Tattoo by

Tattoo by

Mr. Touchshriek

David Live '74, the most underrated album ever!

The first David Bowie albums I bought were 'Aladdin Sane' and 'The World of David Bowie', then I heard 'Ziggy Stardust', then I heard 'David Live'.

'David Live' blew my skull apart. I was just 15 and couldn't believe how powerful the reworked songs sounded. Purists go on about how his voice is hoarse and how his singing is breathless. The man himself hates it because he was off his head, and he had to fight a musicians pay mutiny just before it's recording. He says he still can't listen to it because of the tension it holds. He says it must be like a vampire baring down on you. Yeah it is, because of its sharpness.

When we had an open English lesson once at school, our teacher, John Osborne told us we could bring in some records. We'd play them and we'd discuss them. When he heard 'Pin-Ups' he nearly shit himself! He couldn't believe the power Bowie had put into the re-workings of the songs he'd listened to as a teenager! He stood there open mouthed and begged me to let him borrow the album and take it home and listen to it that night, next day he was still open mouthed, he was just knocked out!

This is how you should feel after listening to 'David Live'. The sheer intelligence and power of the reworkings is unbelievable.

The intro to 'Width Of A Circle'... the desperation in 'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide' where he is so drained at the end he can only whisper "You're not alone"... the imagery of 'Sweet Thing', the belief that he's really gonna jump in the river holding hands... Earl Slick's guitar solos in 'Cracked Actor' and 'Width Of A Circle', in fact his brilliant playing throughout... David Sanbourne's saxophone breaks... the orchestrations... the scope... the out of your head... on the edge, everything you've got vocal performance, the roughness... the power of the "Suff' City" intro that leaps out of the speakers and punches you in the face compared to the fart that crackles out on Ziggy, the drums, the tightness, the delivery, the looseness... the emotion in 'Rock 'N' Roll With Me', the atmosphere!!!

I've been to The Tower Philadelphia a thousand times and never left the room. 'David Live' should be listened to and praised as a classic, not sniffed at!

Mr. Touchshriek.
30th January 2003.