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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Bowie album
Don't like to say best, as that's a matter of opinion, but this is the Bowie album I find I return to the most and rewards repeated listens. I think it captures a certain period in music history when punk/new wave was giving way to New Romantic/electronic better than any other album I can think of. Ashes To Ashes is my favourite ever Bowie song, a true gem, and Teengae...
Published on 23 Jan 2008 by M Evans

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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars scary monsters by david bowie
one of bowies better mid-period cds. robert fripp`s guitar lifts this into the statosphere,where it firmly stays after the curious entry track.hit after hit,amazing how many of these you will know.rated midrange because we bought the multichannel cd,only to find it it only 2 channel.such ashame..but it still rocks.Adrian Belew does play on 1 track. thewizardfromaus
Published on 16 Jan 2009 by Mrs. S. A. Knibbs


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Bowie album, 23 Jan 2008
This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
Don't like to say best, as that's a matter of opinion, but this is the Bowie album I find I return to the most and rewards repeated listens. I think it captures a certain period in music history when punk/new wave was giving way to New Romantic/electronic better than any other album I can think of. Ashes To Ashes is my favourite ever Bowie song, a true gem, and Teengae Wildlife is another fave, one of his most underrated tracks. I think it's true that this was the last truly great Bowie album (he did some great stuff later but this is where he peaked), but I just find that this album encapsulates everything about Bowie's style and sound better than any other album. Wonderful.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, rock's finest moment!, 17 Aug 2005
This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
It must be very hard being David Bowie and all the time being compared to your brilliant past. In the period 1971-1980 no other artist could even come close to his inventiveness and importance. His output during these years is arguably more diverse and influential than even that of the Beatles. I "discovered" Bowie through Scary Monsters when I was 16 and I can say that no other piece of art (whether it is Bachs "Goldberg Variations", Dostoevsky's great novels, David Lynch's movies, or anything else) has made such a profound impression on me.
The album is a perfect blend of the avant-garde of "Low" and "'Heroes'", the funk of "StationToStation", and the rock of "Diamond Dogs". The opening "It's No Game" is a shock; the Japanese lyrics spit out "samurai-style" by a Japanese woman, Bowie's shrieking over-the-top vocals (listen to the way he sings "There's no free steps to heeeeaaaaveeeen" after approximately one minute, it is the most desperate cry I have ever heard), Robert Fripps extreme guitar, and Dennis Davis violent drumming makes for an unforgettable experience. A well-known Norwegian author likened the impression one gets from the one of seeing Edvard Munch's "The Scream", which is a very good analogy; bold, seemingly simple strokes conveying desperation and anxiety. There are several other songs of the same quality: the sublime (and well-known) "Ashes to Ashes" (a continuation of "Space Oddity"), the extremely funky "Fashion", the uncompromising rock'n roll of the song "Scary Monsters", and the anthemic "Teenage Wildlife" (reminiscent of "'Heroes'", but in my view even better). Even the weaker tracks would be outstanding on 99% of other rock albums. Finally, the lyrics are great and for once feel very personal. To make a long story short, this album has no weak spots whatsoever.
Unfortunately, after hitting this peak, the rest of the 80's went artistically (if not commercially) downhill for Bowie. During the whole of the last 15 years he has been struggling to regain is integrity and has produced a lot of high quality material (check out "Black Tie White Noise" (1993), "Outside" (1995), "Earthling" (1997), or "Heathen" (2002)). Unfortunately, a lot of people won't give these albums a listen because they either (old fans) thinks he is "passed it" or (younger people) assumes he is another boring old fart like for example Elton John or Rolling Stones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so Scary, 8 Jun 2008
By 
M. Dodd - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
This is my favourite Bowie Classic album. Its good because its on a different level to his other albums it comes at you from different levels first hearing this album, i was not so sure, but Ashes to Ashes lifts the album with by now familiarity, before delving back into the depths just to be lifted for air once more with the brilliant Fashion, but commercial this album definitely is. Up the hill back wards also by now a classic in its own right, this album does not take long to get really into it, and where Ashes to Ashes works as a single piece of art, the album as a whole is pure magic and does take you on a journey but one that you just know you will come out of the other side. Even if you don't like Bowie this album is still a must have album on any format and i have bought over the years all the formats going. BUY IT NOW.

