Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)

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"Beauty and the Beast" is a song by David Bowie, the first track on his 1977 album "Heroes". Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_0

It was issued as the second single from the album in January 1978, becoming a minor UK hit, peaking at No. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_1

39 on the UK Singles Chart. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_2

Music and lyrics Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_0

The opening music, a disjointed combination of piano, guitar, electronics and voice rising steadily to a crescendo, has been described as sounding like "Bowie is about to turn into The Incredible Hulk before your very ears". Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_3

The song proper features Robert Fripp on lead guitar, with treatments and synthesizer work by Brian Eno. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_4

Fripp has stated that his guitar work on the track is a first take made straight upon arrival at the studio. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_5

The lyrics have been interpreted as a look back at Bowie's severe mood swings during his cocaine addiction while living in Los Angeles from 1975 to 1976, with the line "Thank God Heaven left us standing on our feet" suggesting the singer's gratitude for making it through that period. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_6

The phrase "someone fetch a priest" alludes not to a desire for religious succour but to co-producer Tony Visconti's frequent expletive during the recording sessions for "Heroes", "someone fuck a priest". Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_7

In another interpretation, James E. Perone wrote: Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_8

Release and aftermath Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_1

The follow-up single to ""Heroes"", "Beauty and the Beast" was considered an unconventional choice for release, reflected in it just scraping into the UK Top 40. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_9

NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray remarked that its "jarring, threatening edge (and it was one of the most menacing singles of a menacing year) obviously put off a great many of the floating singles buyers attracted by the intoxicating romanticism of its immediate predecessor". Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_10

The US release failed to chart, despite being augmented by a promo 12" single featuring Bowie's earlier US No. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_11

1 hit "Fame" on the B-side. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_12

Bowie only performed the song live on his Isolar II Tour, with a version appearing on Stage. Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_sentence_13

Track listing Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_2

7" single Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_3

Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_ordered_list_0

  1. "Beauty and the Beast" (David Bowie) – 3:32Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_0_0
  2. "Sense of Doubt" (Bowie) – 3:57Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_0_1

12" single Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_4

Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_ordered_list_1

  1. "Beauty and the Beast (Special Extended Version)" (Bowie) – 5:18Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_1_2
  2. "Fame" (Bowie, John Lennon, Carlos Alomar) – 3:30Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_1_3

Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_unordered_list_2

  • 12" was only released in US (as a 12" Promo) and Spain.Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_2_4

Production credits Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_5

Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_unordered_list_3

  • Producers:Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_5
    • Tony ViscontiBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_6
    • David BowieBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_7
  • Musicians:Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_8
    • David Bowie: vocals, pianoBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_9
    • Robert Fripp: lead guitarBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_10
    • Carlos Alomar: rhythm guitarBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_11
    • George Murray: bass guitarBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_12
    • Dennis Davis: drumsBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_13
    • Brian Eno: synthesizer, guitar treatmentsBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_14
    • Antonia Maass: backing vocalsBeauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_3_15

Live versions Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_6

Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_unordered_list_4

Cover versions Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_7

Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_unordered_list_5

  • The song was covered by the now-defunct Christian heavy metal band Deliverance on the album Camelot-in-Smithereens (1995).Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_5_17

Other releases Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_section_8

Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_unordered_list_6

  • The song appeared on the following compilations:Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_6_18
  • It was released as a picture disc in the RCA Life Time picture disc set.Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_6_24
  • The extended version of the song, previously available only on a US 12" promo single and as a limited 12" single release in Spain, was released for the first time in digital and CD formats on Re:Call 3, part of the A New Career in a New Town (1977–1982) box set (2017).Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song)_item_6_25


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty and the Beast (David Bowie song).