Only available in bootleg versions before this 2008 EMI release, LIVE SANTA MONICA '72 presents David Bowie in full glam-rock grandeur completely inhabiting his outlandish Ziggy Stardust persona as he leads his Spiders from Mars through a fierce set that draws heavily from HUNKY DORY and, not surprisingly, THE RISE & FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST. In addition to cherry-picking many of the finest tunes from Bowie's early era (most notably a thunderous extended version of "The Width of a Circle"), the set also finds the erstwhile Davy Jones covering Jacques Brel (a wistful take on "My Death" that nods to key Bowie influence Scott Walker) and the Velvet Underground (a faithful version of "Waiting for the Man"). Easily one of the best Bowie concert albums available, LIVE SANTA MONICA '72 is ideal for Ziggy acolytes and glam disciples.
David Bowie is the debut studio album by British musician David Bowie, released on 1 June 1967, on Deram Records. Its content bears little overt resemblance to the type of music that later made him famous, such as the folk rock of "Space Oddity" or the glam rock of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray have said, "a listener strictly accustomed to David Bowie in his assorted '70s guises would probably find this debut album either shocking or else simply quaint", while biographer David Buckley describes its status in the Bowie discography as "the vinyl equivalent of the madwoman in the attic".
David Bowie had dropped hints during the Diamond Dogs tour that he was moving toward R&B, but the full-blown blue-eyed soul of Young Americans came as a shock. Surrounding himself with first-rate sessionmen, Bowie comes up with a set of songs that approximate the sound of Philly soul and disco, yet remain detached from their inspirations; even at his most passionate, Bowie sounds like a commentator, as if the entire album was a genre exercise. Nevertheless, the distance doesn't hurt the album – it gives the record its own distinctive flavor, and its plastic, robotic soul helped inform generations of synthetic British soul.