Contemplate the death of glam rock and any number of mortifying factors can be weighed, from the over-abundance of ultimately faceless teen idols to the under-exposure of the handful of bands who could have respangled the old star-studded sham. But timing also came into it, and if you want to talk about missing the boat, Metro never even found the harbor. Metro was released in early 1977, but it belonged to late 1974. Not to be confused for a moment with the later incarnation of the band that danced through the early '80s, the original Metro comprised vocalists Duncan Browne and Peter Godwin -- Godwin alone carried the flag into the future. Smartly suited on the cover of their only album together, the pair resembles flamboyant gangsters, caught unaware on a brightly lit film set. Step into Metro, however, and the only illumination is the flame of a few guttering candles, and the only laughter comes from a champagne party winding down in the penthouse upstairs. It's an album of velvet-layered secrets and satin-sheeted mysteries, where lovers wear lace and have hearts carved from jade and the string section swells to save your ego the bother. Lavish choirs, murmuring synths...Cockney Rebel and the Doctors of Madness both glanced in a similar direction, but, though a synth pop group later kidnapped the phrase's true meaning, Metro was the original orchestral maneuvers in the dark, with only Bryan Ferry on hand to drive the survivors home. The symphonic "One Way Night," a profession of a love that needs more than a word of explanation, and the agitated drama of "Black Lace Shoulder," regretting a failure to live up to such standards, cloak the album like giant bat wings, vast and comforting, but dark and leathern all the same. And they have no hesitation in scooping you up and away, through the fires that dance on "Flame"'s romantic Seine and into a criminal world of such brutal conflict that even "the girls are like baby-faced boys." Long before David Bowie wrapped calcifying fingers round its alabaster throat and hauled it away to Let's Dance land, "Criminal World" dominated Metro, both musically and thematically, setting a stage for a black sexuality that leaves you feeling somehow soiled, whether you (think you) understand the song or not. Certainly British radio realized something very dark and dingy was happening, as it banned the single version of the song without even asking for an edit. The 45 bombed, the album sank, and, by the end of the year, the original group had gone the same way. The album, however, remains a dirty secret, a secret sin, a sinful pleasure, and glam rock's final gleaming. How unlike it to leave the best till last. ~ Dave Thompson, All Music Guide
"Criminal World" is a song written by Duncan Browne, Peter Godwin and Sean Lyons of the band Metro. They released it on their debut album in 1977.
David Bowie recorded it in 1983 for the album Let's Dance. This version was also released as the B-side of the single "Without You" in November 1983.When first released it was banned from the Radio One playlist for its 'suggestive' lyrical content. It is rumoured that the US military played it through a large PA system as a form of aural encouragement whilst trying to dislodge General Manuel Noriega from his office during their invasion of Panama in 1989.
There is also a cover on The Tenth Stage's self-titled 2006 album.
Browne attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, studying both music theory and drama. He chose to become a musician when in 1967 he met Andrew Loog Oldham, and signed with his Immediate Records label. His debut album Give Me, Take You was issued in 1968.
His choral arrangement was used on the Tim Hardin penned "Hang On to a Dream" on the album Nice, as recorded by The Nice in 1969.
Browne's biggest hit in the UK was the song "Journey", as televised on Top of the Pops in 1972. The song was included on Browne's second album Duncan Browne in 1973.
By the mid 1970s, Browne moved into electric rock mode in collaboration with Peter Godwin, forming the power popband Metro, whose recordings were issued on Sire in the United States. Suddenly, Browne was near the cutting edge of music again, and in addition to his work with Metro he released a couple of solo albums, The Wild Places and Streets of Fire. The song "The Wild Places" was a big hit single in the Netherlands. From the same period, Browne's co-composed song "Criminal World" was recorded by David Bowie on his 1983 Let's Dance album.
In 1984-85, Browne composed and performed the music for the British television series Travelling Man, in collaboration with the programme's producer Sebastian Graham-Jones. The soundtrack was released on vinyl and CD.
Browne died of cancer in 1993, aged 46.
Peter Godwin is a musician who was part of the band, Metro, as well as a solo artist and songwriter.
His work includes "Criminal World" which was covered by David Bowie and 1982's "Images of Heaven" which was a "cult favorite on new wave radio stations" The dance remix of his song "Baby's in the Mountains" was a big dance hit and described as "intricate but direct" with some lyrics that are "hopelessly pretentious".
Godwin's 1983 solo album, Correspondence was issued by Polydor Records.
In 1998, a number of his songs from his time with the band Metro, his early 1980s solo work, and a couple of new songs were released on CD. The title was Images of Heaven: The Best of Peter Godwin, and it was released on Oglio Records.
He wrote lyrics with a "spiritual bent" for Steve Winwood's 2008 album Nine Lives.
1. Criminal World
3. Overture to Flame
5. Mono Messiah
1. Black Lace Shoulder
3. One-Way Night