David Bowie – liveandwell.com album coverRecorded: June-November 1997
Producers: David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels, Mark Plati

Released: 13 September 2000

David Bowie: vocals, guitar, saxophone
Reeves Gabrels: guitar, vocals
Gail Ann Dorsey: bass guitar, vocals, keyboards
Zack Alford: drums
Mike Garson: piano, keyboards, synthesizer

Tracklisting:

Disc one

  • ‘I’m Afraid Of Americans’
  • ‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’
  • ‘I’m Deranged’
  • ‘Hallo Spaceboy’
  • ‘Telling Lies’
  • ‘The Motel’
  • ‘The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)’
  • ‘Battle For Britain (The Letter)’
  • ‘Seven Years In Tibet’
  • ‘Little Wonder’
Disc two (remixes)

  • ‘Fun (Dillinja mix)’
  • ‘Little Wonder’ (Danny Saber Dance mix)
  • ‘Dead Man Walking’ (Moby mix 1)
  • ‘Telling Lies’ (Paradox mix)

liveandwell.com was a limited edition double CD album by David Bowie, made available only online, and including a mix of live tracks and remixes.

After finishing the Earthling tour in 1997, guitarist Reeves Gabrels hoped to record new songs in the studio with the full band. Bowie, meanwhile, chose instead to put together an album of live recordings from the tour, which he began assembling at the start of 1998.

The recordings

The first disc contained ten live recordings, made up evenly of songs from 1. Outside and Earthling. ‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’, ‘Telling Lies’ and ‘The Motel’ were the earliest recordings, from a performance at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on 10 June 1997. ‘I’m Deranged’ was recorded during Bowie’s appearance at the Phoenix Festival in England on 19 July 1997.

The remaining live tracks were from shows later in the year. ‘I’m Afraid Of Americans’, ‘Battle For Britain (The Letter)’, ‘Seven Years In Tibet’ and ‘Little Wonder’ were recorded at the GQ Awards in New York on 15 October, while ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ and ‘The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)’ were recorded in Rio on 2 November.

The live recordings were mixed with Gabrels and Mark Plati, and the band was brought into the studio to record two new tracks: ‘Fun’ and a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Tryin’ To Get To Heaven’, originally released on his 1997 album Time Out Of Mind.

The second compact disc contained four remixes, and enhanced content including Bowieworld, a 3D chat program; a link to the now-defunct website www.liveandwell.com; and a link to download a web browser, Bowie ID Frame.

Three of the remixes were of songs from Earthling. The other was ‘Fun’, originally a drum and bass song from the Earthling tour, which was originally known as ‘Is It Any Wonder’. Reworked in the studio with new lyrics, it was sometimes referred to in interviews as Funhouse.

The release

Although Bowie hoped for the album to have a full commercial release, his label Virgin was unenthusiastic and refused to issue it.

Unfortunately Virgin refused to put it out after it was submitted in late winter 1998. Aside from the obvious, the bad news was that in the amount of time spent by David, Mark Plati and myself compiling and editing, we could have written and recorded the follow-up Earthling album that I’d hoped we’d do.
Reeves Gabrels
The Complete David Bowie, Nicholas Pegg

Bowie and Gabrels began work on ‘hours…’, and the live album was temporarily shelved. The various live tracks were made available as digital downloads to BowieNet members, and in September 2000 the two-CD set was given away to subscribers. It soon became a sought-after rarity commanding high prices on the second-hand market.