This is an essay/rant from the original CrackedActor that Michael and I ran in my college days. I have edited it slightly, but the original message is there.

Anyone ever noticed that there are two Bowie songs that read very much like a fairy tale? The two songs that I am referring to are Glass Spider and Wild-eyed Boy from Freecloud. However, these two songs have absolutely nothing in common except for the fact that, in my less than humble opinion, they sound like fairytales. The main difference is that Wild-eyed Boy from Freecloud is a great song and Glass Spider is just plain tedious. Nevertheless, the two are definitely fairy tales.

Wild-Eyed Boy from Freecloud is simply a great song. The first time I heard it, it seemed to be a Grimm Brothers fairytale set to Bowie. Compare the lyrics to the basic layout of a Grimm’s story. In the Grimm’s fairytales, there were always the characters that children could empathize with, a terrifying villain, and a tragic ending. Wild-Eyed Boy from Freecloud has all of that. The character is obviously the Wild-Eyed boy himself. At the time Wild-Eyed Boy from Freecloud was written there was a bohemian movement in England. Naturally, the Wild-eyed Boy was the representation of the bohemians in Bowie’s song. He communes with nature, symbolized by the mountain Freecloud, much like the bohemians did and is described as “the missionary mystic of peace/love”, which is exactly what the bohemians aspired to be. The terrifying villain is, of course, the village Dreadful which is trying to kill the peaceful Wild-Eyed Boy. And last, but most certainly not least, we have the tragic ending. The Wild-Eyed Boy is hung by the village Dreadful, which gives us our “Grimm” ending. **Sidenote: I love the way that Bowie’s voice cracks at the very end of the song. I wonder if he did that on purpose or if it was an artistic accident?**

On the other hand you have Glass Spider. I have one word to say about this song…ugh. Actually, I have many more words than that. If you like this song, then don’t read the following. To me, Glass Spider sounds like a fairytale on crack. It hurts me to listen to it. For example….

Up until one century ago there lived,
In the Zi Duang province of eastern country
A glass-like spider
Having devoured its prey it would drape the skeletons over its web
In weeks creating a macabre
Shrine of remains

This is not a song. It is a fairy tale written by someone on bad drugs and muddy coffee. I can practically see Bowie killing the traditional “Once upon a time” with that first line there. And the word “macabre” is not a word that should be used in an eighties pop song, especially one that a spectacular tour will later be based on.

Its web was also unique in that it had many layers
Like floors in a building
At the top of this palace-like place, assembled with almost apparent Care…
When the breeze blew thru this construction

“Construction”?? “Unique in that”??? “Apparent care”???? That’s as bad as Madonna using the word “bourgeoisie” in Music. Please.

Oh-The Glass Spider had blue eyes almost like-a human’s.

Oh? OH???? What, did he forget to add that part in the song and sing it in the recording studio at the last minute? The spoken part of this song bugs me. It seems like a fairytale mutilated with a butter knife held in a hand that is all thumbs. Okay, enough ranting. I can’t stay mad at Bowie. Even his crap is better than most artists’ best work. In my own fairytale, the Wild-eyed Boy lives and steps on the Glass Spider.

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