Finally! The Man Who Fell to Earth‘s Soundtrack to be Released 40 Years Later
When David Bowie passed away this past January, the world seemed to stand still. The genre-defying, trailblazing musician, performer, and unclassifiable chameleon seemed to many to be beyond human, which made his passing feel almost surreal and, to some, not possible. Of course Bowie was human (even if he often seemed to be more than that), but in his first and arguably most memorable film role, he played the alien many of us liked to believe he just ma have been.
The Man Who Fell to Earth came out in 1976, directed by Nicholas Roeg and starring Bowie as an alien who has come to earth from a planet that's dying due to water scarcity. Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell to Earth became a cult film classic primarily due to Bowie's performance as Thomas Jerome Newton, aka "Mr. Sussex," and the exquisitely weird imagery provided by Roeg.
Now a beautifully restored version of the film is making its way into theaters, and that's not all; the film's soundtrack, which has no Bowie songs but, rather, a host of great tunes from great musicians and bands, including Louis Armstrong and The Kingston Trio, is going to be released…after a 40 year wait due to a missing master tape that was finally recovered. The film will be re-released in the UK on September 9, and the film’s soundtrack will get its first release since 1976. The film's composers were Stomy Yamashta and the Mamas & the Papas’ John Phillips—the soundtrack is so stacked with songs that it's a two-disc release.
The film restoration will come to American shores eventually. If you've never seen The Man Who Fell to Earth, this is a perfect time to do it, when it's on the big screen after a proper restoration. It's a gorgeous film highlighted by a lovely lead performance by Bowie. And now, with the music coming out, we'll be able to carry a piece of it with us wherever we go.