December 27, 2010 – 3:50 am

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Fresh From Divorce: The Scary Monsters Chronicles [Godfatherrecords GR580, 1CD]

Demos, alternate takes and various live tracks. Very good soundboard.

This is what gsparaco posted at collectorsmusicreviews.com:

David Bowie’s divorce from his wife Angela became final on February 8, 1980 and the following week he was in New York starting work on Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), the first album after the “Berlin Triology.” Working with producer Tony Visconti and the Alomar/Davis/Murry backing band, they laid down instrumental tracks for the songs…

Two months later they would reconvene at Good Earth Studios in London to complete the album. Mixing would be finished by April and the album would be released on September 12. The album would reach #1 in the UK and climb as high as #12 in the US. It received rave reviews when first released and has since been used as a benchmark…

Fresh From Divorce collects together relevant documents surrounding the creation of the album including alternate versions and demos. And since this was during Bowie’s longest hiatus from live performance (after the Stage tour in 1978 he wouldn’t tour again until 1983), included are two television appearances which are rare live outings from this period…

The several unreleased tracks have varying degrees of interest. The disco mix of “Ashes To Ashes” is an 11-minute edit of the album track with long instrumental passages in the beginning. These remixes were popular in the late ’70s, seen as a away for rock artists to gain cross-over appeal…

Overall Fresh From Divorce is a strong compilation of tapes from the era. There has been some discussion about more boxsets from EMI similar to this year’s Station To Station, before Bowie’s contract expires in 2012. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) is one of the titles under discussion and the contents focus upon these particular tracks which makes this a good title to have until more is released.
Click here for more.

Thanks to Piras for sharing the tracks on the net.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Scary Monsters & Super Creeps (Alternate Take) (5.4MB)
Track 02. It’s No Game (Alternate Take) (6.1MB)
Track 03. Tired Of My Life (Demo for “It’s No Game”) (5.0MB)
Track 04. Cameras In Brooklyn (Early version of “Up The Hill Backwards”) (5.4MB)
Track 05. It Happens Everyday (Early Version Of “Teenage Wildlife”) (11.3MB)
Track 06. Laser (Early Version Of “Scream Like A Baby”) (5.6MB)
Track 07. Ashes To Ashes (Unreleased Disco Remix) (19.7MB)
Track 08. Kingdom Come (Alternate Take) (6.3MB)
Track 09. I Am A Laser (Recorded with the Astronettes - Different lyrics) (6.7MB)
Track 10. Because You’re Young (Alternate Take) (7.8MB)
Track 11. Is There Life After Marriage? (Unreleased) (7.3MB)
12. Panic In Detroit (Re-Recorded) - Omitted*
13. Crystal Japan - Omitted*
14. Alabama Song - Omitted*
Track 15. Ashes To Ashes (”Tonight” TV Show, USA, 5 September 1980) (5.9MB)
Track 16. Life On Mars (”Tonight” TV Show, USA, 5 September 1980) (5.9MB)
Track 17. The Man Who Sold The World (”Saturday Night Live” TV Show, USA, 15 December, 1979) (4.7MB)
Track 18. Boys Keep Swinging (”Saturday Night Live” TV Show, USA, 15 December, 1979) (3.6MB)
Track 19. TVC15 (”Saturday Night Live” TV Show, USA, 15 December, 1979) (5.5MB)

* Officially released.

Click on the link to order David Bowie’s Scary Monsters.


  2. good disc here.

    By James on Dec 27, 2010

  3. Nice x-mas present ! Thanks… I’ve got an alternate version of this, but it doesn’t have the SNL & Johnny Carson performances…

    By Trippytvc15 on Dec 27, 2010

  4. Very excellent Christmas present! Thanks BigO!!

    By Hulkzilla on Dec 27, 2010

  5. Thank you for this collection. Bowie material is always welcome. A few notes and observations…
    Most of these songs can be found on the Vampires Of Human Flesh bootleg, but they appear in better sound quality here.
    The “unreleased disco remix” of Ashes To Ashes is just an extended edit of the original, created by a bootlegger. It simply repeats the opening and middle eight guitar/synth lines over and over.
    Some of the working titles of songs are used here, but I believe they had all found their final titles by the time these recordings were made.
    The instrumental known as “Is There Life After Marriage” is in fact the backing track for the abandoned Scary Monsters cover version of Cream’s “I Feel Free.” Bowie would return to this song 12 years later when it was re-recorded for Black Tie White Noise.

    By Justin on Dec 27, 2010

  6. P.S. I’d hate to see anything else omitted, but in your best interest…
    The 1979 recording of “Panic In Detroit” included here was officially released on the Ryko edition of Scary Monsters and on the two disc deluxe edition of Heathen.

