The Quest For The David Bowie Vinyl Track – “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)”

The year was sometime in the late 80’s. Trolling the shelves of the local video tape rental place (remember those) I either stumbled upon or searched out the movie Absolute Beginners. I don’t recall which. Even WITH David Bowie in a bit part I’m not sure I was absolutely sure I wanted to rent it, but I did.

It was not really my typical type of film, but I must say I was entertained. PLUS, the Bowie bits were fantastic. The title track “Absolute Beginners” is great.

and the song and dance routine with “Colin” the main character is terrific. “That’s Motivation”.

but it was the track “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)” that really stuck with me. If I recall in the movie it was just a short clip. I seem to recall Bowie driving away in a car, but I could be wrong on that.

Here is the track.

In those days of VHS I was copying audio from movies. I copied the 3 Bowie songs from the video tape (quality was not great as you might expect) and added them to a tape that I had collected several weird Bowie one-offs that I came across.

That tape, which I believe I have lamented the loss of several times here on this blog was full on Side One and I had started Side Two. Alas, it is gone. The track that I missed the most… “Volare”.

Years ago, when I got back into vinyl and was filling in the missing pieces of my Bowie collection I recalled the tracks from that tape I lost and started my quest to get “Volare” on vinyl.

As the thumbnail of the YouTube video above reveals, yes, there is a 12″ single of “Absolute Beginners”. I was stoked, until I realized that this was just 2 versions of the track “Absolute Beginners”.

This would be a nice addition to my collection, but does not include “That’s Motivation” OR “Volare”. Had to skip it.

I thought to check for the soundtrack. There was one!

HOWEVER… you guessed it. “Volare” was not on this.

I was forced to admit defeat and opted to buy the download of a CD that was an EP of the “Absolute Beginners” single that included “Volare”. It was not the same as not having it on vinyl, but what could I do?

I guess I could have searched just a wee bit harder.


I ordered a copy after saying to myself “Where has THIS been all my life?”

It DOES include “Volare” on Side 3.

From the one of the sleeves, a picture of the dance scene of “That’s Motivation”:

At last! It’s mine!

And beyond all belief, the download code that came with my used copy still worked. I was pleasantly surprised. Now I have all the tracks to listen to digital too.

Wish I could have figured this out long long ago, but at least I now have the 3 songs from my old lost Bowie one-offs tape. I feel a little better.

Further, the Gil Evans tracks are good, and there is Sade (who is always good) and Style Council whom I have recently been digging. It’s a win win. It may have taken an oversight in my search long ago and like 30 years, but it’s here now.

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