RCD 10138/39 David Live
Produced by Tony Visconti
Released on November 1974
UK CHART POSITION #2 . . . US CHART POSITION #8
Find it at GEMM
RCD 10138/39 inner sleeve  

P ressed to his lips in a soulful kiss, the Bowie songbook simply sparkles on David Live. The first of his official live albums found the artist in mid morphing, half decadent diamond dog and half bedazzling dabbler in the disco scene. To suit his newfound sensibilities, David Live chooses from his back catalog with care, arriving with armfuls from his last two albums (Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane). As those albums found David cultivating a persona as an androgynous cabaret singer from the future, this double album didn’t endear itself to listeners who simply wanted Bowie to rock out. But fans had learned to embrace the artist in all his guises, even when he was swooning over some “Sweet Thing.” Though he adopts a slightly different stance on some songs, notably a pouty performance of “Rebel Rebel” and a stalking “Jean Genie,” the band generally stays true to the spirit of the originals. The trick here is that Bowie goes for the cabaret cut from his catalog to match his new mood: “Changes,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” and even “Width of a Circle.” These songs played up the camp factor in Bowie’s personality, loaded as they were with bisexual energy. The suggestion by some that Bowie’s voice sounds tired or that the arrangements already embrace the soul experiment of Young Americans is largely off base. These treatments are completely in line with Bowie’s piano-led compositions and his voice sounds marvelous most of the time (he does seem tired by the time “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” rolls around). Despite a few missed opportunities (“Rock ‘N’ Roll With Me” should have been a revelation), David Live could be seen as the culmination of Bowie’s bid to become the best singer possible (which started with Aladdin Sane and found greater expression on Pin-Ups). If that’s not enough of a selling point, the album also includes the artist’s own interpretation of “All The Young Dudes” and a cover of “Knock On Wood.” The Rykodisc reissue upped the ante by including a live performances of “Time” and the heretofore unheard Bowie original “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” (which finds the spirit of Philadelphia upon him). I suppose I should mention the album is drawn from concerts recorded during the middle of July 1974 at the Tower Theatre, Philadelphia.

RCD 10138/9 booklet back cover CPL2-0771 front cover
RCD 10138/9 booklet back cover CPL2-0771 front cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. 1984    3:20
  2. REBEL REBEL    2:40
  3. MOONAGE DAYDREAM    5:10
  4. SWEET THING    8:48
  5. CHANGES    3:34
  6. SUFFRAGETTE CITY    3:45
  7. ALADDIN SANE    4:57
  8. ALL THE YOUNG DUDES    4:18
  9. CRACKED ACTOR    3:29
  10. ROCK 'N' ROLL WITH ME    (David Bowie/Warren Peace)    4:18
  11. WATCH THAT MAN    4:55
  12. KNOCK ON WOOD    (Eddie Floyd/Steve Cropper)    3:08
  13. DIAMOND DOGS    6:32
  14. BIG BROTHER    4:08
  15. WIDTH OF A CIRCLE    8:12
  16. JEAN GENIE    5:13
  17. ROCK 'N' ROLL SUICIDE    4:30

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  18. BAND INTRO    :09
  19. HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW    3:32
  20. TIME    5:19 All songs written by David Bowie unless noted

CREDITS

DAVID BOWIE -- vocals
GUI ANDRISSANO -- vocal backings
HERBIE FLOWERS -- bass
MIKE GARSON -- piano, mellotron
RICHARD GRANDO -- baritone sax, flute
MICHAEL KAMEN -- electric piano, Moog, oboe, musical director
TONY NEWMAN -- drums
WARREN PEACE -- vocal backings
PABLO ROSARIO -- percussion
DAVID SANBORN -- alto sax, flute
EARL SLICK -- guitar
Tony Visconti -- mixing
Edwin H. Kramer -- mixing
Dagmar -- cover photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 1974 RCA 2LP APL2-0771 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
BRA 1974 RCA 2LP 1114003  
US/CAN November 1974 RCA 2LP/8T CPL2/CPS52-0771 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
NET 1974 RCA Victor 2LP CPL2-0771 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
JPN   RCA 2LP 9105/6  
US 1990 Rykodisc 2CDX/2CSX RCD/RAC2 10138/9 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
AUS 1990 EMI 2CDX CDP 79 5363 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
BRA 1990 EMI 2LPX 7953621 gatefold cover w. bonus tracks

 

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