 April 1973 by RCA Records. The follow-up to his breakthrough The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, 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. It was recorded at Trident Studios in London and RCA Studios in New York City between legs of the Ziggy Stardust Tour. 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 album 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.

LP pressing on gatefold 180-gram vinyl.

David Bowie’s inspiration for Aladdin Sane (aka A Lad Insane) came during the American leg of the tour in support of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. In fact, Bowie has often referred to the 1973 LP as “Ziggy Goes to America”, due to the fact that the majority of the tracks were penned based on events throughout the ’72 tour while on the road in the wide-open states. As a result, the initial release of Aladdin Sane includes the location(s) of reference in parenthesis behind each song title, as follows:

A1 Watch That Man (New York)
A2 Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?) (R.H.M.S. "Ellinis")
A3 Drive-In Saturday (Seattle - Phoenix)
A4 Panic In Detroit (Detroit)
A5 Cracked Actor (Los Angeles)
B1 Time (New Orleans)
B2 The Prettiest Star (Gloucester Road)
B3 Let’s Spend the Night Together
B4 The Jean Genie (Detroit and New York)
B5 Lady Grinning Soul (London)

Despite the uneven collection of songs, when Bowie/Ziggy gets it right, he does so in spades with the backing of the Spiders, as evident by the opening straight-up shot of rock ‘n’ roll via “Watch That Man”, plus the Motor City/Iggy lean of “Panic in Detroit”, the glamified “The Jean Genie”, the post-fallout “Drive-In Saturday” (initially offered to Mott the Hoople), and the loose “Cracked Actor”. Mick Ronson’s low-slung guitar work on the swingin’ Sunset 'n' Vine influenced “Cracked Actor”, the shortest track from Aladdin Sane, is worth the price of admission alone.
The flash from Aladdin Sane is countered with a few experimental arrangements, such as the freeform title track, the lengthy "Lady Grinning Soul", and the grandiose “Time”. The coming-apart-at-the-seams cover of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” should have been left off of the Ken Scott and Bowie produced album, or saved for the ensuing Pin Ups LP. There was never a need to press a single for the Stones remake as well.
I will never forget the awe-struck glitterized girls at high school way back in '73 covering their face with the red and blue lightning bolt make-up ala the star-power Ziggy. Although, not a single one of the way-out space cadets went so far as to remove their precious eyebrows.

By: JonFox

A1 Watch That Man
A2 Aladdin Sane
A3 Drive-In Saturday
A4 Panic In Detroit
A5 Cracked Actor
B1 Time
B2 The Prettiest Star
B3 Let's Spend The Night Together
B4 The Jean Genie
B5 Lady Grinning Soul

Catalogue Number: 0825646289431

Record Label: Parlophone / Warner