David Bowie / Scary Monsters [& Super Creeps] [Remastered]

Scary MonstersScary Monsters (and Super Creeps) is an album by David Bowie, released in September 1980 by RCA Records. It was Bowie’s final studio album for the label and his first following the ‘Berlin Trilogy‘ of Low, “Heroes” and Lodger (1977-1979). Though considered significant in artistic terms, the trilogy had proved less successful commercially.[2] With Scary Monsters, however, Bowie achieved what biographer David Buckley called “the perfect balance”[3][4][5] and the album peaked at number one in the United Kingdom and restored Bowie’s commercial standing in the United States.

The Analysis:

It’s No Game [Part I]—-The opening track to this release finds bowie beginning his inquisitive nature with Japan…and also returning in full to a more straight forward rock delivery. This track, although somewhat experimental with all of the Japanese vocals has a remarkable melody line that runs through the track. I love the vocal…Bowie sounds literally tortured.

Up The Hill Backwards—-Although this CD remains one of my favorites in the entire bowie catalog, there are tracks on this release that have found more of a home with me than others. This is one of those tracks…personally, I think this song is brilliant!!! The guitar is powerful while somewhat understated…the drums and entire percussion section are fantastic and the chorus is damn contagious. this is one of the most accessible tracks Bowie had produced in years, and it sounds remarkably fresh 30 years on. Excuse me while I swoon!!!

Scary Monsters [& Super Creeps]—-Delivered with a huge rock sound and a vocal that is so progressive and divine that again I wonder why I have not listened to this is such a long time. This has some nice experimental sounds on it…impressive for the time it was released. The guitars are pushed to the back, but ever-present. The chorus of the song…delivered with a full melody line is very addictive and contagious. This is one of those releases that gets better everytime I listen to it. Classic Bowie!!!

Ashes to Ashes—-The sequel to Space Oddity is delivered in classic early 80’s style and reveals to us that Major Tom is coming home…despite being a junkie. This is another of those tracks that will live on forever…the release thus far has been magically cohesive and mature. This has a nice progressive sound…surprising for the time it was recorded and the video is a hoot…head over to my Facebook page to check it out…my page is Mark J. Maras. This has another of those melodies that is irresistible and the song always gives me a nice hair-raising goosebump feeling and causes me to secretly smile as I question the autobiographical nature of the song! Brilliant!!

Fashion—-Another of those classic Bowie songs that can still be heard in clubs in remix form and on classic radio. This entire release really served to settle bowie back in the publics mind and served that purpose very well. Released in 1980, it set up the the public for the 1983 release of Let’s Dance…which catapulted Bowie higher than ever in his career. This song has a nice level of funk..a brillinat bass line and drum track. Bowie delivers one classic line after another in his suave and sophisticated manner…this is just brilliant! And when the chorus hits….well, heaven!

Teenage Wildlife—-Coming out of the quiet at you, this has a fantastic melody line right from the start. Although the sound is a bit dated…even on this remastered version, this song finds Bowie delivering line after line in his best, classic croon. This is fantastic…when Bowie sings in this manner, he is capable of even more emotion than imaginable. The lead guitars soar over the gentle oohs and aahs in the backdrop…this is a huge song but still manages to be intense and touching. Fantastic!

Scream Like A Baby—-Coming back out of the previous pleasantness with a more aggressive sound…thanks to the guitars and the drums, bowie is in fine form once again. Although the vocal is a bit sedate at the onset, he uses his full range all through the track…going from lows to a slight falsetto with little problem. This has some nice backdrop vocals…whether overlayed or added it gives the song a much bigger feel. This is great!

Kingdom Come—-this is perhaps one of my least favorite tracks on this release…simply because it sounds like an extension of every other song on this CD. The vocal is nice..delivered with a nice melody and some nice background vocals. The voice seems moved to the very front of the mix, and the song at times becomes rather noisy…but still accessible.

Because You’re Young—-Again, this track finds Bowie delivering his vocal in a croon that is irresistible! When David raises his pitch, he delivers emotion with little effort..just from the inflection and tone. This again, features some nice backdrop vocals..giving the song a much larger feel. the guitars are fantastic and the drums seem to be moved up to the very front of the mix. This is fantastic!

It’s No Game [Pt. II]—-Reprising the opening track in a much more accessible manner, this still keeps intact the basic elements of the original track although everything about this reprise is much more sedate and melodic. This is a perfect ending to a perfect release…still a favorite after all of these years…classic Bowie makes my day much brighter.

****3/4 out of 5


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