cracked actor vs david live

cracked actor vs david live

Joined: October 1st, 2010, 10:23 pm

April 26th, 2017, 12:42 am #1

so which live album do you all prefer?
either as a whole or track by track.
for those who have heard the new version don't Base it on the bootlegs
I'm hearing good things and the good news is that it's likely it was mastered for digital release. so expect a cd release possibly with different artwork.
do you agree will we see subsequent releases of cracked actor soon?
discuss please.....
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Joined: January 31st, 2013, 5:28 am

April 26th, 2017, 12:55 am #2

No turntable, no Cracked Actor.
According to Discogs they pressed 17,000 worldwide, 5,000 for Great Britain.
I don't think they will pass on releasing it digitally later.
Better bait than 'Legacy'
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Joined: April 18th, 2013, 7:35 am

April 26th, 2017, 7:25 am #3

so which live album do you all prefer?
either as a whole or track by track.
for those who have heard the new version don't Base it on the bootlegs
I'm hearing good things and the good news is that it's likely it was mastered for digital release. so expect a cd release possibly with different artwork.
do you agree will we see subsequent releases of cracked actor soon?
discuss please.....
In my opinion David Live mix and production is better, but I'm glad to get rid of all my L.A.74 bootlegs, and have an "official" version at least.
I prefer some songs on DL (1984,Changes...) and others on CA (Sweet thing, Space oddity..)
Bowie's voice is far better on CA, and Slick's guitar is not as tiring as in DL

Let's hope one day a Soul Tour Official release sees the light of the day
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Joined: October 1st, 2010, 10:23 pm

April 26th, 2017, 8:03 am #4

thanks. Nice insight jopasso
soon as I hear the official version I can compare with david live.
what about moonage daydream? , a key track for me. from memory and talking only the bootleg I think the ca version may just have the edge but I will have to listen to both again.
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Joined: March 11th, 2007, 3:38 pm

April 26th, 2017, 8:20 am #5

I'll get back to you if CA gets a digital release
DL is brilliant, very damaged, very dark . . .
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Joined: April 18th, 2013, 7:35 am

April 26th, 2017, 9:06 am #6

I totally agree with that description.
I find DL dark, and kind of menacing. Brilliant in its imperfection. I adore DL.

While CA is much more "loose" if you understand me. Bowie seems more confident, perhaps due to voice improvement in comparison to DL.

Moonage Daydream?

Don't know, perhaps the DL version is more powerful, but the CA one is richer (Alomar joins the band) and a bit slower, and as I said before, he plays more with his voice as in Sweet thing.

I think I maybe mythologised L.A. concert after seeing the documentary a million times.
Especially those "reptile" movements in Moonage daydream
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Joined: April 8th, 2005, 1:53 pm

April 26th, 2017, 9:25 am #7

Cracked actor for me, the show and performance is better Bowie's vocals are top notch the band is a lot better and tighter the bass is far more prominent and funky and the backing vocals are top notch. After playing cracked actor several times, this morning I played David Live and it sounded far from live, almost dull at times compared with Cracked actor.
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Joined: September 2nd, 2011, 11:39 am

April 26th, 2017, 10:24 am #8

Ok, "All the Young Dudes" is full on Cracked Actor.
But are there other differences between the 2 ?
Are David's funny speeches between songs on Cracked Actor as they are on Strange Fascination ?
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Joined: April 8th, 2005, 1:53 pm

April 26th, 2017, 10:31 am #9

cracked actor has intro cut to about 30 seconds, speech before dudes cut, short speech before knock on wood cut. the bootlegs are all in mono with a stereo audience and a muddy sound . Cracked actor full stereo and very clear and clean sound.
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Joined: November 18th, 2008, 1:03 pm

April 26th, 2017, 10:35 am #10

Ok, "All the Young Dudes" is full on Cracked Actor.
But are there other differences between the 2 ?
Are David's funny speeches between songs on Cracked Actor as they are on Strange Fascination ?
No the 'funny speeches' are gone and I'm glad they are...

