Teenage Wildlife

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Teenage Wildlife"
Song by David Bowie
from the album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
ReleasedSeptember 12, 1980
RecordedThe Power Station, New York, February 1980; Good Earth Studios, London, April 1980
GenreArt rock, new wave, post-punk
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)David Bowie, Tony Visconti

"Teenage Wildlife" is a song written by David Bowie in 1980 for the album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps). Running at almost seven minutes, the song was the longest track on Scary Monsters, and Bowie's longest composition since "Station to Station" four years prior in 1976.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The song's original title was "It Happens Everyday". Producer Tony Visconti said "Instead of singing 'Not another teenage wildlife' [Bowie] would sing 'It happens everyda-a-ay.'"[1]

Against a musical backdrop that owed much to his classic song "Heroes", including textural guitar work from both Robert Fripp and Chuck Hammer, and adds wandering phrases following his lyrical paragraphs, Bowie appeared to take aim squarely at his post-punk artistic godchildren, particularly Gary Numan:[2]

A broken-nosed mogul are you

One of the new wave boys
Same old thing in brand new drag
Comes sweeping into view
As ugly as a teenage millionaire

Pretending it’s a whiz-kid world

In a 1980 interview, Bowie commented on Numan and his "whiz-kid world":

What Numan did he did excellently but in repetition, in the same information coming over again and again, once you've heard one piece.... It's that false idea of hi-tech society and all that which is... doesn't exist. I don't think we're anywhere near that sort of society. It's an enormous myth that's been perpetuated unfortunately, I guess, by readings of what I've done in that rock area at least, and in the consumer area television has an awful lot to answer for with its fabrication of the computer-world myth.[3]

Singer Boy George has said that his all-time favourite lyric was "As ugly as a teenage millionaire".[4]

In a 2008 article in the Mail On Sunday , Bowie said that his vocal performance on the song was an imitation of Ronnie Spector.[5][unreliable source?]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Northern Irish rock band Ash for their compilation album A-Z Vol.2.

This single was covered by the band Deadsy.



  1. ^ Currie, David, ed. (1985). David Bowie: The Starzone Interviews. London: Omnibus Press.
  2. ^ Buckley, David (1999). Strange Fascination. London: Virgin. pp. 363–375.
  3. ^ MacKinnon, Angus (September 1980). "The Future Isn't What it Used to Be". NME.
  4. ^ Smash Hits flexi-disc, 1985 Boy George interview
  5. ^ "DAVID BOWIE: I went to buy some shoes - and I came back with Life On Mars". dailymail.co.uk. 28 June 2008.

External links[edit]