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.