“You can't say no to the Beauty and the Beast”
(ANCIANT = A New Career In A New Town)
Ahead of the release of ANCIANT later this month, here’s the next part of our album focus on "Heroes".
As mentioned previously, there were just two singles taken from the "Heroes" album in the UK.
"Heroes"/V-2 Schneider released September 1977 - (Peak UK chart position: #24)
Beauty And The Beast/Sense of Doubt released January 1978 - (Peak UK chart position: #39)
Pretty well everyone with a full set of working ears is familiar with the title track, but those not acquainted with the Bowie back catalogue might not know Beauty And The Beast. As with many Bowie single releases, the track sounded like nothing else on the radio at the time.
As with its predecessor, perhaps the public en masse just wasn’t ready for the latest Bowie sound, with Fripp’s guitar again taking centre stage and that ahead of the curve Bowie/Visconti production...“TOMORROW BELONGS TO THOSE WHO CAN HEAR IT COMING”.
However, the song was certainly strong enough to be the "Heroes" album opener, and though it may have been considered an unusual choice for a single, it was just as viable as any of the other tracks on the album.
Tony Visconti confirms that the line: “Someone fetch a priest”, was originally recorded with a different F-word to fetch. A wise decision to change it perhaps, or it may not have received quite the airplay that it did.
Though there had only been four previous Bowie picture sleeve singles released commercially in the UK (Starman 1972, Life On Mars? 1973, Space Oddity 1975, Suffragette City 1976), Beauty And The Beast was issued in one (basically the album cover), but the single still only just scraped into the Top 40 on the official UK singles chart. Nevertheless, Bowie picture sleeves would become de rigueur from Beauty And The Beast onwards.
An extended version was released as a promo only 12” single in the US and commercially as a 12” single in Spain. Listen to it now on Spotify.
The track can also be found on the official David Bowie: A New Career In A New Town playlist.
FOOTNOTE: Check out our video featuring David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for Beauty And The Beast, here.
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