The cover was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of «Classic Album Cover» postage stamps issued in January 2010. The rear cover of the original vinyl album bore the instruction «To be played at maximum volume». The instruction was omitted, however, from the EMI 1999 re-release.In March 2012, The Crown Estate, which owns Regent Street and Heddon Street, installed a commemorative brown plaque at 23 Heddon Street in the same place as the «K. West» sign on the cover photo.
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (often shortened to Ziggy Stardust) is the fifth studio album by English musician David Bowie, released on 16 June 1972 in the UK by RCA Records. It was co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott and features Bowie's backing band the Spiders from Mars, comprising Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodmansey. Most of the songs were written around the same time as Bowie's previous album Hunky Dory (1971). After that album was completed, recording for Ziggy Stardust commenced in November 1971 at Trident Studios in London, with further sessions in early February 1972.
Described as a loose concept album and rock opera, Ziggy Stardust concerns Bowie's titular alter ego Ziggy Stardust, a fictional androgynous and bisexual rock star who is sent to Earth as a savior before an impending apocalyptic disaster. In its story, Ziggy wins the hearts of fans but suffers a fall from grace after succumbing to his own ego. The character was inspired by numerous musicians, including singers Vince Taylor and Iggy Pop. Most of the album's concept was developed after the songs were recorded. The album's music has been characterised as glam rock and proto-punk. Influences included Iggy Pop, the Velvet Underground, and Marc Bolan of T. Rex. The album's lyrics discuss the artificiality of rock music, political issues, drug use, sexual orientation and stardom. The album cover, photographed in monochrome and recoloured, was taken in London, outside the home of furriers "K. West".
Preceded by the single "Starman", Ziggy Stardust peaked at number 5 in the UK and number 75 in the US. It initially received favorable reviews from music critics, with some praising the musicality and concept and others unable to comprehend it. Bowie's performance of "Starman" on the British television programme Top of the Pops in early July 1972 propelled him to stardom. The Ziggy character was retained for the subsequent Ziggy Stardust Tour, leaving Bowie unable to differentiate between Ziggy and himself. Not wanting Ziggy to define him, Bowie created a new character for his next album Aladdin Sane (1973), which Bowie described as "Ziggy goes to America". Performances from the tour were later released on a concert film of the same name with an accompanying live album (1983) and Live Santa Monica '72 (2008).
Retrospectively, Ziggy Stardust is considered one of Bowie's best works, one of the best glam rock albums and has appeared on numerous lists of the greatest albums of all time. Bowie had ideas for a musical based on the album, although this project never came to fruition; ideas were later used for his 1974 album Diamond Dogs. The album has been reissued several times and was remastered in 2012 for its 40th anniversary. In 2017, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or artistically significant" by the Library of Congress.
David Robert Jones OAL (8 January 1947 - 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (/?bo?i/ BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, with his music and stagecraft having a significant impact on popular music.
Bowie developed an interest in music as a child. He studied art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. "Space Oddity", released in 1969, was his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart. After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The character was spearheaded by the success of Bowie's single "Starman" and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity. In 1975, Bowie's style shifted towards a sound he characterised as "plastic soul", initially alienating many of his UK fans but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single "Fame" and the album Young Americans. In 1976, Bowie starred in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth, directed by Nicolas Roeg, and released Station to Station. In 1977, he further confounded expectations with the electronic-inflected album Low, the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that came to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy". "Heroes" (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise.
After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes", its album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), and "Under Pressure", a 1981 collaboration with Queen. He reached his commercial peak in 1983 with Let's Dance; its title track topped both the UK and US charts. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including industrial and jungle. He also continued acting; his roles included Major Jack Celliers in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth (1986), Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Nikola Tesla in The Prestige (2006), among other film and television appearances and cameos. He stopped touring after 2004 and his last live performance was at a charity event in 2006. In 2013, Bowie returned from a decade-long recording hiatus with The Next Day. He remained musically active until his death from liver cancer at his home in New York City, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final album, Blackstar (2016).
During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at over 100 million records worldwide, made him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In the UK, he was awarded ten platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, and released eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and nine gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Rolling Stone placed him among its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and named him the "Greatest Rock Star Ever" after his death in 2016.
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