Recorded: 8 September 2005
Released: 21 November 2005
The three-song Live EP (Live At Fashion Rocks) was a collaboration between David Bowie and Arcade Fire.
It was recorded on 8 September 2005 at Condé Nast’s Fashion Rocks event at the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York City, with all proceeds donated to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund in New Orleans. This was Bowie’s first live appearance since his heart operation.
The set began with Bowie performing ‘Life On Mars?’, backed with Mike Garson on piano. Arcade Fire then came on stage to back Bowie on ‘Five Years’, before the two acts played the Arcade Fire song ‘Wake Up’. The performances were broadcast on CBS television the following day.
The three songs were subsequently released as digital downloads on iTunes, again to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. ‘Wake Up’ was initially released on 14 November 2005, although a technical error meant the track meant early purchasers were treated to over five minutes of silence.
The full set of three songs was released a week later, on 21 November, with ‘Five Years’ and ‘Wake Up’ swapped around in the running order. The EP topped the iTunes charts in several countries, and made number three in the US, and number five in the UK.
A news item on Bowie’s site, posted on Friday 18 November, explained the technical snafu around ‘Wake Up’ and announced the full EP:
Children, wake up…
I’m sure most of you are aware of the situation regarding the Arcade Fire & David Bowie Live EP download since we posted our original story. (11.08.2005 NEWS: BOWIE/ARCADE FIRE LIVE EP DIGITAL DOWNLOAD)
After the stop/start UK only release of the Wake Up (Live from Fashion Rocks) single, via iTunes last Monday, when a corrupt file was initially uploaded resulting in nearly six minutes of silence, I first thought it was just a musical pun and half-expected an alarm bell going off at the last moment. But alas, no.
Shame…“Somethin? filled up my heart with nothin?, someone told me not to cry.” would have been a wonderfully appropriate lyric quotation. Anyway, the fault was fixed and the track became successfully downloadable.
However, of more interest to Bowie, and indeed Arcade Fire fans is the three track Arcade Fire & David Bowie Live EP which contains the same ‘Wake Up’ track anyway, and is available world-wide thorugh iTunes on Monday.
As mentioned in my previous news piece, it will include all three tracks from Fashion Rocks. I’ll leave you with this excerpt from the press release to further explain…
On November 21st, Arcade Fire and David Bowie will release the Live EP, featuring all three songs performed at Fashion Rocks, New York in September. The EP leads off with a superb version of ‘Life On Mars?’ where Bowie is accompanied by long-term collaborator Mike Garson on piano.
Bowie is then joined by Arcade Fire for a stellar performance of their coming of age anthem, ‘Wake Up’, before the two collaborate on a passionate version of the Ziggy Stardust classic, ‘Five Years’. The Live EP will be available exclusively from iTunes worldwide, and all proceeds will be going to Hurricane Relief charities.