David bowie 1974-09-05 Los Angeles ,Universal Amphitheatre – Live In Los Angeles 1974 Part One –
Sound Quality Rating
02 Rebel Rebel.flac
03 Moonage Daydream.flac
04 Sweet Thing-Candidate-Sweet (Reprise).flac
06 Suffragette City.flac
07 Aladdin Sane.flac
08 All The Young Dudes.flac
09 Cracked Actor.flac
10 Rock n Roll With Me.flac
11 Knock On Wood.flac
Label: SUPER GOLDEN RADIO SHOWS NO 011 SGRS 011
Audio Source: soundboard
Total running time: 0:47:14
Sound Quality : very good. Equals record or radio apart from a slight noise and some dullness.
Note: A re-issue of disc one of the European original CD STRANGE FASCINATION. The same excellent sound quality has been maintained.
Glamorously jamming in the ‘rock room’ today is a purported first generation soundboard recording of David Bowie and band from the 1974 ‘Diamond Dogs’ tour. Hailing from Los Angeles this recording finds Bowie in his decadent post ‘Ziggy”‘ persona, and still performing amazingly visual and musical concerts. I find this era of Bowie to be peak, its intensity along the lines of the ‘Spiders from Mars’ shows, yet different in its theatrics as well as the musical dynamics and expressions. The band for this tour had been expanded and left behind Mick Ronson and the ‘Spiders’ from previous years. The ‘Mike Garson’ band was picked as the road musicians featuring background singers, a horn section with Davis Sanborn, and capable and creative guitarists Earl Slick and Carlos Alomar. This era found David at his most fragile, thin, and pale yet still creating another persona and theatrical stage face in which to disseminate his craft.
The wonderful sounding line recording opens with about ten minutes of animal noises and sounds (played over concert PA) before breaking into the prelude of an orgasmic woman and creaming into the funky introduction of ‘1984‘. ‘1984‘ being a foundaional track off of Bowie’s new ‘Diamond Dogs’ LP is a fitting opener to the performance. The soundboard is crisp, if not lacking a bit of the high end, but for the most part all instruments are audible and punchy. At some points the recording seems a bit flat but only for the very discerning ear. The mix is present and the performance spacey and funky. Chunky red lipstick guitar moves ‘1984’ forward leaving streaks on the mirror. Sounding grandiose, and much more orchestrated than Bowie’s streamlined 1973 performances, the show sleekly fires musical shots across the alluring LA night sky.
Segueing somewhat oddly into ‘Rebel Rebel’ the music now sizzles with a punky attitude contributed to by some joyous and unique backing vocals. When the tune hits its highway stride the horns are blazing, vocalists are howling, and Bowie is scatting percussively over the glittering musicianship.
From ‘Rebel Rebel‘s’ neon ashes rises the freaky introduction of ‘Moonage Daydream‘, from Ziggy, which erotically slinks toward the assembled crowd with a dark syncopation. Bowie sensually and breathlessly sings the lyrics with a raspy intensity. His voice does not yet sound up to its full capabilities, but is emotive and contains a weightless astronaut attitude. The tune thrusts forward on a big fat puffy bass line and windy whistling keyboard licks that sway in conjunction with the moaning horns.
Following ‘Moonage Daydream ‘ is the ‘suite’ of songs from ‘Diamond Dogs’ first side, ‘Sweet Thing‘ and ‘Candidate‘. This particular version is contained within a translucent bubble that travels weightlessly through a smog black sky. Large bell tower bass notes and spacious piano glissando’s wrap up Bowie’s breathy and smooth vocalizations. A whirling David Sanborn saxophone solo sets the stage for the segue into ‘Candidate” which is highlighted by Bowie’s rhythmic ‘hip hop’ lyrical grooves. The performance is hitting its full stride at this very moment. There follows a brief piano interlude at the conclusion of ‘Sweet Thing’ that helps to introduce a crowd pleasing ‘Changes‘, full of dynamics and detail.
‘Suffragette City‘ begins as the cymbals of ‘Sweet Thing’ fade away and is a high tempo ‘blam blam’. As tiring as the woman Bowie speaks of in his lyrics, ‘Suffragette’ cruses along at altitude rejecting all inquires by friends and lovers, being too busy to look back. A high energy stomp.
‘Aladdin Sane‘ is ushered in on a tight hi hat introduction that ethnically swings on scattered percussion and tightly arranged guitar and horn lines. A tune that encourages the body to move ‘Aladdin Sane” changes tempos, melodies, and grooves. The song blossoms into a piano based middle section that moves like a scantily dressed dark skinned woman in sandy moonlight.Beautiful.
Bowie greets the crowd after ‘Aladdin Sane’ for the first time in a mock accent and ushers in”All the Young Dudes“, a song composed by Bowie, but made famous by ‘Mott the Hoople’. A melodic call to arms for all of Bowie’s ‘people’, freaks and geeks alike.
‘Cracked Actor‘ struts in on the coat tails of distorted guitars and enthusiastic horns. Bowie playfully teases his vocals like a sexual deviant. I have included video for this actual performance at the bottom of the page. With a slight pause the band slips into ‘Rock and Roll With Me‘ which starts sluggish, but concludes in a nice singalong peak. Bowie sings quite well, and the featured guitar solo by Alomar (I think) is quite melodic and hits some intense musical spaces.
The group then screams bombastically into Bowie’s fantastically funkified version of “Knock On Wood“. While retaining the original melody, Bowie’s arrangement leans forward and places heavy steps, placing emphasis on all the right changes. He makes the song his own through his dynamic and hard hitting arrangement.
This 1974 concert finds Bowie in one his most gossiped about yet intensely creative periods of his career. After a change of band and persona, Bowie returned with a newer and bigger band, a diverse display of theatrics, and a revolutionary new LP ‘Diamond Dogs’ that created the pallet for his new direction. The official LP release ‘David Live’ is a solid representation of this tour and a nice place to start if you are not familiar with the era. I would then supplement with the numerous field recordings and bootlegs available. Bowie had fully developed into the ‘thin white duke’ at this point and his mystery and oracle drove his popularity skyward while fueling his own creativity. Listening to the concerts and recordings from this era reflect the multiple directions and radical development of Bowie as one of the finest rock and roll artists we have ever seen.