Only available in bootleg versions before this 2008 EMI release, LIVE SANTA MONICA '72 presents David Bowie in full glam-rock grandeur completely inhabiting his outlandish Ziggy Stardust persona as he leads his Spiders from Mars through a fierce set that draws heavily from HUNKY DORY and, not surprisingly, THE RISE & FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST. In addition to cherry-picking many of the finest tunes from Bowie's early era (most notably a thunderous extended version of "The Width of a Circle"), the set also finds the erstwhile Davy Jones covering Jacques Brel (a wistful take on "My Death" that nods to key Bowie influence Scott Walker) and the Velvet Underground (a faithful version of "Waiting for the Man"). Easily one of the best Bowie concert albums available, LIVE SANTA MONICA '72 is ideal for Ziggy acolytes and glam disciples.
Rolling Stone (4/20, p.72) - "...David Bowie's classic concert broadcast with the Spiders From Mars....is finally available as SANTA MONICA '72. And you need it at least for the 10-minute wig out on "The Width of a Circle," a fat slice of the late Mick Ronson in his glitter blitzkrieg-guitar prime..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.120) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he set has the pace of a well-tuned theatrical show. After an excitable 'Hang On To Yourself,' Bowie introduces a character, plays pop cabaret and the singer-songwriter man..."
Blender (Magazine) (p.92) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[A]t this show, Bowie sounds awestruck, and so do the kids, face-to-face with something commensurate to their capacity for wonder."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.86) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "'The ragged edges prove just how Ziggy influenced punk....It's obvious why this has been one of the fans' most treasured bootlegs for over 25 years."