David Bowie ‘Cracked Actor: Live in Los Angeles 74’ to be issued on CD

In a not-very-surprising move, Parlophone will issue the Record Store Day David Bowie live album Cracked Actor (Live in Los Angeles ’74) on CD next month.

This gig, from the so-called Philly Dogs Tour, was previously unreleased until last month and Cracked Actor was the best selling vinyl album on Record Store Day. As such, it quickly commanded high prices on eBay and the like. Fans should therefore be happy that this new two-CD set is being made widely available.

This release comes as a limited edition two-CD digipak, with a twelve page booklet featuring notes from the original show programme and a piece about the LA ‘Philly Dogs’ shows by Rolling Stone’s Richard Cromelin, from 10th October, 1974 (these weren’t featured in the vinyl package). A standard jewel case version will replace this limited digipak. Parlophone say that “the vinyl edition will not be re-pressed or re-released”.

Cracked Actor (Live in Los Angeles ’74) will be released as a two-CD set on 16 June 2017

Compare prices and pre-order

David Bowie

Cracked Actor


CD 1
1. Introduction (Live)
2. 1984 (Live)
3. Rebel Rebel (Live)
4. Moonage Daydream (Live)
5. Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise) [Live]
6. Changes (Live)
7. Suffragette City (Live)
8. Aladdin Sane (Live)
9. All The Young Dudes (Live)
10. Cracked Actor (Live)
11. Rock ‘N’ Roll With Me (Live)

CD 2
1. Knock On Wood (Live)
2. It’s Gonna Be Me (Live)
3. Space Oddity (Live)
4. Diamond Dogs (Live)
5. Big Brother (Live)
6. Time (Live)
7. The Jean Genie (Live)
8. Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide (Live)
9. John, I’m Only Dancing (Again) [Live]


97 responses to David Bowie ‘Cracked Actor: Live in Los Angeles 74’ to be issued on CD

  1. Darren Mckeich says:

    Not as good as David Live . Live los Angeles is still good.

  2. Randy Metro says:

    I just received my copy today. I will be listening to it later tonight. I’ve already heard a flac rip of the the RSD vinyl version which sounds excellent, so I expect this to sound great, too.

    My gripe is the digipak which I expected to be similar to the digipaks from long ago of David Live & Stage. Never assume. This appears to be more like those mini replica albums of vinyl versions. The print on the back cover is so small & faint that it is illegible for anyone over 50. If the font was white like the Parlophone logo at the bottom, it would have helped. The same problem plagues the spine. The three panel inner gate-fold is wasted with a spotlight shining from the right panel across the middle panel to a blue blurry photo of Bowie on the left panel. Griping aside, the photos on Cracked Actor are all much better than the Zombowie of David Live.

    The booklet is a tad smaller – height & width – than the usual booklets. Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come. The two contemporary write ups are legible but superfluous; I would have preferred something regarding the music, the concert, etc. The all important credit/notes page… tiny & illegible. Light colored font on white page is always a horrible choice. Aaaaargh!!! I had to use a strong lamp & magnifying glass for that page.

    If you can wait, go for the jewel case version and hope it is designed better.

  3. michael59 says:

    just for info: bought my copy last week only to find out that there was no booklet although it was in its original packaging! went back and complained and changed it for another copy where the booklet was included. maybe it was a singular case or did other people also have this problem?

  4. Steve says:

    I have to agree with Justin, Paul S.
    These cheapo cardboard only sleeves or the slide-in types like was used in the Paul McCartney Archives Series makes it highly more likely that you’ll receive a Scratched/scuffed CD when you first buy and pull it out new. I know because it’s happened to me too many times. The record co. could take the extra step like the Japanese do and put them in plastic sleeves and then insert them in the cardboard sleeves if they insist on that type of packaging vs. a jewel case or a digi-pack with a tray.

