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Music: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

David Bowie's most famous and critically lauded musical record. A Concept Album from 1972 featuring hits like "Ziggy Stardust", "Starman", "Suffragette City" and "Rock And Roll Suicide". The story revolves around Ziggy Stardust, a transsexual rockstar from space who rises to stardom, but eventually succumbs to his hedonistic lifestyle.


  1. "Five Years"
  2. "Soul Love"
  3. "Moonage Daydream"
  4. "Starman"
  5. "It Ain't Easy"
  6. "Lady Stardust"
  7. "Star"
  8. "Hang on to Yourself"
  9. "Ziggy Stardust"
  10. "Suffragette City"
  11. "Rock'n Roll Suicide"

"Freak out in a moonage trope dream, oh yeah":

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: The song "Ziggy Stardust" itself, which is sung from the point of view of his Spiders from Mars bandmates, claims Ziggy grew egotistical once he became famous. (Two of Bowie's actual bandmates from this period, Trevor Bolder and Woody Woodmansey, claim this actually happened to him — that he spent less and less time offstage with them and other old acquaintances as his star rose.)
  • Actor IS The Title Character: The album was promoted with an ad proclaiming "David Bowie is Ziggy Stardust"; at the bottom, in smaller type, it read "Ziggy Stardust is David Bowie".
    • According to Lou Reed, Bowie apparently did start to think he was Ziggy after a few drinks.
  • Alter Ego Acting
  • Ambiguously Gay
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Rock & Roll Suicide"
  • Breakthrough Hit: "Starman"
  • Briefer Than They Think: His starmaking Ziggy Stardust stage persona (and Aladdin Sane Expy) lasted less than two years and only covers two albums, one tour, and the 1980 Floor Show TV special. The Ziggy look persisted into early 1974, as can be seen on the cover of Diamond Dogs, but by the time he toured for that album it was gone too.
  • Call Back: The album evokes space imagery Bowie used earlier in "Space Oddity" and Hunky Dory.
  • Camp: Ziggy Stardust is only the most famous example of this in his work.
  • Chronically Killed Actor: Ziggy is one of many Bowie personae to die.
  • Concept Album
  • Cover Version: The only song on the album not written by Bowie is a cover of Ron Davies' "It Ain't Easy"... not that you can tell without looking at the credits.
  • Discount Lesbians: If one goes with the interpretation that Ziggy is Touched by Vorlons, then he's a discount bisexual.
  • Everything's Better With Sparkles: Ziggy Stardust lived up to his name when it came to makeup — including, on occasion, a glittering circle in the middle of his forehead.
  • Executive Meddling: A rare positive example of this came with Ziggy Stardust when RCA execs liked it, but also wanted a song that they could push as a single. So Bowie wrote "Starman", which replaced a cover of Chuck Berry's "Around and Around" (meant to complement the Ron Davies cover, and which would become the B-side of "Drive-in Saturday" a year later) on the album and turned out to be the song that made his career.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Ziggy wears one.
  • Fake Band: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.
  • Fan Dumb: invokedZiggy's fans love him so much that they accidentally lynch him.
  • Glam Rock: One of the best-known examples of this genre; in exchange, it's the one that made him truly famous.
  • Iconic Outfit: Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona
  • Intercourse with You: Is there any other explanation for "aaaaawww wham bam thank you ma'am!"?
  • Messianic Archetype: Ziggy Stardust, who is worshiped to the point that he believes the hype about him by the time he dies at the hands of his fans.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The sentence "Ziggy and the Spiders From Mars" is dropped, but never the entire title.
  • Redheaded Hero: Bowie's first; notably, he didn't dye and style his locks into the iconic Ziggy look until after the album's artwork had been created, so he's still blonde on the cover.
  • Rock Opera: Ziggy's entire life is told on this album.
  • The Rock Star: A perfect Real Life example — his exploration of the trope, particularly with the Ziggy Stardust persona, helped pave the path to him living it as completely as anyone ever has. A critic interviewed for the Biography episode on Bowie actually argues (though not in tropes) that he is the Trope Codifier.
  • Rockstar Song: "Starman" and "Ziggy Stardust".
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spiritual Successor: Aladdin Sane
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The lines "there's a star man waiting in the sky/he would like to come and meet us/but he thinks he'll blow our minds" from "Starman".
  • Touched by Vorlons: Maybe.
  • Tuckerization: Ziggy Stardust is partly named after the eccentric American musician The Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are and You Are Not Alone: The points of "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide", the closing song on Ziggy Stardust.

Hunky DoryThe SeventiesDiamond Dogs
Hunky DoryAlbums IndexIn The Life Of Chris Gaines
Exile On Main StTime All Time 100 AlbumsThe Harder They Come

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