David Bowie

David Live - 1974

Along the David Bowie timeline, the era between the fall of Ziggy Stardust and the rise of the Thin White Duke is a bit hazy. A span of albums that included an attempt at a new alter ego, a half-baked musical adaptation of 1984, and a short lived blue-eyed soul fascination proved that while his frequent reinvention may have fallen short of genius, it was the continued strength of Bowie's songwriting which kept him at the top of the pop heap. Overlooked in the years following its 1974 release, David Live shakes the tunes from the constraints of their overbearing albums, and shifts the focus back to the songs themselves; making it a vital document in getting to the bottom of Bowie's transitional period. Although touring in support of the recently released Diamond Dogs, it’s the material from 1973's Aladdin Sane that brims with a road worn confidence and steals the show. "Jean Genie" and "Cracked Actors" could never strut and swell with as much bloated passion as they do here. Unfortunately, Bowie seems far less inspired in bringing the songs from his then current album to the stage. Stripped of its trademark opening guitar lick, "Rebel Rebel" is buoyed by backup vocals and horns, but never lives up the the studio version's swagger. And considering Bowie cut Young Americans at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios in the middle of this tour, it's amazing that David Live contains none of the songs that made that album such a crossover success. That's not to say it doesn't hint at things to come. With lavish stage productions being half the reason to witness the man in the flesh, the high water mark set by the studio albums makes the live document almost unnecessary. The gorgeous packaging of this 2005 reissue, complete with fold out sleeve, a full list of 1974 tour dates plus extensive notes and photos, does make it a little easier to add an "inessential" to your collection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much , i used to have the vinyl of this back in the day before i had to sell my collection due to debt , thanks for your hard work sir .