"'Scary Monsters' is perhaps the pinnacle of Bowie's long career in music. Firstly, it features perhaps Bowie's best ever backing band with Robert Fripp providing some stunning guitar work. Also, because this album was created without the assistance of Eno, it survives as one of Bowie's most personal. The persona adopted was the world-weary traveller of 'Lodger', only this time tackling more personal issues. The lyrics are probably Bowie's best ever, especially on 'It's No Game' and 'Teenage Wildlife' and another standout is his consistently strong, often exaggerated vocal performance. There are also a number of important guest performances from the likes of Roy Bittan and Pete Townsend as well as Tony Visconti providing some inspired and eccentric touches to the production. Although every song is a highlight, the best are the two versions of 'It's No Game' that bookend the album, the excellent number one hit single 'Ashes To Ashes', 'Scream Like a Baby' and the best of the lot, the aforementioned 'Teenage Wildlife'. The bonus tracks on the CD make this even more essential."
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Side One of Scary Monsters is, in my view, the single best side of music to be found on any Bowie album - not least because of the astonishing musicianship of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp ('I've been spraying burning guitar all over David Bowie's new album', as he said at the time) and the supple bass playing of Bernard Edwards. And the songs themselves - from the throat-tearing opener 'It's No Game' (with a frantic Japanese commentary in the background), to the searing title track (check out the guitars on this one!) to the Space Oddity follow-up 'Ashes to Ashes' and the metallic dance track 'Fashion' - rank among his best. It would be surprising if the high standard could be maintained on Side Two - and it isn't. 'Teenage Wildlife' is a highlight - a mini rock-opera that has wonderfully expressive singing and inspired playing - but the tracks that follow it - 'Scream Like a Baby', 'Because You're Young' - are weak in comparison. Still, if I had to choose one album by Bowie to take to a desert island, it would be this one - the perfect antidote to sunshine and blue skies. (It's remarkable to think that the album that followed this, three years later, was the appalling 'Let's Dance'.) If you want to sample the music of David Bowie when he was at or near his creative peak, then order this CD. Highly recommended."
Morton | Colorado | 05/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Bowie-Scary Monsters ****
Released in 1980, David Bowies Scary Monsters became one of his biggest and most popular albums to date. Expanding even further on his new wave sound which he and Iggy Pop helped to invent some four years before this album. The album helped to usher Bowie into the 1980's a decade that would serve Bowie highs higher then he had seen before and lows lower then he had seen before.
Scary Monsters is an album of ideas and creativity. Some of Bowies most inspired and original work appears on this album showcasing early influences for many of the alternative bands to imerge during the decade. The lyrics on the album are more then just simple lyrics, they are really the vocal point of the album which is a first for a Bowie album. He has always been known as an amaznig lyricist but Scary Monsters secured him as among the best.
The line up of musicians is amazing with guest apperances from the great Pete Townshend, King Crimson leader and guitar virtuoso Robert Fripp, as well as piano great Roy Bittan, and legend Tony Visconti, but the phenomonal Tom Verlaine of Television lent his hands at some of the albums lyrics.
'Its No Game (Part 1)' is a strange song, but actually a great way to open the album being as it is a little strange as a whole. With no chorus or really a hook for the matter the song is sung in strange octives and features lots of Janpanese spoken word inbetween verses. No other song would have started the album better. Also contains great socialy concious lyrics. 'Up The Hill Backwards' is very child hood sing-along. While once again the lyrics are great they loose their effect being performed over such nursery ryhme music and in a sing-along way. The track is take it or leave it. The title track 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)' is one of the best songs on the album. With a very different sound and though the song sounds very 80's it still has a great appeal. 'Ashes To Ashes' is easily the best song on the album and one of Bowies all time best songs. Fantastic keyboard and minimal drumming make the mood of the song soom very errie. The lyrics are some of the best ever written in history. Part two of the contiueing sega of 'Major Tom.' In this sequal to the original we find out that 'Major Tom' is not in space at all but mearly strung out on Heroin. A great song, truly a classic. 'Fashion' is one of the most inventive songs of Bowies career. Combining some incredible guitar playing from Fripp and a new wave feel and sound that would revolutionize the comming decade. 'Teenage Wildlife' may contain the very best lyrics Bowie has ever written. The vocal delivery is so heart felt and emotional that you truly understand and feel what he is trying to convey. The guitar work from Fripp is inspired and complaments the lyrics perfectly. One of the most honest and truly geniune songs ever written. 'Scream Like A Baby' is almost a hard rocker. Slightly intence with some restraint as too not get way out of controle. 'Kingdom Come' is a song that was written by Tom Verlaine of Television and it is so clear when you hear it beacuse it totaly sounds as if it would fit in on the bands debut. A great perfomance from Bowie here. 'Because Your Young' features lead guitar from Pete Townshend which adds to the song and makes it better. Other then the guitar this is not one of the better songs on the album, in fact the album may have been stronger had it been left off. Closing the album is 'Its Not Game (Part 2)' which is nothing like part one which opens the albums. This is much more laid back. A calm after the store or more like a cigerette after a night cap is more in line. A great tune to end the album nicly and ease the listener away.
Scary Monsters is not the best album that David Bowie ever recorded but from the 1980's this is the best he has to offer. The music is phenomonal, this is an album you will never get bored with or grow old of. The artwork in the case of the album is worth the price of the album alone, usualy I dont comment on the artwork but it is truly breath taking. So for those how are looking at this you are sligtly interested and that is a good enough reason to buy the album if this review wasnt reason enough."
Great album, but not his best by far
Said Head | MN, USA | 02/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As far as Bowie's 80's catalogue goes, this is pretty much the only album in really positive light.
This album, to me, seems like a missing link, hybred from the art rock of Berlin and Bowie's glam rock saga, leaning more towards the sound and ideals of Aladdin Sane. While AS and Berling comprise some of my all-time favorite Bowie releases, this particular album is not quite as I expected.
The first 5 songs, including the second part of 'It's No Game' are to me the only real reasons I really like this album. The other 4 tracks, sort of in the structure of 'Let's Dance' sound like filler, where aside from singles and some standout tracks these two albums just don't focus strongly on the other songs presented. 'Because You're Young' is good, not great, but the other 3 songs are to me fillers, which really causes this album to die out after Fashion, only to be picked up a little in the end.
But after the great run of music from '76 to '79 I just feel that Bowie lost something artistically until getting his edge back with Tin Machine.
The bonus material, however, is not to be missed. Sure, this older CD release may not be remastered as best, but if you're like me and would rather obtain some hard to find recordings over only slightly better sound (providing you can even hear a difference) this is by far the better buy."
Karen K. Evans | 12/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most original CD's of it's time. David Bowie at his best."