For me it's CA above DL, it sounds so much more live and a whole as a concert and Luther Vandross is superb

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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

April 26th, 2017, 10:38 am #11

Some of those talkie bits were a bit much.
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Joined: April 20th, 2014, 4:04 pm

April 26th, 2017, 11:13 am #12

I liked his Porto Rican impressions, shame it's not on C.A .
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Joined: September 2nd, 2011, 11:39 am

April 26th, 2017, 11:53 am #13

No the 'funny speeches' are gone and I'm glad they are...

For me it's CA above DL, it sounds so much more live and a whole as a concert and Luther Vandross is superb
That's what I thought, the speech are cut. Why being glad they had been cut ? It was part of the show.
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Joined: April 18th, 2013, 7:35 am

April 26th, 2017, 12:15 pm #14

so which live album do you all prefer?
either as a whole or track by track.
for those who have heard the new version don't Base it on the bootlegs
I'm hearing good things and the good news is that it's likely it was mastered for digital release. so expect a cd release possibly with different artwork.
do you agree will we see subsequent releases of cracked actor soon?
discuss please.....
I must add that the Aladdin Sane version is superb in CA. That bass is really great
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Joined: October 1st, 2010, 10:23 pm

April 26th, 2017, 12:41 pm #15

damn I need to hear this mix of ca.
I'm a bit reluctant to play my boot of it so as when I hear the new mix it will feel like a whole new listening experience.
how about time? that is a great version on david live.
it's great to read so much positivity around ca.
one thing I will miss on it is width of a circle, I love the arrangement of it on david live.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

April 26th, 2017, 12:55 pm #16

They fixed the malfunctioning tape on Time. Which in a weird way ruins it for me

Also, the intro of Moonage daydream has the drums much clearer, which again is a mistake as it sounds like a fuck up as they're played wrong.
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Joined: November 17th, 2004, 10:32 am

April 26th, 2017, 1:13 pm #17

I must add that the Aladdin Sane version is superb in CA. That bass is really great
I love the bass on CA too, a lot of the tracks are funkier because of it, even Moonage Daydream. I really love the funky take of Knock On Wood.

Even though Bowie's voice is raspy on David Live, I actually think he puts in a much better performance than CA
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

April 26th, 2017, 6:17 pm #18

I don't want a funky Moonage Daydream.

Although Bowie said the Arnold Corns version was aimed at the discotheque crowd.

Hmmm.

brain melts
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Joined: July 11th, 2004, 4:56 pm

April 26th, 2017, 8:58 pm #19

When did he say that about the Arnold Corns version of Moonage Daydream?

---------------------------------

I guess Cracked Actor misses the "it's a big-a success-ah...now you're going to see elephants!" bit.

Although someone here did come up with a quite rational and believable explanation re the latter exclamation and what he said in reality, though what that was I can't remember for the life of me.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

April 26th, 2017, 9:02 pm #20

The quote was probably in Curious at the time of release. Would need to check though. After reading it, probably in (curiously) 'Moonage' Daydream back in '87 I GOT what he meant immediately.
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Joined: August 19th, 2002, 5:20 pm

April 27th, 2017, 1:37 pm #21


I thought he said "and now you're gonna see all of us"

Meaning the band were coming out from behind the screens Bowie insisted they stayed behind.

Just guessing.
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Joined: July 11th, 2004, 4:56 pm

April 27th, 2017, 3:19 pm #22

It would have been better if elephants did come out from behind the screens. With guitars.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

April 27th, 2017, 4:24 pm #23

I don't think Luther played guitar bro.
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Joined: April 20th, 2012, 9:49 am

April 28th, 2017, 9:27 am #24

'I don't think Luther played guitar' - arf!
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Joined: March 22nd, 2013, 2:53 pm

April 28th, 2017, 9:39 pm #25


Not either/or; it's both. And i have to say: cracked actor sounds terrific on vinyl.
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Joined: October 24th, 2004, 9:35 pm

May 2nd, 2017, 2:46 pm #26

so which live album do you all prefer?
either as a whole or track by track.
for those who have heard the new version don't Base it on the bootlegs
I'm hearing good things and the good news is that it's likely it was mastered for digital release. so expect a cd release possibly with different artwork.
do you agree will we see subsequent releases of cracked actor soon?
discuss please.....
David Live or Cracked Actor? It's an impossible choice. I've just spent the weekend with both albums and I really can't choose. On an individual track-by-track basis it is sometimes easier to come down on one side or the other but taking each album as a whole it is much more difficult to decide.

