Burning The Ground: DjPaulT's 80's and 90's Remixes

80's and 90's 12 Inch Mixes

David Bowie – Absolute Beginners (UK 12″)

Posted by DjPaulT on January 22nd, 2016


A. Front

B. Gatefold

Released 30 years ago today.

“Absolute Beginners” released on January 22, 1986 was the theme song to the film of the same name (itself an adaptation of the book Absolute Beginners), composed and performed by David Bowie.

Bowie was good friends with the film’s director, Julien Temple (who had worked with him in 1984 on the Jazzin’ for Blue Jean short film), and landed both the supporting role of Vendice Partners, and the deal to record the theme song.

The sessions, at Abbey Road Studios, were set up in a novel way, with a group of session musicians all receiving a card to work at the studio with “Mr X”, who turned out to be Bowie. The sessions were completed rapidly, but the song was delayed due to the problems with completing the film. Virgin wanted the release to tie in with the film’s opening. Shortly after the sessions wrapped, Mick Jagger flew in to record “Dancing in the Street”, which used many of the same musicians. The song fused 1950s-style doo-wop with Bowie’s 1980s sound.

The single reached No. 2 in the UK charts, and No. 53 in America. Bowie has since performed it live on his Glass Spider and 2000 tours. This song featured Rick Wakeman on piano, it was the third time those two musicians worked together, after Bowie’s Space Oddity single and the Hunky Dory album.

Absolute Beginners (Full Length Version) 8:00

Absolute Beginners (Dub Mix) 5:38

Vinyl: Near Mint
Sleeve: Near Mint


Year Single Chart Position
1986 Absolute Beginners U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #53
1986 Absolute Beginners U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks #9


Label: Virgin ‎– VSG 838-12, Virgin ‎– VSG. 838-12
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 45 RPM, Single, Gatefold
Country: UK
Released: 28 Jan 1986
Genre: Rock
Style: Pop Rock

Backing Vocals – Janet Armstrong
Baritone Saxophone – Andy Mackintosh*, Don Weller, Gordon Murphy
Bass – Matthew Seligman
Design, Art Direction – Tracy Drew
Drums – Neil Conti
Guitar – Kevin Armstrong
Keyboards – Rick Wakeman, Steve Nieve
Percussion – Luis Jardim
Photography [Back Cover] – Roger Mayne
Photography [© 1986 David Bowie] – Davies And Starr
Producer – Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley*, David Bowie
Saxophone [Solo] – Don Weller
Tenor Saxophone – Gary Barnacle, Paul Weimer*, Willie Garnett
Vocals – David Bowie
Written-By – David Bowie

Comes in a gatefold sleeve.

David Bowie’s title track from the original motion picture musical “ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS”
A Virgin Records 45 RPM Long Playing Record.

Find the 12″ on DISCOGS

D. Pamphlet

C. Back

Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC)
Cartridge: Ortofon 2M
Stylus: Ortofon OM Stylus 30
Platter: Pro-Ject Acryl-It platter
Stabilizer: Pro-Ject Record Puck 
Phono Pre-amp:
Bellari VP130 Tube Phono Preamp
Tung-Sol 12AX7ECC803-S Gold Electron Tube
ESI Juli@
Record Cleaning:
VPI HW 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine
Artwork Scans:
Brother MFC-6490CW Professional Series Scanner

Recording/Editing: Adobe Audition 3.0 (Recording)
Down Sampling: iZotope RX Advanced 2
Artwork Editor: Adobe Photoshop CS5
Click Removal: Manual
FLAC/MP3 Conversion: dBpoweramp
M3U Playlist: Playlist Creator

All vinyl rips are recorded @ 32bit/float
FLAC (Level Eight)
MP3 (320kbps)
Artwork scanned at 600dpi

Username: btg
Password: burningtheground

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23 Responses to “David Bowie – Absolute Beginners (UK 12″)”

  1. Rodolfo Says:

    I can’t stop of marvelling hearing all this wonderful versions. From Bowie’s this is perhaps my favourite song, as I fell his performance is as passionate and natural as it could be.
    Thanks again for sharing.


    DjPaulT Reply:

    You’re welcome Rodolfo. It’s one of my very favorites too 🙂


  2. OMAR Says:

    Another great post. Thanks Paul.


