45 Years Of Aladdin Sane

We're Celebrating 45 years of this Bowie classic, released today in 1973

Forty-five years ago today, David Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane” was released. After redefining glam-rock with his Ziggy Stardust persona, Bowie released this harder rock, American influenced album full of new sounds and songs he created in a bus riding over America. Rolling Stone said the album was “immersed in the decadence and sleaze of American culture.” The Clash said, “The influence of America saturated the album, with several tracks rooted lyrically in Bowies American experiences as the bus groaned across the vast wastelands of the land of the free.” Bowie meant rock n’ roll business with this album, strongly creating his new image and “killing off,” or perhaps developing the beloved Ziggy into someone new.

This new character on the cover of Aladdin Sane became one of Bowie’s most iconic images. The title “Aladdin Sane” was apparently a play-off of “A Lad Insane,” which Bowie portrayed on the cover of his album. The lighting bold splitting his face was used to represent duality of mind, although Bowie later told his friends that “A Lad Insane” was actually inspired by his schizophrenic brother. The “duality of mind” came from Bowies feelings toward America, to which he was “simultaneously appalled and fixated.”

As Bowie was fixated on America, America was fixated on him. People labeled David Bowie as a “musical chameleon,” changing with the trends, fashion, and sounds than would come and pass throughout his peak in the 60s and 70s. It was because of this incredible skill that Bowie was known as one of the leading musicians of pop for five decades.

“Aladdin Sane” was Bowie’s 6th studio album, and was named one of the 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone at number 277. The album had several hit singles, including “The Jean Genie,” “Drive-In Saturday,” and later, “Time” and “Night Together.”

There will be a Silver Vinyl reissue released on April 20th to celebrate 45 years of this historic album.

Fans can test their Bowie knowledge by taking our Bowie Quiz, here. 

-Toni-ann Mattera