So, I got it into my head to revisit the Bowie Ryko releases. I found various threads on them, most quite negative. There are a couple threads on how best to re-EQ them and so on. I've in the past not been so kind to them, to be honest. But I have a hankering to give them a fresh go, starting tonight with Ziggy. Listening today, when strikes me most is how detailed the sound is. The sound of the drums at the start of 5 Years and Soul Love is exquisite. The acoustic guitar on most tracks is lovely too. It's even quite crankable if that's your thing. I've always felt Ziggy lacked in the bass department, and that's obvious here, but you kind of have to adjust to the sound of this album anyway. When things get hectic, such as the end Moonage Daydream, it can get a little much (harsh I guess), but there aren't too many of those moments. On the flip side, a track such as Rock and Roll Suicide is sublime, that guitar sounds gorgeous. The booklet is a bit of a miss, and I had to smile when I saw they actually spent more money on the booklet for Man Who Sold the World than they did the Ziggy. You get the lyrics here, but like many of these Ryko booklets, it feels a little like someone threw a lots of pictures in the air and glued them where they landed (which thinking about it is a lovely pictorial partner for Burroughs cut-up technique, which Bowie would later use). One thing I wanted to experience again were the bonus tracks. Having John I'm Only Dancing is really nice (I've never been a big fan of the Young Americans era version, much preferring the more stripped back one we get here). In retrospect, Ziggy would have been a better album without the cover tune, with John in its place. Velvet Goldmine is a fine song, am I alone in thinking there's a little Brecht in there? That chorus just sounds like a drunken bar room anthem. Sweet Head is a great little rocker, but I can see why the bluesy nature of it didn't quite fit anywhere. Mind you, it's a really fun song, and in retrospect it's odd that it completely fell by the wayside. I can only assume this was ultimately because it was forgotten as success bit. The demo for Ziggy is pretty good. I'm in the school of those who want everything and the kitchen sink, so the sonics here are fine by me, though clearly inferior. Actually, having Conversation Piece, you can imagine what the Ziggy set will contain down the road. I can't wait. Finally there's the solo piano version of Lady Stardust, one of my favorite Bowie tunes. The vocals here are actually better than the version used on the album, imo. Less clinical, and sounding more like an old tune he'd been performing a long time (elongated notes, a looser feel to the melody) All in all, the bonus tracks all add to the presentation. As an extended Ziggy experience, it's right on. Next up, Man Who Sold the World. Do I think I was a little hard on these in the past? Yes. Yes I was. In the never ending quest for the "very very very best, perfect, absolutely wonderful in every way" version, it's easy to get dismissive of a release because it bothers you in one way or another. You forget the good. In this case, I'm hearing some of the good tonight, and with the extended presentation and the cooklet that screams the 1990's, this is a worthy version, imo. Anyone still spin the Ryko's?