With the alien persona he created, Bowie became the voice of the “outsiders”.
Spiders from Mars, an androgynous rockstar, alligators, space guns, apocalypse day, rock n roll and fame. This album, which enables us to use these words side by side, revolutionized mainstream rock music in 1972. Regarded as the album that created the “glam-rock” style by music writers, defined the aesthetic, craziness, and rebellion of the last decades of the 20th century.
Born on the 8th of January 1947, David Jones (aka David Bowie) was a British singer, songwriter, and actor. While they were studying music and art design at college, they were seriously injured in their left eye in a fight with George Underwood in 1962, and their left eye gained a different color than their right eye as a result of the operations they had undergone. Bowie, who made their name known to the world with their single Space Oddity released in 1969, became the icon of popular music in the early 70s and they paved the way for the younger generations with their non-binary costumes, colorful live shows, and the personas they had created. Bowie, who also appeared in cult movies such as The Man Who Fell To Earth, died in 2016, after battling with cancer for 18 months.
The theme of the album, which consists of two parts, is as colorful as David Bowie’s personality. Ziggy Stardust, an alien who has only 5 years to live and who learns about the dystopian situation of Earth, decides to guide people by landing on Earth. Describing itself as an androgynous rock n roll messiah, Ziggy builds a fan base by seducing scared teenagers and their families. As the fan base grows, it turns Ziggy into an interstellar superstar. However, during the last song on the album, Rock N Roll Suicide, extra-terrestrials arrives on earth and tires Ziggy into pieces during one of his gigs.
Alongside the story that is being told, the fairy tale that has been created sends the listener to another world. While listening to Starman, the most famous song on the album, you can feel the peace of watching the stars in the cool of the night. However the legacy of the album doesn’t stay within rock music; With the alien persona he created, Bowie became the voice of the “outsiders”. Listening to this album, people who have been excluded, alienated, or who weren’t approved by their elders understood that they were not alone. Maybe its legacy continues to this day because of opening the door of rock music to the marginalized. Bowie, who has lived without hiding their sexuality and identity, can be called a rock n roll messiah just like Ziggy.
After Ziggy Stardust, Bowie made many successful albums such as Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Let’s Dance, and Blackstar, and released 27 albums throughout his life. Artists and groups such as Kurt Cobain, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Lady Gaga also indicated that they were mostly inspired by David Bowie.
It is no secret that Bowie’s legacy continues to this day. Countless artists from Lana Del Rey to The Guess Who have written songs after him. In 2015, ISS astronaut Chris Hadfield performed Bowie’s biggest dream by singing the song Space Oddity, floating in space.
This article was written by our guest writer Lal Tuna. Born in 2003, Lal Tuna is studying at Sainte Pulchérie French high school. Lal is mostly interested in filmmaking and music. They enjoy writing, researching, photography, and acting. You can follow their Instagram account and photography page.