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I'm in cheesy Heaven and Hell (3.5 Stars)
on 30 June 2007
I have just read the review below me, and speaking as someone who not only owns the two previously released videos, but who has also seen the Glass Spider tour live at Wembley, Mark is for the most part correct. It was very cheesy, overblown and 'Spinal Tap'. However, most Bowie fans know all the faults of this tour back to front, and even Bowie admits that this tour was a bit of a disappointment, plus he has openly admitted that he was going through his 'Phil Collins' period creatively speaking.
However, there is still a lot to enjoy here. Firstly, with regards to the DVD concert recorded over two nights in Sydney, you could hardly call the performances of 'Sons Of The Silent Age' and the two cover versions of 'White Light/White Heat' and Iggy and the Stooges 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' as sounding cheesy, but you could for the 'Let's Dance' material on this, which was just too twee sounding on this tour. Also, I think 'Rebel Rebel' and 'Young Americans' sounded pretty good on this. After all, when I went to one of the Wembley gigs, not only was I hugely disappointed that there wasn't any material played from either 'Hunky Dory', 'Ziggy Stardust', 'Station To Station', 'Low' and 'Lodger', he didn't even play 'Rebel Rebel' or 'Young Americans', but I do remember a really tacky dance routine for 'Dancing With The Big Boys' from the 'Tonight' album that nobody wanted to hear.
Now on to the 2 cd's which I am really greatful to own, because what with 'All The Madmen', 'Big Brother'/'Chant', 'Scary Monsters', plus '87 And Cry' etc, you get a fuller perspective of all the diverse material that was played on this tour. Also, for purely selfish reasons, it's now been four whole years since the last Bowie album, so I'm just greatful to have some new material to listen to.
One final thought, even artists as ground breaking as David Bowie are entitled to a few off years. After all, when he recorded 'Scary Monsters' in 1980 there was a musical climate of Ska/New Wave & Post Punk/New Romantic & Synth Pop, plus when he recorded 'Outside' and 'Earthling' in the mid to late 1990's, he was inspired by the likes of Tricky/Goldie/Leftfield/Underworld etc. Whereas with 'Never Let Me Down' from 1987, we had a musical climate of Phil Collins and Stock/Aitkin and Waterman, while the yanks had soft 'poodle perm' rock anthems, so it was hardly an inspiring time to be an artist. However, ironically Bowie was influenced by Prince at the time, which on paper was a good thing, but unfortunately Prince's style of music just didn't suit his 'Never Let Me Down' album or his Glass Spider tour.