April 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s ALADDIN SANE, which was released only ten months after his breakthrough album THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS. The title track and songs such as ‘Panic In Detroit', ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ and ‘Time’ marked a significant musical progression from its predecessor, adding brass, woodwind, soulful backing vocals and the distinctive piano playing of Mike Garson.
On 14th April, 2023, one week before its Golden Jubilee ALADDIN SANE will be issued as a limited edition 50th anniversary half-speed mastered LP pressed from the same master.
This new pressing of ALADDIN SANE was cut on a customised late Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully recapped electronics from 192kHz restored masters of the original master tapes, with no additional processing on transfer. The half-speed was cut by John Webber at AIR Studios.
The album was preceded by two singles ‘The Jean Genie’ and ‘Drive-In Saturday’, peaking in the U.K. singles chart at numbers 2 and 3 respectively, and was the first time he topped the U.K. album charts. It also marked Bowie’s debut on the U.S. charts reaching the top 20 album chart there, where an edited version of ‘Time’ was released as a single.
The cover of ALADDIN SANE has become one of the most striking and memorable images in rock n roll history and was rumoured to be the most expensive produced up to that point. The cover photograph was taken by Brian Duffy, who would also shoot the sleeves for 1979’s LODGER and 1980’s SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS) and features Bowie with the iconic red and blue lightning bolt make-up, an image which has staked out an indelible spot in the planet’s cultural lexicon.
Bowie described ALADDIN SANE as ‘Ziggy Goes To Washington: Ziggy under the influence of America’. The album was to be Ziggy Stardust's last stand, and the persona was laid to rest three months after the David Bowie album's release in July 1973 at the infamous final show with the Spiders From Mars at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.