David Live has always been a special album for me. I feel like it's burnt into my very soul. Stark, icy and beautiful. As alien as Bowie has ever been. I clearly remember hearing it for the first time and, in truth, my reaction was both positive and negative. In 1977 I discovered Bowie for the first time and had such a wonderful time delving into his back catalogue. Being on meagre pocket money it was always a struggle to decide which album to buy next. I used to go to the local record shop every week and stare at each cover and consider the track listing before finally deciding which album to buy next.

The decision came down like this: Heroes-Space Oddity-Low-Hunky Dory-Aladdin Sane-TMWSTW-Diamond Dogs-David Live. These were all purchased over an 8 month period, so were still "fresh" when I heard David Live for the first time. Initially, I was turned-off by the radical reworking of some of the songs - Changes, in particular was hard to fathom (sapped of all joy to my ears), but other songs just clicked straightaway - Moonage Daydream, Sweet Thing, Suffragette City, Aladdin Sane, All The Young Dudes, Cracked Actor and Rock'n'Roll Suicide. Bizarrely, my introduction to the Ziggy songs was via David Live. The Ziggy Stardust album was my final back-catalogue purchase (bought after Station to Station, Young Americans and Pin Ups). By this time, I'd played David Live hundreds of times, and for me, these were the definitive versions of the Ziggy songs. The Ziggy album seemed tinny and light-weight in comparison when I finally got to hear it, and it took me a long time to get comfortable with that particular album.

All these years later I still find David Live a joy to listen to and it's probably my most consistently played Bowie album. The Cracked Actor album is a wonderful compliment to David Live and I can't over-state how amazing it is to finally hear it in such great quality after all these years. Particular stand-out tracks for me are 1984, Sweet Thing, All The Young Dudes, Rock'n'Roll With Me, It's Gonna Be Me, Space Oddity, Rock'n'Roll Suicide and John I'm Only Dancing (Again). Obviously, it's impossible to listen to this album without the visuals of the Cracked Actor documentary bleeding into the experience and each time I hear the first few bars of Space Oddity I still get a shiver up the spine and the hairs on the back of my neck rise. The sound bites are also ever present in my mind:

"He's from his own universe".
"I'm just the space cadet. He's the commander"
"There's a fly floating around in my milk"
"So, David Bowie becomes a soul singer"

David Live and Cracked Actor. Who could ask for anything more? Cracked Actor is, for me, the most significant release from the vaults to date and I hope this is only the start of it. A Soul Tour release would complete the 74 experience for me.

1984 (CA)
Rebel Rebel (DL)
Moonage Daydream (DL)
Sweet Thing (can't decide)
Changes (DL)
Suffragette City (DL)
Aladdin Sane (CA)
All The Young Dudes (CA)
Cracked Actor (DL)
Rock'n'Roll With Me (CA)
Watch That Man (DL only)
Knock On Wood (DL)
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (DL only)
It's Gonna Be Me (CA only)
Space Oddity (CA)
Diamond Dogs (can't decide)
Panic In Detroit (DL only)
Big Brother (CA)
Time (DL)
The Jean Genie (DL)
Rock'n'Roll Suicide (CA)
John I'm Only Dancing (Again) (CA only)

So, what about packaging? The David Live artwork has always been awesome IMO and the cover of the re-issued vinyl is a thing to behold. In contrast, the packaging of Cracked Actor is let down by some awful photography. Perhaps this is intentional though, so that newbies are guided to David Live as the definitive record of the 74 tour?

Finally, a special mention to the Bureau Supply release Glass Asylum. The packaging on this is amazing for a bootleg release and I really like the way it mimics the David Live artwork. I'm not sure how often I'll play this album now I have Cracked Actor but it's good to have as a definitive record of the evening (maybe you like the Big Brother outro accidentally being played at the start of Time?).

