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Glass Spider Tour (Special Edition DVD / 2CD)
Glass Spider Tour
Special Edition DVD / 2CD
Actors: David Bowie, Carlos Alomar, Alan Childs, Richard Cottle, Peter Frampton
Director: David Mallet
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
UR     2007     1hr 44min

Disc 1 (DVD) — 1. Intro/Up The Hill Backwards — 2. Glass Spider — 3. Day-In, Day-Out — 4. Bang Bang — 5. Absolute Beginners — 6. Loving The Alien — 7. China Girl — 8. Rebel Rebel — 9. Fashion — 10. Never Let Me Down — 11. Heroes — 12....  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: David Bowie, Carlos Alomar, Alan Childs, Richard Cottle, Peter Frampton
Director: David Mallet
Creators: David Mallet, Anthony Eaton, Bill Zysblat, Bruce Dunbar, Lauren Harris, Wayne Forte
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Bowie, David, Classic Rock
Studio: Virgin Records Us
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 07/31/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1988
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1988
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
Edition: Box set,Special Edition
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Fun Rock Musical Finally on DVD and CD
neoninfusion | Sydney, NSW Australia | 07/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In 1987, David Bowie was a superstar - pop icon and movie star. 1980 saw the critically acclaimed album 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)' followed up by the mega-selling 'Let's Dance' in 1983 and the subsequent Serious Moonlight Tour. With the distractions of filming movies and managing a vast empire in the mid 80's, Bowie's next two albums suffered artistically: 1984's 'Tonight' and 1987's 'Never Let Me Down'. And its the latter album that spawned the Glass Spider Tour of 1987 that has been filmed for this DVD release.

Originally criticised for it's over-the-top theatricality, with Bowie abseiling from the top of a 60 foot spider at the beginning of the show and later being strangled by ropes amongst other things, the concert isn't as bad as the critics would have us believe. It isn't particularly arty, but it certainly isn't camp; it's just worth seeing (especially if you are a Bowie fan) and revelling in a Bowie moment captured on film.

There are a number of players in the cast, including Peter Frampton on lead guitar and the dependable Carlos Alomar on rhythm guitar along with five dancers/actors who provide the artistic foil for Bowie. The Glass Spider concerts showcased a rock musical on a fairly grand scale with loads of choreography and charisma. As with the tour, this DVD and CD really just concentrate on Bowie's 80's material especially the 'Never Let Me Down' album, but there are odd songs from his earlier Ziggy Stardust and "plastic soul" periods also.

Filmed in Sydney over two nights, the 7th and 9th of November 1987, this DVD is a cut and paste of 22 songs that flows as if it's an actual concert over 104 minutes. You may recall the video that this has been remastered from.

Song list on the DVD:
1. Intro / Up the Hill Backwards
2. Glass Spider
3. Day-In, Day-Out
4. Bang Bang
5. Absolute Beginners
6. Loving the Alien
7. China Girl
8. Rebel Rebel
9. Fashion
10. Never Let Me Down
11. 'Heroes'
12. Sons of the Silent Age
13. Band Introduction
14. Young Americans
15. The Jean Genie
16. Let's Dance
17. Time
18. Fame
19. Blue Jean
20. I Wanna Be Your Dog
21. White Light / White Heat
22. Modern Love

The soundtrack is "up-mixed from the original stereo tapes" in Dolby digital and the film is DTS 5:1. The picture format is 4:3. However, there are no added features except for a photo gallery of 29 stills and an audio choice between PCM Stereo, DD Surround and DTS Surround. A single page insert with the credits accompanies the DVD.

The CD's are the recording of the Montreal concert at the Olympic Stadium on August 30th, 1987, and so a different song list is performed.

The song lists for the CD's:

CD 1:
1. Intro / Up the Hill Backwards
2. Glass Spider
3. Day-In, Day-Out
4. Bang Bang
5. Absolute Beginners
6. Loving the Alien
7. China Girl
8. Rebel Rebel
9. Fashion
10. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
11. All the Mad Men
12. Never Let Me Down

CD 2:
1. Big Brother
2. '87 and Cry
3. 'Heroes'
4. Sons of the Silent Age
5. Time Will Crawl
6. Young Americans
7. Beat of Your Drum
8. The Jean Genie
9. Let's Dance
10. Fame
11. Time
12. Blue Jean
13. Modern Love

Overall, to get both a DVD and CD of the tour makes this product value for money. As a snippet of Bowie's career, it is rewarding to watch this master entertainer at work. The CD suffers slightly compared to the DVD as these concerts were quite a visual experience with the music supplementing the choreography. If you're expecting a simple rock concert, this is not the product for you. Nor was it ever what Bowie was about. But if you want to be entertained by a master that puts on a musical show, you'll be rewarded."
Glass Spider Tour Didn't Age Well
Cello Phayne | 09/18/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I've been a huge Bowie fan since 1973 and still am, but this DVD/2CD package is a disaster. The staging and choreography are both pretty good, but the camera stays so tightly focused on Bowie that the size of the stage and the constant action around the star are rarely taken advantage of. This was a fun show when I saw it live in 1987, but I was able to shift my focus to the three-tiered 'wings' on either side of the stage when I got bored with the center stage action. The DVD viewer of course doesn't have that option.

