David Bowie's Aladdin Sane 50th anniversary to be celebrated in London with line up announced

Virgin Radio

27 Feb 2023, 14:09

Anna Calvi, Aladdin Sane artwork and Jake Shears

Credit: Getty/Brian Duffy

The 50th anniversary of David Bowie’s groundbreaking Aladdin Sane album will be celebrated at the Southbank Centre in London.

Released in 1973 and featuring the singer with a lightning flash on his face for the cover art, Aladdin Sane was Bowie’s sixth record and included hits like The Jean Genie and Drive-In Saturday.

On its 50th anniversary, the album is getting a two-month long exhibition opening on 6th April which will explore the original artwork and portrait photographed by Brian Duffy. There will also be a concert featuring acts such as Anna Calvi and Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters, playing the record in full.

The David Bowie Live concert is set to take place at Royal Festival Hall on 21st April and presale tickets will go on sale Tuesday 28th February at 10am here.

The exhibition has been curated by Duffy’s son Chris and Geoff Marsh and will also look at the photographers long-term collaboration with Bowie, who he photographed for subsequent albums including the 1979 record Lodger.

Speaking about the event, Chris said: “My father’s image of Bowie is often called the Mona Lisa of Pop. It’s important to remember it was the result of a short studio shoot using film, which then had to be sent out for commercial processing. There were no instant digital images or photoshop then.

“It’s extraordinary how it’s lasted and been endlessly reworked. Wherever I go in the world, it’s always somewhere on a t-shirt.”

Other events in the Aladdin Sane: 50 Years celebration also include a look back at Bowie’s history with the Southbank Centre, starting with one of his earliest gigs in 1969 to curating the Meltdown Festival in 2002. There will also be poetry performances, DJ sessions and talks all inspired by the legendary singer and his music.

Southbank Centre Artistic Director Mark Ball said: “We’re honoured to pay tribute to David Bowie, who made his debut at the Southbank Centre in 1969.

“The Aladdin Sane album cover portrait is considered to be one of the most influential pop culture images of the past half century, and the music remains fresh and contemporary, so we wanted to recognise this major anniversary and reflect on the album and its artwork’s enduring legacy.

“It’s a work that continues to inspire today’s contemporary artists and the gender fluidity of the images still resonate deeply in queer culture in the UK and across the world.”

For more information about events and how to get tickets go to southbankcentre.co.uk.