SDE investigates… The Man Who Fell to Earth deluxe edition box sets


Clearing up the box set confusion

If you subscribe to free, weekly SDE Newsletter, you may have read last week in my exclusive editorial about the slightly messy situation around the reissue of the soundtrack to Nicholas Roeg’s 1976 film, The Man Who Fell To Earth, which, of course, stars David Bowie.

The ‘problem’, in essence, is that Universal Music are issuing a rather pricey audio box that doesn’t include the movie, but does include the first ever issue of the soundtrack (on 2LP and 2CD), while StudioCanal are issuing a much cheaper box which does include a new 4K restoration of the film (with plenty of extras – some new) and which may, or may not – read on! – include the two-CD version of the soundtrack…

At first, it seemed that the four disc box would comprise a blu-ray, two DVDs and a CD, but when a few days later Universal announced the two-CD soundtrack (and box set) that didn’t appear to make sense and with no clarification forthcoming from StudioCanal it was assumed by the four-disc box would surely contain a blu-ray, a DVD and both CDs. Well it turns out that this is assumption was actually incorrect.

SDE has finally had confirmation from StudioCanal’s publicity team that there is only one audio CD in the box and the reason it has been described as ‘exclusive’ is as follows:

  • • It ONLY contains the John Philips music from the film (recorded in London in 1976), omitting all the pieces by pieces by Stomu Yamashta
  • • Two selections on this CD are UNIQUE and are tracks/versions of tracks not on the main soundtrack. They are track 12, Hello Mary Lou (which has vocals), and track 14, Bryce, which isn’t included on the main soundtrack at all.

Although collectors may groan at what could be construed as a rather cynical inclusion of some exclusive audio, if anything it makes this £20 box set even better value than it already was. And with the official two-CD soundtrack less than a tenner on Amazon at present, an outlay of £30 will get you ‘everything’ in terms of audio.

For complete clarity, here is the content of the four discs in the StudioCanal limited collector’s edition box set:

Disc 1 > Blu-ray (region B locked)

  • • Feature & extras (as per DVD 2)

Disc 2 > DVD 1 (region 2 locked)

  • Feature only

Disc 3 > DVD 2 (region 2 locked)


  • • New interview with costume designer May Routh featuring original costume sketches
  • • New interview with stills photographer David James featuring behind the scenes stills
  • • New interview with fan Sam Taylor-Johnson
  • • New interview with producer Michael Deeley
  • • New “The Lost Soundtracks” featurette, featuring interviews with Paul Buckmaster and author Chris Campion
  • • Interview with Candy Clark
  • • Interview with writer Paul Mayersberg
  • • Interview with cinematographer Tony Richmond
  • • Interview with Nic Roeg
  • • Extract from David Bowie
  • • Trailer
  • • Watching the Alien featurette

Disc 4 > CD

  • • John Philips’ soundtrack music with exclusives (see track listing below).

Physical items in the box

  • • Illustrated Booklet with writings on the film
  • • 4 exclusive artcards
  • • Original press book for the film
  • • A4 poster of new theatrical quad for the 4K restoration of the film

So there you have it. Art Haus in Germany will be issuing this same box for that region. No news yet for US/Canada. Links will be updated as and when. The blu-ray box is out on 24 October, the soundtrack box is 18 November and the two-CD version is 9 September 2016.

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David Bowie



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Various Artists

The Man Who Fell to Earth - 2CD+2LP deluxe box set with hardcover book


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Various Artists

The Man Who Fell to Earth - 2CD



Exclusive John Phillips CD included in the blu-ray box.

1 Jazz II (02:48)
2 Boys From The South (01:45)
3 Rhumba Boogie (02:01)
4 America (01:00)
5 Jazz (00:59)
6 Space Capsule (01:49)
7 Bluegrass Breakdown (01:38)
8 Desert Shack (02:02)
9 Window (01:45)
10 Alberto (01:38)
11 Liar, Liar (03:04)
12 Hello Mary Lou 02:25*
13 The Man Who Fell To Earth 02:42
14 Bryce*

*unique versions/tracks not on the soon-to-be-issued soundtrack

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R.I.P. Paul Buckmaster.

[…] The Human League were fantastic, with loads of costume changes. Phil Oakey is in great shape (and voice) and came on looking a bit like Morpheus from The Matrix and at the end resembled Thomas Jerome Newton from The Man Who Fell to Earth. […]


About the picture quality, I did see someone compare frames from the older Criterion version with what properly was the trailer from youtube. Off course then you can not compare resolution, but the change in colour was drastic, it had much more contrast and the colours were brighter / more saturated, it looked lees seventies, less Roeg. I think the Criterion is much truer to the colours as I recall them from how the were in the cinema or on previous releases. I guess that even if they get it right they have to change it so they can say it is new and improved.

Michael Borhi

Also to add, I’m hearing discrepancies in some of the tracks on the 2 CD/vinyl set.
They do not sound like the versions used in the film.

