Here's snippets and links to a great selection of reviews for this new release from David Bowie, certainly a critical historical document (and bloody good music)
The radio announcer who introduces the gig refers to Bowie as a “they” – like they were the British Alice Cooper – but maybe this is only appropriate, because the real pleasure of this set is hearing just how powerful this band could be - particularly Ronson, specifically on “Moonage Daydream”, stripped of the daft bass sax and pennywhistle solo, revealed as an awesome piece of metal machinery. Where were the Spiders? Right here
One thing you can always expect from Bowie, is a stunning live performance. This CD captures Bowie at the perfect moment in his career - when Bowie was Ziggy playing with the Spiders from Mars
It seems quaint now to think that illicitly taped shows were once the record industry's greatest foe. These days bootlegs-- particularly bootlegs like Bowie's October 1972 gig in Santa Monica, which enjoy a degree of fan reputation-- aren't the enemy, they're a blessed revenue stream. Santa Monica '72 has had some level of official release before, but this version is repackaged and unlimited: An opportunity for casual fans to experience what is supposedly the best Bowie show on record.
This is Bowie and the Spiders at their absolute peak of creativity. Various inferior bootlegs have been circulating for 30+ years and I'm surprised it took so long for EMI, or any other major label come to that, to release this pure gem of rock'n'roll history. This isn't so much a music recording as an historical document of a time when pop music came of age and entered a new dimension