Recording: Aladdin Sane

David Bowie and the Spiders From Mars were on the penultimate day of a week’s recording sessions for the Aladdin Sane album on 10 December 1972.

The sessions took place at RCA Studios in New York City, with Ken Scott producing.

Since the tour was extended and David and the band wouldn’t be back in the UK for some time, it was decided that I should come over to the States to begin recording their next album. We started recording tracks, some of which would eventually become part of Aladdin Sane, in New York City at RCA Studios, such as a version of ‘All The Young Dudes’ that was never used until various releases a lot later, ‘Drive-In Saturday’, ‘The Prettiest Star’, and another that we started but didn’t get very far with. Everything else on the album ended up being done back at Trident. The only change in the band was the addition of Mike Garson on the piano.
Ken Scott
Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust

Following this session the Spiders flew back to the UK. Bowie stayed on, and did some final recording on 11 December.

As the tour had been extended we were a little behind on recording so Ken Scott flew over to join us in RCA Studios to get some tracks in the can. We recorded ‘Drive-In Saturday’, which Bowie had written somewhere mid-tour and had already performed acoustically at one of our concerts. It’s one of my favourite Bowie songs from this period. It tells of a time in the future where people have lost the art of making love and have to resort to reading books and watching films to remind them. We also recorded ‘Prettiest Star’ and a version of ‘All The Young Dudes’.

With those tracks finished we flew back home on 10 December. Bowie sailed back on the RHMS Ellinis with some of the entourage.

Woody Woodmansey
Spider From Mars: My Life With Bowie

On this evening Bowie spent time with Mott The Hoople frontman Ian Hunter, playing him the songs recorded so far for Aladdin Sane. They dined together at the Stage Deli on 7th Avenue.

Bowie told Hunter that a band could not exist as a democracy, giving an early indication of his desire to break up the Spiders From Mars.

Last updated: 4 May 2023
Recording: Aladdin Sane
Recording: Aladdin Sane
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