"Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" is a song by David Bowie, originally released as the closing track on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on 16th June 1972. It detailed Ziggy's final collapse as an old, washed-up rock star and, as such, was also the closing number of the Ziggy Stardust live show. In April 1974 RCA issued it as a single.
Bowie saw the song in terms of the French chanson tradition, while biographer David Buckley has described both "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" and the album's opening track "Five Years" as "more like avant-garde show songs than actual rock songs". Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine similarly found it to have "a grand sense of staged drama previously unheard of in rock & roll".
Although Bowie has suggested Baudelaire as his source, the lyrics "Time takes a cigarette..." are somewhat similar to the poem "Chants Andalous" by Manuel Machado: "Life is a cigarette / Cinder, ash and fire / Some smoke it in a hurry / Others savour it". The exhortation "Oh no, love, you're not alone" references the Jacques Brel song "You're Not Alone" ("Jef") that appeared in the musical Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Bowie performed Brel's "My Death" during some Ziggy Stardust live shows, and performed "Amsterdam" live on the BBC.