“Up the Hill Backwards”.



“Up the Hill Backwards”
Bowie UpTheHillBackwards.jpg
   Lyrics                          Video
from the album

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

B-side “Crystal Japan”
Released March 1981
Format 7″ single
Recorded The Power Station, New York, February 1980; Good Earth Studios, London, April 1980
Length 3:13
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) David Bowie

Up the Hill Backwards is a song from  Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps). It was also issued as the fourth and final single from the album in March 1981.

The lyric is seen as a commentary on the public coverage of his divorce from Angela, one of several tracks on the album that consider the double-edged sword of celebrity. Like “Scary Monsters”, the track featured Tony Visconti on acoustic guitar.

The B-side was “Crystal Japan”, an instrumental recorded in 1980 for a Japanese commercial for the sake Crystal Jun Rock, which also featured an appearance from Bowie. “Teenage Wildlife” was originally slated as the B-side for “Up the Hill Backwards” until Bowie found out the prices fans were paying for the import single of “Crystal Japan”, and insisted the track receive a UK release.

The uncommercial nature of “Up the Hill Backwards”, saw the single stall at No. 32 in the UK chart. In the US, RCA  released a 12-inch single which was distributed with a set of 36 stamps, designed by David Bowie. The stamps are photographs of Bowie in his Pierrot costume in a variety of poses. These stamps came with early pressings of “Ashes To Ashes” in the UK.    star2