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Aladdin Sane *****


I always refer to Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane as the Triumphant Trio of Bowie albums.

I do not think that any other artist in the history of rock music has brought out three stronger albums in a row.

If Hunky Dory stands as the peak of Bowie's songwriting and Ziggy stands as the zenith of his cosmic era, then Aladdin stands as a monument to an almost crazed and apocalyptic future.

Here was an artist having the power to single-mindedly follow a direction. It is almost as if everything Bowie did before was building towards this masterly trio.

Almost 30 years after its release it still has a haunting freshness with Mike Garson's outstanding piano playing threatening at times to get out of hand but never totally losing its direction. Bowie's voice acts as a counter-point both to Garson and Mick Ronson's guitar.

Arguably it is his most expansive worldly-aware album. It has tremendous variation and tremendous power without losing the need for catchy choruses and stunning vocals.

Title Star Rating Pts Rating Comments
Watch That Man

***1/2

6.75

The album kicks off with an out and out rocker with shades of Velvet Underground
Aladdin Sane

*****

7.45

Manic jazz piano from Mike Garson, crazed lyrics and a haunting melody
Drive-In Saturday

*****

7.80

Hauntingly simple but catchy song in the Ziggy Stardust mould
Panic In Detroit

***1/2

6.80

A rather kooky song with interesting lyrics
Cracked Actor

***1/2

6.75

Lascivious lyrics, above average rock feel
Time

*****

8.15

One of my favourite Bowie songs. Full of twists and turns and an aggressive piece.
The Prettiest Star

*****

8.20

Beautiful guitar work, stunningly simple tune with delicate chorus. Wonderful
Let's Spend the Night Together

**

6.25

Cover of the Jagger/Richard song and the only really disappointing track although changes to the phrasing of the original does make it of passing interest
The Jean Genie

***

6.65

This one is of a particular Bowie genre and I've always found it to be strictly average
Lady Grinning Soul

*****

8.10

Another stunning and hauntingly beautiful song with wonderful piano breaks once again


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