Mart
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me wish i was born 20 years earlier, 23 May 2004
By 
This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
Im only 16 an i've recently discovered the music of David Bowie so I bought the Best Of Bowie Compilation. On the Best of Bowie compilation i found 3 songs on it that i played over and over again, Ashes To Ashes, Scary Monsters & Fashion. So I bought the album Scary Monsters, were these three songs come from.
This album is a true classic and i'm really happy that i bought it. Its hardly been off since i bought it. But what can I say about the album that hasnt been sed in 1980. Well nothing. Im gonna judge this album as if it came out now. Actually i can't do that because its so 1980s so ignore what I just sed.
This album still is cutting edge now as it probaly was then. My favourite songs off the album are the title track, Scary Monsters, It's No Game(Both Parts) and Up the Hill Backwards, but I love all the songs of this album. Its also encouraged me to want to buy Diamond Dogs and Hunky Dory. So I will be buying them when i save up. My only complaint about this album is that it is too short. But because he was releasing new CDs nearly every year, I understand why its so short.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 17 Oct 2007
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This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
I pretty much agree with all Jason P said above, although I think the whole thing from beginning to end is fabulous. Agreed, the old "Side 2" takes a while to appreciate, but gets better and better with each listen. I love the sound of this, it's got that late New York 70s feel, nodding to Television and Talking Heads in particular, and Fripp's exceptional guitar playing on the title track is worth the price alone. Unfortunately this version omits the 4 bonus tracks on the Ryko, which is a great pity because they enhance the album. Try and get the 1991 reissue if you can but failing that, this remains essential listening.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'a battle cry for the brave new world', 10 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
1980. I left school, the future ahead of me. A beautiful future, the thin white duke had returned to soundtrack my life with his hugely anticipated opus 'Scary Monsters'. Heralded in the summer by the No.1 single 'Ashes to Ashes', Bowie was back. The moment felt magical.
The rise of the Futurist/New Romantic scene adding to sense that something special was happening. It was a time to celebrate-and Bowie boys & girls sure knew how to party! The club scene was never so glamourous. The Blitz [London],The Rum Rummer [B'ham]...so many stars born in the night. Boy George, Steve Strange, Marilyn, Spandau, Duran, to name but a few.
For about a year, I don't think there was a day this album wasn't on my turn table. The quintessential 'getting ready to go out record', every word of every lyric, emblazomed on my mind. A battle cry for the brave new world: 'We are the goon squad & we're coming to town!'
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Howling At The Moon (or the 80s), 30 April 2011
By 
This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
I was lucky enough to be the younger brother. So in 1980 I had a teenage older sister who had Fashion and Scary Monsters on 7", and she had a friend with a Bowie fixation. Everything was going to be alright.

Fashion's 'woop woop woop' opening was mesmerizing. Scary Monster's howling at the moon lyrics - even for an 8 year old - were fascinating. Ashes To Ashes with the David 'doyenne of the 80s pop video' Mallett video that made NO sense, but had weird scenes of a broken Major Tom.

Nothing could have prepared me for the album they came off, but that was another 10 years....

Scary Monsters really is the culmination of everything Bowie had been doing until that time. It seems, to me anyway, a summation. Angular, aggressive, disturbing, paranoid, funky. Its No Game is genre-wise unplaceable, the screeching oriental words, the screeching Bowie singing, the screeching guitar of Robert Fripp.

The last truly groundbreaking album Bowie produced (well with a run like his it had to end sometime) - Scary Monsters was all about the new 80s utopian dawn. Bowie had caught on to the new romantic era, and had Steve Strange in his video for Ashes To Ashes to prove it, but he also looked back, and even tipped his clown hat to Major Tom. Shame the rest of the 80s didn't sound like this. Maybe thats why his 'mother' is scalding him on the beach in the Ashes To Ashes video. Mum's always know what you're about to do even before you've done it.

4 star ONLY because of all 3 singles coming one after the other. Awful mistake.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1980's New Wave joy..., 22 Sep 2007
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
Where did Bowie lose it? - many think that the great run of 70s albums from Bowie ended with "Heroes", or if more adventerous, 'Lodger' - but rediscovering this LP after a few years, 'Scary Monsters' seems to be the conclusion to the journey began with 'The Man Who Sold the World' at the start of the decade.

'Scary Monsters' was recorded at the point Bowie was cleaning himself up, after the drug/diabolism years in LA and the hedonistic period spent with Iggy Pop and Brian Eno in West-Berlin. With co-producer Tony Visconti, Bowie fashions an album that seems to conclude most directions he'd been exploring in the 1970s - the backing vocals to 'Up the Hill Backwards' could be part of the soul thang most explored on 'Young Americans', while 'Because You're Young' could have featured on one of the early 70s glam albums, as the Fripp-heavy tracks nod to 'Low' and "Heroes"...and the whole New Wave thing, most of which was influenced by Bowie ('Teenage Wildlife' also alludes to punk, which like most post-punk, Bowie heavily influenced!). & weirdly Bowie did his version of the New Wave inspired by himself and threw down an album that bested most Bowie-influenced albums of the era. It felt like the end of things, a conclusion to the direction he'd been following, so following the 'Baal' e.p., unsurprising that Bowie went towards the mainstream, a mostly unsatisfying experience...

