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After flirting with heavy guitar rock ("The Man Who Sold the World") and lighter pop ("Hunky Dory"), Bowie found middle ground on Ziggy Stardust. The creation of the Ziggy Stardust persona would live on well after Bowie shed the alien skin, marking the first rock concept album by a sexually ambiguous, artistically bent musician who confounded critics at every turn. A blend of dramatic strings, swaggering saxophones, jagged guitars, and theatrical arrangements, the album's darker rock numbers like "It Ain't Easy," "Moonage Daydream," "Ziggy Stardust," and the irresistible "Suffragette City," still serve as solid excursions into the future (then and now) of rock. The buoyant "Hang on to Yourself" and the dreamy "Star" offer hints of optimism in Ziggy's bleak world. The dramatic "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" and the image-heavy "Star Man" ("he'd like to come and meet us but thinks he'd blow our minds!") no doubt provided plenty of stage-worthy moments when Ziggy toured in the '70s, but years later they still thrill. Bowie blew our minds! --Lorry Fleming

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Label:  Virgin Records
Genre:  Classic Rock
Release Date:  September 28, 1999
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David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
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