One more thing - Tony Visconti has done a great job of mixing Cracked Actor. The sound quality is fantastic and the audience noise has been retained, making the record a warm and exciting listen. If you're a Bowie fan, you need this album in your life.
Last edited by UrchinOne on May 3rd, 2017, 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 25th, 2016, 6:47 am

May 2nd, 2017, 8:37 pm #27

Great review. Thanx.

EfWe
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Joined: April 20th, 2014, 4:04 pm

May 2nd, 2017, 9:07 pm #28

David Live or Cracked Actor? It's an impossible choice. I've just spent the weekend with both albums and I really can't choose. On an individual track-by-track basis it is sometimes easier to come down on one side or the other but taking each album as a whole it is much more difficult to decide.

David Live has always been a special album for me. I feel like it's burnt into my very soul. Stark, icy and beautiful. As alien as Bowie has ever been. I clearly remember hearing it for the first time and, in truth, my reaction was both positive and negative. In 1977 I discovered Bowie for the first time and had such a wonderful time delving into his back catalogue. Being on meagre pocket money it was always a struggle to decide which album to buy next. I used to go to the local record shop every week and stare at each cover and consider the track listing before finally deciding which album to buy next.

The decision came down like this: Heroes-Space Oddity-Low-Hunky Dory-Aladdin Sane-TMWSTW-Diamond Dogs-David Live. These were all purchased over an 8 month period, so were still "fresh" when I heard David Live for the first time. Initially, I was turned-off by the radical reworking of some of the songs - Changes, in particular was hard to fathom (sapped of all joy to my ears), but other songs just clicked straightaway - Moonage Daydream, Sweet Thing, Suffragette City, Aladdin Sane, All The Young Dudes, Cracked Actor and Rock'n'Roll Suicide. Bizarrely, my introduction to the Ziggy songs was via David Live. The Ziggy Stardust album was my final back-catalogue purchase (bought after Station to Station, Young Americans and Pin Ups). By this time, I'd played David Live hundreds of times, and for me, these were the definitive versions of the Ziggy songs. The Ziggy album seemed tinny and light-weight in comparison when I finally got to hear it, and it took me a long time to get comfortable with that particular album.

All these years later I still find David Live a joy to listen to and it's probably my most consistently played Bowie album. The Cracked Actor album is a wonderful compliment to David Live and I can't over-state how amazing it is to finally hear it in such great quality after all these years. Particular stand-out tracks for me are 1984, Sweet Thing, All The Young Dudes, Rock'n'Roll With Me, It's Gonna Be Me, Space Oddity, Rock'n'Roll Suicide and John I'm Only Dancing (Again). Obviously, it's impossible to listen to this album without the visuals of the Cracked Actor documentary bleeding into the experience and each time I hear the first few bars of Space Oddity I still get a shiver up the spine and the hairs on the back of my neck rise. The sound bites are also ever present in my mind:

"He's from his own universe".
"I'm just the space cadet. He's the commander"
"There's a fly floating around in my milk"
"So, David Bowie becomes a soul singer"

David Live and Cracked Actor. Who could ask for anything more? Cracked Actor is, for me, the most significant release from the vaults to date and I hope this is only the start of it. A Soul Tour release would complete the 74 experience for me.

1984 (CA)
Rebel Rebel (DL)
Moonage Daydream (DL)
Sweet Thing (can't decide)
Changes (DL)
Suffragette City (DL)
Aladdin Sane (CA)
All The Young Dudes (CA)
Cracked Actor (DL)
Rock'n'Roll With Me (CA)
Watch That Man (DL only)
Knock On Wood (DL)
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (DL only)
It's Gonna Be Me (CA only)
Space Oddity (CA)
Diamond Dogs (can't decide)
Panic In Detroit (DL only)
Big Brother (CA)
Time (DL)
The Jean Genie (DL)
Rock'n'Roll Suicide (CA)
John I'm Only Dancing (Again) (CA only)

So, what about packaging? The David Live artwork has always been awesome IMO and the cover of the re-issued vinyl is a thing to behold. In contrast, the packaging of Cracked Actor is let down by some awful photography. Perhaps this is intentional though, so that newbies are guided to David Live as the definitive record of the 74 tour?

