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Wágner covers “Scary Monsters”

This is turning out to be covers week. I selected a cover of the week among many options, as usual, but there were three I really liked and this is the third. Wágner, according to his YouTube channel, is the former lead singer of a 90s alternative band called Nerve and recently (?) released an EP called, “A Way of Life.” This song isn’t on it, but I like the performance, and much as with the covers I posted over the past two days, I like the video itself.

“Scary Monsters” is a song, I think, everybody knows and Bowie performed on and off late into his touring career. Nonetheless it isn’t one of his more frequently covered songs and usually isn’t identified as one of the best songs from the album of the same name. According to the magazine Grunge (click the name to link to the article), Bowie’s surprise performance of the song on Saturday Night Live upset producer Lorne Michaels and got him banned from the show for two years. Michaels, according to the story, during in a drug-field low point of his life was listening to Scary Monsters at the time and had negative associations with the song.

Wágner’s cover is fairly faithful to Bowie’s original version but for me, the most striking departure is the absence of Bowie’s exaggerated cockney articulation.

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