David Bowie: Waiting in the Sky (Before the Starman Came to Earth) (Parlophone/Rhino) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 21st, 2024  

David Bowie

Waiting in the Sky (Before the Starman Came to Earth)

Parlophone/Rhino

Apr 23, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


David Bowie’s Waiting in the Sky (Before the Starman Came to Earth) is billed as an album “taken from tapes dated December 1971, for the then tracklisting of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars.” Released for Record Store Day 2024, half speed mastered from the Trident Studio 1/4” stereo tapes for the album, and boasting four tracks that didn’t make the album’s final cut, Waiting in the Sky is something of an alternate Ziggy Stardust.

“Five Years,” “Soul Love,” and “Moonage Daydream” begin the album, copying the original’s track listing. But this is where things start to diverge. A rollicking version of Chuck Berry’s “Round and Round” and a mystical acoustic guitar-and-bold voiced cover of Jacques Brel’s “Amsterdam” conclude Side A. Side B finds things even more shaken up, with “Hang on to Yourself” opening the side before moving into “Ziggy Stardust,” originally the third and fourth songs on the original LP’s second side. Then two more songs that didn’t make the final cut of the iconic Ziggy Stardust album are featured, the vaunted “Velvet Goldmine” and “Holy Holy,” both iconic tracks in the Bowie catalog, the latter here a re-recording of his original 1971 recording. “Star” and “Lady Stardust” round out the proceedings, out of order from the original but still tracks that made the final cut for Ziggy.

Notably absent from this December ’71 tracklisting are “Starman,” “Rock ’N’ Roll Suicide,” and “Suffragette City,” none of which was even recorded at the time this initial tracklisting was put together. Of course, those three tunes are famous to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars and are part of what makes that album such an iconic artistic statement. However, the inclusions here envision a different, yet just as powerful album. The “new” tracks to this version of the album were eventually released sometime after the original Ziggy Stardust release—“Round and Round” and “Amsterdam” as B-sides in 1973, the version of “Holy Holy” as a B-side to “Diamond Dogs” in ’74, and “Velvet Goldmine” a year after that. Yet here they are in all their glory, adorning what was once thought to be The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars. It wasn’t to be. The release of it now is all the more special. (www.rhino.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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