Maid of Bond Street


Maid of Bond Street.

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.

2 Responses to Maid of Bond Street

  1. Bill Luther says:

    You’ve got to love a song that contains the line:
    “gleaming teeth sip aperitifs”

  2. leonoutside says:

    It’s not a chore at all. I’ve always loved this track. You sound like you enjoy it more in your book. Bond St though, isn’t really a “hip London set” hang out. More the place of the “super aloof, ultra wealthy, frighteningly beautiful, utterly out of reach set”. Bond St…is set to be “Where It All Ends”, with Bowie’s art collection exhibited and sold off there on 1-10 November 2016. The U.K. Should buy the collection for the nation. As mentioned elsewhere, an Artist’s own collection, is their most secret kind of self portrait. If Bowie was French, The Republic would have bought and housed it. If Bowie were American, an entrepreneur would have bought it – for a profit. Our nation (UK) must be very dim.

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