Lady Grinning Soul

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Lady Grinning Soul"
Song by David Bowie
from the album Aladdin Sane
ReleasedApril 13, 1973
RecordedJanuary 1973
StudioTrident, London
GenreArt rock, glam rock
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)Ken Scott, David Bowie

"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] In 2016, after Bowie's death, an interview with Lennear revealed that Bowie called her in 2014, and told her the song had been written about her.[3]

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

  • Box Office Poison put out a cover of Lady Grinning Soul on their CD Ep Think for Yourself in 1997 on Future legend Records (another Bowie nod) what makes this unique is that B.O.P and main man Russell C. Brennan shared U.S Management with David Bowie and both were from Brixton. Bowie said this was the best cover of his song and went on to mentor Russell for a few years and being equally positive about future covers of his songs produced by Russel of Cat People, This is Not America & Absolute Beginners.(band)|{Box Office Poison]] – single & CD EP. [9]
  • Chris BrokawThe Hand That Wrote This Letter (2017)
  • Anna CalviStrange Weather (EP) (2014)
  • Ulf LundellSweethearts (Swedish translation called "Elden")
  • Janette Mason performed it on her 2014 album D'Ranged
  • Lucia Micarelli – Instrumental version on Music From a Farther Room (2004)
  • MomusTurpsycore (2015)
  • Mystéfy - Spark Within (2016)
  • Camille O'SullivanChangeling (2012)
  • Paul RobertsFaith (1999)
  • Petra Taylor - Cover Ups (2019)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p. 56
  2. ^ "The Ziggy Stardust Companion - Encyclopedia L". Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  3. ^ "David Bowie's 'Lady Grinning Soul' Claudia Lennear of Pomona remembers her friend". 6 February 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  4. ^ Kris Needs (1983). Bowie: A Celebration: p. 29
  5. ^ David Buckley (1999). Strange Fascination – David Bowie: The Definitive Story: pp. 187–188
  6. ^ Ben Gerson (19 July 1973). "Aladdin Sane". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010.
  7. ^ Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: p. 117
  8. ^ Stark, T. (22 June 2015). ""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)".
  9. ^ "Box Office Poison".