David Bowie – Serious Moonlight

David Bowie – Serious Moonlight / 2006 Virgin / 166 Minutes / http://www.davidbowie.com / http://www.virgin.com / Reviewed 23 April 2006

This may just be the period of David Bowie’s career where the least amount of individuals can say that they are familiar with the act. This is beyond the time of Ziggy Stardust but before the era in which Marilyn Manson and The Wallflowers made “Golden Years” and “Heroes” make into hits (both tracks are present here in their original form). Aside from those tracks, the number of big hits on the DVD is few; “China Girl”, “Young Americans”, “Space Oddity” and “Fame” are perhaps the next biggest song to hit listeners during “Serious Moonlight”.

This does not mean that they are not interesting or great tracks, but just were not songs that get much in the way of airplay on alternative rock stations in the current period. Extras on this DVD really make this a purchase and a must buy over the original VHS. The presence of the documentary “Richochet” add another hour and change to the footage on this album, and this counteracts by and large the only drawback that individuals can find on this DVD is that the footage has not increased much in quality. This is due to the source material that they were working with, a master that most likely was originally on tape. In regards to specific tracks during the concert, it may just be “Space Oddity” that gets the largest transformation of all the songs on the DVD. Throwing a Wendy Carlos / “Switched On Bach” style to the track and increasing the tempo ever so slightly, the song is completely different than what originally hit listeners all those years ago. The tracks that are chosen to be representative of Bowie on “Serious Moonlight” range in era from every different incarnation of Bowie’s career; the only thing that individuals have to hang onto as a constant is a bleach-blonde Bowie with archetypal eighties clothes.

“Rebel Rebel” is recreated in all of its Rolling Stones-esque glory; the result with all of the songs taken together on “Serious Moonlight” is that a greatest hits is cobbled together, as well as establishing quite a few other tracks as “shoulda been” hits. While the video is a little bit dated and shaky, the sound that issues forth from the speakers is something that is without comparison. I’m not sure exactly why that is, if there was a reel to reel or early CD copy of the soundboard, but this means that individuals could conceivably cut the video and just listen to the superb audio on “Serious Moonlight”. Perhaps one of the best tracks on this DVD is “Cat People”, which was one of Bowie’s newest hits at the time when this concert was first released (the date that is given for the track is 1983). The track uses Bowie’s smooth crooning, placed on top of a very sedate Sisters of Mercy / Cure like sound to really allow Bowie to soar. For an older concert, “Serious Moonlight” may just be the one DVD you pick up; aside from having a strong collection of hits, it is done well throughout.

Top Tracks: Rebel Rebel, Cat People

Rating: 7.1/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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