The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

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The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (often shortened to Ziggy Stardust) is a 1972 concept album by English rock musician David Bowie, which is loosely based on a story of a rock star named Ziggy Stardust.[1] It peaked at number five in the United Kingdom[2] and number 75 in the United States on the Billboard Music Charts.[3] A concert film of the same name directed by D.A. Pennebaker was released in 1973.

Contents

Concept

The album presents, albeit vaguely, the story of a rock and roll character called "Ziggy Stardust".[4] Ziggy is the human manifestation of an alien being who is attempting to present humanity with a message of hope in the last five years of its existence. Ziggy Stardust is the definitive rock star: sexually promiscuous, wild in drug intake and with a message, ultimately, of peace and love; but he is destroyed both by his own excesses of drugs and sex, and by the fans he inspired.[citation needed]

The character of Ziggy was initially inspired by British rock 'n' roll singer Vince Taylor who Bowie met after he had had a breakdown and believed he was a cross between a god and an alien;[5][6] though Taylor was only part of the blueprint for the character,[7] other influences included the Legendary Stardust Cowboy[8] and Kansai Yamamoto, who designed the costumes Bowie wore during the tour.[9] The Ziggy Stardust name came partly from the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, and partly, as Bowie told Rolling Stone, because Ziggy was "one of the few Christian names I could find beginning with the letter 'Z'".[10] He later explained in a 1990 interview for Q Magazine that the Ziggy part came from a tailor's shop called Ziggy's that he passed on a train, and he liked it because it had "that Iggy [as in Iggy Pop] connotation but it was a tailor's shop, and I thought, Well, this whole thing is gonna be about clothes, so it was my own little joke calling him Ziggy. So Ziggy Stardust was a real compilation of things."[11][12]

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