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The soundtrack to Julien Temple’s 1986 film Absolute Beginnerswhich featured memorable contributions from a number of artists including David BowieRay DaviesThe Style Council and Sade, will be reissued in July and will appear on CD in its entirety for the first time.

David Bowie’s title track (here in its full eight minute version) was an enormous hit in 1986, reaching number two in the UK of March of that year and providing the filmmakers with valuable publicity for what became a rather ill-fated project.

Producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley produced the album, working with not only the pop stars of the day (including Eighth Wonder and Smiley Culture) but also legendary jazz arranger Gil Evans.

The album features a number of tracks unavailable elsewhere. David Bowie contributed three numbers, none of which appeared on any of his studio albums and likewise Sade’s ‘Killer Blow’ can only be found on the soundtrack. The full version of The Style Council’s ‘Have You Ever Had It Blue’ also features and in edited form was a top 20 UK hit.

Beyond these pop tracks, Absolute Beginners includes an eight-minute Jerry Dammers jazz instrumental called ‘Riot City’, ‘Ted Ain’t Dead’ by Tenpole Tudor and plenty of instrumentals from Gil Evans including ‘Absolute Beginners (Refrain)’ which closes the album.

Back in the day, most of side four of the 2LP vinyl never made it to CD, but this 2020 reissue offers Absolute Beginners as a 2CD set and comes with a 24-page booklet which features track-by-track analysis with annotations from a few key players, such as Clive Langer, Mick Talbot etc.

Absolute Beginners will be released on 2CD and 2LP vinyl on 17 July 2020 via UMC/Virgin EMI.



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