Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Bowie Track of the Day - "Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)"



Way back in 1981, I had the above poster on my bedroom wall. I worshipped at the altar of David Bowie's glamour even then.

For, in the midst of the wonderment and fabulosity of the burgeoning New Romantic "movement" (that I so aspired to be a part of), the "Thin White Duke" had re-emerged as a composite meld of post-apocalyptic Pierrot and Major Tom - and in the process showed those "Blitz-kid upstarts" who was the real boss.

His entire Scary Monsters and Super Creeps album was a complete revelation; a moment of enlightenment. I was hooked. For life. But it was that image I aspired to most of all - I henna-ed my hair and sleeked it back, bought 18-pleat pegged trousers and baggy shirts, the lot.

From Bowie Golden Years site:
The sleeve, commissioned by Bowie, began with a photo session with photographer/designer Duffy (who designed the iconic Aladdin Sane sleeve) which he took to Edward Bell who developed the sleeve design using cut-outs of old Bowie album sleeves, whitewashing them to symbolise the discarding of Bowie's old personae.

Bowie was sufficiently pleased with the result that he commissioned Bell for a further portrait from the session which was included on the cover of the Bowie calendar and entitled Glamour.

The make-up for the clown/Pierrot image created for the 'Scary Monsters' concept was designed by specialist Richard Sharah: "David came to me and said he wanted a Pierrot look, and he let me design from there. Most of the time I draw up some ideas and then work with the subject around those. The preparation for David's make-up took one and a half hours."
I spent as long only to look nowhere near as good.

Every track on the album was brilliant (in particular the singles Ashes To Ashes and Fashion, and the stand-out track Because You're Young - all of which I featured in a previous tribute). But, for today's special featurette, it is on the album's title track we focus:



She had an horror of rooms she was tired you can't hide beat
When I looked in her eyes they were blue but nobody home
She could've been a killer if she didn't walk the way she do, and she do
She opened strange doors that we'd never close again

She began to wail jealousies scream
Waiting at the lights know what I mean

Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared
Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared

She asked me to stay and I stole her room
She asked for my love and I gave her a dangerous mind
Now she's stupid in the street and she can't socialise
Well I love the little girl and I'll love her till the day she dies

She wails
Jimmy's guitar sound jealousies scream
Waiting at the lights know what I mean

Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared
Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared.


Still an inspiration, thirty-five years later.

4 comments:

  1. His ability to change and evolve and still be at the cutting edge marked him out as a genius of music and style.

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    Replies
    1. "[He] opened strange doors that we'd never close again."

      Jx

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  2. He was so beautiful in that photo shoot. With the costume half off and the make-up smeared. Add the cigarette ...divine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How I wish I still had the poster. I could never stop looking at it. Jx

      Delete

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