Labyrinth (David Bowie album)

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Labyrinth (David Bowie album) coverart.jpg
Soundtrack album by
Released23 June 1986 (1986-06-23)
RecordedJuly–September 1985
LabelEMI AML 3104
David Bowie chronology
Never Let Me Down
Singles from Labyrinth
  1. "Underground"
    Released: 9 June 1986
  2. "Magic Dance"
    Released: January 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

Labyrinth is a soundtrack album by English musician David Bowie and South African composer Trevor Jones, released in 1986 for the film Labyrinth. It was the second of three soundtrack releases in which Bowie had a major role, following Christiane F. and preceding The Buddha of Suburbia. The soundtrack album features Jones' score, which is split into six tracks for the soundtrack: "Into the Labyrinth", "Sarah", "Hallucination", "The Goblin Battle", "Thirteen O'Clock", and "Home at Last".


Director Jim Henson approached Bowie to take part in the film in 1983 during Bowie's Serious Moonlight Tour, when he showed Bowie early designs for the movie and a tape of The Dark Crystal. Bowie had wanted to make music for a children's film and saw this as his chance.[2] Bowie recorded five songs for the film: "Underground", "Magic Dance", "Chilly Down", "As The World Falls Down", and "Within You". The film's theme song, "Underground", features on the soundtrack twice, first in an edited version that was played over the film's opening sequence and secondly in full. "Underground" was released in various territories as a single, and in certain markets was also released in an instrumental version and an extended dance mix.[3] "Magic Dance" was released as a 12" single in the U.S.[4] "As The World Falls Down" was initially slated for release as a follow-up single to "Underground" at Christmas in 1986, but this plan did not materialize.[5] The only song Bowie did not perform lead vocal on is "Chilly Down", which was performed by Charles Augins, Richard Bodkin, Kevin Clash, and Danny John-Jules, the actors who voiced the 'Fire Gang' creatures in the film.[6]


The soundtrack was advertised in music trade papers such as Billboard.[7] Steve Barron produced promotional music videos for "Underground" and "As The World Falls Down".[8] The music video for "Underground" features Bowie as a nightclub singer who stumbles upon the world of the Labyrinth, encountering many of the creatures seen in the film. The clip for "As the World Falls Down" integrates clips from the film, using them alongside black-and-white shots of Bowie performing the song in an elegant room.

Though Bowie was not heavily involved in promoting Labyrinth, Jim Henson was nonetheless grateful that he had made the promotional music videos, saying, "I think it's the best thing he could have done for the film."[9] Barron's videos for "As The World Falls Down" and "Underground" so impressed Henson that he recruited Barron to direct his television series The Storyteller.[10]


The Labyrinth soundtrack has been included on lists of the top 50 movie soundtracks by Paste magazine[11] and Gigwise.[12]

According to Bowie biographer David Buckley in 2015, the Labyrinth soundtrack was Bowie's third-best selling iTunes album in the United Kingdom.[13]

Track listing

Side one
1."Opening Titles Including Underground"music by Trevor Jones; lyrics by Bowie3:21
2."Into the Labyrinth"Jones2:12
3."Magic Dance"Bowie5:13[a]
5."Chilly Down"Bowie3:44
Side two
1."As The World Falls Down"Bowie4:51
2."The Goblin Battle"Jones3:31
3."Within You"Bowie3:30
4."Thirteen O'Clock"Jones3:06
5."Home at Last"Jones1:49
Total length:43:33


Adapted from Discogs.[15][16]


Chart (1986) Peak
Dutch Albums Chart[17] 39
German Albums Chart[17] 29
New Zealand Albums Chart[17] 15
UK Albums Chart[18] 38
US Billboard 200[19] 68


  1. ^ On the 2017 vinyl reissue, "Magic Dance" has been edited down to 4:13[14]


  1. ^ Labyrinth at AllMusic
  2. ^ Owen, Williams (17 May 2016). "Labyrinth: The behind-the-scenes history". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  3. ^ McDonald, Steve. "Labyrinth (1986)". Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  4. ^ Pegg (2011), p. 158
  5. ^ Pegg (2011), p. 28
  6. ^ "Labyrinth Liner Notes". Labyrinth (Liner Notes). David Bowie. EMI. 1986.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ McGowan, Chris (21 June 1986). "Soundtrack Fastlane Already Facing Congestion As Labels Strengthen Crossover Links In Marketing Chain". Billboard. 99 (25). Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  8. ^ Pegg (2016), pp. 27, 294
  9. ^ "Untitled Article". Sunday Star News. 26 June 1986. Accessed 4 February 2012.
  10. ^ Pegg (2016), p. 294
  11. ^ Saunders, Hillary (11 April 2016). "The 50 Best Movie Soundtracks". Paste. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  12. ^ Gregory, Jason (2 April 2010). "The Top-50 Movie Soundtracks of All Time". Gigwise. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  13. ^ Buckley (2015), p. 70
  14. ^ "David Bowie, Trevor Jones – Labyrinth (From The Original Soundtrack Of The Jim Henson Film)". Discogs. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Labyrinth (From the Original Soundtrack of the Jim Henson Film) – Credits". Discogs. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  16. ^ Pegg (2011), p. 426
  17. ^ a b c "Soundtrack / David Bowie / Trevor Jones – Labyrinth" (in Dutch). Hung Medien Charts Portal. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Labyrinth (OST)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Labyrinth (1986) – Awards". Billboard 200. Allmusic. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  • Buckley, David (2015). David Bowie: The Music and The Changes. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-78323-617-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Pegg, Nicholas (2011). The Complete David Bowie (6th ed.). London: Titan Books. ISBN 9780857682901.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Pegg, Nicholas (2016). The Complete David Bowie (7th ed.). London, United Kingdom: Titan Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-78565-365-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

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