David Bowie • Station To Station • Live 1978

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Shared September 9, 2016

David Bowie • Station To Station • Live 1978



This video was created from footage shot in Tokyo in December 1978, synced to the audio of Station To Station, from the 2005 remaster of the 1978 live album “Stage”.



**Updating these notes on the 29th of March 2020 - the date in 1978 that David Bowie commenced his Isolar II 1978 World Tour, at the San Diego Sports Arena**

In addition, since originally creating and posting this video here in September 2016, it has recently become the first one on my channel to hit one million views.

So, thanks a million for watching!



David Bowie's Isolar II 1978 World Tour, also known as The Low / “Heroes” World Tour or The Stage Tour, ran through North America, Europe and Australia and New Zealand before reaching it's conclusion at the NHK Hall in Tokyo, on the 12th of December, 1978. Eighty dates were played, with a total attendance of almost 1.2 million people.



"Stage" was recorded live at the Philadelphia, Boston and Providence shows, in Spring ’78.
Tony Visconti has confirmed that the version of Station To Station on Stage, is a hybrid of two performances from those shows. Listening to an audience recording of Station To Station, from the Philadelphia show on the 28th of April, the Belew guitar squeals in the intro sound remarkably similar to the version we hear on "Stage'.

“From a mammoth synth train reproduction to the young Adrian Belew staking his claim as the song’s definitive guitarist to a Bowie vocal that’s all sinew, it’s arguably the song’s finest performance. The band uses the key change as a signal to rocket off: there’s an intense communal joy to this music, and even Bowie gets carried away by it." From the Pushing Ahead of the Dame "Station To Station" essay @ https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/…/12...

The video footage used here, is from the final night of the 1978 tour, in Tokyo on the 12th of December. It is the only known complete footage of Station to Station from the ’78 tour. However, whilst the quality of the sound recording is quite good, the sound mix and moreover the performance is just not great. Bowie’s vocal is not one of his best, and Adrian Belew’s wild guitar explorations veer perhaps a bit too wildly off course. Whereas Station to Station from "Stage" has been one of my favourite Bowie moments since I first heard the album, when I was around 12 years old. I would sit in my bedroom, at my parents house, with the volume up as high as I was allowed, with my disco lights flashing away wildly to the crazy intro of synthesized train noises, and George Murray’s and Dennis Davies thrilling deep bass and drums buildup.

So anyway, a video was required I decided. And despite the fact that every video I make seems to take an eternity in maddening minuscule details, I imagined, “Ah! This will be a nice quickie”. After all, how difficult can it be to match two live versions of the same song, from the same tour? A huge problem was that the version of Station to Station on "Stage" has been heavily edited, shaving off several minutes from the original. Whole sections are gone, parts of verses, the guitar break much reduced, the intro heavily edited down etc. What’s more, the Tokyo version is very much longer – in excess of 13 minutes long. So that gave me a lot of continuity problems. And as always, Mr. David Bowie changes the vocal emphasis throughout, and even changes / omits / adds lyrics, all creating huge difficulties. And lastly, the other big hassle was matching the improvised guitar squealings by that other wild card in the '78 tour pack, Mr. Adrian Belew!

Anyway, it did eventually come together in a fairly satisfactory way, I think.

Thanks for watching, hope you dig it!



Video Source:
Concert footage • December 12th, 1978 • NHK Hall, Tokyo • Final night of the Isolar II 1978 tour
Interview with Ian Meldrum • November 6th 1978 • Horden Pavillion, Sydney • Countdown • ABC TV Australia
Bowie dot matrix intro • Arena Rock • BBC TV • 1978

Audio Source:
David Bowie • Station To Station • From the 2005 Remix of the album “Stage” • Recorded in the U.S. • Spring 1978

Musicians:
David Bowie • Vocals
Dennis Davis • Drums
Carlos Alomar • Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
George Murray • Bass
Adrian Belew • Lead guitar
Simon House • Violin
Sean Mayes • Piano, string ensemble, backing vocals
Roger Powell • Synthesizer, keyboards, backing vocals



Produced by David Bowie & Tony Visconti



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I don't own the rights, and I'm not making any money out of this etc. Just a fan making videos for other fans.

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