  5. Justin Isbell says:

    I can’t see what’s so special about a cheap digipack that they should release it first… sorry if you like them but I hate them. Difficult to get the CDs in/out, prone to scratching the CDs and prone to wear. Jewel cases take slightly more space on the shelf but are so much better… plus they’re easy to replace if they get cracked etc. So… if the contents are the same… I’ll hold off this purchase for now and get the jewel case version on Black Friday (probably) :-)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I don’t see how it’s physically possible to ‘scratch’ a CD by sliding it into a card wallet, unless there’s some stones hidden inside…

      • Justin Isbell says:

        Fair enough Paul… maybe not scratch per se but they do leave micro marks. Usually because the sleeves don’t leave enough room to slide the discs in/out. The ones with ‘teeth’ to hold the CD are better. Either way I remain unconverted to digipacks and will bide my time to buy :-)

  6. Mark Reed says:

    Bowie completed and signed off a full reissue programme of box sets of his entire body of work*. Give it time. They will all come out.

    *not sure about Tin Machine though

  7. Rick from Connecticut says:

    Bowie’s emotional version of ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ alone is worth the price of admission.

  8. El Nino says:

    I think the band almost sleep walk through both of these albums. Bowie himself is better on “David Live”.

  9. Adey says:

    Emi music are selling the cd version for £11.50 with free postage on ebay (available to pre order)

  10. Geoff G says:

    It’s not pointless. Just because someone has had the bootleg for 20 years, it’s not new to him, so he doesn’t care for it. But, It’s new to pretty much everyone else, and welcome. As you can see from the above posters, there are plenty who are happy to buy this cd.

    We get three different songs, which is nice. But I do agree with others that a later show, with a much more diverse set list, would have been better. But, I’ll still gladly buy this.

  11. Noel Fitzsimons says:

    I’m still quite irked that none of the concerts from the tail end of that tour in 1974 have not been given an official release as they feature three songs from Young Americans and in general the sound of the band and also Bowie’s vocals sound looser & grittier.

    I’ve had this double CD on a very convincingly RCA designed bootleg for 20 years – Bowie going all Hispanic at the end of the concert is hilarious. The RSD vinyl was a treat but this release is pointless.

    I agree with all the previous comments that at the very least it should have been included in the Who Can I Be Now box set. Ideally a later 1974 concert and also the BBC TV Cracked Actor as a DVD should have been there even before this release was (in theory only) considered.

    Roll on the BBC releasing Cracked Actor on DVD sometime soon……..

    • Mic Smith says:

      Why is this pointless? Not everyone supports RSD or can get to a store nor does everyone want or need vinyl. If selling truck loads of CDs is pointless then I’ve led a fairly pointless existence since the mid 80s.

  12. Tony P says:

    Actually, the performances in LA, as recorded on this CD, preceded the Phili-dogs tour and included more of the set list already performed during the more theatrical Diamond Dogs tour at the insistence of Tony DeFries. A recording of shows later in the Phili-dogs tour would have been of greater interest to fans.

  13. J says:

    US link is there now. US Amazon is $19.98 + 1.50 tax for Prime members. ORDERED!!

  14. Lou says:

    I would like to see a release of a November show when they started playing Young Americans, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Memory of a Free Festival and Can You Hear Me

  15. James says:

    The vinyl version appears to be available on Amazon UK at the moment – not sure how long that lasts…

  16. Snub says:

    I always liked David Live, but everyone knows the greatest live album is The Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East.

  17. Paolo Meccano says:

    It’s currently £14.04 at Amazon.

  18. Brian says:

    “coming with the Berlin Trilogy??” Going by the scheduling of the other two box sets. We should hear all about it July sometime and then a release in September.

  19. Larry Davis says:

    Looking forward to “Cracked Actor” on CD, nice!! I didn’t see any RSD copies on vinyl anywhere, so this is quite welcome, plus I have the first 2 Parlophone sets…it would fit into the WCABN?? box, if that thing weren’t so tight!! When is Box #3 coming with the Berlin Trilogy??

  20. Brian says:

    Yep Daniel you’re so right. We are replacing them. It’s a shame it’s not going to get re-released on vinyl. Maybe that would undermine the whole RSD thing and would aggravate those who bought it then.

