Listen To David Bowie’s ‘Cracked Actor’ From ‘Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture’
The live version of Cracked Actor from David Bowie’s legendary show at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July 1973 is now available on YouTube – and you can check it out below.
Cracked Actor also features on the newly-released soundtrack album for Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars – The Motion Picture 50th Anniversary, which is also now available. Filmed by the renowned D.A. Pennebaker (Monterey Pop, Bob Dylan – Don’t Look Back, Depeche Mode 101), the film captures the momentous show where Bowie effectively retired his iconic alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, and his band, The Spiders From Mars, in front of 5000 stunned fans. For this new release, the film has been fully digitally restored in a process overseen by D.A. Pennebaker’s son, Frazer, with remastered audio.
The shocking announcement came as a surprise to all in attendance – including members of his band.
Photographer Mick Rock was given a couple of days’ advance warning, enabling him to prepare to capture history in the making, even if he wasn’t entirely clear on Bowie’s intentions. “I wasn’t quite sure whether he meant he wasn’t going to perform live ever again,” Rock told Uncut magazine 30 years later, “or whether he just meant as that persona.”
The film and its soundtrack have been newly remastered with the medley of The Jean Genie/Love Me Do and Round And Round featuring the late legendary Jeff Beck reinstated – the latter track making its very first appearance anywhere. Both performances were newly mixed by long-time Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti.
The studio version of Cracked Actor also appeared on Bowie’s sixth album, Aladdin Sane. The song was written following his stay at Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, where he witnessed prostitutes, drug use and sex. The song’s narrator is an aging film star whose life is beginning to decline and the song’s lyric features numerous double entendres regarding film stardom and sex, such as “show me you’re real/reel”, “smack, baby, smack” and “you’ve made a bad connection.”