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Absolute Beginners (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
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- Product Dimensions : 31.29 x 31.19 x 0.99 cm; 589.95 Grams
- Manufacturer : Universal Uk
- Manufacturer reference : 2020-07-17
- Label : Universal Uk
- ASIN : B086PV1ZK5
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: 95,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Double vinyl LP pressing. Digitally remastered and expanded collection of 22 original songs recorded for Julian Temple's 1986 cult classic film Absolute Beginners. The album features three songs by David Bowie that weren't included on any of his studio albums, along with exclusive tracks recorded for the film by Sade, The Style Council, Ray Davies and Jerry Dammers and more. The soundtrack was much more warmly received than the film was at the time, while the reviews for the film were mixed, the album had good write-ups in the best selling 'inkies' of the day NME & Sounds. Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, whose many credits include No. 1 singles for Madness and Dexys Midnight Runners, produced the album and it also features arrangements by Gil Evans, widely recognised as one of the key orchestrators in jazz, acclaimed for his collaborations with Miles Davis. The album features four tracks that are unavailable elsewhere; Sade's 'Killer Blow', Ray Davies first solo single 'Quiet Life', Riot City', an eight-and-a-half minute Jazz instrumental that marked a first solo outing for Jerry Dammers and an extended version of The Style Council single 'Have You Ever Had It Blue?'. All four are unique to this album. The sleeve notes for the album feature new interviews with Julien Temple, Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley, Edward Tudor Pole, Simon Emmerson, Mick Talbot and Nick Lowe.
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The soundtrack is a mixed bag. Essentials include the 'Gil Evans version' of Have You Ever Had it Blue by the Style Council which is absolutely essential and only on the soundtrack. All the Gil Evans contributions are great along with those of Sade, Slim Gaillard and Clive Langer. Bowie's title track is well known and his version of Volare has grown on me.
It's good to have the full version of the soundtrack on 2CDs (CD1 48 mins + CD2 32 mins) but there is a smaller than hoped improvement on the 1 CD Version (71 mins).
The following tracks are added to CD2:
6. Absolute Beginners (Slight Refrain) (0:38) - Gil Evans (Great - but short, not available elsewhere)
8. Landlords And Tenants (2:45) - Laurel Aitken (Good -but available elsewhere)
9. Santa Lucia (3:48) - Ekow Abban (Fantastic, not available elsewhere)
10. Cool Napoli (2:00) - Gil Evans (Great - but short, not available elsewhere)
They are all good and Ekow Abban's African music contribution is fantastic (there is a lost album out there somewhere). However 2 of the additional tracks are under 2 minutes. It's a shame that the residual space on the CDs was not filled with other tracks e.g. by Ekow Abban but hey-ho. I will have to make my own compilation.
The booklet adds interesting anecdotes on each track. It confirms that there was more music on the cutting room floor.
Worth getting for the extras - but only if you really want them.
P.S. The Amazon track listing is wrong at the time of writing as it promises more additional tracks - will report that directly so hopefully that will be corrected.