Forty years ago, David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars put stars in the eyes and androgynous clothing on the backs of fans all over the world. It was so ahead of its time, so completely different from the ’60s-hangover rock that still ruled the airwaves, that its influence still lingers today. The latest example is Paper Bag Records vs. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, a new compilation that has the label’s artists covering tracks from the album.
For the most part, the updates add electronic elements that complement Bowie’s spacey aesthetic. We’re enjoying Slim Twig’s already-descended-to-hell take on “It Ain’t Easy,” PS I Love You’s sing-along “Moonage Daydream,” Born Ruffians’ wistful “Five Years,” and especially Austra and CFCF’s heady, romantic, multi-layered “Soul Love.” You don’t want to miss The Luyas’ French spoken-word “Lady Stardust” or the bonus track, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan’s fully deconstructed “John, I’m Only Dancing,” either. Best of all, the tribute album is available for free download at Paper Bag’s website. [via Largehearted Boy]