RCD-10144/5 Stage
Produced by David Bowie and Tony Visconti
Released on September 1978
UK CHART POSITION #5 . . . US CHART POSITION #44
Find it at GEMM
RCD-10144/5 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I was thirteen when I heard “TVC 15” on the radio for the first time, and how do you tell a 13-year-old that the whole world doesn’t hinge on a song like that? So when my Dad took me to the local department store, I shelled out for Stage and its promise of a new world of discoveries. Sitting on my bed, cross-legged, with a Radio Shack cassette player the size of a lunch box, strange new images filled the room. Honestly, not all of them were warmly welcome at the time -- I didn’t have a whole lot of use for instrumental stuff like “Art Decade” back then -- but “TVC 15” and “Station To Station” and “Soul Love” boded well for the world of Bowie. So this live release set the stage for my affection, until I soon had a half-dozen Bowie albums under my belt. I know, who cares, but it may help put into context my appreciation for Stage. If I tell you that the songs simply sparkle with the smartalecky energy of Low, feel free to return a cocked eyebrow. After all, better minds than mine have given David Live the nudge, citing Stage’s fright to write its own name on Ziggy’s mausoleum. To me, the two are bookends, the beginning and the end of the Thin White Duke phase. Stage shows that the old (“Star,” “Fame”) and new (“Beauty and The Beast,” “What In The World”) can coexist in 1978 with equal relevance, further testimony to Bowie’s futurevision. I won’t tell you it’s the best setting for these songs; “TVC 15” is best viewed behind the studio glass and “Fame” comes a little undone. But Bowie never overstays his welcome on stage; the tracks stick very close to their original times, in some cases (“Five Years/Soul Love,” “Sense of Doubt”) actually running shorter. It makes a big difference on the instrumentals, which could have been an arid patch for audiences (as it first struck me), but instead function as a cool hybrid of space transmission/intermission. If the short bits of Low get slighted (“Be My Wife,” “Sound and Vision”), that album’s spirit runs through Stage. Lodger’s a prickly pear, really, so disciples of the Teutonic sonix may find the stretch from Station to Stage the most scenic.

RCD-10144/5 inner gatefold
RCD-10144/5 inner gatefold

TRACK LISTING

    disc one
  1. HANG ON TO YOURSELF    3:26
  2. ZIGGY STARDUST    3:32
  3. FIVE YEARS    3:58
  4. SOUL LOVE    2:55
  5. STAR    2:31
  6. STATION TO STATION    8:55
  7. FAME    (David Bowie/John Lennon/Carlos Alomar)    4:06
  8. TVC 15    4:37

    disc two
  9. WARSZAWA    (David Bowie/Brian Eno)    6:50 ("Warsawza" on the Rykodisc reissue)
  10. SPEED OF LIFE    2:44
  11. ART DECADE    3:10
  12. SENSE OF DOUBT    3:13
  13. BREAKING GLASS    (David Bowie/Dennis Davis/George Murray    3:28
  14. "HEROES"    (David Bowie/Brian Eno)    6:19
  15. WHAT IN THE WORLD    4:24
  16. BLACKOUT    4:01
  17. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST    5:08

    CD expanded reissue bonus track
  18. ALABAMA SONG    (Kurt Weill/Bertol Brecht)    4:00

    2005 CD reissue track listing
    disc one
  19. WARSZAWA
  20. HEROES
  21. WHAT IN THE WORLD
  22. BE MY WIFE
  23. BLACKOUT
  24. SENSE OF DOUBT
  25. BREAKING GLASS
  26. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
  27. FAME
  28. BAND INTRO

    disc two
  29. FIVE YEARS
  30. SOUL LOVE
  31. STAR
  32. HANG ON TO YOURSELF
  33. ZIGGY STARDUST
  34. ART DECADE
  35. ALABAMA SONG
  36. STATION TO STATION
  37. STAY
  38. TVC 15

    All songs written by David Bowie unless noted

CREDITS

DAVID BOWIE -- chamberlain
CARLOS ALOMAR -- rhythm guitar, background vocals
ADRIAN BELEW -- lead guitar, background vocals
DENNIS DAVIS -- drums, percussion
SIMON HOUSE -- electric violin
SEAN MAYES -- piano, string ensemble, background vocals
GEORGE MURRAY -- bass guitar, background vocals
ROGER POWELL -- keyboards and synthesizer, background vocals
Tony Visconti -- engineer, mixing
Buford Jones -- live sound mixing
Gilles Riberolles -- cover photography
Julian Wasser, Andy Kent, Janet Macoska, Douglas Duke, Sukita -- additional photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/FRA/ITA September 1978 RCA 2LP/2LPYEL/CS PL02913(2) gatefold cover,
avail. in ltd. ed. yellow vinyl
US/AUS'L September 1978 RCA 2LP/CS CPL2-2913 gatefold cover
JPN 1978 RCA 2LP RCA-9149/50 gatefold cover, lyric insert
NET 1978? RCA 2LPBLU PL02913 gatefold cover, blue vinyl
GER 1983 RCA 2LP/2CD PL/PD 89002 gatefold cover
YUG   Jugoton 2LP SRCA 75085/6  
US 1991 Rykodisc 2CDX/2CSX RCD 10144/5
RAC20144/5
w. bonus track
UK 1992 EMI 2CDX CDEMD 1030 w. bonus track
US March 15, 2005 EMI America 2CDX 63436 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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