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"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 a mock-cockneyaccent, 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.


 [hide*1 Track listing

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
Canadian Singles Chart 49

Live versions[edit][]

Other releases[edit][]

Cover versions[edit][]

  • Frank Black - Live recording (with David Bowie) (1997)
  • Ex-Voto - Goth Oddity: A Tribute to David Bowie (1999)
  • Sepulcrum Mentis - The Dark Side of David Bowie: A Tribute to David Bowie (1997)
  • Superchunk - Cup of Sand compilation (2003)
  • Tides of Mars - .2 Contamination: A Tribute to David Bowie (2006)
  • UFX - bonus track included on 2013 reissue of Sick Sick Sex (2008)