Finally, a special mention to the Bureau Supply release Glass Asylum. The packaging on this is amazing for a bootleg release and I really like the way it mimics the David Live artwork. I'm not sure how often I'll play this album now I have Cracked Actor but it's good to have as a definitive record of the evening (maybe you like the Big Brother outro accidentally being played at the start of Time?).

One more thing - Tony Visconti has done a great job of mixing Cracked Actor. The sound quality is fantastic and the audience noise has been retained, making the record a warm and exciting listen. If you're a Bowie fan, you need this album in your life.
Urchine One , a great review with a great story of when you were younger, I was a fan just after rebel,rebel so I bought Hunky Dory ( b-side,Queen Bitch) 1st , then Aladdin, TMWSTW , and the rest followed.I found on pocket money that David Live was beyond my financial reach , but finally in 1975 I got it, my brother-in-law at the time said the record gets more exciting on side 3 , but with the 1984/Width of a Circle at the beginning these were the highlights.
Heard Strange Fascination a lot later and loved this too, looking forward to Cracked Actor.
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Joined: October 1st, 2010, 10:23 pm

May 3rd, 2017, 1:49 am #29

thanks for that John s, interesting reading.

I was a bit like that with stage I'd heard that many times (I'd got the yellow coloured vinyl) before most of the studio versions particularly ziggy as the same as you it was one of the last albums I bought.

I like the comparison of songs you give between cracked actor and david live, now I've only (partially) heard this new mix of ca once so I can't be certain of it all but what I can say is I definitely prefer the ca versions of moonage daydream, cracked actor & knock on wood.

one tiny error I did notice on your list, watch that man doesn't feature on cracked actor so I guess you meant to say, dl only.
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Joined: October 24th, 2004, 9:35 pm

May 3rd, 2017, 12:18 pm #30

Good spot Sylvianne - I've amended that.

Choosing one track over another was a difficult task. For example, Rock'n'Roll Suicide has always been my favourite track off David Live but in the end I had to come down on the side of Cracked Actor for that song. Musically, it has more depth on CA IMO. This can be said for many of the songs on Cracked Actor. Sometimes, it's the vocals that helped me make the decision though. On Rebel Rebel (CA) Bowie forgets the words and repeats the same line twice, so David Live wins out there even though, musically, CA still has the edge.

It's interesting that you chose the opposite to me for tracks like Moonage Daydream, Cracked Actor and Knock On Wood (not that there's a right or wrong choice of course). To my ears Moonage Daydream sounds more powerful on David Live. With Cracked Actor it was difficult to decide. Musically, there's much more going on, on CA but I think I prefer the vocals of DL. As for Knock on Wood, it may be that I'm just way more familiar with the DL version. I think I'll have to revisit this subject in a couple of months to see if my choices will change.

Previously, it was only possible to compare David Live to Strange Fascination and DL would always win that battle. With the release of Cracked Actor, it's much more of a level playing field, so it will be interesting to see which album the fans ultimately prefer.

Cracked Actor seems to have been very well received in the UK - No 1 in the vinyl album chart and No 20 on the main chart. I'd be surprised if we don't see a CD/download release before the year is out.
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Joined: April 20th, 2014, 4:04 pm

May 3rd, 2017, 4:50 pm #31

Just looked at freece-bay and some chancer has the vinyl box set of Strange Fascination for £375.00 , these guys live in cloud cookoo land !
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Joined: December 23rd, 2013, 4:58 pm

May 6th, 2017, 2:01 pm #32

Really nice sounding album with nice backing vocals. Bowie' s vocal are strange in places. On ATYD he rolls his Rs and on other tracks he adopts some cod American accent that sounds a bit Lloyd Grossman, kind of muddled .

I imagine they would've been fascinating concerts to attend but I think the songs are better in their original context.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

May 18th, 2017, 7:38 am #33

Dunno where else to say it, but I always found the little note in the sleeve of David Live saying something like 'the best musicians I've ever worked with' to be a bit of an up yours to The Spiders. Fair enough he wanted to package the album list some old lounge collection, but I thought it unnecessary in context.
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