Recorded: June-November 1997
Producers: David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels, Mark Plati
Released: 13 September 2000
David Bowie: vocals, guitar, saxophone
Reeves Gabrels: guitar, synthesizer, vocals
Mike Garson: piano, keyboards, synthesizer
Gail Ann Dorsey: bass guitar, keyboards, vocals
Zack Alford: drums
- ‘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, including a mix of live tracks and remixes.
The first disc of liveandwell.com contained ten live recordings, made up evenly of songs from 1.Outside and Earthling. ‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’ was the oldest, from the Phoenix Festival on 18 July 1996 (erroneously stated on the album as from the following year).
Three tracks – ‘I’m Deranged’, ‘Telling Lies’, and ‘The Motel’ – were from the Paradiso in Amsterdam on 10 June 1997, as were the two bonus tracks on the 2020 reissue (‘Pallas Athena’ and ‘V-2 Schneider’).
‘I’m Afraid Of Americans’, ‘Battle For Britain (The Letter)’, ‘Seven Years In Tibet’, and ‘Little Wonder’ were all recorded at the GQ Awards at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on 15 October 1997.
The remaining two songs – ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ and ‘The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)’ – were from a performance at the Metropolitan in Rio de Janeiro on 2 November 1997.
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 rewrite of ‘Fame’ 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’.
Although Bowie hoped for liveandwell.com 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.
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.
liveandwell.com was the first of four Bowie digital albums containing live recordings from the 1990s, which were released in the summer of 2020. The others were Ouvrez Le Chien (Live Dallas 95), Something In The Air (Live Paris 99), and ChangesNowBowie.
The 2020 release was initially only available on streaming and digital download services. It augmented the original ten songs with two bonus tracks: ‘Pallas Athena’ and ‘V-2 Schneider’, both recorded at the Amsterdam Paradiso on 10 June 1997.
In December 2020 a new vinyl and CD edition was announced, to be released on 15 January 2021, as part of the Brilliant Live Adventures set of six 1990s live albums.
The physical reissue featured new artwork, including a cover photograph of David Bowie taken by Scarlet Page while rehearsing for his June 1997 shows at London’s Hanover Grand.
Here’s the press release for the reissue:
‘BRILLIANT LIVE ADVENTURES’ PART 3: ‘LIVEANDWELL.COM’ THIRD LIVE ALBUM TO BE RELEASED ON 15TH JANUARY ON CD AND 2xLP FEATURING NEWLY DESIGNED ARTWORK
Parlophone Records is proud to announce the third in a series of six very special David Bowie live releases from the 90’s that will be released on CD and vinyl over the coming months.
DAVID BOWIE LIVEANDWELL.COM is a live album previously released in 2000 in limited quantities to BowieNet subscribers. This expanded edition includes two bonus tracks: Pallas Athena and V-2 Schneider.
LIVEANDWELL.COM was recorded in New York, Amsterdam and Rio De Janeiro during the 1997 Earthling Tour. It’s first 10 tracks have until now been physically available only on the BowieNet release, while the two bonus tracks were released as a 12” single under the name The Tao Jones Index (the alias Bowie and his band employed to play an unannounced set in the dance tent at the Phoenix Festival in England in 1997). These limited-edition vinyl and CD sets are released in newly designed artwork featuring a cover shot of Bowie taken by Scarlet Page while rehearsing for his June 1997 London Hanover Grand shows.
LIVEANDWELL.COM was Produced by David Bowie, co-produced by Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati and mixed by Mark Plati at Looking Glass Studios, NYC. The musicians on the live recordings are David Bowie – vocals, guitar, saxophone, Zachary Alford – drums, Gail Ann Dorsey – bass, vocals, keyboards, Reeves Gabrels – guitars, synthesisers, vocals and Mike Garson – piano, keyboards, synthesisers.