There are rumors going round that Live Santa Monica '72
is a better live document of the Ziggy years than even Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture
Let me quell those rumors right now - it's not even close. This live document is still excellent of course, and considering the set-list is quite different, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this album to fans of Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture
. More than anything, it's a fitting companion piece, and it's great it was finally given a fullscale official release in 2008. Previous to that, it had only been available as bootlegs and semi-legal releases.
One huge difference between the two albums is that Bowie was touring to support different material when Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture
was recorded. It had morphed into the Aladdin Sane
tour, but here that album was still being developed. The lack of Aladdin Sane
material here might well be the reason so many people consider this album to be superior. Bowie does however end up treating his lucky audience to a smattering of the not-yet-released “Jean Genie”, which sounds like it was already completed.
But the core reason I like Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture
far more is because of the band. They were positively electrifying on that album (the recording quality was also better, but that's not exactly a make-or-break attribute for me.) It captured them in the last-ever show they did together, and they sounded like they were in the middle of the apocalypse. This on the other hand was more of a routine show for them ... people who actually attended these shows reckon this album is more characteristic of Bowie's live shows.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews