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David Bowie - Stage  CD (album) cover

STAGE

David Bowie

 

Prog Related

3.84 | 49 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Released in 1978, Stage represented quite a leap forward when compared to the rather lacklustre David Live of 1974 (ironicly they were both recorded at the same venue in Philadelphia). It was recorded after Bowie´s second work of what would become his ´Berlin Triology´ (Low - Heroes - Lodger, all coproduced with Brian Eno), when he lived in that city. It was not well received at the time. The reason may be quite simple, although annoying: the double vinyl LP had the songs in the chronologial order of release, not as they were presented on the show. The reason for such suicidal decision was never fully explained as far as I know.

I remember hearing this LP at the time and not liking it at all. However, recently I had the opportunity to get the new, remastered CD of this album. Fortunally this time they decided to release it with the correct track´s running order. It seems like a small detail, but the results are way better than on the old version. Better still: not only the sound was more balanced and improved with the new technology but there are also a couple of bonus tracks with the new package. Stage, as it is now, shows a great performer on the top of his form. Backed by a superb band that included guitarrist Carlos Alomar and Adrian Belew (plus a special appearance of ex Hawkwind´s Simon House on violin), Bowie sings with confidence a very strong repertoire.

Ok, the album´s not perfect: some of the songs are not as good as their original studio version (Statio To Station for exemple, is shorter than on the his 1976 CD of the same name). Still, the show is quite energetic and is a good display of Bowie´s tremendous versatile powers as showman, songwriter and trendsetter. It is no wonder he has inlfuenced a whole new generation in the 80´s and beyond.

Conclusion: the best Live David Bowie album I´ve ever heard. The new CD version fixed most of its old problems and I´m really glad I got it now. It is an excellent document of an era. Highly recommended.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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