David Bowie / Aladdin Sane 40th anniversary remaster coming to CD

David Bowie / Aladdin Sane 40th Anniversary Reissue

A 40th anniversary edition of David Bowie’s 1973 Aladdin Sane album will be reissued by Parlophone Label Group on 13 April 2013. It is being made available on CD and a version ‘Mastered for iTunes’.

The album – which features the hits The Jean Genie and Drive-In Saturday – was originally co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott, and this reissue has been remastered by Ray Staff at London’s AIR Studios. Ray cut the original LP during his time at Trident Studios (his remaster of the Ziggy Stardust, reissued last year, was widely praised).

Disappointingly, this reissue looks to be a bare-bones remaster, with no bonus tracks or newly created surround sound mix. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, because when Rykodisc reissued David Bowie’s RCA catalogue in 1990, Aladdin Sane was the only studio album to be re-released without any bonus material. The disliked 1999 remaster from EMI also came sans extras, and even the 30th 2CD set from 2003 had a bonus disc which contained a fair bit of previously released material (some from the Ryko’s 1989 Sound+Vision box set).

David Bowie / The Prettiest Star single 1970
The Prettiest Star was an old song from 1970

The recording of Aladdin Sane was rather squeezed into the schedules in late 1972 as Bowie continued with his Ziggy Stardust tour. The inclusion of a cover of The Rolling Stones’ Let’s Spend The Night Together and the re-recording of his old 1970 single The Prettiest Star suggests there was not an abundance of new material to record, which may go some way to explaining why Aladdin Sane is often bereft of bonus offerings, when reissued.


Aladdin Sane 40th Anniversary Edition tracklisting:

  • 1. Watch That Man
  • 2. Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)
  • 3. Drive-In Saturday
  • 4. Panic In Detroit
  • 5. Cracked Actor
  • 6. Time
  • 7. The Prettiest Star
  • 8. Let’s Spend the Night Together
  • 9. The Jean Genie
  • 10. Lady Grinning Soul


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Rob Deighton

I just walked into my local HMV in Hull to go and buy the AS remaster and they didn’t even have it in stock. Disappointing really as I was showing them a bit of support by buying instore – oh well Amazon it is then!


Agreed on the 24/96. The DVDs included have been a wonderful edition for the vinyl issues, a way to have a high end digital version (and convert to other formats if you know how). Talk Talk’s vinyl reissues of Colour of Spring and Spirit of Eden did the same and they also sound wonderful.

If they release an Aladdin Sane with the DVD (and hopefully some of those bonus tracks) I’m there. Otherwise what’s the point exactly? Anyone who really wants this album by know pretty much as a copy of it.


Personally, I think the 2012 Ziggy remaster is amazing! and this Aladdin Sane is also by Ray Staff, so it might be good. However, I will wait for the reviews before I buy (or not) this new version. What annoys me about all these reissues is the lack of lyrics, because it means that I can never get rid of my 1999 versions.


I wont be buying this until I hear it first. Very disappointed with the Ziggy 40th because of the squashed dynamic range, evrything is too loud in the mix, as a result you cannot play it loud (as it should be heard) on a decent sound system. BOWIE or whoever controls this stuff please seek out the ZAPPA remasters, follow that template with just a smidge more dynamic range, and in 96 /24 please.

Poor mastering is killing music.


I can’t believe that there will not be a vinyl + dvd like ziggy had with a 5.1 remix or an £80 super deluxe box set like every other ancient album reissue gets these days


Wish they would have at least given us a 24 bit version. I would be happy with a ‘Young Americans’ style reissue where a second disc was included with a 24 bit/48 khz stereo mix on DVD.
If they added the ‘Cracked Actor’ doc. that would be a bonus.
Last years “Ziggy Stardust” is one of the greatest sounding remasters I own.


The “Cracked Actor” doc. is not enough – (everyone’s got that on a bootleg anyway) – but if someone plundered the BBC archive and gave us the FULL CONCERT FOOTAGE…. THAT would be a bonus disc to die for! So get cracking EMI, BBC…make it happen and share the profit :-D


If it was being released in 24/96, I’d consider it. But I’m done buying 16 bit reissues.

[…] the news yesterday that David Bowie‘s 1973 Aladdin Sane is being prepped for a 40th anniversary reissue we look back at the man’s slightly less lauded Never Let Me Down album released only 14 […]


I called it the Berlin Trilogy because that’s what they’re known as. When will it stop? I somehow doubt it ever will. Best get used to it, I think. :)

Of course the history of the recordings is well known – but that doesn’t stop anything. ;-)



Paul Kent

Oh, Richard, don’t be so pedantic! :D


For heaven’s sake….when will this incorrect Berlin Trilogy naming thing end?

Mark Wilson

It has to be something MORE than the 30th Anniversary edition…

Howzabout digging into those Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed collaborations ?

Paul Kent

Nah, not for me. I’m getting fed up of EMI dropping the same old albums as yet another deluxe edition and/or remaster every couple of years while ignoring everything under their watch from 1977 onwards. I don’t understand why the “Berlin Trilogy” is continually overlooked and yet even “Young Americans” (in my opinion, one of his weakest albums) gets the deluxe treatment! I’ll wait, as I believe it will only be a matter of time before the catalogue transfers to Columbia and the whole shebang gets an overhaul.


Sitting next to my signed 1st edition is a 1990 EMI edition without extra tracks. I didn’t know they did it again in 1999?

No surprise how this album may now seem slightly less formed than others, and bizarre that they would tracklist it with one of his greatest ever songs at the end of side 2.


What about a new release of Hunky Dory (my personal early favourite)? Sparkly remaster and new surround and the Ryko extra tracks, yummy…


Yes, why was Hunky Dory passed over, I love that album


I agree with DEAN. I’ll buy it because I always do, but I would love to spend some money on something else instead of the same albums over and over. A Super Deluxe reissue of the “Berlin” Trilogy would be absolutely amazing. And I loved the Outside album and I have a number of bootlegs with a lot of outtakes. A proper deluxe version of that would be awesome.

Private Pop Musings

The original vinyl and Japan Aladdin Sane CD are great. No DVD-Audio, reissued vinyl?


Well, I always end up buying Bowie releases, even when I have then three times on CD already…. call me a fan. Expectations for this aren’t high, especially as it adds nothing new.

But why – oh why – do the same albums keep getting reissues? When are we going to get special editions of the Berlin trilogy?!?!? Heck, even Outside – not a favorite of mine – could make a great Special Edition (apparently hours of material was recorded curing the sessions).

Come on, give us what we want!


Excellent, I bought the Ryko edition last year so no need for me to buy this 40th anniversary edition then.