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Aladdin Sane 50th Anniversary (Half Speed Master)

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David always had the flash concept in his head,” says Chris. “Being a big Elvis fan who he shared his birthday with, he lifted it from his taking care of business in a flash acronym. When they were deciding on the colour scheme they agreed on the flash from the Panasonic rice cooker my grandma bought. So you could say she was elemental in bringing that to fruition.” His son Chris explains: “Duffy’s father was from Athlone and his mother from Mayo. They moved to London, and while he was conceived in Ireland, he was born in London.” For the shoot, Bowie had a striking flash painted on his face. Chris reveals how his nan had a part in influencing an image that also echoed a design used by Elvis and his ‘TCB’ (taking care of business) motto. There will also be talks exploring Aladdin Sane, Bowie, and his cultural significance. The National Poetry Library presents Aladdin Sound with ten of the UK’s most exciting poets in the Centre’s Purcell Room on 21 April. This new pressing of ALADDIN SANE was cut on a customised late Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully recapped electronics from 192kHz restored masters of the original master tapes, with no additional processing on transfer. The half-speed was cut by John Webber at AIR Studios.

Photographer Chris Duffy calls the image “the Mona Lisa of pop”. It was shot by his father, Brian Duffy, a renowned celebrity photographer who died in 2010. Bowie and Brian Duffy enjoyed a fruitful creative partnership: Aladdin Sane was the first of three album covers they shot together.

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Aladdin Sane: 50 Years will see a raft of events at The Southbank Centre celebrating the 50th anniversary of David Bowie’s iconic 1973 album, Aladdin Sane. Featuring a two-month long exhibition (6 April – 28 May) exploring the creation of the album’s iconic artwork, including the legendary lightning flash portrait by photographer Brian Duffy, as well as an amazing line-up of live music and talks inspired by the album.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, a number of artists will pay tribute to Bowie and Aladdin Sane in the Royal Festival Hall on April 21. Bowie, one of the most influential and revered musicians of the 20th century, died with liver cancer on January 10 2016, two days after his 69th birthday. It will also look at the music scene of the early 1970s, when Bowie and Brian Duffy first met, and go on to chart the relationship that developed between the musician and photographer. The album was preceded by two singles‘The Jean Genie’and‘Drive-In Saturday’,peaking in the U.K. singles chart at numbers 2 and 3 respectively,and was the first time he topped the U.K. album charts. It also markedBowie’sdebut on the U.S. charts reaching the top 20 album chart there, where an edited version of‘Time’was released as a single.

An exhibition to celebrate 50 years of David Bowie‘s album Aladdin Sane has been announced for London’s Southbank Centre.

Speaking to the Guardian on the eve of the exhibition’s opening, Chris Duffy said that for his father it was “just another job”. He added: “I don’t think any artist gets up in the morning and thinks I’m going to create a piece of brilliant art or a cultural icon. It’s all about timing. A lot of things came together at the right time to produce this.”


It confused people,” Cann says. “And I can understand that. But if you’re a Bowie fan and understand what was going on, you know that it was completely different.”

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