Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (song)

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"Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)"
Bowie ScaryMonstersSingle.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
B-side "Because You’re Young"
Released 2 January 1981
Format 7" single, Cassette
Recorded The Power Station, New York, February 1980; Good Earth Studios, London, April 1980
Genre Post-punk
Length 3:27 (7" single edit)
5:10 (Full-length album version)
Label RCA Records
Songwriter(s) David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)"
"Up the Hill Backwards"

"Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)"
"Up the Hill Backwards"

"Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)" is the title track from David Bowie's 1980 album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps). It was also issued as the third single from that album in January 1981. Coming as it did in the wake of two earlier singles from Scary Monsters, "Ashes to Ashes" in August 1980 and "Fashion" in October the same year, NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray labelled its release another instance "in the fine old tradition of milking albums for as much as they could possibly be worth".[1]

Musically the track was notable for its lead guitar work by Robert Fripp and distinctive synthesized percussion. The lyrics, sung by Bowie in an exaggerated Cockney accent, charted a woman's withdrawal from the world and descent into madness ("When I looked in her eyes they were blue but nobody home ... Now she's stupid in the street and she can't socialise"). Thematically it has been compared to Joy Division's "She's Lost Control" (1979),[1] and to the "claustrophobic romance" of Iggy Pop's 1977 collaborations with Bowie, The Idiot and Lust for Life.[2]

The edited single reached No. 20 in the UK charts. As well as 7" vinyl, it was issued in Compact Cassette format. It has since been performed on a number of Bowie tours.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)" (Bowie) – 3:27
  2. "Because You're Young" (Bowie) – 4:51

The French release of the single had "Up the Hill Backwards" as the B-side.

Production credits[edit]


Chart (1981) Peak
U.K. Singles Chart 20
Irish Singles Chart 17

Live versions[edit]

Other releases[edit]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: pp.112-115
  2. ^ Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: p.180
  3. ^ "A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN (1977 – 1982) - David Bowie Latest News". 22 July 2016. Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2017.


Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5