Friday, May 15, 2020

Reissue of "Absolute Beginners" Soundtrack (Tracks by Jerry Dammers, Laurel Aitken, Smiley Culture)

The cover illustration features a trumpet player; a 1950s teenage couple dancing; and a club singer (Sade) performing--while the background portrays a street riot..
The soundtrack for "Absolute Beginners"--Julien Temple's 1986 film adaptation of Colin MacInnes' cult novel about teenagers and mod culture in late '50s London--is being reissued on July 17, 2020. What's particularly noteworthy for ska/reggae fans is that this soundtrack featured the first post-Special AKA recording by Jerry Dammers (the epic, jazzy "Riot City"), in addition to songs by Laurel Aitken ("Landlords and Tenants", which utilizes The Ethiopians' "Everything Crash" riddim) and Smiley Culture ("So What?").

The CD version of "Absolute Beginners" will include all 22 songs from the soundtrack (the 1986, 1991, and 2010 editions were truncated) and the gatefold, double LP of the album will be available once again (previously, only certain runs of the 1986 LP were issued in this format).

While the film itself received mixed reviews, the soundtrack is excellent.

The track listing is below:

‘Absolute Beginners’ – David Bowie
‘Killer Blow’ – Sade
‘Have You Ever Had It Blue?’ – The Style Council
‘Quiet Life’ – Ray Davies
‘Va Va Voom’ – Gil Evans
‘That’s Motivation’ – David Bowie
‘Having It All’ – Eighth Wonder ft Patsy Kensit
‘Rodrigo Bay’ – Working Week
‘Selling Out’ – Slim Gaillard
‘Riot City’ – Jerry Dammers
‘Boogie Stop Shuffle (Rough And The Smooth)’ – Gil Evans
‘Ted Ain’t Dead’ – Tenpole Tudor
‘Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)’ – David Bowie
‘Napoli’ – Clive Langer
‘Little Cat (You Never Had It So Good)’ – Jonas (24)
‘Absolute Beginners (Slight Refrain)’ – Gil Evans
‘Better Git It In Your Soul (The Hot And The Cool)’ – Gil Evans
‘Landlords And Tenants’ – Laurel Aitken
‘Santa Lucia’ – Ekow Abban
‘Cool Napoli’ – Gil Evans
‘So What? (Lyric Version)’ – Smiley Culture
‘Absolute Beginners (Refrain)’ – Gil Evans

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