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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Moonlight revisited
Back in 1983 (maybe early '84), a Melbourne radio 'simulcast' one of the concerts in the Serious moonlight Tour which I duly 'taped' and listened to every night for perhaps a year; that was my introduction to David Bowie, and thus began the long (and predictable) love affair. It is surreal after all these years to go back and see the puffy...
Published on 17 Mar 2006

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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An accurate document of Bowie's difficult years
The `Let's Dance' album may have been partly motivated by Bowie's desire to prove himself to his new label by delivering hit records, but the subsequent tour was - Bowie has admitted - designed to introduce him to the kind of conservative ultra-mainstream audience that had previously regarded him with suspicion. It was also designed as his "pension plan" - at the back of...
Published on 25 April 2006 by Reg Utterley-Boaring


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Moonlight revisited, 17 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Back in 1983 (maybe early '84), a Melbourne radio 'simulcast' one of the concerts in the Serious moonlight Tour which I duly 'taped' and listened to every night for perhaps a year; that was my introduction to David Bowie, and thus began the long (and predictable) love affair. It is surreal after all these years to go back and see the puffy blonde hair and high-waisted trousers and the cheesy, Celine Dionish set, but then, that was the 80s! Watching the show on TV is nowhere near as intimate an experience as listening to it on cassette (my teenage mind imagined every move and nuance in fine detail) but it's still pretty good. I'm only disappointed that the movie version tinkers with the concert to the extent of deleting songs - it makes the show a bit short for a live concert and feels more like a Saturday evening TV special (which is probably what it initially was).
The real revelation however, is the 'Ricochet' documentary offered as a special feature. It gives interesting insight into Bowie and his 'Far East'. It's classic Bowie with both the artfulness and playfulness (and occasional seriousness) so inherent in his work. All in all, 'Serious Moonlight' satisfies - a whole lot of Bowie, a little bit of history and a good time had by all. Highly recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ashes to Ashes- Fun to Fun-KAY!!, 4 Aug 2006
By 
Steve (By DUNDEE Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I have to say I wasn't expecting much from this DVD- recorded at the very moment that Bowie's career was teetering on the brink of the critical abyss (this concert was recorded just a year before the release of his low-point "Tonight"), you might expect this concert to reveal everything that was bad about the "branded Bowie" of the 80s. But no! It's a thoroughly enjoyable concert- the band playing is solid throughout, Bowie's voice is great and the reworkings of classic tracks work rather well (at the very least they're perversely enjoyable- especially the cover of White-Light/White Heat- more on that in a minute).

The set-list is a fairly judicious balance- its more or less a greatest hits package with some Let's Dance songs thrown in, although the emphasis is more on the late seventies stuff, albeit with the experimental dissonance jettisoned in favour of a commercial 80s sound, which was clearly aimed at garnering acceptance from the kind of people who were buying Phil Collins records at the time(!) It's true that Bowie was "thinking about his pension" at this point (and why not? He spent the seventies being financially shafted by RCA), but remarkably, this doesn't detract from the concert at all. With such a solid backing band (Slick, Alomar, the drummer from Chic) how could you possibly mess up songs like Heroes, Golden Years, Ashes to Ashes and Young Americans? No amount of tinkering with the arrangements alters these indubitable classics.

Further, I think its a mistake to criticise Bowie for ditching the artiness of his late 70s phase in favour of a more commercial approach here. The fact is, that Bowie's music has always been quite theatrical and camp, so the hammy theatrics on show here not only don't detract from the songs, they sometimes enhance them. Cracked Actor, for instance, sees Bowie dressed in Shakespearian garb with Yorick's skull, while the arrangement ditches the original's fuzzy, amped-up guitar lead for cheesy synth-stabs, accompanied by a slinky bass groove. Its a camped-up treat, one of the show's highlights. My other fave is the cover of White Light/White Heat, which makes something of a mockery of the original, turning its pretentious artiness into a campy treat, topped off by the bandana-ed Earl Slick's preposterous 3-minute guitar solo, a brazen display of 80s excess. Ive always thought the Velvet's original was over-rated anyway, and seeing it revamped in this way gave me a great deal of perverse pleasure.

But its not all camped-up, hammy pseudery. (Nor are the pleasures on offer purely those of a perverse nature...) There's a solid performance underneath the cheesiness, and, I said above, don't be fooled into thinking that this concert ought to be forgotten along with Bowie's underwhelming studio output from the same period.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Bowie performance is ageless!, 18 Mar 2002
After being a fan of his music for some years, I was pleased to see this video was still available. Too keep things brief, I would just like to say, this is the best live concert video I have seen. Bowie is a true artist, his songs are awesome and this video really does showcase his genious! Who will be the next Bowie, in short no one! An unbelievable concert from the true pioneer of modern music!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An accurate document of Bowie's difficult years, 25 April 2006
This review is from: Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
The `Let's Dance' album may have been partly motivated by Bowie's desire to prove himself to his new label by delivering hit records, but the subsequent tour was - Bowie has admitted - designed to introduce him to the kind of conservative ultra-mainstream audience that had previously regarded him with suspicion. It was also designed as his "pension plan" - at the back of his mind, he says, he was planning to "get rich quick" and then retire.