    By Justin on Dec 27, 2010

  7. Hello Justin
    Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated.

    By bigozine2 on Dec 27, 2010

  8. Thanx for this almost perfect collection. (And a BIG-O thanx to YOU, Jason for spilling the beans)

    By Timmy on Dec 27, 2010

  9. is the scary monsters alternate take any different from the glamour/vampires outtakes?

    By lodger on Dec 27, 2010

  10. Lodger, the track found here of “Scary Monsters” is the 3:25 single edit, from what sounds like a 45 rpm source. The version on Vampires Of Human Flesh is a slightly alternate mix (less reverb, to my ears) of what would become the released album version.

    By Justin on Dec 28, 2010

  11. @justin

    thanks for the info
    but i have it anyway ( vampire version)
    thanks again

    By lodger on Dec 28, 2010

  12. Some correction… Tired Of My Life is not the demo for It’s No Game.. this recording dates back to the ziggy stardust sessions. It’s just somethin that Bowie revisited 7 years later for the Scary Monsters album and turned it into it’s no game.

    also, the Astronettes version of Laser dates from some 1974 sessions for the Astronettes own album, so this is NOT from the Scary Monster sessions or demos.

    Plus, if i remember correctly, Moon of alabama was recorded during the Lodger sessions, not Scary monster sessions.

    otherwise, a great set and nice to have the Johnny Carson and SNL sets in excellent quality with no hiss or distortion - worth downloading for those alone :)

    By bowie fan on Dec 30, 2010

  13. Many thanks BigO. Please share more Bowie. He seems to be very overlooked on this site.

    By Matt on Jan 11, 2011

  14. Can anybody provide another link to
    Track 07. Ashes To Ashes ?
    Can´t register at 4sh. Thanks for the note some time ago, but can´t get it working. Maybe it´s the cookies or java script or something, but no way (won´t let me confirm the used password.) Thank you.

    By Kint on May 15, 2014

  15. Hi Kint, you can use the link below to get to this track 07 Ashes to Ashes unreleased disco mix 11m 43s on YouTube. Then you can use Free Studio 2014 at http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/?dvsapps=true to download the song (and convert to WAVE or 320kbps MP3, etc.)


    There is also a 13 minute 1980 version and other remixes that were done that you’ll find there. Enjoy!

    By Job Hunter on May 16, 2014

  16. Kint, you also might find 3 other tracks if you look around there…

    By Job Hunter on May 16, 2014

  17. :-) Thanks a lot, Job Hunter !

    By Kint on May 16, 2014

  18. Can anyone share a DropBox (or similar) link to the Track 7 Ashes to Ashes remix? It sounds better than the YouTube track mentioned and I detest the spyware loading solution Big O uses for file sharing! You shouldn’t have to load a suspicious exe to get a song! Having said that, I am very grateful for BigO and the community here!

    By JG on May 17, 2014

  19. Update, found another way to extract the file from the platform without clicking on the garbage. Thanks anyway most respected BigO community!

    By JG on May 17, 2014

  20. Oh, for Kint’s sake, JG, can’t you give up the alternate method way to extract the file?

    By Job Hunter on May 17, 2014

  21. JH… i agree, it would be nice if he’d shared it immediately! Must say I share the reluctance to install that iLivid junkware. NOT a good move.

    But you asked how to DL?
    JH, u need to be on Firefox, with the download helper extension installed. Click on the Play arrow/button in the box centre-top of the 4share page. Then use the Download Helper device to save the track. That is the simplest way - tho’ I have no idea if that’s what the other guy did.

    anyway… peace. I hope you are staying well :)

    I have the track from way way back when first released by BigO, but I would not DL it today if I had to install the iLivid junkware.

    By tony on May 18, 2014

  22. Hi there - many thanks. Any chance for new links for tracks 3, 5 & 11 as they are not saved as mp3 files but HTML.

    Many thanks again!

    By RobC on May 12, 2017

  23. Broken links, missing tracks. Depressing.

    By Jeff Powell on Nov 4, 2017

  24. Most of the links seem broken :(

    By Nic on Sep 3, 2018

  25. Nic - Posts don’t stay up forever! This was posted 8 years ago dude!
    If you want something just ask (nicely!) and the gang at HQ will think about it . . . . . usually re-upping ( I love that term!)

    Go on, try it . . . . .ask ‘em! You could even email!? ;)

    By swappers on Sep 3, 2018

  26. Where’s the Up the Hill Backwards demo?

    By Byrnzie on Nov 26, 2022

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