Album release: Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture

David Bowie’s third live album, Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, was released on 24 October 1983.

It was the recording of Bowie’s legendary farewell concert of 3 July 1973, in which he famously broke up the Spiders From Mars on stage.

The album was issued as a two-disc set, with the running order amended slightly to fit on vinyl discs. There was also a cassette version, and a US promo on clear vinyl, limited to 1,000 copies.

It was the soundtrack to DA Pennebaker’s documentary Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, which was also released in October 1983.

Ziggy Stardust – The Motion Picture album cover

In the UK the album reached number 17, charting on 30 October. It fared less well in the US, peaking at number 89.

Bowie’s cover version of the Velvet Underground’s ‘White Light/White Heat’ was released as a single in November 1983.

The album was first released on compact disc in August 1992, as part of the Rykodisc/EMI series of reissues.

In 2002 Visconti created a new stereo mix, which came out in April 2003 under the title Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture Soundtrack. This 30th anniversary edition was widely – though not universally – considered to be an improvement on the original versions.

By the time the film, titled Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, was mixed for the first time ten years later in 1983, David was back working with Tony Visconti again. It was remixed again by Visconti and Rich Tozzoli for the 30th Anniversary DVD edition in 2003. To be quite honest, I’m not a fan of either mix.
Ken Scott
Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust
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