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David Bowie Live in Santa Monica'72 album cover
3.48 | 25 ratings | 4 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 Introduction 0:13
2 Hang on to Yourself 2:46
3 Ziggy Stardust 3:22
4 Changes 3:27
5 The Supermen 2:55
6 Life on Mars? 3:27
7 Five Years 4:32
8 Space Oddity 5:04
9 Andy Warhol 3:49
10 My Death 5:50
11 The Width of a Circle 10:43
12 Queen Bitch 3:00
13 Moonage Daydream 4:53
14 John, I'm Only Dancing 3:16
15 Waiting for the Man 5:44
16 The Jean Genie 4:00
17 Suffragette City 4:11
18 Rock 'N' Roll Suicide 3:01

Line-up / Musicians

Mike Garson Keyboards
Trevor Bolder Guitar (Bass)
David Bowie Guitar, Vocals, Author
Mick Ronson Guitar, Guitar (Bass), Vocals
Mick "Woody" Woodmansey Drums

Releases information

2008 EMI/ Virgin

Thanks to snobb for the addition
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DAVID BOWIE Live in Santa Monica'72 ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DAVID BOWIE Live in Santa Monica'72 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by fuxi
3 stars This CD brought a smile to my face (well, SEVERAL smiles, actually) since it showed me a Bowie I didn't really know: the no holds barred, unapologetically sexy rock 'n' roller. More than anything else, it made clear to me what a splendid band he had in the Spiders From Mars. Drums, bass and, above all, Mick Ronson's lead guitar are just as effective as they should be. These chaps must have toured almost continually, and the album proves what a sleek and magnificent machine they had become. (The recording sounds quite clear but Mike Garson's piano is virtually inaudible throughout, except during some of the quieter moments.)

Many old-fashioned proggers will undoubtedly get their kicks out of the nearly eleven minute 'Width of a Circle', in which the band (not the singer) play a starring role. You get to hear the Spiders as a heavy metal band. (Back in the early 1980s, at the height of New Wave, fashionable Bowie fans used to tell me THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD was the only Bowie album they never enjoyed. Obviously, they'd never listened to it properly and didn't seem to realise it's much darker than HUNKY DORY and ZIGGY STARDUST.)

For my money, SANTA MONICA's most enjoyably moments lie in its straightforward rockers: 'Hang on to Yourself', 'Ziggy Stardust', 'The Supermen' and all the rest. When played live, all these sound even fresher and more spontaneous than the "Live at the BBC versions" you may be familiar with. Jacques Brel's 'My Death' is performed touchingly, with Bowie accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. It demonstrates what a versatile and intelligent vocalist he is. Inevitably, the climactic performance of "Rock'n'Roll Suicide" fails to measure up to the drama of the original studio version. But all in all, this album is definitely worth hearing and every Bowie fan will want a copy.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The release of this concert recordings by major label in 2008 finished many years long history of different speculations around this material. Recorded in 1972, this Bowie concert wasn't released for decades, but circulated in bootleg form. In nineties it was released in a form of club/limited editions, what didn't change the situation radically. Bowie himself never accepted them as official releases, then first fully official one is this, from year 2008.

Recorded tapes come from Bowie's first really great success, then he sounds great (but the year is 1972). You can hear there all most important David's hits coming from late 60-s/early 70-s. It's really interesting to listen so well-known songs in such an "unplugged" and raw form. Bowie plays acoustic guitar himself! But probably most attractive this album's moments are Bowie vocals. In fact, it's rare possibility to hear his voice in raw and emotional form, without studio cleanings and overproduction. Recording sound is quite good, and Bowie's voice in the front.

I believe such release is real delight for any serious Bowie's fan. For casual listeners it's still a pleasant listening, but I can recommend better listen to David's studio albums from that time: better sound and better musical support make them more attractive for sure.

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.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I bought and read the excellent unauthorized biography "Strange Fascination" by David Buckley some months ago........ and suddenly got a strong affinity for David Bowie. It is an excellent book and I purchased some Bowie albums on the back of it. I soon discovered that the book is indeed bette ... (read more)

Report this review (#275668) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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