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Remember 'Labyrinth'? David Bowie's Score For The Cult Classic Is Back

David Bowie in a scene from the 1986 film Labyrinth.
Courtesy of YouTube

Long out of print since its original 1986 release, David Bowie and Trevor Jones' soundtrack to the Jim Henson film Labyrinth has been remastered for a new 30th anniversary edition of the album (really 31st anniversary). Capitol Records is also releasing a special vinyl version of the album that replicates the original jacket and artwork.

While composer Trevor Jones wrote most of the synth-based score, Bowie wrote and recorded five songs for it: "Underground," "Magic Dance," "Chilly Down, "As The World Falls Down," and "Within You."

"Jim Henson set up a meeting with me while I was doing my 1983 tour in the States," Bowie, who also starred in the film, said in a 1986 Movieline interview. "I'd always wanted to be involved in the music-writing aspect of a movie that would appeal to children of all ages, as well as everyone else, and I must say that Jim gave me a completely free hand with it. The script itself was terribly amusing without being vicious or spiteful or bloody, and it also had a lot more heart than many other special effects movies. So I was pretty well hooked from the beginning."

The song "Magic Dance" includes, at one point, a babbling baby. While Bowie originally tried to use an actual baby in the studio, the recording didn't go as he'd planned. "The baby I used in the recording studios couldn't, or wouldn't, put more than two gurgles together, so I ended up doing the baby-gurgle chorus myself!"

Labyrinththe film received mixed reviews when it was originally released in 1986. The story of a goblin king (Bowie) who kidnaps a baby and gives the baby's 16-year-old sister (Jennifer Connelly) 13 hours to save him has since become a cult classic for people who grew up with Jim Henson's Muppets.

The vinyl edition of Labyrinth is due out May 12.

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Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.
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