Man Who Fell To Earth Restoration Coming to Blu-Ray, Soundtrack Also Premieres

David Bowie solidified his myth with this Nicholas Roeg classic, now see and hear what you missed.

“My father used to say,” Buck Henry says about David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth, “Oliver, when you get a gift horse, walk up to it, pat it, quiet the animal down and then using both hands force open its jaws and have a damn good look in its mouth.” Well, he wasn’t wrong. The Man Who Fell to Earth: Limited Collector’s Edition will give viewers a better look at the classic science fiction film. The film was restored by Deluxe London based on a 4K scan of the original camera negative. So, we can all get a damn good look. We can also get a better listen as the original soundtrack for the cult classic will be released for the very first time after 40 years.

In celebration of the film’s 40th anniversary, Lionsgate will bring Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 science fiction classic, back to Blu Ray on January 24.

“Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet,” reads the official synopsis.

Using the advanced technology of his home planet to patent many inventions on Earth, Newton, aided by leading patent attorney Oliver Farnsworth (Buck Henry, The Graduate, Get Smart), acquires incredible wealth as the head of a technology-based conglomerate that he intends to use to finance the construction of a space vehicle to ship water back to his planet. Newton embarks on a relationship with hotel maid Mary-Lou (Candy Clark, American Graffiti, Zodiac) and makes progress with the construction of his vehicle but soon finds his true identity at risk via his roguish colleague and confidant Dr. Nathan Bryce (Rip Torn, Men in Black, Marie Antoinette) who threatens not only his relationship with Mary-Lou, but his freedom and chances of making it home to the family he yearns for.”

The Man Who Fell to Earth, based on the cult novel by Walter Tevis, featured the original Starman, David Bowie (The Prestige, Labyrinth), in his debut feature role. Bowie had starred in an independent film in the 60s, you can read more about that here and here. The film also starred Bernie Casey.

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David Bowie was originally supposed to write the soundtrack for the film but up until now it has never been available as a body of work. Universal Music releasing the original movie soundtrack, featuring original pieces by Stomu Yamash’ta and John Phillips, who composed music specifically for the film.

The full 25-track soundtrack is available now digitally and on CD. On December 16, a 19-track vinyl edition of the soundtrack featuring just Yamash’ta and Phillips’ score will be released as a double LP.

The Man Who Fell To Earth was David Bowie’s first starring film role and it reached cult status due to the late artist’s outstanding performance as Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who finds himself stranded on Earth while searching for water for his drought-stricken home planet,” reads the official statement. “Long after he portrayed him, Bowie continued to be drawn to the character; his acclaimed play, Lazarus, continues the story of T.J. Newton.  

Very little is known about why the soundtrack was never originally released. The album apparently disappeared and the master tapes were lost.

Paolo Hewitt’s liner notes reveal that Bowie was record the soundtrack music as his next album, the follow-up to 1975’s Young Americans, once shooting was completed. But instead he started working on another project and after three months had only completed a handful of demos for the film with the help of British arranger Paul Buckmaster. Although they had composed the music to a videotape of the film, none of it was synched to the picture and it was nearly unusable.  

Roeg rejected the music and decided to go another direction. Bowie released his record Station to Station the same year as the film. Roeg enlisted his friend John Phillips of The Mama’s & The Papa’s to take over and create the twangy music he envisioned. When Bowie made the album Low in 1977, he sent Roeg a copy with a note that simply read, “This is what I had in mind for the film.”

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“He did not want music that illustrated the picture (an ethos Bowie might have started off with as he began composing) but rather music that ‘clashed,” therefore deepening the viewer’s unease,” Hewitt writes in the liner notes.

Phillips recorded the soundtrack in London with the help of former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, famed pedal steel session player BJ Cole and jazz percussionist Frank Ricotti. Interspersed throughout the soundtrack are several atmospheric and otherworldly compositions from Japanese percussionist-composer Stomu Yamash’ta including “Poker Dice,” “Wind Words” and “Memory Of Hiroshima.” Songs from Louis Armstrong and The Kingston Trio round out the soundtrack.

Due to lost tapes recently being uncovered it is now possible to finally present the original recordings the way they were supposed to be heard, an incredible 40 years later.

