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Various Artists - The Man Who Fell To Earth album review

Album Review

‘Lost’ 70s soundtrack to David Bowie’s finest celluloid moment finally lands

It’s still not entirely clear how David Bowie’s proposed soundtrack to The Man Who Fell To Earth, the 1976 sci-fi drama in which he starred as displaced alien Thomas Jerome Newton, never saw light of day. Some suggest it was due to various contractual wrangles, others say that director Nic Roeg was unhappy with its over-reliance on atonal instrumentals (one of which, Subterraneans, fetched up on Bowie’s next solo LP, Low). Whatever the reason, Roeg opted to commission John Phillips to oversee the score, intent on having music that would both clash with and complement the arthouse sensibilities of the film. Hence the inclusion of Louis Armstrong’s Blueberry Hill and Phillips’ own Bluegrass Breakdown, a banjo-fired knees-up that might’ve been more at home on The Beverly Hillbillies.


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