  21. Sean O'Brien says:

    Great news! Is it likely Elton John will do the same it’s 17.11.70? Thanks.

    • Mick says:

      My first thought too, as I missed out on both RSD releases.
      And RE: the Cracked Actor CD – my fingers are crossed that they don’t squash the DR like on the Nassau Coliseum CD.

  22. Daniel Wylie says:

    Bowie is the new Elvis. Everything will be reissued time and again. As Elvis fans die out through old age and interest in his music wanes, they’ll be replaced by Bowie fans.

  23. Dean says:

    David Live was beset with rancor behind the scenes, when the band found out the show was to be recorded they refused to go on stage without being cut a deal beyond their performance fee’s. So I’m not sure they were entirely happy in performance. I don’t think it’s musically a strong album, I don’t particularly like the sax being shoehorned into every damn song.

    Having said that, it’s a live album that has retained its live ambiance, it just FEELS like a live show, warts and all. I’ve always liked it, with the new arrangements etc. This show is worth having too. The arrangements are similar, but it’s none the worse for that. John.. and Gonna Be… are played pretty straight, as they were in the studio – but they were newish songs at the time, so that makes sense. It feels looser to me, less staged. Anyone with a passing interest in David Live will enjoy it.

    • Kas says:

      David Live was my first Bowie album ever for my 13th birthday, january 1975. So it’ll be special forever. But I think Cracked Actor sounds better.

  24. Matthew Langhorn says:

    Parlophone say that “the vinyl edition will not be re-pressed or re-released”………….yet!

    But it’ll soon be Christmas

  25. Adey says:

    On the subject of a video release, the madison square garden shows were filmed “properly” (at the request of Bowies management) for future video release, but remain in the vault.

  26. Adey says:

    It would be nice if they released a series of these unreleased soundboard recordings and offer a nice box to put the digipacks in, matching the other parlophone box sets.
    Would be nice to see the 1983 montreal show getting an official release, as well as glastonbury etc. amongst other legendary performances, beating the bootleggers.

  27. Kris from Perth says:

    I have always loved ‘David Live’ because it has such a ‘loose’ feel, with the band ‘chugging’ along all over the place in the background, and dear old David struggling to hit the high note (sans: All The Young Dudes) for example. No doctoring on this album…just as a live concert should be.
    Therefore another concert from the same tour (though at the end, not the beginning) is exciting, and with two live versions of new songs as David was about to enter his fabulous plastic soul period has got me excited…can’t wait for the ‘Cracked Actor’ on dear old C.D.

  28. Erick Haight says:

    When they said that Visconti had remixed the audio, I was hoping more for a Blu-ray 5.1 mix of the concert rather than a simple CD/LP, but alas, no such luck. The footage is out there, the mix has been updated…why not release a proper video document of that era?

  29. Geoff G says:

    Very glad to see this on CD, as I don’t do vinyl. And there are enough differences between David Live to keep me interested and make it worth a purchase. Just to note, I never found this tour to be particularly great, but it is very interesting and worth the time, as a lot of the songs are reworked. As a Bowie fan, this is a no brainer.

  30. Zongadude says:

    I have the vinyl and I don’t really like this recording that much (I find DAVID LIVE to be way way better !), but it has two rarities (at least in the legal world): live versions of “It’s gonna be me” (which was going to be unreleased as a studio track for many many years), and also “John I’m only dancing again” ! I didn’t even know he ever played this one live :)

    David is announcing it as “a track from the next album”. This, in my opinion, is another evidence that the Gouster album was indeed a genuine project at the time, and not a 2016 fantasy.

  31. Doug says:

    Excellent news; glad to see the CD market isn’t being overlooked.

  32. Steve says:

    Wow! this great news, Paul ! I had wanted the RSD release but I couldn’t afford the high prices for the LP set. Thanks for the update.

  33. Ciaran Beattie says:

    Good release.
    I’ll look forward to this.

  34. Patrick says:

    Elton John, John! – I am sorry

  35. Mr x says:

    The only thing I dislike re: David Live is the cowbells on EVERY TRACK!

    does this also happen on Cracked Actor?

