“Absolute Beginners”.


“Absolute Beginners”
Bowie AbsoluteBeginners.jpg
   Lyrics                       Video
from the album:

Absolute Beginners: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

B-side Absolute Beginners (Dub Mix)
Released 3 March 1986
Format 7″/12″ single, 3″/5″ CD single, Digital download , Cassette single
  • Abbey Road Studios, London, June 1985
  • Westside Studios, London, August 1985
Length 8:03 (full-length album version)
5:36 (single version)
Label Virgin
Writer(s) David Bowie
  • David Bowie
  • Alan Winstanley
  • Clive Langer

Absolute Beginners is a song written and recorded by David Bowie. It was the theme song to the 1986 film of the same name (itself an adaptation of the book Absolute Beginners).

Although the film was not a commercial success, the song became one of Bowie’s most successful 1980s singles. It was released on 3 March 1986 and reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. It also became a top ten single on the main charts in eight other countries, his last song to accomplish that. It was less successful in the US, peaking at No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100. Bowie performed it live on his Glass Spider and 2000 tours.

Bowie was good friends with the film’s director, Julien Temple (who had worked with him in 1984 on the Jazzin’ for Blue Jean short film). Bowie agreed to Temple’s request to write music for the film if he could also play the part of Vendice Partners.

The sessions at Abbey Road Studios, London, were set up in a novel way, with a group of session musicians all receiving a card to work at the studio with “Mr X”, who turned out to be Bowie. The sessions were completed rapidly, but the song was delayed due to the problems with completing the film. Virgin wanted the release to tie in with the film’s opening. The song featured Rick Wakeman on piano, who had previously performed on Bowie’s “Space Oddity” single and Hunky Dory album. Shortly after the sessions wrapped, Mick Jagger flew in to record the charity cover of “Dancing in the Street” with Bowie, which used many of the same musicians. Bowie recorded the lead vocal  at Westside Studios in August

AllMusic described the song as “the gem of his post-Let’s Dance ’80s output, a big, breathtaking ballad…”     star2