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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust' (Virgin/EMI)
Artist - David Bowie

Make no bones about this ... this was David Bowie at his best in the early seventies. Indeed, Rolling Stone magazine has called this album one of the best rock albums of all time. And there can be not much arguing within music circles, trust me!

This 40th anniversary edition (which, this version comes in a replica vinyl gatefold sleeve with the CD housed in what the LP would have been in also re: inner paper sleeve!), remastered by original Trident Studios engineer Ray Staff (at London's Air Studios) starts with the soulful 'Five Years,' before heading into the deep waves of 'Soul Love,' complete with acoustical clapping! Coming out the other side with the incredible 'Moonage Daydream' ("I'm an alligator, I'm a mama-papa coming for you"), next up is the iconic classic 'Starman.'

The acoustic guitars on this remaster sound so crisp and clean and Mick Ronson's guitar work sounds like new. That said, although the album has always suggested "To Be Played At Maximum Volume" (hey it even says it on the back of the cover art!), the bass and drums are not as highly mixed as the rest - so beware, you perfectionists!

Each song deftly draws you in, better than when you first heard it. Such as the gentle acoustic guitar work of 'It Ain't Easy,' the piano on 'Lady Stardust' and the brilliant pacing of 'Star.' The sing-along of 'Hang On To Yourself' is next, and Bowie's fifth studio album then flows into the always-excellent to hear 'Ziggy Stardust,' the freeflowing rampage of 'Suffragette City,' and ends with 'Rock 'n' Roll Suicide.'