ADAM STEINER - Silhouettes And Shadows: The Secret History Of DAVID BOWIE's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

October 31, 2023, 6 months ago

(Backbeat Books)

Greg Prato

Rating: 8.0

review classic rock david bowie

ADAM STEINER - Silhouettes And Shadows: The Secret History Of DAVID BOWIE's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

Probably more so than any other rock artist, David Bowie had the most varied "musical phases" during his long-and-winding career. And to his credit, he pulled most of them off splendidly – both artistly and commercially. While he was one of the '70s most popular rockers, he suffered from apparent death-defying substance addictions (just take a gander at how thin and emaciated looking he was circa 1974). 

After closing the '70s with some of the most challenging/experimental albums of his entire career (the "Berlin Trilogy," which consisted of the LP's Low, Heroes, and Lodger), Bowie opened the '80s with Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – an album that can be pointed to that bridged the artsiness of the Berlin Trilogy and his eventual makeover as a crossover pop star with Let's Dance.

And the new book by Adam Steiner, Silhouettes And Shadows: The Secret History Of David Bowie's Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), details the creation of this oft-overlooked LP. With most of the chapters borrowing the album's song titles, we learn the backstory of the album and what was going on in Bowie's life at the time. 

Comprised of both new interviews and previously published material (as well as analyses by the author), there is quite a lot to be learned within the pages of Silhouettes and Shadows – the UK hit single “Ashes To Ashes” may have mirrored Bowie's struggles with drug addiction, Bowie's reaction to John Lennon's murder, he had a rarely-seen tattoo on his calf (!), etc.



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