To date, this is the only video of a full song, and the only soundboard recording from the third and final leg of Bowie’s 1974 shows, the so-called “Philly Dogs Tour”, to emerge.
The 1974 tour resumed in early October, after recording sessions for the Young Americans album. The shows had become almost unrecognisable from the earlier part of the Diamond Dogs tour. Gone was Hunger City and the elaborate staging. The set-list was also very much changed, and only Mike Garson, Earl Slick & David Sanborn remained from the original touring band. Significantly, the rhythm section of the band had now become Carlos Alomar on guitar, Dennis Davis on drums and Emir Kasan on bass. This was the band that would a few weeks later, in January 1975, record ‘Fame‘. And then later that year, with Emir Kasan being replaced by George Murray, the D.A.M. Trio were formed – that band that would be the backbone of Bowie’s music until Scary Monsters, in 1980.
Another significant difference with the Philly Dogs shows, was the additional backing singers. At the beginning of the tour there had been two backing singers, whereas the Philly Dogs shows boasted six, including Luther Vandross.
Unfortunately the overall quality of this video is not great. Visually, it’s a fairly distant fuzzy one-angle take. It was likely either shot on unsophisticated equipment, or has been poorly transferred and/or has deteriorated over the years. But thankfully the audio is a pretty decent recording. Bowie’s vocal is rough it has to be said, but the band sound absolutely superb.