Live Santa Monica ‘72
By David Chiu
The music from this 1972 show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, which was broadcasted on KMET, has existed before but this ‘limited edition’ version marks its ‘official’ release. It captures Bowie at the height of Ziggy-mania, drawing tracks from the first several albums including Hunky Dory and of course The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. For the die-hard fans of Bowie’s early phase Santa Monica ’72 is glam rock ecstasy that’s heavy on Bowie’s charisma and Mick Ronson’s crunchy guitar—the setlist draws on the familiar staples (‘Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Suffragette City,” “The Jean Genie”) and key tracks from the studio albums (“Moonage Daydream,” “Queen Bitch,” “Five Years,” etc.). Bowie and his band sound in top form here, and this recording definitely belongs with the previous live albums David Live and Stages.