So here we have a hits-heavy setlist in which almost all the songs are subjected to arrangements that suck all the menace, all the subversive experimentation out of them. Lots of loungey saxophone charts, lots of primitive-sounding synthesizer. Without its attendant guitar feedback and harmonica, "Cracked Actor"'s innuendo could easily pass by the listener. "Rebel Rebel" and "Fashion" are abbreviated in order to fit into medleys. "What In The World", "Look Back In Anger" and "Scary Monsters" are conspicuously lacking in dissonance and vocal/guitar extremities. When Bowie (and Earl Slick) tackle Lou Reed's "White Light White Heat" they proceed from the `Rock 'n Roll Animal' arrangement (not a good idea). "Station to Station" survives the sanitisation process - and then only to find itself cut short by the film editor! Elsewhere, play-it-safe renditions of Life On Mars, Sorrow, China Girl etc.

With all this, a stage set that looks like it was designed for Kid Creole and the rather silly choreography of the Simms Brothers - it's unlikely to be a satisfactory viewing/listening experience for hardcore Bowie-ologists. Anyone who prefers Outside to Hours, Lodger to Young Americans, can afford to leave this alone.

And now that I've told you what this DVD is - let me tell you what it isn't: a comprehensive document of the live video adventures of Mr Bowie circa 1983.

Restoring the Ricochet documentary to the catalogue, and extending it, is laudable - but in their failure to restore the interviews that were appended to the original two-volume VHS release of the concert (as if determined to make life difficult for Bowie-ologists hoping to streamline their collections) EMI has once again shown its inability to understand its obligations to the music consuming public. Somebody should tell them, "it's not your job to rewrite history, but to preserve it, right?!!"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Great Tour and DVD, 5 Sep 2009
This review is from: Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
"Serious Moonlight" was what brought me to David Bowie in the eighties.
This DVD gives you an great range of songs preformed live.

The Picture quality is limited and the sound is upgraded to 5.1 Surround Sound and better than the original VHS video.

The "Ricochet" Documentary is very good as well, and is a lot longer than the original VHS video.

If you are a Bowie fan it is a must have.
For me one of the best concerts on DVD.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUBLIME !, 14 Jan 2001
By A Customer
One of the best live concerts around, sublime performance of Bowie and his musicians, worthwile to note are the slicky guitar solos of Earl Slick !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Moonlight (DVD), 24 Jun 2011
This review is from: Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Bought this on VHS many years ago, enjoyed it then. Thought I had lost it but found it after I sent away for DVD.
A great concert with some fantastic songs from The Slim White Duke. A must for all David Bowie fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowie's most commercial performance, probably, but also simply wonderful, 26 July 2010
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This review is from: Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I can never decide whether I prefer Bowie or Jagger or Roger Taylor of Queen, so I suppose I must say I like them all. If you want just one Bowie DVD, it must depend on whether you want him at his most way-out, or just for sheer easily accessible fun. For the latter, I can't recommend this concert highly enough. It's wonderful and Bowie is awesome. (But then he's always awesome.)

Packed with so many favourite songs.... Look especially for Crack'd Actor, Young Americans, Heroes, and Fame! Lurvely!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give The Druumer (and Alomar) Some!, 26 Mar 2006
By 
Mr. E. J. Ross "Wowser" (Northern England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
A vast improvement over the earlier VHS release, thank God. Though the picture and sound are by no means perfect (from what I gather, the concert was filmed on video), they no longer detract from the concert in the way the VHS version (muffled sound, blurry picture) did. For some idea of the quality, check out the Cat People video on The Best of Bowie DVD.
The concert itself is not for everyone, by all means, but even beyond the blonde perm and hammy theatrics, there lurks a solid concert. Its strength lies mainly in the track listing: it's basically the Low through Scary Monsters period with some older material and new songs thrown in. With Carlos Alomar (who features a lot in the concert) and Chic's Tony Thompson, the material has a nice funky edge, something missing in Bowie's current line-up.
The low points are Life on Mars and Space Oddity, which don't work at all well in these settings, the latter seeming to grind to a halt in places. Also, Earl Slick and his red hair band should have been tamed: each time he comes on for a solo it feels like you're watching a Van Halen covers band - it's not ideal. (When Bowie introduces the band towards the end, Slick is greeted by rapturous applause while Alomar just gets a routine clapping, which is simply unfair.).
Also included here is the documentary, Ricochet. Thankfully, Bowie doesn't act in the film. Instead, we see him hob-knobbing with the people of Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. There are actually some nice shots of these cities, with a particularly nice montage of Bangkok set to the music of Moss Garden. There is also footage of the Hong Kong leg of the tour, where the set is more intimate and a little rougher round the edges.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent concert from the master of theatour..., 30 Jan 2004
David Bowie's 1983 "Serious Moonlight Tour" was an attempt to repackage himself from a cult-audience freak to a serious all-round family entertainer. And it worked- the tour was the biggest grossing of 1983, and his most profitable- referred to by Bowie himself as his "pension plan". This video captures the concert in Vancouver, midway through the tour. The set list is unashamedly a greatest hits package- there is at least one hit from almost every album up to 1983's "Let's Dance"; we get the classics- "Space Oddity", "Ashes to Ashes", "Fame" and "Life On Mars", the hits-"Fashion" / "Let's Dance" and "Young Americans" and even some soundtrack songs ("Cat People"). The video is billed as a "live concert", although director David Mallett occasionally interferes- "Station to Station" has been edited from it's original version, whilst a caption appears before each song to remind the viewer of what it's called. The main downside with the video is not what is present, but what is absent- namely "The Jean Genie", "Modern Love", "Star", "Red Sails" and "Stay" which were all performed at the same concert. Nonetheless, the sound is excellent, the songs are well performed and Bowie generally comes across quite well to the audience. A good concert video to start your Bowie collection with.
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Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006]
Serious Moonlight [DVD] [2006] by David Bowie (DVD - 2006)
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