Bowie’s 6th studio album was a follow up to his classic glam concept album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The album made on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Aladdin Sane has been referred to by Bowie himself as, “Ziggy goes to America,” since he composed about many of his observations on the road while touring the US. The title of the album is also a pun, “A Lad Insane.” This album was the last with all members of the Spider from Mars. Drummer Mick “Woody” Woodmansey did not return for Bowie’s cover album, Pin-Ups, which followed Aladdin Sane also in 1973.
The Spiders From Mars
(From left: Trevor Boulder, Mick Woodmansey, David Bowie, Mick Ronson)
The album is made up of a more pop-rock sound, yet does not have the thematic flow of its predecessor. One of the most notable aspects from the album is the piano work of Mike Garson, the main highlight being his avant-garde jazz style solo in the title track. During this time, Bowie’s character of Ziggy Stardust had shaved his eyebrows off as part of his look. This can be seen on the now famous album cover. The shaving of the eyebrows was, interestingly enough, a fluke and not an intended stylistic choice. Bowie had written the song, “All the Young Dudes,” for the band Mott the Hoople, a favorite band of Bowie’s. Mott had great success with the tune and took off. Bowie again tried to help them further and wrote another song for them. However, they declined on the stance that they wanted to try and make their success on their own. Bowie, in an admittedly drunken state, took this rejection a little dramatically and impulsively shaved off his eyebrows. The song in question, “Drive-In Saturday.”
Track to check out: Drive - In Saturday