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“I really don’t understand the acclaim for this album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great record, but I’m shocked to be talking about it 40 years later. When we made it, we would’ve been happy if people remembered it after six months. That’s what we expected of all records back then.
“I had produced the previous album, Hunky Dory, but before that David had worked with Tony Visconti. I think why David moved to me was that Tony, as a musician in the band, was controlling everything with the vocals. David needed to find his own road, his own ideas.
“Working with George Martin, I learned how to let the artist create. You let them go as far as they can. If they lose track of things, that’s when you pull them back.
“David had his characters over the course of his career, but the whole Ziggy persona wasn’t going on at the start of the album – it came later. When we were in the studio, he was just David Jones. But you know, it’s like your kids: You don’t see the changes every day. It’s not until somebody comes by who hasn’t seen them in a while and they go, ‘My, how you’ve changed!’
“Working with Mick Ronson was great. Ronno was such a lovely guy – and a brilliant, intuitive guitarist. I didn’t have to do anything special with him, really. He played through a Marshall, but he had a wah-wah pedal before it. He found the wah setting he liked and left it there. All his sounds came just like that.”