VVV: David Bowie “That’s Motivation”

Last week’s Vespa Vednesday VIdeo was David Bowie’s “Absolute Beginners”, the title track from the Julien Temple film. This week’s video also features Bowie, but this time it’s a clip from the film itself:

Artist: David Bowie
Song: “That’s Motivation”
Album: Absolute Beginners film soundtrack (1986)
Scooter(s): Vespa GS
Scooter content: 20 seconds
Jump to the good parts: 3:56 to end

There’s not much to add to last week’s rant about “Absolute Beginners,” the musical. Great book, sort-of-embarassing film. As much as I love Bowie, his performance (or is it his character, Vendice Partners?) is a bit stilted and creepy. His Busby-Berkeley-inspired paean to advertising was probably meant to be the film’s centerpiece, but as far as overblown showtune production pieces go, Ray Davies’ Music-Hall romp “Quiet Life” steals the show and somehow seems to fit the story better. And Edward Tudor-Pole’s “song” isn’t on YouTube, but there’s a Vespa billboard in the background. If all this makes you want to see the film, I’m doing it wrong. OK, fine, it’s a guilty pleasure. But the book is a must!

But hey, back to the point, there’s a scooter in Bowie’s number. And it’s not really so bad as I remembered it. And another VVV is written and posted, on an actual Vednesday. That’s Motivation!

One thought on “VVV: David Bowie “That’s Motivation””

  1. Though I haven’t seen the movie in years, I do remember that last time I watched it (a rare cable showing) I liked it more that I did when it first came out. Lower expectations, I’m sure.

    This particular number is a standout for me… Maybe it’s the Silver Age Batman giant typewriter. I was just starting to get into jazz when this movie came out, so the combination of Gil Evans score and brass arrangements with Bowie really struck a nerve. There were a lot of interesting genre combinations on the soundtrack (Jerry Dammers’ “Riot City,” which I think I used for a sophomore video project). Also, “Have You Ever Had It Blue” remains my fave Style Council song by a long shot.

    Still, at best a silly movie.

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