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Live in Santa Monica 72 Limited Edition, Live, Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Live, July 22, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

In 1972, David Bowie set out on his first US tour. He'd recently introduced the world to his Ziggy Stardust persona with his top 5 album 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' and had completed a hugely successful UK tour. The Santa Monica concert, David's first live US radio broadcast, was aired live on KMET in L.A. Over the last 36 years this historic recording has only been occasionally available as a bootleg. For many, ownership of this concert was regarded as a true test of being a 'proper Bowie fan'. This powerful, galvanizing show allows a more than 70 minute glimpse into the earliest nationwide live radio exposure granted David and the Spiders. The set list is compiled primarily from the 'Hunky Dory' and 'Ziggy Stardust' albums and features two covers, Jacques Brel's "My Death" and the Velvet Underground's "Waiting for the Man," alongside the awesome power of 'The Man Who Sold The World' centrepiece "The Width Of A Circle" (this version is a ten and a half minute sonic assault) and an 'Aladdin Sane' previewing "The Jean Genie." The set list is also quite different from the Ziggy terminating 'Ziggy Stardust - The Motion Picture Soundtrack. Accompanying David was The Spiders From Mars: Mick Ronson - guitar, vocals, Trevor Bolder - bass, Mick "Woody" Woodmansey - drums and Mike Garson - piano. This is David Bowie at the pinnacle of his creative power - in 1981 NME critics called it, "(quite simply) ... the performer's, and one of rock's, best ever bootlegs". The CD will be released as a limited edition with special packaging featuring shots taken at the actual gig for the first time. The double LP will be a heavyweight vinyl one off run. David says:- "I can tell that I'm totally into being Ziggy by this stage of our touring. It's no longer an act; I am him. This would be around the tenth American show for us and you can hear that we are all pretty high on ourselves. We train wreck a couple of things, I miss some words and sometimes you wouldn't know that pianist Mike Garson was onstage with us but overall I really treasure this bootleg. Mick Ronson is at his blistering best."

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Hang on to Yourself
  2. Ziggy Stardust
  3. Changes
  4. The Supermen
  5. Life on Mars?
  6. Five Years
  7. Space Oddity
  8. Andy Warhol
  9. My Death
  10. The Width of a Circle
  11. Queen Bitch
  12. Moonage Daydream
  13. John, I'm Only Dancing
  14. Waiting for the Man
  15. The Jean Genie
  16. Suffragette City
  17. Rock 'N' Roll Suicide


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 2008)
  • Limited Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition, Live, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Virgin Records US
  • ASIN: B00166QJRU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,873 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
*Please note: This review concerns the 2008 Limited Edition box and was posted to the respective product page. Beyond the music found within, this review details the physical appearance and material contents only of that original, specialized release.*

Printed in Holland/EU [by EMI, though the product page now says Virgin US], this single-disc release should not leave you feeling abused by the high MSRP. Beyond the CD itself, contained within a box you'll find a 14" x 9.5" repro poster, an LA Times music review from 1972, four b&w picture cards including the famous 'Starman' design, and copy of a signed photo, then a 16-page booklet with basic information and a few nice concert pics. The final 2-page image of David Bowie & Mick Ronson is worthy of posterization. A friend who also purchased this title informed me that his box featured a different number in red (to the right of the ticket on front), which would indicate a limited edition as expected. I have not yet heard to what number this set is limited.

The audio quality, arguably the best ever offered of this memorable set, lacks in audience chatter as fans of this recording had likely become accustomed. That matters to some I understand, but for those that didn't care for it to begin with, it makes the performance even more enjoyable and personal. The speed appears to be corrected, and this is significant because most original bootleg LPs of this gig ran too fast. Simply put, this is Bowie and Ronson performing at their best. A moment in time captured and packaged expertly. It's an effort to which I am grateful.

There is no Clockwork 'Ode To Joy' intro as most of us whom have heard this performance from several sources before come to expect. And to be honest, I miss it.
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Format: Audio CD
Let me start off by saying that I agree with all the reviews so far. This release is geared to the hardcore Bowie fan. I commend EMI on the deluxe treatment; incredible sound quality and packaging. I know the price tag is quite hefty, but it is worth every cent! Especially for those of us who were around to experience this tour back in 1972. This is a real time piece bringing back great memories and it really shows what a great band the Spiders from Mars really were. For those who weren't around, but read about it and heard all the stories, one listen to this and you'll know what the fuss was all about.
A young David Bowie and his band just tearing it up with increrdible energy. To put it all in perspective, remember that the Ziggy Stardust album was just released. Upon listening to this show you also realize how incredible a guitar player Mick Ronson really was. Mick and David had a special chemistry and it really shows on this recording! This release is a true labor of love and no Bowie fan should be without it. Get it while you can!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The product description makes no mention of the fact that this is a mini-box set - just 1 CD, but cool repro postcards, a mini-poster, and a nice booklet, all well-designed.
This does soften the blow of the price tag in my opinion.
The audio quality is greatly improved over any version you may have heard in the past; as for the performances, there's a reason this gig is legendary.
Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD was much better than I expected, because I've never heard a great live Bowie album before. The difference here is this release has just the right amount of rawness. Mick Ronson sounds incredible throughout and Bowie is in very fine voice. The harmonies are great and the mistakes make it all seem very real. Ronson wails on the 10 minute "The Width Of A Circle" and Bowie does an excellent tribute to Lou Reed with "Waiting For The Man". A nice added touch was when Bowie had to vocally recreate the sound effects of "Space Oddity" due to limited technology back in 1972. "Space Oddity also began a very nice acoustic set in the middle of the concert along with "Andy Warhol" and "My Death". There are many highlights, but probably the best was the encore..."Rock N Roll Suicide". I highly recommend this CD!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a live recording of Bowie & The Spiders touch-down on earth 10-20-72 at the Santa Monica Civic (LA's best venue EVER), and it is one of the sacred texts of Rock 'n Roll. I used to have it as a double LP on Swinging Pig, and played it till the grooves were flat. I was grateful to have it come out on CD, and there are a few editions of it, this one is probably the best. Mind you, the sound quality is not perfect, but it is a soundboard copy and as good as it gets for a bootleg. There is a nice level of audience response mixed in so the "live" feel is quite intact. It lacks the Beethoven "Ode to Joy" Intro that was on my Swinging Pig edition, and this is what people heard in the house, so I wish it was there. They've left most of the stage banter, including the surreal comments that precede "My Death" ("I'm playing to you on courtesy of a piece of palm tree....I asked for lobster tail and they gave me palm tree, a piece of palm tree"). There is a bit that goes on between Five Years and Space Oddity where Bowie asks a stage hand to bring him a pair of pliers, presumably to move a tuning peg or adjust a mike stand. He has a bit of a spat with the roadie and tells the guy to leave them, and then it fades into Space Oddity. However, what has been cut is Bowie's mocking remark to the exiting roadie after he tells the grunt to leave the pliers on stage: "Hey, I got my (bleep)together man (grumbles)" and THEN the strumming starts. Why they would cut this delightful 3 seconds befuddles me, unless it is because this is an edit of a (KMET?) radio broadcast.

The flaws in this show are very few: a really flat note from Trevor Bolder, probably, as they hit the final cadence of Five Years, and maybe Bowie gets a bit winded near the end.
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