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David Bowie - "Aladdin Sane, 1973 (re-release)"
EMI Records 2003

I can't neglect this reissue. David belongs to generation that put rock'n'roll on it's feet. "Aladdin Sane" wrapped rock'n'roll on a far successful way than Ziggy did. Bowie was building further on his form of simple rock'n'roll with space twisted frenzy guitar and grand piano both having important role in building most very special feel and music style picture. He adds always tasty female back vocals with nice dope of eroticism or his multiplied back ground vocal layers and spices up everything with some genuine brass arrangements (right at the opener Watch That Man, but most impressive in The Prettiest Star or double faced Drive-In Saturday). This was his winning formula; he developed his own musical stand. Melodic bass drives by Trevor Bolder, who recently still kicks high with Uriah Heep, capture brilliant contrast inside songs. David's glamour had a great impact on masses and also helped him to make with "Aladdin Sane" huge American break through. Title song personifies reddish schizoid hybrid, half human and half an alien that landed directly down from some distant galaxy. Not only David dissonant singing approach, but what especially marks this song is grand piano in Latino meets jazz flavored soloing through and through with its shivering psyche closing touches.

David's approach tends to be dissonant, cynic, sarcastic, nervous, and full of disillusions and cold breeze. Always 100% focused on what he is doing. Sincere and convincible, unique and recognizable. "Bowemania" was about to swallow the human race in 1973. Aladdin was worrying, 'cause people still praised Ziggy very much. Meanwhile Ziggy was dead. Will Aladdin be strong enough to step in Ziggy's shoes? He surely was and he succeeded in it. Song Panic In Detroit catches Bowie's flashbacks on summer 1972 and his American tour. Ronson's alive guitar riffing that hangs in production bit behind, as along with David's vocals, song's most remarkable article, ensures you to ride and twist along it. Pure rocking moment!

Time is along with title song and closing ballad Lady Grinning Soul surely among atmospheric highlights on a record. This is song where everything superbly fits together. Bowie sings as being in theater, surrounded again with creepy spacey guitar fills placed everywhere (some special "scary" guitar licks) and sad, gentle main themes worked through piano. It is unrepeatable masterpiece where all articles in puzzle are joined together on a perfect way. This song is special, atmosphere constantly upgrades from song's first beat to the end. It contains outstanding thirties jazz piano touches.

Lady Grinning Soul is surely among those songs that remained in history of rock underrated. Surely one of the most beautiful ballads in rock. It captures strong melody. A melody that is written for David's skin. He is in absolute centre, acting as dissonant as possible. And this gives special feel to entire song. Lady Grinning Soul is romantic highlight of a record. David's genuine feel for song assembling with twisting cliché rock formats into his own language worked supremely. Intense chemistry between him and Spiders was built! In bluesy The Jean Genie, Spiders rock intense along with Bowie. But where it is needed, they show completely opposite face. Feel that soft gentle cold breeze captured inside Lady Grinning Soul.

With "Aladdin Sane" a new rock wizard entirely convinced masses that he truly lives rock culture and that he is not a kind of music mayfly born to die in one day. "Aladdin Sane" offers again Bowie's favorite themes in lyrics. He sings about social decadence and attacks bored brainwashed majority which's mind is suffocated with grabbing the material and money (lyrically, among all songs, Time surely contains the strongest message). This reissue is carefully packed as a small book with hard covers and what is most important, it contains bonus disc. Booklet reveals a lot of interesting historical facts of Bowie's and Spiders Form Mars around 1972-73 and the way how "Aladdin Sane" was put together. Second bonus CD includes rare crisp and clear quality live recordings from Bowie's north American tour in 1972. Among them are Changes, The Supermen, Life On Mars?, The Jean Genie, Drive In-Saturday and John, I'm Only Dancing.

But Bowie was again a curve ahead with his mind, and soon he began to realize Spiders became for him too heavy load to handle. He had to split the band, because he wasn't able to freely develop his personality via his musical art. That was unavoidable. Worked under magnifying lenses of Bowie's musical perfectionism "Aladdin Sane" delivers for Anno '73 fresh, modern, fluid, dynamic, catchy shape of rock and remains its monument and timeless work of art!

Author:   Ale¹

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