David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars will receive a reggae makeover on a forthcoming tribute album titled Ziggy Stardub, courtesy of the Easy Star All-Stars collective.
Helmed by producer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and Easy Star Records co-founder Michael Goldwasser, Ziggy Stardub will feature a wide range of guests, including Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid. It follows Easy Star All-Stars’ previous reggae takes on Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, Radiohead’s OK Computer and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Lead single “Starman,” led by British vocalist Maxi Priest, can be heard below.
“I listened to Ziggy Stardust as a teenager but once we decided to do it as the tribute album, I listened to it like crazy,” Goldwasser told Rolling Stone. “I thought about elements from the original songs, the little details that would be cool to interpolate or just copy into the new versions because I want people to listen many times over and hear different things every time. David Bowie was a genius but in order to do what I do, it takes a certain level of craziness to execute every detail of every arrangement, and then keep track of the big picture.”
Goldwasser added that “Starman” was “the song most pivotal to the loose storyline of the original album,” and he knew it would require an adept vocalist. “The chorus of ‘Starman’ has this lift that really draws people in because it jumps an entire octave from the ‘star’ to ‘man,’” he explained. “We needed an accomplished singer who could do something like that. It’s not easy, and I suspected Maxi could pull that off, and, of course, he did.”
Easy Star All-Stars will release Ziggy Stardub on April 21. More details about the album are available on Bandcamp.
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