It's no surprise that ALADDIN SANE and PIN UPS came out in the same year. Each drip with the seedy sexuality of London's late '60s sexual revolution. Yet, while PIN UPS was a mid-'60s sampling of influences--a glorified cover album--ALADDIN SANE was all Bowie.
Stepping out of the Ziggy Stardust shadow (Bowie would announce his temporary retirement from the stage later that year), ALADDIN SANE was the aftermath of Ziggy's visit, a brutal memoir of the drugs, sex and glamour that a young starlet could find at the time. "Forget that I'm 50/'Cause you just got paid," Bowie croons, adopting the persona of a "Cracked Actor," and one wonders how far stardom had pushed Bowie. Was he indeed a lad insane?
The macho guitar rave-ups are a brilliant spewing of the PIN UPS influences. Mick Ronson's searing guitar is beautiful trash, made of Stonesy grind and dangerous Kinks-like riffing. Bowie is at an evocative peak, his vocals at once voyeuristic and enticing. His cover of "Let's Spend The Night Together" sends an unwashed shiver up the back, and his youthful exuberance on "Panic In Detroit" is charmingly believable.
ALADDIN SANE showed that Bowie was an artist with staying power that reached beyond his previous Martian Cult status.
Q (Magazine) (p.115) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Revelling in it all, David Bowie upgraded Ziggy's winning 1972 idea for '73's ALADDIN SANE, with the added madness of Mike Garson's jaggedly florid piano."