The brand-new Ziggy Stardust and the Spider from Mars
Thirty years after it happened - the 'Ziggy Retirement Show' (an event culminating nearly 18 months of touring that made DB a star) has been restored like never before! It is now at its best, most listen-able, and most likable format. Sure, one could purchase the tape and cd for some time but only recently has it been restored so beautifully - from the Walter Carlos' 'Hymn to Joy' intro to Rock 'n' Roll Suicide and Pomp and Circumstance.
For those, like me, who had the 1983 version - the footage was grainy and the sound was horrible with hardly any separation as to who was playing what and when. One could hardly the make out the piano on Watch That Man nor could anyone hear the Space Oddity accompaniment.
First aspect one can notice on this is, for lack of a better word, BASS! This was a wild electric show - straightforward 70s rock with a twist (which was DB!). There again, it was in keeping with what I imagine was full all-out-Ziggy-garage-style-assault but one begged for clarity that was missing. This issue all but gone!
The concert contains the best possible versions of Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud (shortened to the length it should have been and it segues into Dudes), All The Young Dudes, White Light/White Heat (arguably DB's best cover!) and most the memorable version of Suicide. There are other highlights as well. Hunky Dory's Changes has its most highly charged and most emotional version here. I have only heard it live once. It is excellent and still one of my favorite DB songs!! My Death, although fine on the 83 version, is wonderful here. Its haunting melody augmented during the intro by DB's plea for 'quiet' remains one of DB's great vocal performances - not too different from his Wild Is The Wind vocal three years later.
Thanks to Paul Kinder for keeping everyone apprised here of all things, DB - more so than any other site. It is truly a treasure trove of information!
Yes, it has never been a better time to be a DB fan!
Stephen Lindsay Satterfield
1st June 2003.
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