1. Outside album coverWritten by: David Bowie, Brian Eno, Reeves Gabrels
Recorded: May 1994 – February 1995
Producers: David Bowie, Brian Eno, David Richards

Released: 25 September 1995

Available on:
1.Outside
Ouvrez Le Chien (Live Dallas 95)
No Trendy Réchauffé (Live Birmingham 95)
liveandwell.com

Personnel

David Bowie: vocals, keyboards, synthesizer
Brian Eno: keyboards, synthesizer
Reeves Gabrels: guitar
Erdal Kızılçay: bass guitar
Mike Garson: piano
Sterling Campbell: drums

‘The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)’ is the eleventh track on David Bowie’s 1.Outside album.

The song is sung from the perspective of The Minotaur, a mysterious artist responsible for the murder of Baby Grace Blue, whose death is being investigated by detective Nathan Adler.

‘The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)’ originated from a piece of music by guitarist Reeves Gabrels. The final result was co-credited to Gabrels, Bowie, and Brian Eno.

I brought the bones of ‘The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)’ and a couple of other songs. I had written this thing with David called ‘Moon Dust Will Follow You’, which was almost an ambient piece, and that at some point got turned into ‘Hallo Spaceboy’. The truly improvised pieces have six credits on them.
Reeves Gabrels
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)

I love this song! It’s another track on this album with such a great pulse that just flows along.

There’s some great guitar playing here by Reeves Gabrels.

‘Voyeur’ has some lovely piano interludes. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – no other artist gave me as much freedom to be myself, whether on stage or in the studio, as David Bowie.

David had such graciousness. Most singers like to be supported with a band of background pieces. He was very inclusive. I never saw myself as just his pianist despite many calling me “Bowie’s Piano Man.” It always felt like a collaboration with David.

When I did things together with David they always felt like a duet and not me in the background backing him. He knew how vital what I did was to his music as I did in reverse. David never treated his band as lesser citizens.

Mike Garson
Twitter, 5 July 2020

Live performances

David Bowie performed ‘The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)’ throughout the Outside Tour. Performances from October and December 1995 respectively can be heard on the 2020 live albums Ouvrez Le Chien (Live Dallas 95) and No Trendy Réchauffé (Live Birmingham 95).

The song was performed at Bowie’s 50th birthday concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 9 January 1997, and played on a number of the Earthling Tour dates later that year.

A performance from the Metropolitan in Rio de Janeiro on 2 November 1997 was released on the live album liveandwell.com – after the song Bowie can be heard giving the shout-out: “Reeves guitar, on Gabrels!”