Bowie Live albums

Discussion in 'General Music and Vinyl' started by AnthonyI, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. AnthonyI

    AnthonyI Well-Known Member

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    In the past I wasn't much of a live album person, but albums like the MTV Unplugged series has turned me around a bit.

    I know there's a VH1 Storytellers bootleg floating around, but was looking for some opinions on official live performances on vinyl for Mr Bowie, the Reality tour and Santa Monica seem pretty popular, but I was hoping that those who may own a few could comment on set lists and the performance itself.

    Always appreciate the input ;)
     
  2. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    I really like the Reality Tour. Stay away from Ziggy Stardust the motion picture. My fave is the bonus disc on the Bowie at the Beeb box. It was a private fan show.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  3. A Lost Highway

    A Lost Highway Well-Known Member

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    Santa Monica is better than Ziggy Stardust for sure. Welcome to the Blackout that just came out on RSD is great and better than Stage IMO (also same tour). Live Nassau Coliseum '76 is also great.

    Based on how many live albums are being released on a yearly basis, my guess is the plan is to have an official record of every tour eventually.
     
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  4. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I should listen to those three. Stage is respectable, I like the extended version from the box.
     
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  5. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    I have an OG “Stage” and the new remastered (and unremastered, sigh, weirdass box set) and will definitely vouch for it.
     
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  6. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    The box set is weird, for sure.
     
  7. wilko74

    wilko74 Well-Known Member

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    I bought the Rsd vinyl versions of both Cracked Actor & Welcome To The Blackout; though I’d say I prefer Cracked Actor. It has a better set-list (for my taste, anyway) & I prefer the sound of the band. WTTB is also pretty excellent but it has some pretty dated keyboard sounds throughout & some weak backing vocals in places. I was mostly interested in it for the live versions of Fame & Sound & Vision but, in all honesty, they’re not that good. Also, the live version of Heroes drags a bit, too. I guess I’m overall a bit biased in favour of Cracked Actor as I just prefer early Bowie over the later 70’s material. Still, both albums have plenty of great songs/arrangements/performances.

    I also love Santa Monica. Great, more strippped-back band & rawer performances of him at his early peak.

    I’d recommend any of these three to any Bowie fan.
     
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  8. SKOT_FREE

    SKOT_FREE Well-Known Member

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    I think my Fiancé has a Bowie Live album not sure which it was but she got it at the same Sale I bought Diamond Dogs original press at. I’ll ask her which it is and get back to you.
     
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  9. jamieanderson1968

    jamieanderson1968 Well-Known Member

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    Too many live Bowie albums here. It really depends if there is a specific period of him that really stands out for you. If glam/theatrical is your thing, then either Santa Monica or Cracked Actor is a great bet. If you like the Berlin period, you can't miss with Stage. A Reality Tour is interesting if you like later period material, also interesting for the re-interpretations of older songs (you can only do Rebel Rebel exactly the same so many times)

    I will leave off bootlegs, but if that is a rabbit hole you want to go down, checkout bowiestation if that sort of thing interests you

    Bowie at the Beeb - this is a great boxset if you are into pre-Ziggy. Live radio sessions with many songs in various different early versions (bonus points if you buy the cd version with the 2000 BBC Acoustic set)
    Santa Monica - great rock set though I find it drags in the middle for the acoustic portion
    Ziggy OST - only bother with this if you are a real Bowie fan in my opinion, Santa Monica is better I think
    David Live - Lots of people hate this but I have a real soft spot for it, though, especially the expanded version. I love Diamond Dogs and he didn't do a lot of those songs for many years
    Cracked Actor - this one is in my top 5 Bowie live albums (including bootlegs) (yes I have enough to have a top 5) - see the video for Footstompin'. If you like that you will love coked out kabbalistic Bowie
    Nassau - actually my favourite live album of his. There are not a lot of great bootlegs available of the Isolar I tour ('76)
    Stage - I have 4 versions of this and was my first live introduction to Bowie. I like that in the later editions they reverted back to the original set list order
    WTTB - I prefer this to Stage, I think the band was tighter and looser by this point in the tour
    Live In Berlin - same tour but a single LP. It was pressed for the Brooklyn Museum Bowie Is show. Not necessary but I have it because I need it.
    A Reality Tour - a good later period boxset with a nice career overview but doesn't feel like a greatest hits package (see Sound & Vision Tour).

    I am looking forward to the next boxset as there is a Serious Moonlight set (my first time seeing him live and at that show) and Glass Spider (more just curious as I saw that tour as well)
     
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  10. gouis

    gouis Well-Known Member

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    Reality Tour was great in person too.
     
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