Alternate Photos from David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ Cover Shoot

Ziggy Stardust may have been the character that made David Bowie a rock ‘n’ roll legend, but he hadn’t fully embodied his alter ego — with his skintight, androgynous costumes, red mullet, and elaborate makeup — by the time photographer Brian Ward shot the cover of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in January 1972. Instead, the super-saturated art for that album shows Bowie in a transitional stage between his long-haired hippie days and the glam alien he would soon become, sporting a shiny, flamboyant suit and a spiky, golden coiffure.In the 40 years since Ziggy Stardust‘s release, its cover has become so iconic that London’s Heddon Street, where Ward captured Bowie alone when his band refused to venture outside for a photo shoot in the cold, now bears a plaque in its honor. Since we can’t get enough of Bowie, and are particularly fascinated by this period of his career, we were thrilled to see that Retronaut has uncovered a trove of alternate shots from that session. Click through to see a few of our favorites.


Photo credit: Brian Ward