The music CD's are much worse. A bland mix takes robs the music of whatever fire or enthusiasm might have survived the lazy arrangements, and little does. Blandly strummed electric guitars and plodding drum beats that sound like they were created by early-generation beat boxes (wasn't the drummer allowed to play the cymbals?) castrate some mighty fine songs here (Rebel Rebel, Scary Monsters, All The Mad Men, Big Brother, etc.) and make it painfully clear how crappy much of the newer stuff is (Day-In Day-Out, China Girl, Bang Bang, etc.). The real crime here is that obviously very little thought or energy was given to the music or how it was to be arranged or mixed or recorded.

My recommendation: if you're a die-hard fan like me and feel you must have this DVD in your collection, DO NOT was any exra money on the audio CD's. If you want a great Bowie DVD - both musically and visually - buy 2004's "A Reality Tour." Great staging and camera work, extremely clever arrangements, and a band that can sound chillingly sparse or roar like hellfire unleashed. Less intense but still fun - both musically and visually - is 1983's "Serious Moonlight" concert video. Another great band enhanced by a good mix (the guitars are consistently given a good share of the mix and have a real grit to their sound) and the addition of a horn section that adds bite to songs that fall rather flat in their "Glass Spider" incarnations ('Let's Dance' and 'Fame' among them).

Despite all the above, I'd still like to see other archived Bowie concerts. But in the future I'll probably rent first. As this DVD clearly proves, putting on a good show is both a musical and a visual task, and that show must be captured well sonically and visually in order to make a satisfying product. "Spider" fails more often than it succeeds."
A Welcome Addition to the Bowie Catalog
Brandon J. Smith | Philadelphia, PA | 08/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This dvd confirms what I long suspected: The conventional wisdom has always been that Bowie had creatively dried out during the mid to late 1980s, and, though there's some truth in it, this dvd confirms that there was still a lot of passion in him. Certainly "Tonight" and "Never Let Me Down" rank among the lowest in his full catalog, but Loving the Alien and Blue Jean are classics, and "Never Let Me Down" (the album for which Bowie was touring at this time) has always struck me as underappreciated. Given the time-period and Bowie's propensity for theatricality, some of this concert veers too far to the bombastic and, at times, the cheezy, and sometimes the 80s synthesizer comes in when it really shouldn't - but get past that (or appreciate it as part of the package), and there are some real treats here.

I particularly enjoy watching the dvd alongside the Spiders from Mars, Serious Moonlight, and Reality Tour dvds, as it's great to hear these songs played in different eras, with the arrangements reflecting the time period.

Of interest with this version of the Glass Spider dvd is the inclusion of two cds of concert material. A number of the songs on the cds do not appear on the dvd (Scary Monsters, '87 and Cry, All the Mad Men, Time Will Crawl, Beat of Your Drum, and Big Brother). A pair of songs from the dvd do not appear on cd (White Light/White Heat and I Want to Be Your Dog). In truth, those songs aren't missed. White Light/White Heat was done better on other of Bowie's live albums, and I Want to Be Your Dog just doesn't quite work for me. So, trading those songs for Scary Monsters and Big Brother suits me just fine.

If you're not already a big fan, there are probably better places to start out (like the Spiders from Mars or Reality Tour dvds). For those who like Bowie's 80s output, though, I certainly recommend this."
Love The Music, Not The Stage Production
Van News | New York | 08/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ah... the infamous Glass Spider. My very first Bowie show back in 1987. This tour's stage production took a lot of knocks back then: over the top, too many dancers, Bowie's hair and the ridiculous costumes... but hey - it was the 1980s...

If you can get past all the criticisms, however, you can enoy a pretty good career overview of Bowie's music... all the hits are there but we also get great version's of 'Absolute Beginners' (rarely played live)... a wonderful duet with Peter Frampton on 'Sons of the Silent Age'... a funky 'Young Americans'... a dramatic version of the Bowie classic 'Time'... and 2 smoking cover tunes Iggy Pop's 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' & Lou Reed's 'White Light/White Heat'...

Enjoy this dvd as it appears that Bowie might have started his retirement and all we have to enjoy is what he has done in the past.