Monday, 20 July 2009
Single of the week...
"..ba ba ba-ooooooh...."
Absolute beginners (dub)
Until the release of the definitive Bowie Singles Collection a few years back, bizarrely, to hear one of the great man's biggest hits you either had to buy this single or (...please and don't tell me any of you were foolish enough to do so..) shell out for the fantabulous (not) Absolute Beginners soundtrack LP. Joking aside, Julien Temple's movie was a lot better than I remembered second time around, if still an unsatisfactory attempt to make sense of a dark episode in London's history (The first wave of riots in Notting Hill). Perhaps an adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel hemmed Temple in a bit too much - or perhaps the idea of combining that narrative with a collection of songs by some of London's finest songwriters in an Expresso Bongo-stylee was just one conceit too many for the much-derided (at the time) project. Regardless, if nothing else, we got this gorgeous, swooning slice of wide-screen romanticism. Bowie's last great populist single and, argubly, one of his best 45s.
On a personal note, I was present at the filming of the fascist rally scene in the movie, in which Bowie makes a fleeting appearance. Unfortunately, there were about three feet of wall separating the office I was working in from the church hall in which the scene was being shot. Had we known at the time what the racket was and that Bowie spent much of the day downing coffees and smoking tabs along the riverside opposite Eel Pie Island, we may even have caught a glimpse of him...Ho hum.
All this and Absolute beginers (dub) too....