Sunday, September 9, 2012

David Bowie - Unauthorised Live (Vol 1) Ex. Bootleg

(U.K 1964-Present)
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Born David Robert Jones in 1947 in South London, Bowie was playing sax on a semi-professional basis by 1963, while working for a London ad agency. In the same year he formed his own group, Davy Jones & the Lower Third, who released a couple of obscure and now very valuable R&B flavoured singles in the mid-Sixties.
In 1966, after signing to Pye he changed his surname to Bowie to prevent confusion with David Jones of the Monkees. Around this time he worked with Lindsay Kemp's mime troupe picking up many of the theatrical techniques that were to later become integral to his work.
After a handful of disappointing singles with Pye he moved to Decca, where he released quirky pop hits "Rubber Band" and "The Laughing Gnome" before "Space Oddity" became a Top 5 hit in 1969. Although a melodic tune, its success could be attributed to Bowie's uncanny knack of tapping into the spirit of the times: the single roughly coincided with the first man to land on the moon. The accompanying album, 'Man Of Words, Man Of Music' (1969) was retitled to cash in on the single's success.

Bowie's second album, 'The Man Who Sold The World', a much heavier, more compelling work, was released a year later. He had, by now, assembled a more permanent band comprised of Mick Ronson guitar (pictured right), Trevor Bolder bass (later to join Uriah Heep) and Woody Wood-Mansey drums. In 1971, this line-up released the critically acclaimed 'Hunky Dory', but the following year saw Bowie's real breakthrough when 'The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars', became his first million-seller in the UK and - later - the US. A highly theatrical stage show and outlandish costumes meant that Bowie began to rival Marc Bolan as ruler of the glam-rock roost. Bowie was rarely out of the charts for the next eight years or so, and had his first hit single since "Space Oddity" with "Starman" (1972). He was in demand as a producer and songwriter, performing these duties on Lou Reed's Transformer' and Mott the Hoople's 'All The Young Dudes' respectively.
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After the massive success of 'Ziggy', 'Aladdin Sane' (1973) was inevitably something of an anti-climax. 'Pin Ups' (1973) was however, a genuine disappointment; a scrappy collection of cover versions, it preceded Bowie's decision to stop working with the Spiders. Instead, he regrouped with new musicians to record 'Diamond Dogs' (1974), a doom-laden concept album based on George Orwell's novel 1984. In the summer of 1974, Bowie returned to live performance with a lavish US tour, later commemorated on the million-selling live
album 'David Live' (1974).
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As the tour progressed, Bowie started to move toward the more soul-funk orientated sound of his next album 'Young Americans' (1975), which provided two massive hits in the shape of the title track and "Fame" (co-written with John Lennon).
'Station To Station' (1976) was Bowie's masterpiece, an astute collection of anguished ballads and aloof, crystalline funk. It was accompanied by a stunning tour, and despite the ill advised 'jocular' Nazi salute to fans on his arrival at Victoria station in London, Bowie's standng was maintained by an excellent performance in Nic Roeg's film 'The Man Who Fell To Earth'.
After 1976's excesses Bowie decamped to Berlin, where with ex-Roxy Music synth player Brian Eno, he fashioned a trilogy of innovative albums: 'Low' (1977), 'Heroes' (1977) and 'Lodger' (1979).
The title track of 'Heroes' was one of his most romantic songs and was a worldwide hit single and 'Lodger' spawned the UK Top 10 single "Boys Keep Swinging".
Little was heard from Bowie for the next year or so, until "Ashes To Ashes" (1980) became his first UK Number 1 single since the 1975 re-release of 'Space Oddity'.
This was followed a few months later by his last great album, 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)', which spawned more hit singles in the title track "Fashion" and "Up The Hill Backwards". At the same time, he made an acclaimed appearance in the New York production of the play The Elephant Man.
A lengthy sabbatical followed: aside from a collaboration with Queen on the chart-topping single "Under Pressure", Bowie's only new recorded work was the 'Baal' EP, a collection of songs which coincided with his performance in Brecht's play.
A new single in 1983 "Let's Dance", produced by Chic's Nile Rodgers, topped the UK and US charts, as did the 'Lef s Dance' album which followed in its wake. Two further singles, "Modern Love", and a cover of Iggy Pop's "China Girl", were culled from the album and went to the Top 5 in the US and UK. Bowie also starred in Oshima's film 'Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence' and embarked on the triumphant Serious Moonlight tour, playing to over two million people.
Unfortunately, thereafter, Bowie's fortunes declined. "Blue Jean" was another Top 5 single, but the album which followed, 'Tonight' (1984) lacked the commercial impact of 'Let's Dance'. After a part in the disastrous musical Absolute Beginners Bowie released a new album, 'Never Let Me Down' (1987), to coincide with the hugely ambitious Glass Spider tour. Both were dismissed by the critics.
Characteristically, Bowie switched direction after this debacle and put together a back-to-basics rock band in which he was just another member, alongside ex-Iggy Pop alumni Hunt and Tony Sales and lead guitarist Reeves Gabrels. Known as Tin Machine the band's self-titled debut album (1989) was well received and reached the UK Top 5. Later Tin Machine releases fared less well.
EMI released his comprehensive hits, 'Changes Bowie' (1990), while Bowie himself announced Sound & Vision, a tour which would see him perform all his old favourites for the very last time to large crowds of appreciative fans of all ages. Since then, Bowie appeared only occasionally (he married Somali model Iman in 1992), although a new solo album 'Black Tie White Noise' was released in 1993, to some critical acclaim.
During his peak in the Seventies, Bowie was a hugely influential artist: his restless spirit, sexual ambivalence, effortless cool and unwillingness to settle into one image or style of music inspired thousands of younger musicians [extract from The Ultimate Encyclopedia of ROCK - ed. Michael Heatley, Carlton Books. 1994, p184-185]
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Bootleg Review
Based on the track listing of this Australian bootleg, it is more than likely that it consists of recordings made by Bowie for the BBC over a five year period (1967-1972).
There are several other bootlegs floating around with the same track listing - namely 'White Light / White Heat' (1990), 'Bowie At The Beeb' (1989) and an extremely rare 'Original BBC Transcription' triple LP set, 3 sides comprising the program "Bowie at the Beeb" and 3 sides with "Marc Bolan at the Beeb." Each program runs for nearly an hour and is filled with unreleased live gems and interview segments recorded for various BBC radio programs from 1967 through 1972. These were authentic BBC-produced ultra high quality discs, made in extremely limited quantities in 1988--perhaps only 50 sets--and sent to UK and Commonwealth radio stations, which generally played them only once.
More recently, there has been an official 3CD release of Bowie material, entitled 'Bowie At The Beeb' (Best of the BBC Radio Sessions 68-72) and is still available from Amazon.
During the years 1967-1972, David Bowie recorded 12 sessions or shows for BBC radio, largely for promotional purpose. When in mid-1972 he had achieved stardom, the need to do these radio performances had disappeared and Bowie did not return until 1991 with Tin Machine. Their has been some confusion surrounding the BBC sessions from the 70s. More or less starting with the bootleg Ziggy 1 - My Radio Sweetheart, tracks from arbitrary sessions were fragmentarily released on LPs and tapes - BBC Show May '72 (Avenue Records SRL BN 2378) for instance features tracks from several 1972 sessions and not from one single show. Up until the mid 90s, several sessions, like the 21-09-71 Bob Harris session, still were a complete mystery.
Some of the confusion was clarified when on 14-02-87 the BBC broadcast "Bowie At The Beeb", featuring tracks from sessions between 1967-1972.
For an accurate listing of Bowie's BBC recordings, see the following: bowiewonderworld, illustrateddbdiscography and bowieatthebeeb
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Now I've always believed that when you see " Live At The BBC " it doesn't really mean it's really 'live' if you've ever heard BBC radio presenters like John " that was quite tasty " Peel or any others you'll know that they say " and we have [musician's name] here live in the studio." It's in a studio and it will never give you a live feel for the songs. It's just BBC engineers working on Bowie's songs and in return you could, I suppose, think of them as session outtakes from his album.
This post consists of a mp3 rip (320kps) taken from CD and includes full album artwork, along with the covers for the alternative bootleg releases. The quality of the recordings are quite exceptional and probably match those of the recent official release.
Note: Even though this bootleg is entitled as Vol 1 there was never a Vol 2. released by the Mojo label for David Bowie.
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Track Listing
01 - White Light /White Heat #2

