This is the David Bowie live album to own if you only own one (which might be a good idea), nowhere else will you find him so energized.
My recollections of the movie are that it was quite amazing, one of the finer rock'n'roll videos released. I remember criticizing it though, for the rather grainy footage, but in retrospect I'd say the rough and grainy quality was just about right, as it matched the music well.
Bowie was of course the star of the show, but it was lead guitarist Mick Ronson who gave it personality. He played roughly throughout Ziggy Stardust
the album - multiply that by a factor of six to get a general idea of what to expect here. Bowie also does what he can to trash things up, but I get the impression it was Ronson he was trying to catch up with.
They knock "Moonage Daydream" out of the ballpark - Ronson had a great guitar part in the studio cut, but here the whole thing's utterly coked up - all the screechy and scratchy siren noises he makes are out of this world. I especially adore the descending chord progression at the end of the song, where the rhythm section is pounding away so loudly it hurts, like they were playing at the end of the world.
And perhaps it was the end of the world for these guys, in a way. Near the end of the album, an out-of-breath Bowie announces to the audience this would be the last show they would ever do. I gotta say, the teenaged audience's reaction to that is pretty entertaining, sounding like Bowie had just punched them in the gut. Though I probably would've screamed in agony too if I'd been a teenager at the show - it's the sort of thing teenagers do.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews