The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, probably Bowie's best known album, has a long history on CD. The first CD release appeared in 1983 on RCA. As the RCA CDs ran out of stock around the mid 80s, the remastered reissue by Rykodisc/EMI from 1990 was very welcome. The bonus tracks (particularly the previously unheard 'Sweet Head') completed the most anticipated David Bowie CD release.
In 1999 EMI again reissued the album, this time remastered by Peter Mew with Nigel Reeve. Although the packaging of this re-release was excellent, it attracted far less attention than the Rykodisc reissue, probably because the 1999 EMI release dropped the bonus tracks while the Rykodisc edition still was quite easily obtainable.
In 2002, a 30th Anniversary 2CD Edition of the album appeared as another remastering attempt, again by Mew and Reeve. The bonus disc included tracks from the Rykodisc reissue program, plus one "new" songa remix of 'Moonage Daydream' which had previously been made for a 1998 Dunlop Tyre commercial. The track 'Sweet Head' also contained half a minute of studio banter before the band launched into the song, but in all other respects this 'Take 4' is the same as it appeared on the Ryko CD.
For the 30th anniversary edition of Ziggy, one might assume that it would stay very close to original. This appears not be the case.
When an album appears twice within three years, remastered by the same persons, one might be forgiven for expecting the mastering to be comparable if not improved. However, it's hard to comprehend how two attempts at remastering the same material could come out so differently and in some respects inferior to the Ryko release.
Apparently EMI realized the mistakes and replaced the Japanese and EC releases with revised editions. On these, the reversed channels corrected, the opening piano note of 'Lady Stardust' is stronger, and the 1-2 count preceeding 'Hang On To Yourself' and the guitar lick at the end of 'Ziggy Stardust' have been restored.
Finally, the 2CD includes a lengthy essay by David Buckley and a timeline by Kevin Cann. But on other hand it is the only CD release not to include the lyrics. Instead, the listener is advised to visit BowieNet "for lyrics and all things related to David Bowie".
This note is partly based on two postings by Douglas Bailey in alt.fan.david-bowie