Considering most Bowie fans would put this in their top 5 albums (or at least top 10), this has to be my most controversial take – I don’t really like this album, and I certainly don’t like a lot of the tracks. I won’t go into too much detail yet, so you’ll have to keep reading to see why.
Here are some of my other Bowie lists:
10 – Kingdom Come
When I gave this album another listen, a few tracks went up slightly in my estimation. That same cannot be said for “Kingdom Come”, which was so outrageously mediocre I decided to dump it in the “Bad” tier.
9 – Because You’re Young
The first of many boring tracks that I don’t really understand, and I’m not sure why people like this album so much when filler tracks like this really kill the pacing.
8 – Scream Like a Baby
I feel like on any other album this could have worked, but the production and creative decisions Bowie took on Scary Monsters made a lot of the tracks a lot worse than they should have been.
7 – It’s No Game (Pt. 1)
A decent opening track that was made so much worse in hindsight by the closing track (“It’s No Game (Pt. 2)”) that outclasses it in every way, and it’s really hard to not cringe when listening to Bowie’s over-the-top shrieking vocals.
6 – Teenage Wildlife
This might just be the single most overrated song in the Bowie fanbase. People online kept telling me this was the best thing since sliced bread, and whilst it has gotten slightly better on a couple more playthroughs I can’t see myself ever truly liking this one.
5 – Up the Hill Backwards
The first good track on the album, and to be fair this is quite a catchy tune. This is almost the bear minimum I expect from a man of Bowie’s talents, and I think it adds to the atmosphere of the album nicely.
4 – It’s No Game (Pt. 2)
The song is almost identical to the opening track, bar from a few changes. Strangely enough, these small alterations seem to make the track so much better and I can’t quite understand why. Bowie’s vocals are nicer for a start, and “It’s No Game” has a more “closer” feel than an opener to begin with anyway.
3 – Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
A title track that gets better with every listen – or maybe it just stands out from the rest of the bland songs?
The vocal effects and searing guitar riffs are pretty cool, and I like how Bowie played it live quite a lot (it fit his 90’s electronic persona quite nicely, so I guess you could say this track came 10 years too early).
2 – Fashion
Apparently this was a big hit for Bowie … and I don’t really understand why. Don’t get me wrong – this is a great song and one of the best on the album, but I could never imagine a commercial audience appreciating this weird tune.
It also doesn’t help that this used to be a favourite of mine and I overplayed it a lot, so it only gets worse with every listen; for now, it deserves its place in “Great”.
1 – Ashes to Ashes
As if out of nowhere, this track rises from the ashes (pun wholeheartedly intended) to become one of my favourite songs of all time, and probably my second favourite Bowie song.
The deeply personal lyrics about Bowie’s fight with addiction unexpectedly resonated with me on an emotional level, and every aspect of the song complements each other: the zany lyrics and synths, the slapping bass part, and the insanely catchy chorus. This may even be in my top 10 tracks ever, that’s how much this song has become a part of my life.
Aaand that’s my list. Next we have an album that people dislike but I love, so it’s literally the opposite of Scary Monsters (but oh well). Until then, check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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