Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture

1983/1992 Version:

  1. ​Hang On To Yourself [2.56]

  2. Ziggy Stardust [3.09]

  3. Watch That Man [4.10]

  4. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud/All The Young Dudes/Oh! You Pretty Things [6.35]

  5. Moonage Daydream [6.17]

  6. Space Oddity [4.51]

  7. My Death [5.42]

  8. Cracked Actor [2.51]

  9. Time [5.12]

  10. The Width Of A Circle [9.36]

  11. Changes [3.34]

  12. Let's Spend The Night Together [3.09]

  13. Suffragette City [3.02]

  14. White Light/White Heat [4.06]

  15. Rock 'n' Roll Suicide [4.20]

2003/2016 Reissue:

  1. Intro [1.06]

  2. Hang On To Yourself [2.55]

  3. Ziggy Stardust [3.19]

  4. Watch That Man [4.14]

  5. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud [3.15]

  6. All The Young Dudes [1.38]

  7. Oh! You Pretty Things [1.46]

  8. Moonage Daydream [6.25]

  9. Changes [3.36]

  10. Space Oddity [5.05]

  11. My Death [7.21]

  12. Intro [1.02]

  13. Cracked Actor [3.03]

  14. Time [5.31]

  15. The Width Of A Circle [15.45]

  16. Let's Spend The Night Together [3.02]

  17. Suffragette City [4.32]

  18. White Light/White Heat [4.01]

  19. Farewell Speech [0.39]

  20. Rock 'n' Roll Suicide [5.17]

Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture

Released:

  • RCA PL-84862 - October 1983

  • EMI 0777 7 80411 22 - September 1992

  • EMI 72435 41979 25 - March 2003 (30th Anniversary Special Edition)

  • EMI ZIGGYRIP 3773 - March 2003 (Limited Edition Red Vinyl 30th Anniversary Special Edition)

  • Parlophone 0825646113699 - February 2016 (LP)

Personnel:

  • David Bowie: Vocals, Guitar, Saxophone, Harmonica

  • Mick Ronson: Guitar, Backing Vocals

  • Trevor Bolder: Bass

  • Mick Woodmansey: Drums

  • Mike Garson: Piano, Mellotron, Organ

  • Ken Fordham: Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophone

  • John Hutchinson: Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals

  • Brian Wilshaw: Tenor Saxophone, Flute

  • Geoggrey MacCormack: Backing Vocals, Percussion

Recorded:

  • Hammersmith Odeon, London/The Hit Factory, New York

Producers:

  • David Bowie/Mike Moran/Tony Visconti

The live recording of the last Ziggy Stardust concert was released over ten years later by an ex-label eager to cash in on Bowie's success with Let's Dance. Although by no means sparklingly produced, the 1983 version of Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture is a fascinating document of the most celebrated gig in Bowie's career, and an eye-opener for those accustomed only to the tight, well-mannered studio style of The Spiders From Mars. In order to arrange the tracks on vinyl "Changes" was moved from its correct place in the running order, while "The Width Of A Circle" was edited down from its 14-minute-plus entirety. "White Light/White Heat" was released as a single to promote the album; if RCA had wanted a hit, the three-cornered medley would have been a far better idea.

 

The concert was recorded by Ken Scott and an early mix completed in 1973 with the help of Aladdin Sane engineer Mike Moran. In late 1981 Bowie remixed the album at The Hit Factory with Tony Visconti, resulting in what some considered an unpalatable over-emphasis on backing vocalists, saxophones and organ. Visconti, who described the process as "more of a salvage job than an artistic endeavour", explained that "the sound quality was poor and I was called in to beef it up, which also required David and me to re-sing many of the backing vocals. They were simply not recorded well on tape - partly because Trevor Bolder and Mick Ronson didn't sing into the microphones!"

 

As in the accompanying film, the two encore numbers featuring guest artist Jeff Beck were omitted from the album for reasons which remain unclear: some reports claim that the problem was a dispute over royalties, others simply that Beck was embarrassed by his appearance in the film. "What I was later told from various people is that Jeff kind of felt out of place in the show," said Tony Visconti many years later. "He came on stage with his flared trousers and just an ordinary jacket, and he felt a bit lacklustre, and he felt like he didn't fit in the film." Beck had also expressed dissatisfaction with his guitar solo, and even recorded a brand new overdub for Visconti and Bowie in December 1981 before his contribution was vetoed. "We could view the film and play to the film - it was a nice set-up," Visconti later recalled of the overdub session. "It was CTS Studios, I think, in North London, and they could lock up film and tape. Jeff played his solo and it sounded great...He was really, really happy with it. We all went home, I went back to bed, and the next day David phoned me and he said Beck still didn't want to be in the film!"

 

In 2002 Tony Visconti oversaw a brand new stereo mix of the album, released in March 2003 under the elongated title Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture Soundtrack. This two-CD (and two-LP) version, which accompanied the 5.1 surround sound re-release of DA Pennebaker's concert film, was universally hailed as a vast improvement on the 1983 original. Not only is Visconti's new mix spectacularly sharper and brighter, but considerably more of the concert is included. There are no new numbers as such (the Jeff Beck encores are, alas, still absent), but the 2003 edition proudly includes such delights as the Ode To Joy intro, the full-length "The Width Of A Circle", and Bowie's unexpurgated farewell speech. "Changes" has been restored to its proper place in the running order and there is a wealth of between-song banter, most notably the preamble to "My Death", which David introduces as "a quiet song - shhhh!", stopping after a couple of bars to silence the audience before beginning the number afresh. The deluxe packaging of the 2003 reissue included a replica ticket, an essay by D A Pennebaker, and a fold-out poster backed by press cuttings about the famous concert. Thus a mildly disappointing live album was transformed into a handsome and inestimably valuable record of a great occasion.