David Bowie – Ziggy Plays…Velvets And Rock ‘N’ Roll (Mainstream MAST-115)

 Ziggy Plays…Velvets And Rock ‘N’ Roll (Mainstream MAST-115)

Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – October 1st, 1972

Hang On To Yourself, Ziggy Stardust, Changes, The Supermen, Life On Mars?, Lady Stardust, Queen Bitch, Five Years, Space Oddity, Andy Warhol, My Death, The Width Of The Circle, John I’m Only Dancing, Starman, Moonage Daydream, Waiting For The Man, White Light White Heat, Suffragette City, Round And Round

Ziggy Plays…Velvets And Rock ‘N’ Roll, released simultaneously with Plastic Soul,are two of the more impressive and important tapes to surface from the Joe Maloney archive last year. This release documents David Bowie’s Ziggy show in Boston during his first major American tour. This is the era that made him a superstar and, some argue, is his artistic and creative peak. This concert was professionally recorded but only small fragments have heretofore surfaced: Sound+Vision Plusreleased in 1989 on Rykodisc contains “Changes”, “The Supermen” and “John, I’m Only Dancing”, Aladdin Sane: 30th Anniversary contains “Changes” as a bonus track and Alternative Biography (Alter Ego Records 1997) contains “My Death”.This tape has the complete show. The recorder was standing quite a ways from the stage, as it is distant with significant levels of echo. Bowie’s between song talking is difficult to make out. Some of the high-end frequencies sound a bit distorted, like in “Life On Mars?”

The acoustic section “Space Oddity”, “Andy Warhol”, and “My Death” sound more clear than the others. This tape was released also as Ziggy In Bostonon Wardour (Wardour-015) in what is presumed to be similar sound quality (if any one knows, please share). Despite the limitations this is a good tape to listen to and captures the atmosphere of the performance beautifully. The inclusion of “Lady Stardust” is also appealing since this is the only recorded version of the track.We’re fortunate this is an acceptable sounding tape because this is a great show. Boston After Dark, in a review of this show, stated that Bowie is “the most important artist to have emerged in this decade.” The Jacques Brel cover “My Death” is a highlight. The audience really responds to the ten minute long “The Width Of A Circle”. Before “Moonage Daydream” someone by the tape requests “White Light White Heat” and he of course get it. The encore is an energetic “Round And Round” played straight. It was a good choice to release “Changes” officially since it is very strong in this performance. The front picture isn’t very attractive, but overall this is a very good title definitely worth having.

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  1. I’ve been seeking the Starman Over the Rainbow cd out for several years with no luck so far.

  2. This is a splendid recording worth having and I personally prefer the 72′ shows to the more commonly taped 1973 ones.
    One thing though; ‘Lady Stardust’ was performed in 1972 at the Rainbow shows on 19th August and appears on a CD ‘Starman over the Rainbow’ in poor to fair quality. It’s worth seeking out as it also features the rare outtake ‘Something Happens’
    ‘Ziggy Plays…’ is much better quality though. Thanx to Mr Maloney.


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