"Aladdin Sane" was released 50 years ago: some interesting facts about David Bowie's historic album

Aladdin Sane', David Bowie's sixth studio album, was released worldwide on 13 April 1973. It was released while the singer-songwriter was on tour in Japan, with over 100,000 copies already pre-ordered before its release.

From the cover art to the famous songs inside, 'Aladdin Sane' is considered an iconic album and was Bowie's first recording project to reach the top of the UK charts and enter the Top 20 in the US. 

Here are five interesting facts about 'Aladdin Sane', which turns 50 years old today.

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"Aladdin Sane" was published on April 13, 1973
On April 13, 1973, "Aladdin Sane", David Bowie's sixth studio album, was released worldwide, put on the market while the singer-songwriter was busy with his tour in Japan, with more than 100,000 copies already reserved before the record's release. From the cover to the famous songs within it, "Aladdin Sane" is an iconic album and was the first by Bowie to enter Top 20 in the United States. Here are five interesting facts about "Aladdin Sane", which just happens to be fifty years old today.
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Where did the inspiration for the album come from?
The inspiration for the making of this record is a trip Bowie took to the United States by train and by the Greyhound bus in 1972. These "travel notes" are totally reflected in the record, which in fact represents the ideal tour of a European citizen who arrived in the U.S., a land with which Bowie had always been in love and fascinated. Musically, however, David was mainly inspired by rock'n'roll: in particular, the singer wanted the album to evoke the typical sounds of The Rolling Stones.
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The origin of the title
The title of the album derives from a play on words: in fact, it comes from "A Lad Insane" ("a crazy guy"), a phrase intended to recall the mood and mental state of Bowie during the period in which he devoted himself to the production of this record. The title, moreover, would represent a tribute to David's brother , Terry, who had been diagnosed with severe schizophrenia.
How the historic cover came about
The cover of "Aladdin Sane" features one of the most famous and iconic images of Bowie's career . The photographer Brian Duffy believed that the lightning bolt design was inspired to the singer by a ring that belonged to Elvis Presley: in fact, the image aspired to represent all the nuances of the singer-songwriter's personality. Among the various shots, the photographer chose a frontal, downcast-eyed image in which the expression would appear contemplative, in complete contrast to the harsh thunderbolt that divides the face. The tear present on the collarbone, on the other hand, was a Duffy's idea.
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When and where was the record composed?
The album began to be produced in New York on October 6, 1972 with the recording of "The Jean Genie" and processing continued until early December in the United States. Once the American part of the Ziggy Stardust Tour was finished, the recording sessions continued with "The Prettiest Star", "Drive-In Saturday" and "Let's Spend the Night Together." The remaining tracks were recorded in London after returning home and concluded on January 24, 1973 with "Panic In Detroit".
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The special reception of the album
Before its release, the record already had an impressive pre-order demand. Many of the reviews were positive, however in the UK, there was no shortage of criticism from the music press, especially for Bowie's artistic evolution. Nevertheless, 'Aladdine Sane' was a commercial success and allowed Bowie to reach the top of the charts in his home country for the first time, with 27 weeks in the Top 10. On 27 December 2019, the album was certified platinum in the UK.
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