I woke up to news this morning of a new David Bowie single, the first in 10 years.
I still remember the first time I heard Bowie as a child. Admittedly my introduction to David Bowie was not strictly speaking in the capacity of a musician, but as you might guess in his role as Jareth, the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.
Watching Labyrinth over and over again on VHS, I always thought that if I had the same choice to make as Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) in the film, my little Brother would already be a Goblin. (Don’t worry, I’m not a complete jerk! I know for a fact my Brother would totally love to be a Goblin.)
It wasn’t until I was a little bit older and more interested in music that I came across a Bowie cassette in my Dad’s music collection. My parents were never super interested in music but had some solid mainstays of course such as the Beatles, the Who, Blondie etc.
I’d already sworn my heart to Jareth (as well as Atreyu and Batman – hey a girl’s gotta keep her options open!) so was instantly drawn to the bright, enigmatic cover featuring a profile shot of Bowie against a vibrant orange Mars-esque sky.
Songs from Low had been intended for the soundtrack of Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film, The Man Who Fell To Earth which starred Bowie as Thomas Jerome Newton (literally the Man who fell to Earth). Unused for the score however they became Low, even using a film still from the movie as the cover album art.
I love Low in its entirety, the first side of the album tends to be the more radio friendly bit full of shorter, punchier songs and the second half mostly long instrumental tracks which Brian Eno assists on.
I hadn’t come across Low on vinyl ever in my travels, so when I saw the record up on the wall at Bleecker Street Records when I was last in New York City, it was an easy purchase. I have now crossed one of my “vinyl grails” off my list.
And if you haven’t seen The Man Who Fell To Earth, I highly recommend it. It’s a beautifully dark, surreal film which as Mark Kermode recommends, I did see in cinema, and simply put it was brilliant.