Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 is a live concert recording of David Bowie performing in 1976 issued as a bonus to Station To Station Special Edition.
This is a legal version of one of the most famous and best David Bowie bootleg live albums.
It was recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York on 23 March 1976. Chronologically, it fits neatly between David Live from 1974 and Stage in 1978.
It also acts as a transition of Bowie moving into from his plastic soul days to the Brian Eno inspired Berlin based albums.
David Bowie Live Nassau Coliseum ’76
- Station to Station – 11:53 (originally on the studio album Station to Station)
- Suffragette City – 3:31 (Ziggy Stardust)
- Fame – 4:02 (Young Americans)
- Word on a Wing – 6:06 (Station to Station)
- Stay – 7:25 (Station to Station)
- I’m Waiting for the Man – 6:20 (cover of the Velvet Underground song)
- Queen Bitch – 3:12 (Hunky Dory)
- Life on Mars? – 2:13 (Hunky Dory)
- Five Years – 5:03 (Ziggy Stardust)
- Panic in Detroit – 6:03 (Aladdin Sane – with most of drum solo edited out – see below)
- Changes – 4:11 (Hunky Dory)
- TVC 15 – 4:58 (Station to Station)
- Diamond Dogs – 6:38 (Diamond Dogs)
- Rebel Rebel – 4:07 (Diamond Dogs)
- The Jean Genie – 7:28 (Aladdin Sane)
- Panic in Detroit – 13:09 (Unedited alternative mix only available as a digital download)
This is a fantastic set list pulling songs from all the important David Bowie albums up to this time – Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs and Station To Station. The only way it could be better is to be longer and there are few songs after this that are must-have’s with the exception of Heroes, one of my all-time favourites.
The set list is only part of the formula for a terrific live album and Nassau Coliseum had a tremendous performance from Bowie and his backing band.
The atmosphere has a tension that excites you and draws you in and each song is played with great intensity. The download bonus of Panic In Detroit with the long drum solo isn’t essential so if you have the CD or LP versions, my advice would be not to worry.
The band for this Thin White Duke tour was:
- David Bowie – vocals, saxophone
- Stacey Heydon – guitar
- Carlos Alomar – guitar
- George Murray – bass guitar
- Dennis Davis – drums
- Tony Kaye – keyboards, synthesizers (he was a member of Yes that recorded The Yes Album)
I haven’t heard the bootleg based on the King Biscuit broadcast but I’ve read that the audience is mixed down which helps you to hear Bowie and his band better.
I’ve found these videos of David Bowie doing the rehearsals for the Thin White Duke tour in 1976.
Word On A Wing & Stay
Life On Mars & Five Years
Station To Station
Nassau Coliseum vs a David Bowie Compilation vs Various Studio Albums
This is the section where I think about how well this live album summarises David Bowie for people who only want one or two of his albums in their collection.
David Bowie is well served for compilation albums and the compliers have done a good job. The Platinum Collection is very comprehensive. The three CDs can also be bought separately as The Best of David Bowie 1968 – 74, 74 – 79 and 1980 – 87.
These work well if you just want the hits in a form that you hear on the radio.
If you’re prepared to stretch the number of David Bowie albums you buy, I’d say that you could consider the studio albums.
Essential – Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Station To Station
Very Good – Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs
An alternative view of looking at David Bowie is through his live albums and how well they cover his phases of development:
- Glam rock – Live Santa Monica
- Philly soul – David Live
- Electronic soul /funk /rock – Nassau (sold with Station To Station)
- Experimental electronics – Stage
The first of those I’d drop is Stage. I’m not keen on the Berlin albums of Low, Heroes and Lodger.
Live Coliseum 76 has a great set list with songs from David Bowie’s best studio albums – Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs and Station To Station.
It therefore makes a very good summary of his career in the early to mid 1970s. If you prefer David Bowie, the glam rock star, then Santa Monica may be a better live album for you. If you like his move into plastic soul, David Live is very good to listen to and especially if you like saxophone mixed into your rock music.
Overall Rating for David Bowie Live Nassau Coliseum 76
In my opinion, this is David Bowie’s best live album and it’s a shame that many people won’t know about it because it’s hidden away on Station To Station.
You can look at it the other way around. Those people who buy the special edition of Station To Station are in for an absolute treat.
What People Say About Live Nassau Coliseum
Here are Amazon review comments for the Station To Station special edition which includes the Nassau concert.
The Nassau Coliseum live performance was top of my readers poll to find the best David Bowie live album at December 2012 with three times the number of votes of the album coming second.
Buying The Live Nassau Recording
The only way is through buying Station To Station. To help you to find the album quickly and easily, I’ve given you the following links::
- Amazon.com as a CD or mp3
- Amazon.co.uk as a CD or mp3
- iTunes as a digital download
- eBay as a CD
What Are The Best Live Albums Ever?
Please help me to find the best live albums by voting in the readers polls.
Other David Bowie live albums are: Santa Monica 72 – Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture – David Live – Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 – Stage – Glass Spider Live – A Reality Tour – VH1 Storytellers – DVD Serious Moonlight
If You Like This…
If you like David Bowie, I think you’ll also like Be Bop Deluxe, Roxy Music, Talking Heads, Television