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

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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]


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Darren Mckeich

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

Randy Metro

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.


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?


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.

Justin Isbell

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) :-)

Justin Isbell

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 :-)

Mark Reed

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

Rick from Connecticut

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

El Nino

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


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

Geoff G

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.

Noel Fitzsimons

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

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.

Tony P

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.


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


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


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


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

Paolo Meccano

It’s currently £14.04 at Amazon.


“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.

Larry Davis

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??


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.

Sean O'Brien

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


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.

Daniel Wylie

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.


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.


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.

Matthew Langhorn

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

But it’ll soon be Christmas


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.


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.

Kris from Perth

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.

Erick Haight

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?

Geoff G

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.


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.


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


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.

Ciaran Beattie

Good release.
I’ll look forward to this.


Elton John, John! – I am sorry

Mr x

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

does this also happen on Cracked Actor?

martin farnworth

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.


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


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

Stefano Galli

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.


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


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

Brian Barker

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.


Hi .do not worry it will be !


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


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 – – 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

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

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.


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..


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 amazon.co.uk.


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

Jim Edwards

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?

Peter Anderson

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!


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.

Ivar Snoep

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 ;-)