Lady Grinning Soul

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"Lady Grinning Soul"
Song by David Bowie
from the album Aladdin Sane
Released April 13, 1973
Recorded Trident Studios, London
January 1973
Genre Art rock, glam rock
Length 3:46
Label RCA
Songwriter(s) David Bowie
Producer(s) Ken Scott, David Bowie
Aladdin Sane track listing
"The Jean Genie"
"Lady Grinning Soul"

"Lady Grinning Soul" is a ballad written by David Bowie, which is the final track on the album Aladdin Sane, released in 1973. The composer's first meeting with American soul singer Claudia Lennear in 1972 is often cited as the inspiration for the song.[1][2]

The style of the piece has been compared to a James Bond theme.[3] Pianist Mike Garson described his own performance as "about as romantic as it gets … French with a little Franz Liszt thrown in there".[4] Rolling Stone's contemporary review called Bowie's singing "the album's most expansive and sincere vocal",[5] while author Nicholas Pegg considers the track "one of Bowie's most underrated recordings … quite unlike anything else he has ever done".[6] The song contains the highest note Bowie has sung on a studio album (G#5).[7]

The track was used in the films The Runaways (2010) and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2012).


According to artist Tanja Stark,[8] Bowie was deeply influenced by psychoanalyst Carl Jung who described his famous archetypal concept of the Anima as a renaming of what the poet Carl Spitteler had called ‘My Lady Soul’ (Jung, 1968:13).

Other releases[edit]

  • It was released as the B-side of the single "Let's Spend the Night Together" in June 1973.
  • It was also the B-side of the Spanish release of the single "Sorrow" in November 1973.
  • The US release of the single "Rebel Rebel" had "Lady Grinning Soul" as the B-side.
  • It appeared as the B-side of the Japanese release of the single "1984" in April 1974.

Cover versions[edit]



  1. ^ Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p. 56
  2. ^ "Lady Grinning Soul" at The Ziggy Stardust Companion
  3. ^ Kris Needs (1983). Bowie: A Celebration: p. 29
  4. ^ David Buckley (1999). Strange Fascination – David Bowie: The Definitive Story: pp. 187–188
  5. ^ Ben Gerson (19 July 1973). "Aladdin Sane". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. 
  6. ^ Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: p. 117
  7. ^ Kristobak, Ryan (20 May 2014). "Comparing The Top Artists, Past And Present, By Vocal Range". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Stark, T., “Crashing Out with Sylvian: David Bowie, Carl Jung and the Unconscious” in Deveroux, E., M.Power and A. Dillane (eds) David Bowie: Critical Perspectives: Routledge Press Contemporary Music Series. 2015 (chapter 5)

External links[edit]