“I’ll Be Your King Volcano!”

This month’s Uncut cover story digs deep into David Bowie‘s groundbreaking Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars album, as an expansive new box set, Rock N Roll Star!, unearths outtakes, alternate versions, radio sessions and more to shed new light on his doomed extra-terrestrial rocker.

In this excerpt from our cover story, we preview 10 tracks from the upcoming Rock N Roll Star! box…




“Hang On To Yourself”

[Early demo]


Bowie had just met Gene Vincent when he recorded this demo at the home of an RCA executive in the US in February 1972, which might explain the retro feel of one of the Ziggy songs that took longest to get right.

“Sweet Head”

[Haddon Hall rehearsal]

An early version of the Ziggy outtake that was probably dropped from the running order due to the sexual references. Bowie also dropped “Velvet Goldmine” for similar reasons – and along with the use of American slang, it shows that he was actively courting the US market.


“I’m Waiting For The Man”

[BBC Radio session]

Bowie’s love of the Velvet Underground was profound and he regularly covered both “White Light/White Heat” and “I’m Waiting For The Man”. This outstanding version of the latter was recorded for John Peel’s Sounds Of The 70s on January 11, 1972 and boasts wild Ronson guitar.

“Five Years”

[BBC Radio session]

Recorded for Bob Harris on Sounds Of The 70s on January 18, this was one of the first times the band had played “Five Years” outside Trident. It was broadcast on February 7, introducing Ziggy Stardust’s scene-setting opener to the wider world.


“Moonage Daydream”

[BBC Radio session]

With the band halfway through their UK tour, Bowie was flying when he recorded this excellent Sounds Of The 70s session with John Peel in May 72. Augmented by Nicky Graham’s jabbing keyboard, it gives a sense of how powerful the band would have sounded in the small venues they were still playing.

“Rock N Roll Suicide”

[BBC Radio session]

This thrilling version of Ziggy Stardust’s dramatic finale was recorded at a Sounds Of The 70s session with Bob Harris on May 23. It was the last song Bowie recorded for the BBC until August 1991.


“Velvet Goldmine”

[Ziggy session out-take]

The cabaret-influenced “Velvet Goldmine” had been knocking about since the start of 1971 before it was finally dropped. The track eventually featured on the B-side of a reissue of “Space Oddity” in 1975.

“My Death”

[Live at Music Hall Boston]

A previously unreleased live favourite recorded at the Music Hall in Boston in October on the Ziggy tour, exquisitely performed and recorded for a proposed live album. Shortly after, Bowie would start to introduce songs for Aladdin Sane to the set list.



[Ziggy session out-take]

This was one of the first songs recorded at Trident, and Bowie still hadn’t finalised the lyric, demonstrating that his editing and writing process continued until the moment he recorded the final vocal.

“I Can’t Explain”

[Trident Studio version]

Nobody is entirely sure why Bowie led the band through a rip-snorting cover of the Who classic during a recording session for “John, I’m Only Dancing”. Was he already thinking ahead to Pin Ups..?

Read the full feature only in the latest edition of Uncut – in shops now and available to buy direct from us here

Rock N Roll Star! is released by Parlophone Records on June 14 and can be pre-ordered here