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David Live: At The Tower Theatre Philadelphia - David Bowie

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Genre: Rock - Pop Rock / Artist: David Bowie / Live / Audio CD released 2005-11-14 at EMI

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      14.05.2009 15:25
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      Rock history, from a time of change from Bowie... Ziggy is dead, long live the Duke!

      David Live stems from a lost golden era of recording, when the gate-fold sleeve double LP was commonplace. That's four sides back then, but this 2005 reissue is a remastered two-CD set that I'm glad to say, has the original live set list in the order it was performed - something the original '74 album lacked. OK, let's start by setting the scene; Mr Bowie has seen off Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane and more recently Diamond Dogs and as is customary, bewilders loyal fans by reinventing himself yet again, into the aptly named 'Thin White Duke'. He's in Philadelphia, and ready to rock the soul capital of America.

      Bowie performs tracks from what older fans regard his most creative period - early in his career - and from some recent iconic albums. 'Changes' from Hunky Dory. The brilliantly sad 'Rock And Roll Suicide' from Ziggy Stardust and of course, the timeless 'Space Oddity', performed in an unfamiliar soulful manner. Collectively, they're here to remind us, the audience of our mere mortal nature. For even at this early stage in Bowie's career the repertoire reeked of rock god. Bowie rearranges many of the tracks on David Live from the recorded works, almost obsessively. Sheer originality? Yes, of course, but may just upset the odd purist. The new band, mostly put together for Diamond Dogs earlier in the year, seem ready to prove themselves worthy. Album title track 'Aladdin Sane' is jazzed-up as never before, and the band work it a treat. 'Width Of A Circle' from The Man Who Sold The World is given new atmospheric instrumental treatments - a far cry from the original.

      Air guitar tracks are here too, 'Rebel, Rebel', 'The Jean Genie' and 'All The Young Dudes' are worth the ticket price alone. But, from the moment the band hit into '1984', the crowd know they're in for something special - showing a funkier side to Bowie unseen until now. David Sanborn blows a mean Sax throughout in his own inimitable way and Earl Slick's axe-work, especially on the great 'Panic In Detroit' defies the 7" it fitted on to. In fact, it wasn't on the original album but made the b-side of the only released single, Eddie Floyd's 'Knock On Wood' - which reached #10 in the UK. Both are excellent examples of Bowie's future intent, funk-rock-soul, more evident, it must be said, in the following album Young Americans, again set in Philly and boasting a talented young Luther Vandross, no less. The Bowie faithful, still not over the demise of beloved backing band, The Spiders From Mars, barely have time to adjust hairdos - as Bowie moves from rock over to soul in one album. David Live has some brilliantly chilled moments. Most notable, 'Sweet Thing' from the newly cut Diamond Dogs is performed with a certain panache that only Bowie can execute - one almost imagines girls covering their ears for a moment: 'Boys, boys, it's a sweet thing...' He was right of course - very sweet indeed, how we boys listened. If you're a fan of Bowie, nostalgia and rock history, this album is priceless and somewhat overlooked - go buy it!

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 1984
      2 Rebel Rebel
      3 Moonage Daydream
      4 Sweet Thing/Candidate
      5 Changes
      6 Suffragette City
      7 Aladdin Sane
      8 All The Young Dudes
      9 Cracked Actor
      10 Rock 'n' Roll With Me
      11 Watch That Man

      Disc #2 Tracklisting
      1 Knock On Wood
      2 Here Today Gone Tomorrow
      3 Space Oddity
      4 Diamond Dogs
      5 Panic In Detroit
      6 Big Brother
      7 Time
      8 Width Of A Circle
      9 Jean Genie
      10 Rock 'n' Roll Suicide