"Oh! You Pretty Things" is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory. It opens with only piano and Bowie's vocal, before entering the catchy refrain. The simple piano style is often compared to The Beatles' "Martha My Dear". Thematically, the song has been seen as reflecting the influence of occultistAleister Crowley and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and heralding "the impending obsolescence of the human race in favour of an alliance between arriving aliens and the youth of the present society".
The song was first released by Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, in a single on which Bowie played piano. It became a #12 hit in mid-1971. Noone replaced Bowie's line "The Earth is a bitch" with "The Earth is a beast", in a performance that NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray opined to be "one of rock and roll's most outstanding examples of a singer failing to achieve any degree of empathy whatsoever with the mood and content of a lyric".
Bowie played the song at the BBC show Johnny Walker Lunchtime Show on 22 May 1972. This was broadcast in early June the same year and in 2000 was released on the album Bowie at the Beeb; it was also issued as a promo single in France in 2000.
It was also recorded on 8 February 1972 for The Old Grey Whistle Test on the BBC, though the performance was not broadcast until over 10 years later. This performance is available on the Best of Bowie DVD. An outtake from the same session, in which Bowie stumbles over the lines and gets them wrong on several occasions, is hidden among easter eggs on the same Best of Bowie DVD.