The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars depicted an impending doomsday, an extraterrestrial visitation and its consequences for rock and society. Although never so billed, Ziggy was a rock opera, with plot, characters and musical and dramatic momentum. Aladdin Sane, in far less systematic fashion, works over the same themes—issuances from the Bowie schema which date back to The Man Who Sold the World. Bowie is cognizant that religion's geography—the heavens—has been usurped, either by science or by actual beings.
If by conventional lights Bowie is a lad insane, then as an Aladdin, a conjurer of supernatural forces, he is quite sane. The titles...
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