David Live Review (1989 CD re-issue)

by Martin Aston / Q Magazine

1991

If Bowie was beginning to think in terms of blacker rhythms, 1974’s American tour turned hearsay into hard fact. The Diamond Dogs tracks suffered less but in revamping songs like Width Of A Circle, Moonage Daydream and Eddie Floyd’s Knock On Wood, David Bowie’s sessionmen (Earl Slick’S guitar hysteria, David Sanborn’s sax squeals, Mike Garson’s supperclub frills) sounded like a post-apocalyptic cabaret band doing it for the money. As David Bowie later said, the double David Live Deserved the title David Bowie Is Alive And Living Only In Theory. There are notable survivors of this wrack ‘n’ ruination, Changes and The Jean Genie among them, and two moments of sheer brilliance-David Bowie’s first public airing of All The Young Dudes, turned into Weimar Republic cabaret, and a closing Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide that even eclipsed the original for agonising despair. Ziggy was now truly exorcised.
Q Rating: **

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