A Very Bowie Christmas: Dec 14th

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David Bowie’s output in the 1980’s was very mixed, to say the least, both musically and creatively. That isn’t to say that there were no good songs to come out of this period, but you will note that my comments will probably be more mixed over the next few days.

IT’S NO GAME (PART 1 AND 2): SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS) (1980)

I said that Lodger was my favourite album by David Bowie, and I stand by that, but Scary Monsters was my favourite for a long time. These days, it remains my number two favourite, and that is largely because my all time favourite song by David Bowie is on this particular album. As an album, this has more in common with The Man who sold the world, compared to the Berlin trilogy, as it is heavier than the output Bowie put out in the second half of the 1970’s. You can hear throughout this album both elements of his previous work and also more musical elements from the music of that era.

It’s No Game is a work of genius, acting as both the opener and closer of the album. The first part is the song sung in Japanese by a Japanese singer, and Bowie screaming the vocals in English, making it sound rather frantic to listen to. Its almost as if you’re listening to someone having a fit of rage and you’re watching them pull their hair out and hitting their head on walls. Part two is the same song, sung in English by Bowie, and is much calmer, making it much less frantic. The music is still the same for both pieces, indicating that the anger from the start of the album is still there, but it is being processed better. The whole album could be considered the inner rantings of a very angry man, if you want to look at it deeply, with each song emoting different emotions.

I don’t know, all I know is that Scary Monsters is a good album, and worth your time. It gives listeners a false sense of hope that the music would just evolve from the work Bowie did in the 70’s, and the 80’s would be him building up on that. This did not occur.

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Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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