    DjPaulT Reply:

    You’re welcome Omar 🙂


  3. Jeff Says:

    Oh Paul!! Oh how much I applaud what you do as much as I do for these records themselves. All of your posts are beautiful gifts on which I cherish so much. I marvel at all the work and time and effort you put forth daily on these audio gems. I love the enthusiasm and camaraderie of this special community here. While the cyber-community has so many people with bad and negative things to say, Burning The Ground sets a stunning level of good willed and good natured responses to how music lifts the minds, body and spirits of the ones it touches. These posts have been such a solace to those of us who will mourn Mr. Bowie for such a long time. But it’s been such a pleasure to celebrate what makes him so special in the first place. Thank you for preserving and furthering his dance-ography to those of us who know his dance music oeuvre very well and for those who are just discovering the extended, remixed and 12-inch version of a musical hero and icon and terrific human being.

    Have a fantastic weekend Paul. Those of us in New Jersey are bracing for the winter assault in our area. At least the music will keep us warm.

    Hugs to you and yours!!



    DjPaulT Reply:

    A big warm hug to you Jeff. Living in the N.E. I am sure that you are prepaired for the storm. Plenty of candles, blankets, water, food etc. I hear it’s going to be a big one. If you get bored you can alwyas get in touch with me 🙂


  4. Cdman Says:

    What a week Paul!!! 👏👏👏👍👍👍 thanks for all


    DjPaulT Reply:

    You’re most welcome Cdman 🙂


  5. NKelly Says:

    If i’d have got around to commenting on yesterday’s post before this one i was seriously going to predict this 12″ for today. As i was loading the page i thought it again… And there it was! Many thanks.


    DjPaulT Reply:

    You are Physic Neil! Have a great weekend 🙂


    NKelly Reply:

    After the two re-rips it was always going to be this or ‘Day in day out’, i felt. ‘This is not america’ has an idenical tracklisting i think on 7 and 12. Same for ‘Under pressure’. Do you have either of the ‘Time will crawl’ 12s? If not i may consider a purchase from crappy iTunes!


    DjPaulT Reply:

    I actually have all the 12″ singles that you mentioned Neil 🙂


  6. Junior Says:

    Thanks Paul 🙂

    You are truly a star for these David Bowie treats over the last few weeks.


    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thank you junior 🙂


  7. reed Says:

    One of my faves from Mr. Bowie’s 80s catalog. Interesting that Kevin Armstrong contributed the guitar parts – he would go on to lend a helping hand here and there in Bowie’s Tin Machine project.

    And Rick Wakeman, no less! Wonder if he showed up to the sessions wearing a cape.


    DjPaulT Reply:

    Would have been interesting to be there that day 🙂


  8. Stefano Says:

    News alert:
    Following his moving tribute to David Bowie on Simon Mayo’s BBC Radio 2 show (where he played a beautiful rendition of Life On Mars) Rick Wakeman has recorded new versions of both Life On Mars and Space Oddity with proceeds being donated to charity.

    A CD single is being issued which will be available next month. All artist royalties are being donated to Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

    Wakeman of course played piano on Hunky Dory. His tribute CD is released on 12 February 2015.


  9. TSS Says:

    Hello! Great post. Another cool Bowie single. Has anyone else had trouble unzipping the MP3 version? The two FLAC ones worked just fine for me but I keep getting an extraction error on the MP3. No big deal, just curious if this had happened to anyone else. Thanks again for the great post. Best wishes.


  10. Davos Via 45 Says:

    An Absolute BTGrounders celebration days!
    So many years are gone since the last time I heard this song and this versions, but I still knew the lyrics to your song David!
    Absolute marvelous song, Absolute stunning mixes!


  11. miran0019 Says:

    Thanks, Paul, for all of these Bowie remixes and singles. Absolute Beginners is one of my favourite Bowie film tracks, after the extended mix of Cat People. Absolute Beginners (the movie) was a total mess, but Bowie made it worth watching (his scene dancing across the typewriter keys to That’s Motivation is pretty much all I remember of the film). Except there were a lot of scooters. And Patsy Kensit.

    Anyways, I hope you will keep the Bowie tributes coming for a while longer. It’s nice to revisit his 12″ singles from the 80’s because so many of them are difficult to track down now – at least clean copies with great sound like you provide. Thanks very much for making all of us Bowie fans happy. And for doing such a meticulous job.


  12. Jonathan Says:

    A song that is up there with his very best. It’s always struck me as odd that he was always associated with Ziggy and outer space, etc., when some of his best songs – the likes of “Heroes” and this one – were basically love songs.


  13. Syl Says:

    Thank you Paul, Nice track this is my favorite.
    DJPault, I have a request for you.

    Keep the great work.


  14. Jason Says:

    Thank you very much Paul


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