02 - Let Me Sleep Beside You
03 - Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed
04 - Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud
05 - Bombers
06 - Almost Grown
07 - Kooks

08 - The Supermen
09 - Ziggy Stardust #1
10 - Five Years #1
11 - Starman #3
12 - Rock'n'Roll Suicide #4
13 - Hang On To Yourself #2
14 - Waiting For The Man #1

A majority of the tracks on the bootleg came from the following Ziggy Stardust-era tracks and their BBC sessions. The remainder were from earlier recordings in 1969-1970
#1 David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars, Sounds of the 70's, January 18, 1972
#2 David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars, Sound of the 70's: John Peel, May 16, 1972
#3 David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars, Johnnie Walker Lunchtime Show, May 22, 1972
#4 David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars, Sounds of the 70's: Bob Harris, May 23, 1972

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Musicians:

David Bowie (vocals, guitar, keyboard)
Mick Ronson (guitar, vocals)
Trevor Bolder (bass)
Mick Woodmansey (drums)
Mark Carr Pritchett (rhythm guitar)
George Underwood (vocals)
Dana Gillespie (vocals)
Geoffrey Alexander (vocals)
 
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Bowie Link (94Mb) New Link 02/09/2015
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2 comments:

  1. I love how you have explained DB's career so abruptly yet informative. Thanks for this, I always enjoy the variances of different recordings.

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  2. My friend in high school had a Bowie bootleg, live in Colorado. In between tracks there would be 2 girls talking with an echo. Does anyone know about this bootleg????

    ReplyDelete