A word-jammed jumpy little thing, “Maid of Bond Street” at first listen seems another acid portrait of Bowie’s hip contemporaries, but the lyric’s more of a fractured self-portrait: Bowie dividing his persona into the lonely glamorous girl made of lipstick and film outtakes and the envious provincial boy shut out of her world who “wants to be a star himself.”
It’s a chore to listen to, though; thankfully it’s short. Bowie spills out his lines as if in a breath endurance contest, the galumphing waltz rhythm seems at cross-purposes with the melody. As the track ends, Bowie finally gives up a chorus as if in recompense: a pure Anthony Newley-style stage belter that ruins whatever subtleties had survived to that point.
Recorded 8 December 1966; on David Bowie (cut from the American version, apparently for being too British).
Top: Twiggy on moped, 1966.