    • martin farnworth says:

      the short answer is no. although i can only compare it with the original 1974 mix of David Live where overdubs -backing vocals and percussion (i think) were added and sound a bit too loud. Cracked Actor sounds more realistic but a bit more polished.

  36. Patrick says:

    Elton Jons “Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy” (2017; incl. download-coad) just 10.39 Euro. It is one of my fav. albums.

  37. Adey says:

    £11.99 (plus postage) from official Bowie uk online shop

  38. I am quite surprised nobody mentions that almost 8 and 1/2 minutes of the introduction have been cut.
    Perhaps most people who left comments are too young to remember a splendid – unofficial … – double CD which has it in full. It also appear on a box of nine CDs (again not official) of more recent release.
    I doubt the full intro will be reinstated for the official CD release.
    And if I remember well, in my collection I have a double vinyl box (unofficial, as you guessed) which includes a reproduction of that concert program.
    So? I bought the triple vinyl and just ordered the CD version.

  39. Adey says:

    Will the bowpromo vinyl be released on cd too? (Hopefully from a decent master, unlike the vinyl)

  40. Adey says:

    Limited edition means nothing these days. How “limited” is the digipack? Half a million?

  41. Brian Barker says:

    I’m really surprised that they say (at least for now) that the vinyl won’t be reissued. Part of me wants to applaud them for the decision, but at the same time it’s pretty a pretty dumb for business decision. It would also go a long way in quashing the Record Store Day buy it to flip it issue. Another part of me feels bad for folks who didn’t get what they wanted.

    It actually is a good album to have. I managed to find a copy the Monday after, and listened to it the following weekend, and I think it’s a great show. To me, it does sound better than David Live (although I only have that one on CD, so it’s a bit of an apples to oranges comparison), but I’ve always thought that David Live sounded a bit flat (probably just the result of being live) while Cracked Actor sounds…well…livelier? Again could just be the CD to vinyl comparison.

    I for one, am hoping they have more live shows to release (as well as unreleased material). Hopefully more current offerings as well.

  42. frattonlad says:

    Seem to recall the man himself describing David Live thus: “David Live, but only just” which struck me as harsh but hey, who am I to argue? :D

  43. David says:

    Is there any word as to when the “standard jewel case version” will replace the “limited digipak”? Days, weeks, months… years? And, any idea if all the contents of the limited digipack edition will be included in the jewel case version release?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Who knows? I’m sure the booklet will be the same.

      • David says:

        Paul – – thanks for your input regarding the booklet… I agree with Ben Williams in the respect that the jewel box could be preferable in order to maintain a semblance of uniformity.

    • Ben Williams says:

      Might sound strange but I would actually want a jewel case version of this, so it matches all the other live album reissues of the last few years (Santa Monica, David Live, Nassau & Stage…)

      • Randy Metro says:

        I have both Stage & David Live in digi-packs with plastic slip cases. I also have the Ryko David Live in a jewel case. I think I skipped Stage (aka “Stagnant”) at the dawn of the CD era. I finally bought it when TV remixed & rearranged Stage so that it at least sounded like a live album, and I had hoped some miracle would occur and I would fall in love with it. I did have the LP version back in the 70’s or maybe it belonged to someone else? IDK… late 70’s was a weird time for me, I think. GD disco warped my mind there late 70’s and early 80’s.

  44. Sami says:

    I bought this on RSD, from my trusted store, I think I paid around 42€ and I really liked the release. Quality release and pressing. I think it was fair price for the goods (I skipped the bowpromo-box as it was just overkill price given the little material).
    Not sure if I would need it at all on cd (maybe), but the vinyl-edition will stay in my collection, maybe I will skip it on cd as I did also on the “Bowie At The Beeb” set, the 4-lp set was all I needed. Sure I got Bowie stuff on both cd and vinyl, but maybe I will from now on just concentrate mainly on the vinyl. I can listen to the digital-version from streaming-services if I even would happen to have need to hear this (when Im not near my turntable).

    Im not sure why they couldn’t somehow slip this show inside the “Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976)”-boxset? I think they know how to play this game now..

