Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life On Mars

It's on Amerikas tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow

unintelligable, yet somehow deep, Bowie lyric

I have been trying to walk a few footsteps in the evening over the past couple weeks. The weather is just right for walking, the fresh air, the exercise, the view of the Elmwood Strip (lots of action for a Thursday night in November, I thought...), and my i-Probe giving me a good soundtrack to move to. The past couple days, I have been waging this David Bowie battle, a sort of Hunky Dory vs. Ziggy Stardust thing. Both great LPs, mind you- the Ziggy is more rocking, but the HD has a lot of super great pop-songs.

Hunky Dory (HD), which is Dave's 4th LP from 1971 and it features the mega-hit Changes (which incidentally only peaked at #66 on the Billboard charts) and two songs named after pop stars, Andy Warhol and Song For Bob Dylan. But could it be better than the album he followed with, 1972's lengthy titled The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars? We must ask ourselves this. The crazy bowie-as-alien thing that born a living, breathing character come to life- it was pretty cool. Mick Ronson really plays a mean rock guitar on this LP- there are lots of great videos from this records and then there is the movie, too...

Let them battle:


  • HD- Bowie kinda looks like a long hair girl and the photo is all fey and fuzzy
  • Ziggy- Rockin' weird space boy alien outside of city buildings with rock guitar

Additional Personnel:
  • HD- Rick Wakeman from Yes
  • ZIGGY- Rick Wakeman from Yes

Plot Exert (from Wikepedia):
  • HD: Oh! You Pretty Things, whose pop tune hid lyrics, inspired by Nietzsche, predicting the imminent replacement of modern man by "the Homo Superior". Whoa.
  • Ziggy: they tear him to pieces on stage during the song Rock 'n' roll Suicide. As soon as Ziggy dies on stage, the 'infinites' take his elements and make themselves visible. Whoa 2X.

Rockinest Rocker:

Good Songs:
  • HD: Oh! You Pretty Things (a song with a "!" in the title), Life On Mars (#3 in the UK in 1972), Kooks (dedicated to his son named Zowie Bowie) and Queen Bitch (which is one on my all-time Dave favs!)
  • Ziggy: All of them...from the opening track of 5 Years all the way to Rock and Roll Suicide- it is really all good.... and in end--  Ziggy's followers kill him.
I think I might have to pick Ziggy in round one.

Oh! You Pretty Things from BBC Televison 1972- click me.
Five Years- 1972- clicker.
Life on Mars- 1973 directed by Mick Rock
Starman- Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders Form Mars- see my fuzzy orange hair
Queen Bitch- live on the Old Gray Whistle- a bizarre, self-constructed freak...

Bauhaus doing Ziggy Stardust- oh yeahhhhhhhhh......


Jason Gusmann said...

i love this post. i must also agree with you giving ziggy the title at the bell - although 'queen bitch' is his rockinest rocker of all time, ziggy is just too consistent. it just keeps comin at you and comin at you. thanks for posting all those videos too!

Jason Gusmann said...

ooh - sorry for posting again, but i forgot how great that bauhaus version is. i love the original, mind you, but bauhaus has the guitars mixed up to arena-rock level the way they always should have. ooooooooooooooooooohh, yayeeyayeeaaaaah.

mark said...

The Bauhaus is really great!