Books — June 25, 2023 at 3:03 pm

“Silhouettes and Shadows” promises “secret history” of David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters”

Next month sees publication of a new book that delves into the story behind one of David Bowie’s most pivotal albums: his 1980 collection Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), the stepping stone between the singer’s arty late-’70s output and his early ’80s pop smash Let’s Dance.

Rowman & Littlefield will publish Adam Steiner’s 300-page “Silhouettes and Shadows: The Secret History of David Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” on July 15; it can be pre-ordered now via

Scary Monsters was Bowie’s 14th album and it followed the Berlin Trilogy — 1977’s Low and “Heroes” and 1979’s Lodger — and was a conscious effort by the musician to create a more commercial sound. The album was co-produced by Tony Visconti and found Bowie revisiting Major Tom from “Space Oddity” on “Ashes to Ashes.”

From the publisher’s description of the book:

Featuring fresh insights and exclusive interviews with close collaborators, Adam Steiner’s “Silhouettes and Shadows” uncovers the studio stories, meanings behind, and secret history of “Scary Monsters.” Steiner gives a nuanced, memorable portrait of Bowie at a personal and professional crossroads, drawing on his own struggle with addiction, growing paranoia, and political turmoil. Despite the album’s confrontational themes, it included the hit singles “Fashion” and “Ashes to Ashes,” with Bowie riding a new wave of inspiration, from the post-punk of Joy Division, The Specials’ two-tone revolution, and the stadium synth-pop of Gary Numan.

Steiner is also the author of “Into The Never: Nine Inch Nails and the Creation of The Downward Spiral.”





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