  45. Geoff says:

    This is not about this release but what has happened to the “Be My Wife” picture disc (part of the 40th anniversary series)? It is no longer available from

  46. Aaron says:

    what’s the chances that this will appear in the next box?

  47. Jim Edwards says:

    I’m with you Dean. I live nowhere near a record shop and am truly gutted that I couldn’t get hold of the RSD releases. Bloody RSD! This cd will be very welcome in my house. Now let’s hope they do the same with BOWPROMO1. Labyrinth on vinyl has been put off until the end of May by the way. Next, we have Be My Wife picture disc, Ziggy Gold and Hunky Gold… This is getting stupidly expensive. Then there’s September, I’ll be selling a kidney on Ebay if anyone is interested?

  48. Peter Anderson says:

    I am still baffled why the black sleeve on my recent David Live vinyl purchase started splitting not long after removing it from the cellophane. Happened on the first purchase and the replacement kindly sent by Amazon – never experienced anything similar in 40 years of collecting!

    • DDB9000 says:

      I imagine it was from extreme shaking somewhere in the shipping process, either from the record company to Amazon, or from the latter to you.
      I have had this happen before quite a few times. Surprised you haven’t.

      Recently I ordered an album from a British band called Desperate Journalist, and they put the record in a plain white sleeve, with the printed inner sleeve in there also there. So no torn inner sleeve on the trip from London to the US.

  49. Ivar Snoep says:

    Great news! I was hoping for this one to be released on CD, now I can get rid of the bootleg. And yes, I also love David live. Although he did look a lot better in later years ;-)

  50. I might check it out if it becomes available on Spotify but buying another DB live album holds no interest whatsoever.

  51. andrew r says:

    I have never understood the hatred /dislike for the David Live lp .
    It marked the end of one era and the beginning of his post Ronno
    period(for good or bad) . As such it is a very important document of where he was going musically .It is also a much better live album than Stage.

  52. michael59 says:

    with the amount of loving detail that went into the vinyl release on RSD, it was clear that a CD version was to follow soon. guess i will have to get it, despite having a feeling that it will also appear in this year’s low/heroes/lodger… box in autumn ;-)

  53. Joachim says:

    Adding only discogs, and you will get more than 60 offers for the vinyl, starting with 70 Euro (incl. postage) for the vinyl. Thank you RSD.
    So after starting playing the grinch: I am a real Bowie fan who of cource bought all the legal live albums (and a few boots too): There are all nothing but ok to me. Only considering the music, Bowie is not doing much more than playing what you know from his studio albums at least compared to other heroes of the 70ties. To me Reality Tour live is the only exeption. Ziggy Stardust is of course one of the greatest concert films ever.

  54. Douglas Shirlaw says:

    Beginning to feel a little ripped off – no download codes in vinyl version and now these new physical / digital versions appear.

    I won’t end up purchasing again – but the download issue should have been that was easily resolved.

    • Martin says:

      Easy enough to grab a vinyl ripped copy if you need a digital version. It does not sound that bad coming through the car. May pick up the cd

    • Paul H says:

      Talking of RSD & download codes, it says on the front of the No Plan EP “Digital Download”. Can anybody point this out to me as I’m beggared if I can find it, please?

      • Dougie says:

        Paul H – It is definitely in there as a small, business card. Might be stuck in the seams of the sleeve?

        • Paul H says:

          Thanks Dougie. Had a good look but no sign.
          Thankfully I do have the Lazarus cast CD so have them on there as well. Ah well, will keep looking!

  55. Mic Smith says:

    I saw this on the Steve Hoffman forum about 30 minutes ago. Have put in a pre-order.

  56. Dean says:

    I like David Live, and I enjoyed this. It’s not as well recorded as David Live, but it’s nice to have another show from that tour officially released. It has two tracks that aren’t on David Live, It’s Gonna Be Me, and John I’m Only Dancing – which is nice.

    Madness not to repress the Vinyl, I really hate this Limited Edition nonsense, where music lovers can’t get what they want without being abused on Ebay. Here’s shock, not everyone lives near a record store.

