21 of 21 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
2 of 6 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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bowie's finest moment,
In a discography that includes some of rock's greatest albums, it's hard to choose one Bowie album that outshines all the rest. But for me Scary Monsters is that album. Scorching guitar, pounding drums, ethereal melodies and multi-layered instrumentation are all underpinned by something rare in Bowie: a sense of compassion and an awareness of the frailty of being alive. The feeling of alienation and displacement is as powerful as ever, the lyrics darker and more sardonic than at any time since Aladdin Sane. And Teenage Wildlife is Bowie's masterpiece.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why issued as SACD?,
This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
This is one of the great Bowie albums. I have to drop a star for this edition, as I bought the SACD, believing for some reason that it would be a surround sound version. Unfortunately that's not the case. The album sounds better than my original CD and vinyl, but having now bought this for the third time, I thought I was getting something extra. The music still stands up after all these years. However, don't cheat the record buyer and make it clear that it is just stereo, as otherwise it's pointless issuing it as a SACD.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1980's New Wave joy...,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars But it's no game.,
Bowie at his offbeat and avant garde best.
An eclectic mix that meets all expectations without ever being predictable.
Favourite tracks must be "it's no game (part 1)" and " scary monsters (and super creeps)".
Damn fine vibes!
5.0 out of 5 stars Last of the truly great Bowie albums,
"Scary Monsters" was the last of a run of fantastic albums which commenced with "Stationtostation" in 1976. I suppose it had to end sometime, but now,any half-good Bowie music is always proclaimed as "The best since 'Scary Monsters'".
The fact that pundits so regularly reference a 30 year old plus album shows how good it is.
Great guitar work, less of the weird electronics, good songs with hummable melodies, and, for me "Ashes to Ashes". It sounds like Bowie is conciously saying goodbye to the weird and wonderful music he produced in the late 70s-early 80sl
Like I said,nobody could continue at the quality Bowie turned in in the five albums prior to this, but following up that bidy of work with "Let's Dance"?
Maybe he was joking.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Scary at All,
Bowie is certainly the main man another great album can't play it enough, and it is one of my all time Bowie favourites
5.0 out of 5 stars best ever,
I had this in the80s and lost it ,what a great album,the tracks are origina and as they were always my favorite im afraid Nostalgia does come in to it for me
5.0 out of 5 stars ROCK, POP and FEEDBACK. A NOISY STUNNER.,
His last LP with RCA and the last work for many years with Tony Visconti. 1980 and this is where I came in as a Bowie fan. I had heard "UP THE HILL BACKWARDS" and asked my mate for a copy of the lp. It wasn't long before I bought my own vinyl copy. This and the next lp, Let's Dance (1983) would prove to be the parents of his biggest singles, 4 off this album and 3 off Let's Dance Let's Dance (later pressings of LET'S DANCE also include UNDER PRESSURE BY QUEEN & BOWIE)). 2 singles off Scary Monsters vanished without making much impact on the UK charts, but Fashion and Ashes To Ashes (what an amazing video) did very well. Lyrically bleak, musically disturbing and loud it gels to make one of the best rock albums in the world...ever !!!
The following info is designed to help new-comers to point them in the right direction for their own tastes.
The No. * rating is very personal to me and these ratings have never really changed in all the 33 years I've been listening to Bowie. They are how I rate the whole LP/cd compared to other BOWIE output.
During 1990 and 1991 EMI released digitally remastered cds under the title of "SOUND + VISION". Most had bonus tracks... some tracks are poor but some are worth getting.
The following list is not definitive but points out the most accessible cds to newbies of Bowie.
