David Bowie Career-Spanning Live Spotify Playlist
As the world continues to mourn the death of rock superstar David Bowie, who succumbed to cancer at age 69 this week, many have found solace in listening to the cache of recordings he left behind. When Bowie announced what would be the final album released while he was alive, ★ (Blackstar), I shared a Spotify Playlist of 20 artists covering classic Bowie tunes, and this week’s playlist again focuses on the legendary performer with a massive, career-spanning collection of live recordings.
The over 200 tracks tallying more than 15 hours of live Bowie are presented chronologically from his 1967 BBC Session with The Arthur Greenslade Orchestra through an appearance with David Gilmour at The Royal Albert Hall in London in May 2006. The playlist begins spanning his early, post-Davey Jones years, including an extensive collection of recordings made with various groups (often with longtime collaborator Tony Visconti) at the BBC between 1967 and 1972. Those recordings also include bits of interviews conducted for radio interspersed between songs.
His Ziggy Stardust persona, backed by The Spiders from Mars – guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder, drummer Mick “Woody” Woodmansey and keyboardist Mike Garson – appears in several settings including at the BBC, an October 1972 performance at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and the group’s final show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in July 1973. A completely different lineup is featured recordings from concerts held in July 1974 and released as David Live. A March 1976 concert recorded at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York precedes a set with Iggy Pop from the 1977 The Idiot Tour named for Pop’s acclaimed Bowie-produced LP.
Also included is Bowie’s live album Stage culled from recordings from the early part of the 1978 Isolar II World Tour featuring a lineup highlighted by guitarists Adrian Belew and Carlos Alomar. There’s a track from Bowie’s lone Bridge School Benefit Concert appearance in 1996 as well as his complete VH1 Storytellers release, taped in August 1999. The playlist ends with performances from 2003 held in Dublin as part of Bowie’s A Reality Tour and the aforementioned appearance with Gilmour on 2016.
While certain songs are repeated, in some cases multiple times, in nearly each case it’s a different lineup, different era, different decade – even a different Bowie persona – on the various tracks.