Released: 22 May 1989
David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Reeves Gabrels, Kevin Armstrong: guitar
Tony Sales: bass guitar, vocals
Hunt Sales: drums, vocals
‘Pretty Thing’ was one of the earliest songs written for Tin Machine’s debut album, a rock song about that most .
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)
Although inevitably bringing to mind the 1960s beat group The Pretty Things and Bowie’s own ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’, Tin Machine’s song is one of their less inspired moments, a leaden rock-out with bluntly sexist lyrics. As an example of Tin Machine at their laddish worst, and how Bowie dumbed down his lyrics at the turn of the Nineties, it’s hard to beat.
There’s a couple of lyrics that leap out. Could you explain them? The line in the song Pretty Thing – “Tie you down, pretend you’re Madonna.”
Bowie: (Laughs) Hey, we were hanging out with Sean [Penn] and he told us a few things! You know what I mean? Nah. It’s a throwaway. I was just trying to think of a… it’s such a silly song anyway.
Do you think Madonna will respond?
Bowie: Respond? Oh… who cares? Really?
Tin Machine performed ‘Pretty Thing’ during their two world tours.
— reeves gabrels (@reevesgabrels) September 4, 2020
— reeves gabrels (@reevesgabrels) September 6, 2020