Rolling Stone - p.814 stars out of 5
- "[T]he album features surprisingly aggressive and energetic versions of Bowie's most atmospheric and nonlinear material, resulting in fun for all..."
Uncut - p.1303 stars out of 5
- "The ever-diligent Visconti's now sheened the sound, and previously unreleased takes on 'Stay' and the brilliant 'Be My Wife' make it essential for Dave-freaks..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1124 stars out of 5
- "[T]he wonderful weave between Adrian Belew's guitar and Simon House's 'lecky violin works like a treat on the Ziggy tunes."
Cassettes available on Rykodisc (0144/45).
Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, Chamberlain); Carlos Alomar (guitar); Adrian Belew (guitar, background vocals); Simon House (electric violin); Sean Mayes (piano, strings, background vocals); Roger Powell (keyboards, background vocals); George Murray (bass, background vocals); Dennis Davis (drums, percussion).
Track 10 on disc 2 did not appear on the original release of STAGE.
Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, chamberlin); Adrian Belew, Carlos Alomar (guitar); Simon House (electric violin); Sean Mayes (strings, piano); Roger Powell (keyboards); George Murray (bass guitar); Dennis Davis (drums, percussion).
Emerging from his self-imposed exile in Berlin, David Bowie assembled a new band and took to the road to promote his Berlin-recorded albums, LOW and HEROES. STAGE chronicles that 1977 tour, and captures Bowie at one of the most creative periods of his career. Though STAGE was criticized for having somewhat lackluster sound when it was originally released, the remastered CD versions present a noticeable improvement over the original album.
STAGE breaks Bowie's concert into two parts. The first CD features urgent versions of some of Bowie's best-known songs, including "Ziggy Stardust," "Fame," and "Hang On to Yourself." The second CD is devoted exclusively to the songs from LOW and HEROES. Though songs like the anthemic "Heroes" are well-suited to the live format, others, like the ominous instrumental "Warsawza" and the futuristic "Speed of Life" are not your typical concert fare. Still, Bowie performs gripping versions of these challenging tunes, and guitarist Adrian Belew is especially good on this material. While STAGE may not be the definitive Bowie live album, it offers a fascinating look at the artist as he stretches the boundaries of sound and stage for what was perhaps the last time in his career. (Note: The 2005 reissue features a different track order and two bonus tracks.)