David Bowie

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

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Song Review by Ned Raggett

Some commentators wryly noted that this prime David Bowie song above many others could have been the blueprint for the Sisters of Mercy -- not to mention many other goth bands who took their sense of drama and delivery from the English singer. That Nine Inch Nails performed the song with Bowie on their joint 1995 tour on a regular basis made perfect sense. Reflecting the elaborate, experimental production sound of Bowie's late seventies work newly refocused into a charging, catchy rock song, it's a striking, fierce effort. Everything from quick acoustic guitar strums to frenetic, howling solos and nervous, skittering drums helped to create a nervous, near-paranoid atmosphere, as perfect a response to post-punk and New Wave inspirations as anyone from an older period could have created. Bowie's vocal about a decidedly unnerving romantic situation suit the song's feel excellently, while his use of an exaggerated English accent on the one hand and partial vocal distortion on the other creates even more of an off-balance feeling.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Scary Monsters 1980 Virgin 5:12
Serious Moonlight [1984] 1984 Pioneer
The Singles: 1969-1993 1993 Rykodisc 5:09
The Singles Collection 1993 EMI Music Distribution 5:11
Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 1998
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 5:12
Now: 1981 1999
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 5:09
The Singles Collection 2 2000 EMI Music Distribution 5:11
Best of Bowie 2002 Virgin 0:00
The Platinum Collection 2006 Virgin 3:32
The Best of David Bowie 1980-1987 2007 Virgin 3:32
This Is 1981 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 5:10
Halloween's Gravest Hits 2009
Various Artists
Capitol 0:00
A New Career in a New Town [1977-1982] 2017 Parlophone / Rhino 5:13
Loving the Alien [1983-1988] 2018 Parlophone / Rhino 4:52