david live




During the Diamond Dogs tour in the summer of 1974, shows at the Philadelphia Tower were recorded for a live album. It is unclear exactly which dates were recorded as different pressings of the album are contradictory. Initial pressings of the vinyl album on RCA state that it was recorded on 14th and 15th July whilst later vinyl pressings say that it was recorded on 12th and 13th July. The 1990 EMI/Ryko re-issues confuse things further by declaring recording dates of 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th July. However, the 2005 EMI release bears the dates of 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th July which are probably closer to the truth.


Although complete shows were taped, not all of the tracks made it onto the final product when the album was originally released. “Space Oddity” suffered from loss of microphone contact which inhibited its inclusion. Fortunately, modern technology allowed it to be restored for the 2005 EMI release.


“Panic In Detroit” also failed to make the original “David Live” album release although it was used as the B-side to “Knock On Wood” when released as a single. Again, the 2005 EMI release restored this track in all of its glory.


Meanwhile, the 1990 EMI/Ryko re-issues had included two numbers that, again, had been left off of the original RCA release. “Time” was included as a bonus track – albeit out of sequence – and a previously unheard number “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” which was a cover of the Ohio Players song. Both of these tracks were also present on the 2005 release, which corrected the full running order of the show.


The 2005 restoration of the “David Live” album demonstrates just how powerful the Diamond Dog Tour shows actually were. The release also defines the stage at which David was experimenting with older, r & b numbers – performing “Knock On Wood” and “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” for the first time. The former became a regular favourite during the remaining 1974 shows whilst the latter was probably never performed live again.


Eddie Kramer, who was the recording engineer for the live album, recently released some original four-track reel to reel tapes and 10" acetates for auction. These were demos for the planned live album and "Knock On Wood" single releases and accompanying documentation shows that the working title for the album was “Wham Bam! Thank You Mam!”.








The original album cover featured pictures of David taken by American photographer Dagmar. However, for some reason, the images used were reversed. The pictures below show what the album artwork might have looked like if the images had been used the correct way around.





The Spanish release of “David Live” omitted “Cracked Actor” altogether and initial copies of this album came with a promotional single which contained the studio versions of “Time” and “The Prettiest Star”.







“Knock On Wood” was the only single to be released from the album in the majority of countries. However, this wasn’t an A-side in the US which saw “Rock’n’Roll With Me” released as a single instead.





Incidentally, people often mention how the audience at the beginning of "Panic In Detroit" sounds different to the audience on the rest of the album. David actually used a taped crowd noise at the start of this number designed to give the impression of… panic!








back to behind the albums