Over 50 years after David Bowie bade farewell to one of his most recognizable onstage personas, the show in which he did so will be reissued and restored.
Ziggy Stardust: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be reissued by Parlophone August 11, just a month after the exact anniversary of that landmark date at Hammersmith Odeon in London. Originally issued in truncated form in 1983, the program was remixed and restored in 2003; this presentation will feature two tracks finally added into the running order: a medley of "The Jean Genie" and The Beatles' "Love Me Do" plus "Round and Round," both featuring Jeff Beck on guitar. (The medley was released last year as part of the soundtrack to the Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream, while the other track is heard here for the first time anywhere; both tracks have been newly mixed by Tony Visconti.)
The Hammersmith set seemed like any other to the 5000 attendees and even members of Bowie/Ziggy's backing band The Spdiers from Mars. Not even the presence of documentarian D.A. Pennebaker (Bob Dylan's Don't Look Back, Depeche Mode's 101) rolling footage of the event seemed to be indicative of anything other than a solid documentary and potential live album. But Bowie had privately felt that performing as Ziggy Stardust - the glammed-out youth icon that helped transform his career from solid novelty act to superstar - had run its course over the last 18 months. So, before the final song, Bowie spontaneously announced: "Of all the shows on this tour, this particular show will remain with us the longest, because not only is it the last show of the tour, but it's the last show that we'll ever do. Thank you." (Initial speculation leaned toward a complete retirement from music, which was of course not true - and even Ziggy made one final appearance as part of the 1980 Floor Show recorded and broadcast for Midnight Special that fall.)
Though production and post-production were plagued with various problems, including a difficult camera set-up and sound mix as well as Bowie's lack of interest in revisiting the footage, an hour-long cut of Pennebaker's documentary premiered on ABC's In Concert in 1974. The full 90-minute edit finally received its first screening in 1979 (albeit without Beck, who didn't know the performance would be filmed and, depending on who you ask, was embarrassed about appearing alongside a glam rock act or hated his wardrobe). A clumsily-assembled double LP followed four years later, overseen by Bowie and Visconti - who called the work "more of a salvage job than an artistic endeavor" - and was remixed and restored by Visconti (sans the Beck performances) three decades later.
In addition to the revisited audio, a deluxe 2CD/Blu-ray package will include a 4K restoration of Pennebaker's documentary featuring 12 minutes of additional footage and a 5.1 surround mix by Visconti. It will premiere at the Eventim Apollo (formerly the Hammersmith Odeon) on July 3, exactly 50 years after Bowie took the stage, and will feature "an exclusive on-stage conversation with Bowie collaborators and contemporary musicians." Additional worldwide screenings of the film and the Q&A will take place through July. More information about those screenings can be found here.
The restored soundtrack - available on two CDs, two gold LPs, or digitally in 44.1 kHz/16-bit and 96 kHz/24-bit high-definition audio - will be available August 11. Pre-order your copies below.
Ziggy Stardust: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (50th Anniversary Edition) (ISO/Parlophone, 2023)
- Introduction Part 1
- Hang On to Yourself
- Ziggy Stardust
- Watch That Man
- Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud
- All the Young Dudes
- Oh! You Pretty Things
- Moonage Daydream
- Space Oddity
- My Death
- Cracked Actor
- The Width of a Circle
- Let's Spend the Night Together
- Suffragette City
- White Light/White Heat
- Medley: The Jean Genie/Love Me Do/The Jean Genie (feat. Jeff Beck)
- Round and Round (feat. Jeff Beck)
- Farewell Speech
- Rock 'N' Roll Suicide
Recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London, England - 7/3/1973
Disc 1, Tracks 2-11 and Disc 2, Tracks 1-6 and 10 released as RCA CPL2-4862 (U.S.)/PL 84862 (2) (U.K.), 1983
Disc 1, Track 1 and Disc 2, Track 9 released on 30th anniversary edition - Virgin/EMI 72435 41979 2 5, 2003
Disc 2, Track 7 released on Moonage Daydream (A Film by Brett Morgan) - ISO/Parlophone DBMDCD/LP 2022, 2022
Disc 2, Track 8 previously unreleased