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The Man Who Fell to Earth: the soundtrack will be released for the film’s fortieth anniversary
The soundtrack to the film that consecrated David Bowie as The Man Who Fell to Earth, which wasn’t officially issued for the film screening, will be released for the film’s fortieth anniversary.
The Man Who Fell to Earth is a sci-fi film directed by Nicolas Roeg. Released in 1976, it stars a very young David Bowie, an alien who suddenly falls to our planet and tries to blend into humans.
The word that has most commonly been attributed to the cult movie is dark. Everything contributed to give it an air of mystery: the fact that it is based on a novel by Walter Tevis, its visual codes and the director’s aesthetics as well as David Bowie’s dazzling and inspired performance as the heavenly alien Thomas Jerome Newton.
The film is soon to be in UK cinemas
The events surrounding the creation of the soundtrack are also dark. The soundtrack to the film has never been officially issued and it is soon to be released when the restored version of the film will be in UK cinemas for its fortieth anniversary.
The music is part of a box set including a book that tells the story of these mysterious events.
The mystery of the soundtrack
Even though the White Duke signed to compose the soundtrack to the film, he isn’t its author. The soundtrack to The Man Who Fell to Earth was written and produced by John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas and by Japanese musician Stomu Yamashta.
As The Guardian has recently reported, David Bowie had managed to complete only five or six bizarre tracks three months after shooting had completed, of which Paul Buckmaster, the arranger who worked on the demos, said:
I think [Roeg] just got these disparate pieces and probably said, ‘What the hell is this?’.
But a doubt persists: what happened to the music written by Bowie? It seems that some parts of the recording sessions for the soundtrack to the film were used in the album Low, even though Bowie stated that:
The reverse bass part of Subeterraneans is the only piece of the track directly taken from the scrapped soundtrack.
Some fans believe that the album entitled The Visitor, which appears in a scene of the film, is the original soundtrack written by Bowie. His keenest fans are even convinced that the album sits somewhere in a vault and hope, sooner or later, to listen to those five or six bizarre tracks that certainly exist but nobody knows where they are.
Featured image: Rip Torn and David Bowie in a scene of the film “The Man Who Fell to Earth” © Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.
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