Rediscovered ‘lost’ tapes have been found to allow for reissue of Bowie classic
The soundtrack of David Bowie’s classic film The Man Who Fell To Earth is to be available for the first time since its original release 40 years ago.
First available in 1976, the soundtrack features specially composed music by Japanese prog-rock musician Stomu Yamash’ta and John Philips, who was the main songwriter for ‘60s pop band The Mamas And The Papas.
However, the master tapes were lost, meaning that the soundtrack has been unavailable since its original release. The tapes were recently uncovered, meaning the soundtrack can be reissued for its 40th anniversary to coincide with a new cinema release for the film.
Directed by Nicolas Roeg, the film stars Bowie as Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who crashlands on Earth. It’s generally regarded as one of Bowie’s finest acting performances.
The story of Newton is continued in Lazarus, the musical Bowie wrote with playwright Enda Walsh, which premiered in New York in 2015. Its first UK production runs at London’s Kings Cross Theatre from October 25 to January 22.
The 2CD version features Louis Armstrong’s song ‘Blueberry Hill’ as well as music by The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The Kingston Trio, trumpeter Robert Farnon and John Phillips’ then-wife Genevieve Waite. Despite his appearance in the film, Bowie doesn’t contribute to the soundtrack itself.
A double-vinyl version features Yamash’ta and Phillips’ songs but omits the other music. A box-set features both the vinyl and CD with a reproduction of the original film poster plus a 48-page book featuring an essay by journalist Paolo Hewitt and an interview with the film’s editor, Graeme Clifford.
The CD is out on September 9, the same day the film is reissued in cinemas. The vinyl and box-set are out on October 24, the same day the film is reissued on DVD.
In Clifford’s interview, he reveals that he originally used Pink Floyd’s then-new album ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ as a provisional soundtrack before Phillips and Yamash’ta finished their compositions.