David Bowie – Blackout (Wardour-084)

Blackout (Wardour-084)

NHK Hall, Tokyo, Japan – December 12th, 1978

Disc 1 (48:29):  Warszawa, “Heroes”, What In The World, Be My Wife, The Jean Genie, Blackout, Sense Of Doubt, Breaking Glass, Fame, Beauty And The Beast

Disc 2 (79:35):  Five Years, Soul Love, Star, Hang On To Yourself, Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City, Art Decade, Alabama Song, Station To Station, TVC15, Stay, Rebel Rebel.  Bonus, David Bowie interviews in Japan 1978

David Bowie completed an intense period of touring with the Low And Heroes tour, which ended with Bowie’s second ever trip to Japan.  The five shows were booked in Osaka and Tokyo, ending on December 12th at the NHK hall. 

An hour of this show was taped and broadcast on television and is the source for the LP boots Merry X-Mas Mr Bowie (Audio Recording Corporation ARC 1001), David Bowie At Judo Arena (Budokan) (IPS IP-C-8881 A/B), the CD releases Wild Mutation (BOW 006) and Hoping For A Little Romance (YOU J-002) and the DVD title Last Night Of Low And Heroes Tour (GoodFellas Records GFP V02).

Blackout on Wardour contains a new audience recording which has never been circulated or pressed before.  Although it’s advertised as having “TRULY AMAZING SOUND,” what is truly amazing is Wardour’s hubris in making this claim.  It is a distant recording with some distortion in the lower end.  There is a small cut in “Blackout” at 2:58, but it’s otherwise complete.

Hardcore Bowie collectors might find it interesting to hear the final show complete, but the sound is too prohibitive for casual collectors.  Pressing this tape would make sense if Wardour were a firm Bowie label dedicated to issuing rare tapes no matter what the quality, but they’re not.  Their last Bowie title was Torquay 1972 (Wardour-057) issued almost two years ago, and the sound quality of that was equally as abysmal.

One would think they would focus upon much better sounding and hard-to-find tapes for their label.  There is an excellent tape of the December 6th show in Osaka which hasn’t been pressed since it appeared on the vinyl Reaction (DBO 2269) in 1983.  Unfortantely that would probably never happen so we’re stuck with garbage like Blackout

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  1. Torquay 1972 wasn’t even that…it was just the Aylesbury 15th July tape (and a poor one at that). Don’t trust this new one either.

  2. In fairness to the label, many of the new tapes surfacing are stellar quality. But you’re correct. They do tend to exaggerate. And with Blackout and Torquay 1972, they are both FAR from being excellent sound quality.

  3. Thanks for the warning! I nearly picked this one up, glad I did NOT. I read that it was advertised as “Truly amazing sound”….bootleg labels loose all credibility when using such words for an avarage 70s audience recordings…if they ever had a credibility anyway


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