David Live album coverRecorded: 8-12 July 1974
Producer: Tony Visconti

Released: 29 October 1974

David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Earl Slick: guitar
Herbie Flowers: bass guitar
Tony Newman: drums
Mike Garson: piano, Mellotron
Michael Kamen: electric piano, Moog synthesizer, oboe
David Sanborn, Richard Grando: saxophone, flute
Pablo Rosario: percussion
Warren Peace, Gui Andrisano: backing vocals

Tracklisting:

2005 Mix

David Bowie’s first live album, David Live was originally released in 1974, and captured Bowie during the first phase of the Diamond Dogs Tour.

God that album. I’ve never played it. The tension it must contain must be like vampire’s teeth coming down on you. And that photo. On the cover. My God, it looks as if I’ve just stepped out of that grave.

That’s actually how I felt. That record should have been called ‘David Bowie is alive and well and living only in theory’.

David Bowie
Melody Maker, 29 October 1977

David Live was made at a time when Bowie was moving from his Ziggy-era glam style to the US-influenced soul sounds of Young Americans. Bowie’s manager Tony Defries encouraged him to release a live album, to help fulfil his RCA contract, and to offset some of the huge costs accrued by the Diamond Dogs Tour.

It was my ecstatic pleasure and great honour to be accompanied by some of the finest musicians I have ever worked with. Also eternal thanx to my friends and fans at the Tower for your wonderfulness.
love on ya! Bowie 74

The original mix of the album was mainly made up of songs from Bowie’s previous three albums, Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane, and The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. There was one song apiece from The Man Who Sold The World (‘The Width Of A Circle’) and Hunky Dory (‘Changes’), and the additional songs, ‘All The Young Dudes’ and ‘Knock On Wood’.

This was my least favorite album. It was necessary to get this one out quickly to promote the Diamond Dogs Tour.

It was recorded poorly by someone else, and mixed by Eddie Kramer, best known as Jimi Hendrix’s engineer, at Electric Ladyland in New York.

Because the console was a strange one and because there was very little time, I let Eddie handle the engineering chores (one of the few times I allowed the mixing of my production out of my hands).

What more can I say? It documents a great stage show, I don’t think anybody else takes this album as a scintillating sonic experience either.

Tony Visconti
tonyvisconti.com