'Scary Monsters' is no doubt an album of two halves - the second half isn't quite as great, but certainly ain't bad either. 'It's No Game (Part 2)' is fine, but 'Part 1' is much wilder - the difference between the two symbolises the difference in quality of both sides. The cover of Tom Verlaine's 'Kingdom Come' is fine, and in line with many of Bowie's great albums that featured a pertinent cover version - 'Teenage Wildlife' is quite underrated, but does suffer from having to follow the brilliant five opening tracks. 'Scream Like a Baby' and 'Because You're Young' are just OK, the latter might appeal to some as Pete Townshend pops up on guitar - and would return on Bowie's return to form that was 2002's 'Heathen.' The second half is not bad...maybe it would have been improved by the presence of some nice bonus tracks, e.g. 'Crystal Japan', 'Alabama Song' or tracks from the 'Baal' e.p. ?

The first half is fantastic, as great as anything from Bowie's brilliant career in the art decade that was the 70s. The presence of Robert Fripp is particularly welcome, Fripp was all over the place at the time, turning up on records by Blondie, Peter Gabriel and Talking Heads, as well as recording with Brian Eno and Daryl Hall - here the King Crimson-guitarist sounds like he's spraying his trademark sound all over the place. His influence on Blur's Graham Coxon is very much apparent on 'It's No Game (Part 1)' and 'Fashion' - the former has a riff which seems to predict Blur's 'Girls and Boys', while the latter is very 'London Loves.' Michi Hirota adds some great Japanese vocals which contrast brilliantly with Bowie's vocals and Fripp's guitar - the "Documentaries on refugees..." rap is great, Bowie's best rant since that bit on 'We are the Dead.' 'Scary Monsters (& Super Creeps)' sounds like Bowie doing 'Idiot'-Iggy, and set the tone for bands like The Psychedelic Furs and the Sisters of Mercy - I'd forgotten how great it was, and how much it rocks!

The first half concludes with two of Bowie's best known songs, the hit singles 'Ashes to Ashes' and 'Fashion' - two songs that I always feel go together perfectly (not just due to the fact they follow each other on most Bowie best ofs!). 'Ashes to Ashes' was the first Bowie song I was aware of, and I found the famous video memorable too - it's spacefunk and a sequel to 'Space Oddity', as well as a direct reference to all of Bowie's problems the previous decade. Bowie buries Major Tom, offers up some horrific lyrics ('Jap girls in synthesis', the end of the world as you're broke and bald, 'sordid details following'...) - but with the lines "I want an axe to break the ice/want to come down right now" transcends all those problems. The coda "My mama said to get things done/You'd better not mess with Major Tom" sounds like a great farewell...'Fashion' follows with more Fripp and a futuristic funk sound that embraces New York - predicting a lot of music to come, and offering up some catchy pop nonsense with some great call/response lyrics. Bowie was onto his next thing, and recorded with Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers soon after...the next episode was beginning.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'Funk to funky, Major Tom is hunky', 16 Aug 2008
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Scary Monsters marked Bowie's return in the early 1980s to a full-bodied rock sound, heavy with guitar and feedback, after the electronic experimentation of the 1970s in albums like Heroes, Low and Lodger. The catchy and tuneful Ashes To Ashes revisits Major Tom of Space Oddity while the funky Fashion with its striking vocals and danceable beat is in a way a rock treatment of a theme from the Young Americans `plastic soul' album of the 1970s. It is a perennial club classic. Other great tracks include Up The Hill Backwards, Scream Like A Baby and the cover of Tom Verlaine's Kingdom Come. The sound is nearly as heavy as on The Man Who Sold The World but with a calculated rawness plus all the developments of the 1970s to create a very 80s hard rock effect. Scary Monsters is definitely more accessible to the average rock fan than any of his Eno albums that went before, and qualitatively better than most of his 1980s work that followed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly Bowie's best album?, 27 April 2008
This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
This album stands out as the last important album Bowie made. Its a kind of a cross between Spiders from Mars, Man Who Sold The World, Heroes and Low, whilst not really sounding too much like any of them. The main reasons for this are twofold, 1. the song writing is first class throught just about the entire record and 2. the choice of musicians as with all the best Bowie albums was inspired and exemplified in the choice of a return for Robert Fripp whose lead guitar playing is utterly stunning. All that said, the tracks do weaken towards the end but the first 7 tracks are so good it doesn't matter. It's also got that timeless sound to it that many of the great albums have in that it doesn't have that wretched '80s production value.
If you like Bowie any way you probably already have this CD. If you like left field rock you should buy it. If you're into great guitar playing you should definately get this record!
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Scary Monsters by David Bowie (Audio CD - 1999)
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