Tuesday, September 26, 2006

As the World Falls Down

Song: As the World Falls Down
Artist: David Bowie
Album: Labyrinth Soundtrack

I have no issue with revealing that I discovered rock icon David Bowie through the puppet fantasy film "Labyrinth." While the film came over a decade after Mr. Bowie had already established himself as rock royalty and one of the most influential figures in the world of music... it took this film directed by Muppet's creator Jim Henson, for me to have been introduced to this rock legend. What do you expect, my parents were much more "terrapin Station" than they were "Suffragette City," and I was, after all... ten.

But because of "Labyrinth" and its soundtrack I became very aware and immediately into Bowie and bought his latest "rock" albums at the time, "Let's Dance" and "Never Bring Me Down." While this is not by far considered Bowie's high career mark, I must say as a first introduction, he did sound like he was from another planet and the music was something new and exciting to me altogether. Since then I have devoured Bowie classics such as "Ziggy Stardust," "Heroes," and "Diamond Dogs." I also was very fond of his late 90's output including the concept record "Outside" and the amazing Trent Reznor inspired "Earthling." I haven't delved into his more recent records but he remains a challenging and deeply compelling figure in the lexicon of rock & roll.

It is interesting to note that nothing from the "Labyrinth" soundtrack has ever made it onto any greatest hits package or CD he has produced. (Just as Prince's #1 "Batdance" did not make it on his greatest hits, nor Cyndi Lauper's "(Goonies R) Good Enough" on hers.) While the majority of the music is definitely more "kiddy" and goes along with the fantasy elements of the film, there are a few songs that I think are classic Bowie, including "As The World Falls Down" a sweeping goth love song that truly stands up on its own. Listening to this song got me thinking about all the different stages of Bowie's career and just how varied it has been. He really is a true rock and roll visionary.

Despite how much I like this song, this is not the right place to start with Bowie. There are a couple great single and double disc greatest hits collections that give a nice overview of his amazing career, but Bowie is an album artist, and you might be best to start with his undisputed classic, "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars." There are more treasures within the Bowie catalog, with amazing albums stretching across the last four decades. Labyrinth is an interesting footnote to what will go down as on of the most important bodies of work in rock & roll history.


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