Acoustic Sounds
By: Tracking Angle

March 23rd, 2024



David Bowie 'Rock 'n' Roll Star!"Ziggy Stardust Era 5 CD/Blu Ray Set Due June 14th

Includes 29 Exclusive Previously Unreleased Tracks

LOS ANGELES - Parlophone Records proudly announces David Bowie’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Star!, a 5CD/Blu-Ray Audio set that explores Bowie’s journey from February 1971 through the creation of the Ziggy Stardust character, the recording of the iconic The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album, and captures the international mania that surrounded the Ziggy phenomenon in the form of UK radio sessions and TV performances, as well as live tracks from Ziggy and the Spiders’ October 1, 1972 show at the Boston Music Hall.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Star!, containing 29 unreleased tracks, covers early songwriting demos, recordings from Bowie’s band, The Arnold Corns, rehearsals at Bowie’s then-home, Haddon Hall, BBC sessions, singles, live performances, plus outtakes and alternative versions from the original album recording sessions, which have been newly mixed by original album producer, Ken Scott. 

Unreleased highlights include an alternative version of “Lady Stardust,” an unheard version of the deep-cut classic “Shadow Man,” and an up-tempo take of The Who’s “I Can’t Explain,” which he would later slow down and cover for the Pin-Ups album.

The audio-only Blu-Ray disc features the definitive 2012 remaster of the original Ziggy Stardust album in 96kHz/24bit PCM stereo, plus the album and additional mixes from 2003 in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 as well as the singles, outtakes and alternative versions in 96kHz/24-bit PCM stereo.

The Blu-Ray also includes a version of the Ziggy Stardust album, Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth), taken from Trident Studio tapes dated December 15, 1971, which features an alternative running order and four songs that didn’t make the final album. This will also be available as a limited LP on April 20 for Record Store Day. In addition, there is a 1-LP version of Rock ‘n’ Roll Star! compiling the alternative takes and mixes.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Star! also contains two books. The first is an extensive 112-page book with detailed liner notes, memorabilia, contemporary reviews and articles, rare photographs from Barrie Wentzel, Michael Putland, Mick Rock, Sukita and Alec Byrne, as well as brand-new notes and interviews with Ken Scott, Mark Carr Pritchett and Bowie’s plugger from the time, Anya Wilson. Accompanying the main book is a 36-page compiled reproduction of Bowie’s personal Ziggy Stardust-era notebooks. 

  The first track from Rock ‘n’ Roll Star! is “Ziggy Stardust (demo),” in which Bowie recorded vocals and acoustic guitar in March 1971 at Haddon Hall in Beckenham. Listen HERE.


  • 2024-03-23 02:51:58 PM

    Jeff 'Glotz' Glotzer wrote:

    Pretty freakin cool... I want this. The price might make me pause.

    • 2024-03-23 03:27:30 PM

      Malachi Lui wrote:

      feeling the same way. i'd hoped to get the 'divine symmetry' box set for 'hunky dory' once it came down in price, but it never did. expecting the same for this one.

  • 2024-03-23 07:49:24 PM

    Zaphod wrote:

    I am not a “real” music buff or something, because I never “got” the need to have, or hear, several variants or “demos” of a song that I like. Typically they do not sound that good to me and are more of a novelty or a historical thing. I typically think this is just a way for the record labels to jack up the price of the album. Just give me the best mastered version on vinyl of the songs the way I like them and listened to for years is all I need. But this is just me.

    • 2024-03-24 01:22:47 AM

      Malachi Lui wrote:

      sometimes the acoustic demos sound quite good, if recorded simply with minimal processing on decent gear (and if the source is in good shape). can't speak to whether or not that's the case here--the demos on the last bowie deluxe CD set sounded a bit rough. yes, this stuff is mostly of historical value to hardcore fans. and at this price, warner isn't aiming this towards the casual listeners anyway.

      i welcome these sorts of releases, as long as the release strategy is logical. nice to see that they've figured out how NOT to do it: a few years ago, the 'space oddity' demos came in drips and drabs over a couple 7" box sets before appearing on a big CD set like this one. it was excessive and too obvious of a cash grab, so everyone got burnt out fast (and those demos weren't very good anyway).