“And he was alright, the band was altogether”
According to the flyer reproduced here, David Live was released in the UK on 29th October, 1974. October 29 was a Tuesday back in 1974, a highly unusual day to release an LP in the 70s as the great majority were issued on a Friday. Given the other information available, we can deduce that the true release date would normally have been Friday November 1.
Whatever the truth, the date didn't hinder its success as David Live entered the official UK album chart at #2 on 16th November, 1974, and remained in the Top 20 for another six weeks till the end of the year.
David Live was Bowie’s first officially released live album, and it was compiled from performances during a run of shows in July 1974, at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia during The Diamond Dogs Tour. It’s a magnificent recording capturing the energy and excitement of a completely new band that had started the tour a month earlier in Canada.
Incredible to think that Bowie had only arrived in New York three months earlier, but within two months had learnt and rehearsed a whole new set and embarked upon his most ambitious stage show to date.
The album really does stand the test of the past forty five years and sounds as exciting now as it did when it was released in 1974. Listen to the 2005 mix (remastered in 2016), the most complete version, here.