Aladdin Sane (2013 Remaster)
Mostly written during the whirlwind of Bowie's first American tour, Aladdin Sane sounds at first like a harder-edged, flashier version of Ziggy Stardust. Closer listening reveals an ambitious examination of decadence and excess. Unsettling character studies like the Stonesy "Watch That Man" and the chaotic proto-punk strut "Cracked Actor" clash provocatively against the strangely beautiful title track. That song's avant-garde piano solo is echoed by the lush, cinematic atmosphere of "Lady Grinning Soul," while "Drive-In Saturday" and "The Prettiest Star" recontextualize early rock sounds.