David Bowie – Live Nassau Coliseum 76
Well I had vowed to stay away from the flood of releases that I knew would come when Bowie left us but recently I was too tempted by Cracked Actor which turned out to be magnificent so I decided to try my luck with this double CD. Recorded in Uniondale, NY on his Station To Station tour this record finds Bowie deeply ensconced in his Thin White Duke character, emerging onstage to films by Dali while Kraftwerk’s song Radioactivity blasts from the PA.
Launching into his set Bowie’s manic mindframe is immediately evident in his howling vocals. The explosive energy of his cocaine fueled performance left Bowie himself scarcely able to remember this era in his latter years. Here it produces a strange mix of RnB and early electronic music as Bowie explores themes of mysticism and spirituality, the occult and christianity, giving birth to what has been described as space rock. Perfectly illustrating the dark but funky headspace he was in Bowie pays massive tribute to Velvet Underground covering I’m Waiting For The Man and playing his homage to the band, Queen Bitch.
While Bowie’s vocals and performance are what we are all focusing on here a standing ovation must also be given to Carlos Alomar and Stacey Heydon (replacing Earl Slick who had a falling out with Bowie’s management) for their guitar work and the funky rocking rhythms of George Murray on bass and Dennis Davis on drums. Add in founding member of Yes, Tony Kaye on keys and it becomes easy to see why the band delivers perfection with their solid chops.
Previously a widely bootlegged radio broadcast this show now joins David Live and Cracked Actor in the ever increasing list of must own live Bowie releases. This live recording is also included in the Who Can I Be Now? 74-76 Box Set (2016) as well as the Station To Station Deluxe Set (2010).