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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 14 December 2009
(asked the no-bootleg man...).

Being a life-long Bowie fan, I tend to purchase all his new releases. As soon as this came out, I grabbed it. My, oh my - this is a tremendous Ziggy live performance that makes the original Ziggy Stardust live sound like a rehearsal! I simply couldn't believe my ears.

Admittedly, the sound quality is not top. But it still is perfectly audible - don't think for a moment that it will spoil the experience.

The band is at its absolute absolute top. Ronson's guitar playing is sublime, Mick Woodmansey's drumming is insane and Bowie sings his heart out. And the true bonus: on stage, Mike Garson is playing the piano!

I get the feeling the band were quite enjoying this performance, it's got a lot of spark that I at least hadn't heard before.

True gem, worth every penny.
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on 4 February 2010
Before this live recording came out officially in October 2008 on the EMI label it was one of the most sought after vinyl bootlegs, of this F.M. broadcast from the 20th of October 1972 at the civic auditorium in Santa Monica U.S.A.
The bootleg was a double album and had a photocopied cover (oh why did I sell mine?).

There is also a semi-bootleg issued in 1994 on the Mainman label the number is Golden Years GY002 and has a colour cover owned by Bowie's ex-manager Tony DeFries.

The 1994 semi-bootleg lasted 76 minutes 40 seconds and for some strange reason Bowie has edited this version of the show to 74 minutes 22 seconds as he is believed to supervise all his EMI re-issues they have taken out most of the interaction between Bowie and the Audience, so I have taken off one star.

This show trashes the "Ziggy Stardust motion picture" in terms of musicality but not in terms of historical significance, as that was the last show Bowie played the Ziggy Character.

Can we please have the complete show and not this censored version, Ziggy deserves better.
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VINE VOICEon 1 July 2008
First off this is truly a superb gig. The track listing is faultless and the performances, though beautifully flawed at times, are blistering. It is a far superior document of the Ziggy period Bowie to the 73' retirement gig at the Hammersmith Odeon.

I already own the 94' official release of this concert on the mainman `golden years' label. I bought this new EMI edition because I had read somewhere that Bowie had remastered the recording himself. He hasn't! Listening to it I cannot really detect any significant differences in sonic quality from the 94' release.

What is shockingly obvious however is the absence of big chunks and small snippets of Bowie's playingly camp dialogue with his audience throughout. Where's his "painter from New York" impression of Warhol for example or his "give me a pair of pliers.... or a strong hand". I'm absolutely gutted that this historical artefact has been hacked in this way. These edits are unnecessary and unforgivable in my opinion and I'm sure that I like many others will consequently always consider this release inferior to the earlier one because of them.

On the plus side the disc does come in a nice box with handsome RCA period memorabilia. 3 stars worth in fact. Also I'm hoping, because he sanctioned this release, that the Dame may give the nod for more official bootleg releases in the future. A little something from the `station to station' tour perhaps? Just don't rip chunks out of them please!

Buy this only if you can't get hold of the mainman release.
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This is a great live album, an encapsulation of Bowie and the Spiders From Mars in their prime. he never had a better guitar foil than Mick Ronson, and the latter's sizzling guitar work is smeared all over this recording. Check out 'Width of A Circle' - Ronson's Jeff Beck style licks and sulphurous guitar tone are magnificent. Quality is excellent throughout, and is an essential purchase for anyone wanting to hear the very best of where Brit Rock was at, circa 1972.
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This isn't the first time that this classic bootleg of a radio broadcast has been released on CD. But new Bowie fans should stick this in their basket straight away as it's a great set list and much better then the 'Ziggy Stardust motion picture sound track', even with that album's recent remastering. The high light of the show is the acoustic section which features brilliant versions of Andy Warhol and Space Oddity.
If all you've got is a Bowie 'greatest hits' or maybe the Ziggy studio album, this makes a great companion piece and good introduction to some of this other early 70's work.
It's worth the cash for Mick Ronsons guitar solos on 'width of a circle' alone!
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on 20 June 2008
This is Bowie and the Spiders at their absolute peak of creativity. Various inferior bootlegs have been circulating for 30+ years and I'm surprised it took so long for EMI, or any other major label come to that, to release this pure gem of rock'n'roll history. This isn't so much a music recording as an historical document of a time when pop music came of age and entered a new dimension - territory that many would later seek to explore and indeed exploit but a territory that Bowie, Ronson et al had already discovered and moved on from.
Make no mistake. This is a work of major significance that should not be passed over. ESSENTIAL.
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on 30 December 2016
Outstanding. I saw the Ziggy tour in 1973 (Bradford St George's Hall) and always thought the subsequent live recording (and film) didn't really catch the magic. But, after all, the band was pretty well out on their feet after the US and UK tours so it's no wonder Hammersmith Odeon didn't catch the real flavour. This recording is much better and catches the verve and vitality of Ronson, Woodmansey, Bolder, Garson and Bowie at full pelt. Add it to your Bowie collection, NOW.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 January 2012
With the January blues, I thought I would buy this to give myself a lift...and what a shot in the arm it proved to be!

The album was originally released as a bootleg but Bowie loved it so much, it has since been given an official release by EMI.

The quality is truly excellent and the atmosphere is superb. I personally prefer it to the Hammersmith Odeon release which has been around for a while.

Bowie and his band are at the top of their game and very much into their alter egos of Ziggy and his Spiders.

Sonically it is a great listen. Songs from the Ziggy album are interpersed with Space Oddity, tracks from 'The Man Who Sold The World' and 'Hunky Dory'.

The musicianship isn't perfect, but too much gloss would have spoilt such a spontaneous and joyous performance.

An absolute pleasure from beginning to end.

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on 21 July 2010
bought this because i had never heard a live ziggy show before(i'm 24 so it is way before my time) and although this Cd was released before(in 1994 under the 'mainman' label) the previous issue had an ugly cover and the sound wasn't that good. this version however is FANTASTIC, the sound still isn't perfect but is pretty close! the concert is so damn good you don't want it to end! if you do not have this Cd then GET IT NOW!!! you will NOT be disappointed! nice cover too!
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on 13 July 2008
A bit of a holy grail for Bowie fans, this is identical to the earlier CD release back in the 90's so if you already have then that don't buy this. That said any self-respecting Bowiephile should have a copy of this in their collection.

It's not perfect: what you get here comes complete with technical hiccups, Mick Ronson's flat backing vocals and bum guitar notes, and Bowie's attempt to recreate the 'lift off' section from Space Oddity ranks alongside The Laughing Gnome as a truly cringe-worthy moment. But what you also get is the definitive historical record of Ziggy in his most formative and creative period. When Bowie introduces one number with "This song was written by Ziggy" he's not kidding. At the time he recorded this he was living and breathing his most famous creation.

And there are some very special moments, too. Acoustic versions of My Death and Andy Warhol stand out, the latter adopting an eerie quality lacking in the Ken Scott studio production. All in all this is THE definitive Ziggy live album, rivalled only by the original bootleg versions of 'last' show at Hammersmith Odeon the following year.
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