Sunday, December 8, 2019

David Bowie - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 2-5-1970

Like the CSN album I posted the day before yesterday, I had a problem with this album that prevented it from posting it for a long time. The good news is that, in February 1970, David Bowie had the opportunity to play a full hour for the BBC. The bad news is that when an official Bowie BBC compilation was finally released, it only included half of the show. The other half has been bootlegged (minus whatever talking there was between songs), but the sound quality of those songs are of noticeably lesser quality than the officially released ones. When the songs are put in the proper original order, it bounces between high and medium quality from song to song, repeatedly.

I hoped for a long time that I'd eventually find a better version of the bootlegged songs. But months have passed and that hasn't happened. I wasn't sure if I should post the songs in their original order, or if I should put all the bootlegged songs together and all the officially released ones together. Personally, I find the latter a much better listen, because I don't find myself distracted by sound quality differences all the way through it.

But then a better idea came to me: why not post both versions? Then you, as the listener, can decide. So that's what I did.

First, here's the version I prefer, with the songs sorted by sound quality. The first eight songs are from the bootleg source and the last six are from the official source.

01. Buzz the Fuzz (David Bowie)
02. Karma Man (David Bowie)
03. London Bye Ta-Ta (David Bowie)
04. An Occasional Dream (David Bowie)
05. Janine (David Bowie)
06. The Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud (David Bowie)
07. Fill Your Heart (David Bowie)
08. The Prettiest Star (David Bowie)
09. Amsterdam (David Bowie)
10. God Knows I'm Good (David Bowie)
11. The Width of a Circle (David Bowie)
12. Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (David Bowie)
13. Cygnet Committee (David Bowie)
14. Memory of a Free Festival (David Bowie)

Here's the link for that version:

https://www78.zippyshare.com/v/PXJuUeys/file.html

Now, here's the same show, but with the songs in their original order. You can check the mp3 tags to see which songs are from which source:

01. Amsterdam (David Bowie)
02. God Knows I'm Good (David Bowie)
03. Buzz the Fuzz (David Bowie)
04. Karma Man (David Bowie)
05. London Bye Ta-Ta (David Bowie)
06. An Occasional Dream (David Bowie)
07. The Width of a Circle (David Bowie)
08. Janine (David Bowie)
09. The Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud (David Bowie)
10. Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (David Bowie)
11. Fill Your Heart (David Bowie)
12. The Prettiest Star (David Bowie)
13. Cygnet Committee (David Bowie)
14. Memory of a Free Festival (David Bowie)

Here's the link for that version:

https://www10.zippyshare.com/v/q1kwc1Qn/file.html

Either way, it's a great concert, with the snags being that sound quality issue for some of the songs, and the lack of between song banter. I don't think Bowie played in front of an audience, because for once it's not me that removed the crowd noise.

This is the only example of Bowie playing for so long for the BBC. The next album in this series will resume with him doing a few songs here and there each time. Even though Bowie was featured for a full hour, there's only 50 minutes of music, presumably because there was some talking at the start and between songs and the like to fill out the other ten minutes.

Regarding the album cover, I couldn't find any photo at this exact performance. However, I found a photo of him from that very month, while making an appearance at the Valentine Pop Awards, where he played "Space Oddity." The photo only went to the top of Bowie's head, but I used some Photoshop tricks to extend it a bit higher.

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