We thought there was no better time to celebrate the late, great Mick Ronson than on what would’ve been the guitarist’s 74th birthday. His work with David Bowie would be a shining moment in a wonderful legacy and mark Ronson’s guitar as one of the leading lights of glam rock.
We’re revisiting one of those glittering glam rock moments with the isolated guitar solo from David Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’. The song may well be the archetypal Ziggy Stardust tune but it was the Spider from Mars who stole the show on this one.
Few partnerships were as influential as David Bowie and Mick Ronson in the seventies. As two of the focal members of the glam rock scene, the duo soundtracked a rock and roll revolution between 70 and 73. Producing albums under Bowie’s name like Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, Pin Ups and of course Ziggy Stardust the pair were creatively inseparable.
Ronson would also feature on other prominent Bowie-affiliated albums like Lou Reed’s Transformer and Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes — it makes for an astounding back catalogue and lends weight to the notion that Ronson’s famous guitar deserves to be championed alongside the genre’s greatest.
It was on Bowie’s introduction to his notorious alien rock star from outer space, Ziggy Stardust and the 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust that Ronson really shined.
Across the entire record, Ronson’s sound is formidable but there’s one moment which typified Ronson’s work — the solo on Bowie’s iconic track ‘Moonage Daydream’. It lands around the 3:12 mark and after Bowie utters “Freak out. Far Out.” (following a ream of extraordinary lyrics), Ronson lets snarling an alien life form escape from his guitar.
Perfectly capturing the bizarre and crazed intensity of the song, Ronson’s sonics mirror that of a terrifying yet beguiling machine from another world. It would not be a ludicrous notion to think that without it, the song would struggle to land as heavily as it did and continues to do. It’s perfectly capture in the isolated guitar solo below.
Though Bowie and Ronson didn’t always stay connected, drifting apart for some years before Ronson’s untimely death, there is no doubt that together they soundtracked an entire generation’s youth and continmue to do so to this day.
Listen to Mick Ronson’s isolated guitar solo on David Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’