David Bowie – Budokan 1978 (Wardour 177)

DB B78-F

David Bowie, “Budokan 1978” (Wardour 177)

Warszawa / “Heroes” / What In The World / Be My Wife / Jean Genie / Blackout / Sense Of Doubt / Breaking Glass / Fame / Beauty And The Beast

Five Years / Soul Love / Star / Hang On To Yourself / Ziggy Stardust / Suffragette City / Ard Decade / Alabama Song / Station To Station / TVC 15 / Stay / Rebel Rebel

Released at the same time as “Tokyo 1978” (Wardour 176), “Budokan 1978” was recorded the day before at the revered hall, made famous as a concert venue originally by the Beatles concerts there in 1966 – a move that angered some Japanese traditionalists at the time but opened the door for other acts in the future to play at the hall.

This release is a full audience recording as opposed to the abbreviated broadcast from the NHK Hall show. The sound is a distant recording, some way away from the stage with a noisier crowd in attendance on the night too making for a less than clear listening experience. Possibly recorded by the same taper who had recorded Wardour’s “Blackout”, I’d recommend it more for the hardcore collector fan rather than the casual collector fan or point them in the way of “Tokyo 1978” for an incomplete if telecast or ‘soundboard’ recording – The show is a good listen otherwise – A great collection of ‘Berlin era’ tracks alongside re-tooled oldies, Bowie is, as usual in fine voice, the musicians exceptional, but you’ll have to trust me there as there is a lot of ‘space’ on the recording which envelopes most of the bass and takes off the top ends of the sound.

This release has been well served by Wardour’s distinctive and handsome artwork but unless you’re a hardcore fan of the Duke, you’d do better to search out a download of this set.

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  1. Great work as always, Stuart, but there’s a little confusion, at least in my mind, regarding the dates of ” Budokan 1978 ” and ” Tokyo 1978 “, and I may well add to it. According to ” David Bowie: A Chronology ” by Kevin Cann ( Fireside 1983 ) on December 11, 1978 Dave played Tokyo’s NHK Hall and ” The ‘ Young Music Show ‘ recorded for television. When broadcast the show was condensed to one hour. ” The book lists December 12, 1978 as being at the same venue ( perhaps in error ) and being ” David’s last show in Japan and the end of his world tour. ” Hmmmm…. this is why we’re Music Archaeologists! The tape used for this ” Budokan 1978 ” title, naturally in the same mediocre quality, was issued in 2005 on the Stardust label ( to my knowledge the sole release on that imprint ) as ” Stage At Budokan ” ( Stardust 001 A/B ) listed as being from 12/11/78. Perhaps Dave himself left some clues on ” Blackstar “!


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