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D. Evans "davewright29"

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Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture Soundtrack: 30th Anniversary
Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture Soundtrack: 30th Anniversary

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bowie's definitive live album?, 30 Mar 2003
David Bowie's live albums have always been quite controversial and I don't believe he has produced a 'definitive' one in the sense of the Stones 'Get You Ya Ya's Out' or The Who's 'Live At Leeds' are for those two bands. Indeed it would appear 'David Live' and 'Stage' are both presently delated, although doubtless they will be made available again at some point - maybe when their own annniversaries come round? The other Ziggy era live album, Santa Monica, also seems to be unavailable. So this soundtrack of the last Ziggy concert is the only official Bowie live album currently available, unless you count the 2000 BBC concert which was issued with some editions of the BBC sessions.
Many fans have their own favourites but personally I still think the Ziggy era was far and away Bowie's best, so I was looking forward to hearing this album for the first time.
I had read previous reports that the sound quality was somewhat dubious in places and that the earlier Santa Monica performance sounded better as it was recorded from a radio broadcast. However, I need not have feared as for the most part the sound on this new version is excellent. The only track I thought suffered in any way was the opening 'Hang On To Yourself.'
I haven't heard the Santa Monica album so can't compare the two, but the track listings are quite different as this concert contains some 'Aladdin Sane' tracks which was Bowie's latest release at the time, and an album I always feel is cruelly underated in the Bowie canon.
The only tracks featured which I don't have either studio or BBC versions of are an excellent version of Jacques Brel's 'My Death' when Bowie finally gets the audience to shut up, and a snatch of Bowie's own, never released as a studio version, 'All the Young Dudes'. This is done as part of a medley and I must say I would have preferred the full version.
My only real gripes with this album are that it is a quite short for a double and that we don't get the full concert, as the encores of 'Jean Genie' and a couple of other songs are missing. These featured Jeff Beck and presumably aren't included because of contractual difficulties. Also we get the full 14 minutes plus version of 'Width Of A Circle' which in previous releases was edited by about five minutes and one can understand why.
However, all in all this is a fine memento of one of the legendary concerts.

20th Century Superstar (4CD)
20th Century Superstar (4CD)

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The dilemma of the box set, 21 Sep 2002
The dilemma of the box set is do you include everything the artist recorded such as the Jam box set or the recent Creedence Clearwater Revival one? Or do you just aim at the collectors by including only previously unreleased material as the the Doors boxset did and many of the Elvis ones do? Most box sets tend to straddle the middle ground by including all the hits and the best known album tracks, together with a judicious selection of album tracks, live cuts and outtakes. This Marc Bolan collection adopts that approach. Thus you get all the major hits from Ride A White Swan to The Groover and all the singles released after that when Bolan was in commercial decline. There is also lots of Tyrannosaurus Rex material together with a few John's Children cuts and rare Bolan solo material from the sixties. Indeed, the first couple of songs he ever released (including a version of Dylan's Blowing In The Wind) recorded under the name of Toby Tyler are almost unrecognisable as Marc hasn't yet developed his distinctive voice. I think this collection does prove that Bolan was more interesting than Bowie was in this period, even though the latter proved to be the more talented and enduring artist.
The previously unreleased tracks are actually virtually worthless, amounting to about a couple of minutes, including a few seconds intro and a few seconds outro to Ride A White Swan.
However, another reason for buying a boxset is that you expect it to come with good liner notes and a comprehensive discography together with some nice pictures. Again this colletion doesn't disappoint here, being informative and attractively packaged. I did hope, however, by buying this I would be able to sell my existing collection of Marc Bolan / T Rex cd's. This was not the case, as it omits some key tracks from Bolan Boogie, The Slider and Electic Warrior - including, unforgivably, Ballrooms of Mars, one of Marc's very best songs and a couple of my favourite T Rex rockers, Woodland Rock and Baby Boomerang.

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