Not merely one of David Bowie's best songs but easily one of the greatest album-opening songs ever, "Five Years" introduces Ziggy Stardust with a dramatic, powerful air, both musically and lyrically. Starting only with Woody Woodmansey's steady drums before Bowie starts to sing, backed by piano and bass, "Five Years" feels just like the start of a film or a stage production, the introduction to a larger piece. Given the quasi-concept album nature of the Ziggy Stardust album as a whole, that makes excellent sense, but it can work just as well on its own. Bowie's description of a world starting to crack at the seams, a series of fragmentary, apocalyptic images transforming into a search for connection while doom steadily draws nearer. His singing is among his best performances, in particular the line "I never thought there'd be so many people," delivered in the elegant demi-croon he would later make more prominent. The introduction of Mick Ronson's string arrangement adds to the cinematic edge of the song, as does some squalling guitar from Ronson, even as Bowie sounds more desperate and on the brink.