I think Fame is a great tune, in spite of its popularity.
I love the basic 9th chord groove Carlos sets up.
And I have enjoyed pretty much every version he has done.
They are all pretty similar in tone and groove...some a bit more aggressive and in your face than others ('97 was kickin)
while some are a but softer with more empty space and implied groove. The original version on YA is perhaps the mellowist of the bunch.....after hearing live version for so long...i almost did not recognize it when i played the YA CD!
It has that 70s chilled drunk Al Greene soul to it.
The 78 rendition is pretty hip, and I love the 3 sax horn arrangement from the 83 SM tour.....
In spite of the commercial sound Bowie went for that year, I stand by mu opinion that the arrangemtns on that tour are among the thickest and most thought out as any of his tours.
The back up vocals are great, superb percussion, and the 3 saxaphones in a non lead role what so ever add a brassy brown richness that fill out the sound that all the distortion on a guitar cannot even compare to.
Plus Bowie's vocals are so damn strong and filled with inflection...he was resting good 78--83...