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SoundTRAX: David Bowie and "Labyrinth"

 David Bowie poses in character as "Jareth," the king of the goblins for the "Labyrinth" movie poster.
Ted CoConis
EMI/Tri-Star Pictures

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

Alright you little goblins, today we're celebrating the 37th anniversary of the 1986 film, Labyrinth!

Direction and puppetry by the brilliant Jim Henson? A screenplay by Monty Python's Terry Jones? A villain played by David-freaking-Bowie?

Yes, please.

Jennifer Connelly plays 16-year-old Sarah who, annoyed by her baby stepbrother, Toby, impulsively wishes the goblins in the book she's reading would take him away. When Toby disappears, Bowie's character, Jareth the Goblin King, arrives and offers Sarah's dreams in exchange for the baby. When she refuses, Jareth gives Sarah 13 hours to solve his labyrinth and find Toby before he becomes a goblin forever.

Jim Henson wanted an engaging musician to star as Jareth and considered casting Sting, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, and Prince, before ultimately choosing Bowie, who is fabulous in the role. (Although I must admit, the thought of Prince as the Goblin King is an intriguing concept, too!)

Of course in addition to Bowie's appearance in the film, he also provides the soundtrack, along with composer Trevor Jones.

Bowie contributed five original songs, including today's SoundTRAX selection, which Screen Rant perfectly described as not only the movie's best song, but one that "still has the ability to reinvigorate a dying party more than 30 years later."

So in honor of the 37th anniversary of the film, Labyrinth, it's David Bowie with "Magic Dance."

As a bonus, here's a clip of Bowie singing in the movie...

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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