So David Bowie is my all-time favorite artist, bar-none. He to me represents all that is good about music. If I were to list my top 20 albums, it'd be pretty boring cause there'd be at least five Bowie records in there (Aladdin Sane, Station to Station, Low, "Heroes", and Blackstar.) He is the only celebrity whose death actually sent me into mourning. Like, I cried, listened to nothing but his music, and was bummed about it for literally months afterwards. During this time, I also became utterly obsessed with Blackstar, and annoyed everyone around me by listening to it and watching its associated music videos at every opportunity.
This is all to say that I am almost too familiar with his discography, so coming across a great Bowie record that I haven't already heard is pretty goddamn rare. But that's exactly what recently happened with Liveandwell.com, a live (duh) album, recorded in 1997, that was only ever made available to BowieNet subscribers. (There's a four-track bonus disc, too, but the live part's the focus for sure.)
Half of the tracks are from Earthling, the album for which he was touring at the time Liveandwell.com was recorded. And though Earthling's dated electro production make it one of my least favorite Bowie records (meaning that I just really like it, as opposed to loving it), the problem was never with the songs, and the full-band approach and live setting really helps them songs out -- they're fleshier, jazzier, and just more fun.
The other five tracks are from 1. Outside, a misunderstood concept album written and recorded with the aid of Brian Eno and released 22 years ago yesterday [EDIT: I meant to post this yesterday and that originally read "today" but I am dumb]. Misunderstood at the time of its release, the years have been quite kind to 1. Outside, as now most Bowie fans recognize it for the knotty masterpiece that it is -- especially in light of its dark, jazz- and electro-heavy sound representing the only clear antecedent to Blackstar in Bowie's discography. Just don't ask me what the story's about. Something about a murder, a minotaur, "interest drugs," and someone named Judy? It's like Lost Highway -- the soundtrack to which, incidentally, included "I'm Deranged" -- the closer you get to understanding, the the surer you become that you will never understand.
Welp, that's what happens when I start in on Bowie, I guess. I end up with the longest writeup I've ever done on here, for a 10-track live album. Hope it was worth it!
1. I'm Afraid of Americans
2. The Heart's Filthy Lesson
3. I'm Deranged
4. Hallo Spaceboy
5. Telling Lies
6. The Motel
7. The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)
8. Battle for Britain
9. Seven Years in Tibet
10. Little Wonder
1. Fun (Dillinja Mix)
2. Little Wonder (Sanny Saber Dance Mix)
3. Dead Man Walking (Moby Mix 1)
4. Telling Lies (Paradox Mix)
Now, not tomorrow
Also of interest:
|Gary Numan -|
Living Ornaments '79 and '80 (1981)