Santa Monica '72Here’s one for the “More To Own” section. Back in March EMI announced plans to try and squeeze a new revenue stream out of David Bowie’s back catalogue. Repackaged compilations of the Beatles and Queen have accounted for a major chunk of their recent recorded music sales, so the idea is to give the same treatment to artists like Bowie and Pink Floyd.

I don’t know about you, but as a fan who is ready and willing to collect Bowie CDs and merchandise, this news item made me sigh. Hasn’t there been a steady flow of Bowie reissues and compilations over the past few years? Does the world really need these same old songs in shiny new packaging? The Times Online reported that the plan’s architect, EMI Music Catalogue’s Executive VP Stephen Alexander, even expected Bowie to be reluctant of the scheme, saying “I’m told that he is not always easy to persuade, but we’ll try to see if we can work up serious plans that have credibility. We don’t know for certain where it will go, and maybe I’m being naive, but hopefully it will work.”

So it looks like the first release is going to be the Santa Monica ’72 show, due out on June 30th. BowieNet’s press release states that “over the last 36 years this historic recording has only been occasionally available as a bootleg.” That depends upon who you ask. In 1994 it was released by the Golden Years label in the UK and then the following year in the US by Griffin Music. Bowie’s former management company, MainMain, was behind these “semi-legal” releases, so there you go. They certainly don’t have the commensurate bootleg computer-printer graphics. Bassman lists them as albums, so I’m calling them albums.

All catty arguments aside, it’s a great performance. Bowie has said:

“I can tell that I’m totally into being Ziggy by this stage of our touring. It’s no longer an act; I am him. This would be around the tenth American show for us and you can hear that we are all pretty high on ourselves. We train wreck a couple of things, I miss some words and sometimes you wouldn’t know that pianist Mike Garson was onstage with us but overall I really treasure this bootleg. Mick Ronson is at his blistering best.”

One Response to “Revisiting Santa Monica”

  1. Webmistress Says:

    Amen to everything, my sweet.