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Can We Talk About Labyrinth?

What a movie. What a soundtrack. Directed by Jim Hensonand produced by George Lucas, this 1986 cult classic had some phenomenal music. Besides starring in the movie as Jareth the Goblin King, David Bowie wrote and recorded 5 songs for the movie to accompany a rich score composed by Trevor Jones.

While I found the movie a bit slow at some points, it thrilled me overall and this was due, in large part, to David Bowie’s songs. What first got me interested in the movie was, of all things, Pandora Internet Radio. I don’t even remember what station I was listening to but Bowie’s song “Magic Dance”, from Labyrinth, came up and instantly piqued my interest. It’s got a bit of a kid’s movie feel while still having that odd sort of 1980’s dance feel I always find myself enjoying. I soon saw a copy of Labyrinth at Goodwill and had to buy it.

The movie’s cult following popularity shows even today on Facebook when I posted the famous line from “Magic Dance”, “You remind me of the babe”, and people were instantly liking the status and commenting with the next few lines of “ ‘What babe?’ ‘The babe with the power.’ ‘What power?’ ‘The power of voodoo’ ‘Who do?’ ‘You do’ ‘Do what?’ ‘Remind me of the babe!’”.

The talent of David Bowie shines through the fact that the songs he wrote and recorded for Labyrinth all have separate sounds and separate purposes. “Chilly Down” has an almost reggae like approach to the philosophy of “Ain’t got nothin to worry about!” which served to starkly contrast the “dangers untold and hardships unnumbered” that leading lady Sarah was facing in the labyrinth.

Then, during one of the most interesting and mesmerizing hallucination/dream sequences I have ever seen, Bowie’s song “As The World Falls Down” furthers the dreamlike setting while setting up the sudden, deep love that Jareth the Goblin King is now feeling for Sarah at this point in the story. With astounding lyrics like “There's such a fooled heart beatin' so fast in search of new dreams; a love that will last. Within your heart I'll place the moon”, I was just very thoroughly impressed.

Some may say that I’ve fallen for another beautiful cult classic, while others may stand by the terrible criticism Labyrinth first received in 1986, but I couldn’t help but be amazedat the work of the iconic David Bowie. 

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