The Man Who Fell To Earth Double CD

Track List:

CD 1

1. Poker Dice – Stomu Yamashta

2. Blueberry Hill – Louis Armstrong

3. Jazz II – John Phillips

4. Venus: The Bringer Of Peace – Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

5. Boys From The South – John Phillips

6. 33 1/3 – Stomu Yamashta

7. Rhumba Boogie – John Phillips

8. Try To Remember – The Kingston Trio

9. Mandala – Stomu Yamashta

10. America – John Phillips

11. Wind Words – Stomu Yamashta

12. Jazz – John Phillips

CD 2

1. One Way – Stomu Yamashta

2. Space Capsule – John Phillips

3. Bluegrass Breakdown – John Phillips

4. Desert Shack – John Phillips

5. Memory Of Hiroshima – Stomu Yamashta

6. Window – John Phillips

7. Alberto – John Phillips

8. Mars: The Bringer Of War (Excerpt) – Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

9. Liar, Liar – John Phillips

10. Hello Mary Lou – John Phillips

11. Silent Night – Robert Farnon

12. Love Is Coming Back – Genevieve Waite

13. The Man Who Fell To Earth (Demo) – John Phillips

The Man Who Fell To Earth Double Vinyl LP Track Listing

LP1

A1. Poker Dice – Stomu Yamashta

A2. Jazz II – John Phillips

A3. Boys From The South – John Phillips

A4. 33 1/3 – Stomu Yamashta

B1. Rhumba Boogie – John Phillips

B2. Mandala – Stomu Yamashta

B3. America – John Phillips

B4. Wind Words – Stomu Yamashta

B5. Jazz – John Phillips

LP2

C1. One Way – Stomu Yamashta

C2. Space Capsule – John Phillips

C3. Bluegrass Breakdown – John Phillips

C4. Desert Shack – John Phillips

C5. Memory Of Hiroshima – Stomu Yamashta

D1. Window – John Phillips

D2. Alberto – John Phillips

D3. Liar, Liar – John Phillips

D4. Hello Mary Lou – John Phillips

D5. The Man Who Fell To Earth – John Phillips

The Man Who Fell To Earth Deluxe 2 LP/2 CD Box Set Track List:

LP1

A1. Poker Dice – Stomu Yamashta

A2. Jazz II – John Phillips

A3. Boys From The South – John Phillips

A4. 33 1/3 – Stomu Yamashta

B1. Rhumba Boogie – John Phillips

B2. Mandala – Stomu Yamashta

B3. America – John Phillips

B4. Wind Words – Stomu Yamashta

B5. Jazz – John Phillips

LP2

C1. One Way – Stomu Yamashta

C2. Space Capsule – John Phillips

C3. Bluegrass Breakdown – John Phillips

C4. Desert Shack – John Phillips

C5. Memory Of Hiroshima – Stomu Yamashta

D1. Window – John Phillips

D2. Alberto – John Phillips

D3. Liar, Liar – John Phillips

D4. Hello Mary Lou – John Phillips

D5. The Man Who Fell To Earth – John Phillips

CD1

1. Poker Dice – Stomu Yamashta

2. Blueberry Hill – Louis Armstrong

3. Jazz II – John Phillips

4. Venus: The Bringer Of Peace – Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

5. Boys From The South – John Phillips

6. 33 1/3 – Stomu Yamashta

7. Rhumba Boogie – John Phillips

8. Try To Remember – The Kingston Trio

9. Mandala – Stomu Yamashta

10. America – John Phillips

11. Wind Words – Stomu Yamashta

12. Jazz – John Phillips

CD2

1. One Way – Stomu Yamashta

2. Space Capsule – John Phillips

3. Bluegrass Breakdown – John Phillips

4. Desert Shack – John Phillips

5. Memory Of Hiroshima – Stomu Yamashta

6. Window – John Phillips

7. Alberto – John Phillips

8. Mars: The Bringer Of War – Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

9. Liar, Liar – John Phillips

10. Hello Mary Lou – John Phillips

11. Silent Night – Robert Farnon

12. Love Is Coming Back – Genevieve Waite

13. The Man Who Fell To Earth – John Phillips

The Man Who Fell To Earth Blu-Ray hits January 24. The vinyl soundtrack drops on December 16.