Title: It’s No Game (Pt. 1)
Artist: David Bowie
Album: Scary Monsters
Year Released: 1980
What It Is: Even for the chameleon Bowie, a mind-fuck of an album opener. Starting with sounds of tape, a count-in with a weird electronic voice, a woman reciting the verses in Japanese with Robert Fripp frippering all in the background, and then Bowie comes in sounding totally deranged. He’s off kilter, off key and downright horrifying. At the end he tells Robert Fripp to shut up.
Riffage / Hookage: Well, Fripp rather much kicks ass, so you know there’s some good riffin’ going on, in his own art-rock proggy way.
Cowbell?: Bowie scared the cowbell away with his lunatic vocals.
Words Of Wisdom: “So where’s the moral
When people have their fingers broken?
To be insulted by these fascists
It’s so degrading
And it’s no game”
Remember, kids, he went from this to “Let’s Dance” in just two years.
Mixology Report: Wow. I am working on a mix right now for the CDP mix trade, and this is in it, and I’m scared that it will attack the other songs in the mix and beat them senseless.
Top Five Genius Results: Three & Nine – Roxy Music
Seen & Not Seen – Talking Heads
Last Gang In Town – The Clash
Oh, Jim – Lou Reed
Lonesome Cowboy Bill – Velvet Underground
For The Good Of The Order: This album, one of Bowie’s last good-as-in-good-art-good records, ends with a much more calm, peaceful, placid version of the song. Still, when I bought this in high school after seeing “Fashion” and “Ashes To Ashes” on MTV, I was a bit taken aback by how unhinged Bowie sounded on this track.
And now you can hear it as well….