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With 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie invented the spectacular formula that he would follow for the rest of his career: embodying a fascinating, not-quite-human character with bits of Bowie himself and bits of spooky supernatural fantasy woven together around a loose rock and roll concept album, Bowie's genius burns through Ziggy Stardust, a surreal rock opera about a bisexual alien rockstar from outer space. Backed by fellow superstar Mick Ronson and even featuring an uncredited appearance by Rick Wakeman of Yes, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust is not only essential Bowie, but an essential album in the modern history of popular music. This is high concept glam rock, but don't let that fool you– there's nothing complicated about the soaring pop power of these songs.