DAVID BOWIE - David Live: David Bowie at the Tower Philadelphia [2005 Mix] (2017) & No Plan [EP] (2017)
The supporting tour for Diamond Dogs was supposed to be a theatrical extravaganza, yet as he headed out on the road, David Bowie became infatuated with Philly soul and changed his entire approach to reflect his new interest, as well as his backing band in the process. As a result, the double-album David Live captures Bowie in transition, as he moves from glam rock to plastic soul. The set list draws heavily from Ziggy Stardust-era songs, yet there are a few surprises, like a stilted cover of "Knock On Wood" and an inspired version of "All the Young Dudes," a song Bowie gave Mott the Hoople. Since Bowie's attempts at soul are a little awkward at this stage, David Live is primarily of interest as a historical document, yet there's enough good material to make it worthwhile for fanatics.
Released on the year anniversary of David Bowie's final album, Blackstar, No Plan contains the last recordings Bowie ever completed. This amounts to three songs, all written for his Lazarus musical and recorded during the Blackstar sessions. To round out this meager selection - and to underscore its connection to Lazarus - No Plan opens with the version of "Lazarus" from Blackstar before running through the new numbers. "No Plan" is a gorgeous, moody midtempo cut with a soulful undercurrent, "Killing a Little Time" is its opposite, offering dense dissonant guitar and a spiderweb of rhythms, and "When I Met You" closes out the proceedings with a glance back toward the sound of Scary Monsters. If these songs don't feel like a surprise - they're very much worthy outtakes from Blackstar - they nevertheless provide a bittersweet coda to Bowie's 21st century comeback.
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