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David Bowie - Glass Spider (Live Montreal '87) CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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3.92 | 6 ratings

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4 stars In retrospect, it's kind of a shame that the Glass Spider tour was undertaken in support of the Never Let Me Down album; it means that what is actually quite a good stage show got overshadowed by a pretty dire album. Though the new 2018 version of Never Let Me Down somewhat reclaims it, the original version of the album, is easily his worst studio album; though his pre-Space Oddity self-titled solo album from 1967 might not be brilliant, it at least has youthful inexperience as an excuse, but the Bowie of 1987 should have known better.

In fact, the Bowie of 1987 did know better - it's just very clear in retrospect that his creative energy was far more directed towards the ambitious Glass Spider stage show than to the studio album that preceded it. This album captures one of the shows from that tour, and on these discs Glass Spider is revealed as the rather intriguing prospect it actually is, a veering back towards art rock and theatrical presentation which weaves its various components into an unexpected new mosaic. Material from Never Let Me Down is certainly represented, but it lands better here than it does in the tepid studio mixes on the original album, and there's ample material from far superior periods of Bowie's career which fill out the running order nicely.

This edition was originally part of the Loving the Alien boxed set, but is now available separately. That might be preferable for anyone who really doesn't want to revisit Never Let Me Down, even in revised form: when it comes to 1987-vintage Bowie, Glass Spider blasts any of that year's studio work out of the water.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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