This is the first and currently only bootleg vinyl I own, and I must say that overall I’m thrilled with the experience. The presentation is fantastic and professional, from the album cover in the style of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and the quality of the records themselves being flawless. The track listing on the back isn’t completely accurate but something fun I found in my copy is a handwritten track listing by whoever originally owned this bootleg. The downside is the quality of the recording itself is on the rough side, though this isn’t exclusive to bootlegs as I’ve experienced with another live album, Bowie’s “I’m Only Dancing." The instruments, singing, and songs can all be easily heard and understood, but the audio fidelity just isn’t what many would typically listen to if not a die-hard fan. Unfortunately, many live shows from that long ago only exist in rough recordings, if at all, but sometimes it is worth giving them a listen regardless due to the performance.
Speaking of the performance, this is a phenomenal one. It was recorded in Frankfurt, Germany on May 20th, 1983. This was only the third show in what is considered one of his most successful tours, The Serious Moonlight Tour, which was in support of what would become his best-selling album of all time, Let’s Dance. Bowie was in a great headspace for this album, which translated to this tour and performance. Every song is fresh and high energy with a sheen of 80s pop influence hanging onto every song. The setlist is long and touches upon most of his discography up to that point, coming across as almost a greatest hits tour (though even then there are some big omissions that some might expect from such). Bowie himself sounded fantastic, possibly the strongest and healthiest he’s been vocally up to that point in his career, belting new hits and old classics from the bottom of his soul.
I believe this show was significantly more fun and strong performance than what would end up being the official release from this tour titled Serious Moonlight. While both are great albums, I am grateful for this bootleg existing and allowing me to discover a performance I otherwise would likely have never heard. Part of the beauty of vinyl collecting.
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