1967 DAVID BOWIE - try getting the DELUXE EDITION, or DERAM ANTHOLOGY (not as complete but a good collection). 60's pop / whimsical / musical hall / very folk. 2*
1969 SPACE ODDITY - Electric folk / folk / soft rock - just like Hunky Dory 5*
1970 - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - Rock / hard rock - not unlike early Black Sabbath. 4*
1971 - HUNKY DORY - Folk / folk rock - just like Space Oddity 5*
1972 - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (aka ZIGGY STARDUST) Rock / glam rock 4*
1973 - ALADDIN SANE - Rock / glam rock 3.5*
1973 - PIN-UPS - 60's cover versions in rock / glam style. 2*
1974 - DIAMOND DOGS. An Orwellian style, bleak lyrics, up-beat rock and shades of soul hidden within. 5*
1974 - DAVID LIVE - The soul is starting to come thru. Not rock, more funk in style but without the funk... confusing !! 1*
1975 - YOUNG AMERICANS - Soul / funk 3*, but every time I play it I think hang on, this is 5* (confused again !!). Try and get the version with, "Who can I be now?", "it's gonna be me" & "John, I'm only dancing, again".
1976 - STATIONTOSTATION - The start of electronics can be heard here. Soul / soft rock 5* at least.
1977 - LOW - and enter BRIAN ENO. This is my fave LP. Bleak, depressing, alienation and very electronic with quiet rock . 5* at least. Also see "Heroes".
1977 - "HEROES" - and BRIAN ENO. This is one of my fave LPs. Bleak, depressing, alienation and very electronic with quiet rock . 5* at least. Also see LOW.
1978 - STAGE - live and brilliant but with fade-outs and gaps between songs. 4*. Life is tried to be pumped into some tunes which are, for me, left more barren and desolate.
1979 - LODGER - and more BRIAN ENO. A right mishmash of sounds and tunes. Took me years to get into this LP. 3* Pop (in a word).
1980 - SCARY MONSTERS & SUPER CREEPS - and this is where I came in. Rock with hints of funk, depression and it contains "Up The Hill Backwards"... my all-time fave single (strange choice I know, especially when I adore Bohemian Rhapsody)
1983 - LET'S DANCE. Disco-esque / soft rock. 4*. This is Bowie's biggest selling LP.
1983 - ZIGGY STARDUST THE MOTION PICTURE. Rock/glam 3.5*
1984 - TONIGHT. See LET'S DANCE but only 1*.
1987 - NEVER LET ME DOWN - see TONIGHT but 2*
1989 91 - TIN MACHINE 1 & 2. Rock. Both 3*
1993 - BLACK TIE /WHITE NOISE Rock/pop with hints of modern R&B. 2*
1993 - THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA. Pop 3*
1995 - 1.OUTSIDE. God I was wetting myself to hear this when I heard it was the return of BRIAN ENO. God I was disappointed. It's a story (a murder mystery) with only patches of brilliant music. 1*
1997 - EARTHLING. Not knowing what drum & bass is, the making of this cd documentary kept referring to it an D&B. I never got into it. 2*
1999 - HOURS... - pop / soft rock 5*
2002 - HEATHEN - pop / soft rock 4*
2003 - REALITY. Omg, it's 10 years old now. I hadn't realised he had a new cd out upon my return after a holiday. So it went into the shopping trolley my wife was pushing and it has never been very far away from the cd player. For me, I can hear shades of ALADDIN SANE. Pop / rock 5*
2013 - THE NEXT DAY. 4* Hard, Heavy Rock with a few lighter moments.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!,
As "Ashes To Ashes" was one of the first singles I ever brought I have always had a soft spot for this album. Popular opinion says that this is Bowie's last truly great album that perhaps is up fans to decide. For me this work shines. Full of great songs sung with passion. Who can help be impressed by Bowie's throat ripping vocal on the opening track "Its no Game". "Teenage Wildlife" moves at a blistering pace, As for "Ashes To Ashes" without doubt one of finest ever singles. Other good albums will follow by Bowie but perhaps never as great as this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars hilighted monsters,
This review is from: Scary Monsters (Audio CD)
fabulous hilighting of this haunting album . teenage wildlife jumps out , (how come u only want tomorrow)? but a dissapointing fact is that it cost 80 aussie bucks, 50english pounds and is a dsd remaster without a 5.1 option .u live and learn. sacd dose not mean 5.1/ still i cannot believe it makes the hair on your body stand up. a must for fans of bowie , its no game!
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