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BowieTalk
   >> Interpretation
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PhillyDog1123
(mortal with potential)
04/03/03 10:59 AM
Glass Spider (The Song)  

I have not seen the supposedly overblown tour, so I can't draw info from that, though I know that this song was the intro to the shows.

When I bought Never Let Me Down, I thought "Oh look, a track with the name of the album's tour. How convenient." I listened to the song and was shocked to hear that the first minute and a half were actually spoken dialogue by Bowie, detailing a mystical story about a glass spider and its babies. Then the song kicked off into a really cool (IMHO) song sung from the POV of the baby spiders whom their mother has left behind to grow up on their own.

This song was surprisingly original, and very unlike a lot of the material on the album (I still love the album though, and I think it's a lot more diverse than Bowie's previous 2 albums in the 80s). The song reminded me of Future Legend/Diamond Dogs from the DD album, only instead of splitting up into two songs, it was one 5-minute track.

I think this song is quite interesting, and I would like to know what others think about it, and possibly try to figure out what it may be alluding to, or be metaphorical of. :)

From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
- Sir Winston Churchill

T.J. Newton
(cracked actor)
04/03/03 12:46 PM
Re: Glass Spider (The Song) new [re: PhillyDog1123]  

Glass Spider is without any doubts the greatest song on Never Let Me Down and one of the best tracks Bowie did in the 80's. I really adore it, even though I know it is usually disrespected by other Bowie fans. As well as the whole album, which is not really surprising

It's too late - to be grateful
It's too late - to be late again
It's too late - to be hateful
The european cannon is here


poorsoul
(electric tomato)
04/04/03 00:52 AM
Join The NLMD Appreciation Society new [re: T.J. Newton]  

I, too, was rather surprised by the quality of a number of songs from this album. Although it does have its fair share of dead weight (perhaps more so than other albums), I consider about half of the songs to be quite good (the first half, minus Never Let Me Down and plus Glass Spider). As such, I think it's a much better album than either Tonight or Let's Dance which are almost entirely commercial trash.

Well I wouldn't buy no merchandise
And I wouldn't go to war


Blooby
(wild eyed peoploid)
04/04/03 01:14 AM
Re: Glass Spider (The Song) new [re: PhillyDog1123]  

You're right, Glass Spider is the best track on the whole album. I especially like the intro because DB has a very sexy speaking voice!
I, too, was surprised when I bought the album because I didn't expect anything really interesting (just wanted to complete my collection) but NLMD is far better than Tonight. The tour, though, was not very great...



PhillyDog1123
(mortal with potential)
04/04/03 10:02 AM
Re: Glass Spider (The Song) new [re: Blooby]  

Yeah, he does have a really great speaking voice. I think I'll have to track down his narration of Peter and the Wolf now :)

I agree completely with Poorsoul. NLMD seems like Bowie put more effort into it than he did with Tonight, which was mostly just cover songs. I read on launch.com that NLMD was a psychedelic album, and Bowie himself referred to it as a drug album (though jokingly, I think. He was either almost completely cocaine free, or had gotten over his addiction by then). It gets kinda boring towards the last 3 or so tracks, but it's still rather good for the first half. I wonder why so many fans hate this album? The guy on Stardust completely tour this album to pieces. I think that perhaps it was the time period it came from, the end of Bowie's commercial and somewhat less sophisticated song writing stint? Who knows. The album is definately better than a lot of people made it out. If I had known what it was like, I wouldn't have bought it last in my Bowie collection ;p

From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
- Sir Winston Churchill

PhillyDog1123
(mortal with potential)
04/04/03 02:27 PM
Re: Glass Spider (The Song) new [re: PhillyDog1123]  

I found something interesting about some of the lines in the song:

Run, run, we've been moving all night, rivers to the left.
If your mother don't love you then the riverbed might
Gone, gone, the water's all gone
Mummy come back 'cause the water's all gone

I'm guessing it's saying since the spiders can't deal with the absence of love from a mother, they would kill themselves by drowning in the river. However, there's no water to drown in since the river is dried up, so they must endure the pain of loneliness.

Is this referring to Bowie's own mother? I remember reading how she was very proud of his fame, but didn't like how he never visited her, and was hard on him about that. Perhaps it could be dealing with guilty feelings he had about that? She felt like he left her, but he still cared for her but was too busy to come visit her (or was afraid to after his brother's death, since he wasn't there for his brother's funeral).

Interesting how he would relate the story to spiders, since his band during the Ziggy era was the Spiders from Mars...

BTW, I got the info on his family from a book titled "Alias David Bowie".

From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
- Sir Winston Churchill

RabbitFighter
(crash course raver)
04/04/03 02:39 PM
Re: Glass Spider (The Song) new [re: PhillyDog1123]  

In reply to:

"Alias David Bowie"


I love that book! Trashiest Bowie biography around...

Salamanda Palaganga oh palamino blue, Salamanda Palaganda June´s buffalo too, in the Parisian zoo


poorsoul
(electric tomato)
04/05/03 01:02 AM
Re: Glass Spider (The Song) new [re: PhillyDog1123]  

In reply to:

I read on launch.com that NLMD was a psychedelic album and Bowie himself referred to it as a drug album (though jokingly, I think. He was either almost completely cocaine free or had gotten over his addiction by then).



Well, Pink Floyd was once referred to as writing "dance music", so that just goes to show what some people know. If you're going to listen to music while taking drugs you'd choose something a bit more interesting than NLMD. To me, it's pretty much a standard rock album but, as stated above, with quite a few good songs on it. It's just the tail end where it gradually fades into mediocrity.

As for Bowie being on drugs at the time, I thought that Scary Monsters was his first "clean" album, in that he'd given up the drugs by then (hence Ashes To Ashes), although to be safe you might want to say Let's Dance.

In reply to:

I wonder why so many fans hate this album?



Well, coming between Tonight and Tin Machine, what chance does it have of being fairly treated? I actually think it was the high point of his commercially-oriented period.

Well I wouldn't buy no merchandise
And I wouldn't go to war


pianocraft
(electric tomato)
04/05/03 10:40 AM
Re: Glass Spider (The Song) new [re: PhillyDog1123]  

The song "Glass Spider" and its companion piece, "Day-In Day-Out" is about a crack mother and her babies.

"Glass Spider" is a euphemism for a crack addict. Many of the songs on this album deal directly with the crack epidemic.

Ironically, "Glass Spider" deals as much with her babies as the mother herself.

The song "Glass Spider" is about what it's like to be born of a crack addicted mother. Your temperament is "savage and afraid"; you are furious, angry, always on the move and paranoid.

The only antidote for this inherited condition is exercise: "run, run, stay low to the ground, spitting out the dawn.





littlechinagirl
(mortal with potential)
06/25/03 09:49 AM
Re: Glass Spider (The Song) new [re: pianocraft]  

I actually think its one its one of his best songs ever. Sure, the spoken intro suffered a lot of derision, but it wouldn't build up anywhere near as well without it.

His voice sounds fabulous too. :)




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