Jed | UK | 05/19/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The cover is a good reflection of the music itself. Bowie looks unnatural, stiff, mannequin like. The music itlelf sounds unnatural; Bowie trying to do smooth soul. I'm trying to think of a greater incongruity than David Bowie doing soul, but it's difficult. Maybe Condaleeza Rice as a stand up comedienne, or Samuel Jackson as a Jedi knight(oh wait...) There might be some metaphorical polite smattering of applause at such an unexpected turn of events, trying to reassure yourself that it's not so bad. I know that Bowie's whole schtick was reinventing himself every 2 years or so, but this is, quite frankly one of the most boring live albums I've heard. It's so fake sounding, and forced. David Bowie the caberet performer. Full of brass and backup singers as if to say "Hey, we're playing soul. Do you see?" Recorded in Philidelphia it proclaims. Just because it was recorded in the home of "Philly soul" doesn't mean that any authenticity is going to creep into the concert. Most of the songs are from a time he was writing his own type of odd songs, and they get played as if they were smooth soul. No wonder Bowie looks perplexed on the cover.
And needless to say he couldn't sing his way out of a wet paper bag."
Good, not great; Re-issue is WAY better
SoccerDad247 | Overland Park, KS | 03/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not trying to be a jerk, but while this album is good, it's crap compared to the re-issue, which has remastered sound (finally, an album that could really use it and you can tell the difference) and has the songs in the original order. Plus there are two bonus tracks and cool new packaging. If you want to hear Bowie Live from '74, buy the re-issue. (Sorry Rykodisc; I do love all the Morphine records you put out in the 90s)."
Silverfox | Houston, Tx. USA | 10/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No one has mentioned this song. The performance is worth the price of the cd. Whether or not Warren Peace overdubbed the backing vocals or not, the song is quintessential Bowie. Those who don't care for the record haven't turned it up loud enough. Please do. And I know that recommendation is bandied about a lot, but that might be the problem. The sheer desperation of the whole thing can be heard in his voice. The pressure leaks into the performance on "sweet thing" and "here today gone tomorrow." There is emotion here and its real. There's a percussion section and Mike Garson is tinkering in the background. Slick is ripping on "Cracked Actor"- the early hammering on style that presaged Eddie Van Halen. Slicks an odd one- a technically proficient guitarist with a nack for soul and good tone as well. God I wish I could see a visual version of this performance. Is there one out there in any form?"