David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album has been given a reggae makeover as Ziggy Stardub with the aid of Rush's Alex Lifeson and Living Colour's Vernon Reid

Ziggy Stardub cover
(Image credit: Easy Star All-Stars)

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, Living Colour's Vernon Reid and  Fishbone are among the guests who've contributed to a reggae re-imagining of David Bowie's classic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

The album, Ziggy Stardub, has been assembled by New York-born musician and producer Michael Goldwasser, the man behind the Easy Star All-Stars, who previously gave the world Dub Side of the Moon, a dub version of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, Radiodread, a reggae version of OK Computer, and Thrillah, a reggae re-imagining of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

In addition to the aforementioned guests, the album features appearances from Macy Gray (on Rock 'N' Roll Suicide), LA roots-reggae band The Expanders (on Suffragette City), Birmingham reggae legends Steel Pulse (on Five Years), English punks The Skints (on Ziggy Stardust) and London-born reggae vocalist Maxi Priest, who supplies vocals on the album's lead-off single, a reworking of Starman.

"It’s the song most pivotal to the loose storyline of the original album," Michael Goldwasser tells Rolling Stone. "Maxi Priest made sense for the song because his vocal versatility has crossed genres and boundaries. The chorus of ‘Starman’ has this lift that really draws people in because it jumps an entire octave from the ‘star’ to ‘man.’ 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."

Listen to Starman below:

Ziggy Stardub will be released on April 21, and is available to pre-order now on Bandcamp.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.