    Still, this CD is what I wanted, so I’m happy.

  57. baward says:

    If there was such a high demand for the vinyl edition on RSD and copies fetch high prices, I don’t understand why they don’t give the people what they want and this is only appearing on CD. Maybe the vinyl will follow.

    • MamboSon says:

      According to Bowie news, the Vinyl edition is not being re released or re pressed.

    • Tim says:

      Record company skullduggery! This set is the bootleg ‘Strange Fascination’, which many fans have long wished for to be given an official release. Like many I’m sure, I was hoping for it to be included with the ‘Who Can I Be Now’ box set – its exclusion, coupled with the over-duplication in that set, was a great disappointment. I wonder, if David had still been alive, whether that would have happened.

      Anyway, I’m pleased to see this coming out on CD, as it will allow me to preserve my copy of the boot better. I live in the sticks so getting a vinyl copy on RSD was pretty much a non-starter. :-(

      • Paolo Meccano says:

        This could never have appeared in last year’s boxset as ‘WCIBN?’ was released in September, while the ‘Cracked Actor’ tapes weren’t presented to Tony Visconti until November.

    • Adrian S says:

      They had the vinyl on Fopp a week after RSD, so not that scarce!

  58. Neil Wilkes says:

    This band line-up is the second of the 3 used on the tour – part 1 was the Dogs tour, part 2 was a halfway between the 2, and the Philly Dogs tour proper was yet another band lineup.

  59. Neil Wilkes says:

    David Live is not a bad album by any means, and the 2004 remix (albeit released in 2005) is a better mix to my ears. What’s wrong with it?
    Anyway, this one is also not at all bad by any means either and is a totally different band to David Live as well, with some arrangements differing totally from it’s predecessor making it well worth having for any serious fan – I only hope the mastering has not butchered the mix.

    I just pre-ordered immediately despite already having the RSD edition, and will doubtless buy it in HD as well.

  60. R.Sutter says:

    “David Live” is the best live album ever!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I also love David Live. Very strong album.

    • The best live album ever (and the only live album I can play endlessly) is ‘The Name of This Band is Talking Heads’.

      • CJ Feeney says:

        But Talking Heads fans only had two “official” live albums to choose from. The Name of This Band…” is a a bit of a career summary isn’t it, taken from three different tours to support three different albums (four on the expanded CD). I love both of them, I’ve been rewatching Stop Making Sense” since Jonathan Demme died, and it’s wonderful.

        And given a Talking Heads reunion is less likely than a Jam reunion, that’s pretty much all we’ll get.

        With Bowie there are quite a few albums, each from a single tour (or single show). I love “Stage” and like “David Live” but I’m not bothered about the others. I had the Nassau album as part of the StS box set, but I sold the box as I didn’t think it was worth what I paid for it (managed to break even on the deal though). I thought Nassua was a really poor live album from a quality AND performance point of view.

  61. I found it disappointing to.

  62. LostTurntable says:

    It’s not as bad as David Live, but it’s not good. Save yourself some money.

    • Nico says:

      Mmm…really? David Live is great performance, set list and captured the tour perfectly. Cracked Actor sounds great on the RSD vinyl so the cd is a welcome addition. Only Nassau 76 beats the Diamond Dogs 74 tour.

      • sjoerd says:

        I don’t think that david live is really good. This new release of the los angeles cd is much better. It sounds more alive than david live. More energie and power. Must have been be the fuel that Carlos, Dennis and George brought with them.. Why don’t you find out for yourself? I really like it. And indeed, only the Nassau 1976 beats this one. Kind regards.

    • Ollie Carlisle says:

      Well the copy I bought sounds great (as does my copy of David Live). Maybe if you don’t like that period of Bowie then it’s not for you but otherwise it’s a very good purchase.

    • Joy says:

      What do you mean its not good?? Best $21 I ever spent. Bowie didn’t do “not good”. My intention in no way meant to offend you or your critique, I just find it interesting the difference in opinion people town have, but I certainly respect your opinion.

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