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David Bowie Santa Monica '72 album cover
4.10 | 24 ratings | 2 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro (0:15)
2. Hang Onto Yourself (2:47)
3. Ziggy Stardust (3:24)
4. Changes (3:32)
5. The Supermen (2:57)
6. Life On Mars? (3:28)
7. Five Years (5:21)
8. Space Oddity (5:22)
9. Andy Warhol (3:58)
10. My Death (5:56)
11. The Width Of A Circle (10:39)
12. Queen Bitch (3:01)
13. Moonage Daydream (4:38)
14. John I'm Only Dancing (3:36)
15. Waiting For The Man (6:01)
16. The Jean Genie (4:02)
17. Suffragette City (4:25)
18. Rock 'N Roll Suicide (3:17)

Line-up / Musicians

David Bowie / guitar and vocals
Mick Ronson / lead guitar, bass guitar and vocals
Trevor Bolder / bass guitar
Mick Woody Woodmansey / drums
Mike Garson / keyboards

Releases information

Santa Monica '72 was first released in the UK. Initial copies of the CD (Golden Years GY 002) came with a concert ticket replica. This UK edition is also available as a 2LP (Golden Years GYLP 002), pressed on clear vinyl. The regular US issue (Griffin Music GCD-392-2) was released in 1995, with different artwork.

Furthermore, three limited edtions were issued. A digipack (Griffin Music GCD-357-1/2), limited to 15.000 copies, superfluously added a 7 single containing Ziggy Stardust/Waiting For The Man from the CD. The second limited edition, titled Live At Santa Monica Civic Hall '72, was limited to 1.000 copies and came special box (Mainman/Vinyl Experience GY BOX 002). This set includes the regular CD, a T-shirt and a 72-page photobook. The most exclusive edition (limited to 250 copies only) came in a small wooden box with Ziggy's image carved onto the lid, and a brass plate indicating the series number. The CD and booklet are identical to the regular US edition.

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
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DAVID BOWIE Santa Monica '72 ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (8%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DAVID BOWIE Santa Monica '72 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars

1974 : In the early Seventies I used to listen to pirate stations like Radio Luxemburg, Radio Caroline and Radio Northsea International, the right place for me to discover the music of Art-Rock musicians like Queen (Seven Seas Of Rhye), Roxy Music (Virginia Plain) and ... David Bowie (Space Oddity). These exciting musical experiences were visualized by the Dutch tv programm Avro's Toppop, recently put on two DVD's. I am sure that many non-Dutch fans of David Bowie have seen at least one Toppop clip because David Bowie playbacking Rebel Rebel on a red Fender Stratocaster and wearing a black eye-patch was broadcasted all around the world because of that elusive eye-patch(he wore it not for medical reasons but just for the fun, it was lying in a dressing room)! For me it was the start of my fascination for the artist David Bowie, what a creative and original personality, artistically always on the move and he was a chameleon in many ways. When I noticed that David Bowie was added to this site I took a dive into my collection to discover that I own hardly albums. My focus has always been on purchasing video/DVD footage because David Bowie and visuals are almost like an identical twin, the connection is very, very strong! The only album I own is the live CD entitled Santa Monica '72, recorded in a year that turned out to be very special for David Bowie.

1972 : David Bowie started this year with his band The Spider From Mars performing on a BBC radio session and in the legendary BBC tv music tv programm The Old Grey Whistle Test (with a kind of 'avant-la-lettre' red punk hairdress). The singles Changes and Starman were released and in the famous music magazine Melody Maker he told about his bisexuality. During an extensive UK tour special guest Lou Reed made his UK debut at the Royal Festival Hall in London. David Bowie wrote and produced the top ten hit All The Young Dudes for Mott The Hoople, along with Mick Ronson he produced Lou Reed's classic album Transformer and he also mixed Iggy Pop his album Raw Power. In the autumn of 1972 David Bowie and his band started an USA tour, his first live American radio broadcasting was at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 20th. This show was put legally on a CD in 1994 (after beiing a popular bootleg for a long time) and it is dedicated to the late Mick Ronson (May 26, 1946 - April 29, 1993). Mick Ronson played many years with Bowie and is responsible for legendary guitar riffs on Bowie hits like Rebel Rebel and The Jean Genie. Mick Ronson also played with Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, Van Morrison, Elton John, Lou Reed, Roger McGuinn and Roger Daltrey, for me he is one of the great archetypical rock and roll guitarplayers and on this live Bowie CD he really shines!

For me the good thing on Santa Monica '72 is that this concert, when David Bowie was on the brink of international R&R stardom), captures his very distinctive voice in its most purest form, from warm to raw, always expressive and in great balance with Mick Ronson his mindblowing rock and roll guitarwork, what an exciting combination! Another captivating element is the contrast and tension between the mellow songs and the up-tempo rock and roll tracks in which Ronson and Bowie add an extra dimension to the music like in Five Years (great vocals), Hang On To Yourself , Queen Bitch and The Jean Genie (catchy and powerful guitar riffs riffs) and the moving ballad Rock 'N' Roll Suicide (emotional vocals and fiery wah-wah drenched guitar runs), to me it sounds as "Art-Rock 'N' Roll Suicide"! In the long composition The Width Of A Circle we can enjoy Jimi Hendrix inspired excertitions on guitar, Mick Ronson in full splendor! Bowie and his band played two covers: My Death (excellent, very compelling vocals) by Jacques Brel and Waiting For The Man (strong build-up and climax with biting guitar runs) by Lou Reed. Halfway Mick and Bowie play an 'unplugged' session on acoustic guitar (Bowie on a 12-string) featuring songs like Space Oddity and Andy Warhol, very pleasant music!

Bowie his sound on this live album is almost beyond the smooth hits Let's Dance and Fame but that is part of his chameleon-like artistic behaviour, like Peter Gabriel often ahead of his time!

Review by Warthur
4 stars Widely bootlegged before it finally got an official release in 2008, this album captures Bowie plus Spiders on the Ziggy Stardust tour of the US. Slipping in a preview of the next album in the form of Jean Genie, for the most part it's a fast- paced and energetic runthrough of the best of the preceding four albums from Bowie's 1969 self-titled release to Ziggy Stardust itself.

The band are in a rough and ready mood, giving the material a big injection of garage rock that really teases out the proto-punk attitude of the louder numbers and makes the renditions here contrast interestingly with the studio works. Perhaps the biggest deviation comes in the performance of Space Oddity, where wild vocal improvisations take the part of some of the instrumental sections (like the "liftoff" sound) that would have otherwise been tricky to reproduce on stage at the time.

The mix isn't always the best and the band do get sloppy here and there, but there's an undeniable energy to the performances which will win over all but the cloth-eared - and as Bowie notes on the back cover, Mick Ronson was absolutely on fire during this gig.

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