There are a few online sites offering brief samples of this upcoming release, so I got to hear them recently.

On CD 2 – samples for tracks 06 & 07, ‘Window’ & ‘Alberto’ respectively, are not the same renditions as heard in the film.

Considering that some of these cues, specifically ‘Window'(the cue that plays over Farnsworth’s death)’, have been sought after for a number of years – it would be very disappointing to find out that they used outtakes or alternate versions for this upcoming CD/vinyl edition . To most people it won’t make a difference, but to those like myself who have been waiting for an official soundtrack release for some time now, this will be somewhat frustrating. Based on the samples, tracks 06 & 07 sound ‘similar’ to what’s in the film, but their impact is somewhat weaker to my ears, due to the difference in musical arrangements.

They are claiming that all of the original music as heard in the film is included in this release.

Based on the samples though, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Let’s wait & see until we hear the tracks in full, but I don’t have a good feeling about this.

It’s strange how different versions of the cues in a film score make it to the official soundtrack release, while the actual versions as heard in the film remain mysteriously absent. I’ve seen this happen on a few occasions with other scores released on CD or vinyl, where a re-recording or an alternate version of a cue is used instead of the actual film music.

Drives me nuts, as it always seems to happen with the cues I’m most looking forward to having!

Michael Borhi

Hello Paul,

Thank you for including the track listing as well as track length on the bonus cd.
The Phillips cues seem to be quite short in general.

Would you happen to have similar information for the 2 CD set?

Cheers, Michael


I’m lost Paul; I ordered the bluray because I love the film, but I also ordered the 2 disc soundtrack set; are saying the Yamashta is not on the 2 disc soundtrack? That’s why I ordered it in the first place. It would have been nice to have a collection of his works as they are used in the film….sort of like a best of.


Bought an older Studio Canal blu ray for £6 brand new already. Looks and sounds good. These ridiculous releases can take a running jump.


I love your website and recommend to friends. Love the arguments . We all know we are being fleeced . You help it being so expensive . Bravo.


Also is the music any good actually? It obviously has no Bowie input i am assuming?


£100/£150 for a book with nothing new, unless you are loaded…..


Paul you haven’t updated info ref the deluxe book that was discussed last week.
I believe the site went live this morning. Iam interested in this and the cd is it worth the money?

Steven C

As a massive fan, Am I missing out too much if I keep my collectible “Criterion Collection” version and just buy the vinyl?

Mark A

In the “extras” department, it’s nice to have a bunch of new interviews, but where is the audio commentary by Nicolas Roeg, Bowie, and Buck Henry that is part of the out-of-print Criterion 2-disc edition from a few years ago? It’s a great commentary and it’s hard to imagine a better extra.


“It’s a great commentary and it’s hard to imagine a better extra”

They’re saving it for the Ultimate Super Deluxe 50th Anniversary edition ;-)


I apologised upthread about this going off topic as my first post was related to the Bowie set and it related to my issue with the Pink Floyd box which was commented upon by others, hence my reply on the same topic.

Over and out.


I pay for a monthly streaming service and keep 98% of the music I buy. Sets where my preferred format of CD is held to ransom alongside vinyl and pointless memorabilia I either copy and send back or sell. Done that twice in the last year.

My complaint is against multiple formats in boxes and specifically where niche items, like 5.1 Blurays/DVDs specifically, are not released separately. I have a box of vinyl that cost me £80 sat doing nothing because I had to buy it to get the Division Bell 5.1 Bluray. The Division Bell 5.1 DVD, with absolutely no advertising whatsoever was available for a very short time on the official PF store and now that mix is unavailable unless you buy the box or get gouged on eBay. Fair? I would like the Pet Sounds 5.1 Bluray. Where is it? In a box of other stuff that costs £55. The Brain Salad Surgery 5.1 mix was due to be released in a fairly priced set copying the model of the earlier issues in the series and was pulled at the last minute to benefit the sale of the big expensive box, despite loads of pre-orders based on it being there. The examples of this type of practise are many so when I, on the odd occasion, bend the rules I feel no guilt because they know what they are doing and it clearly doesn’t bother them.

They don’t play fair but you suckers who are complaining continue to bend over.

Mic Smith

Well if the companies thought that everyone felt that way then you’d expect them to change. Problem is the market for this stuff is still strong enough to support the approach currently being taken. It’ll stay that way until people refuse to be taken in. I don’t see that happening on any major scale so they’ll keep pumping out new versions of the same album.


Pity, I was looking forward to having Wind Words on cd!


Companies may think they are so clever but I am sick of chasing ten different Releases of a CD just to get hold of all the various rare tracks or Demos or whatever that I stopped doing it. I don’t care any longer if there is a new oh so limited release with two formerly unheard japanese 12″ mixes of some obscure b-side or whatever. Give me a COMPLETE box set with EVERYTHING revolving around a certain Album, and then I’ll buy it.


You won’t ever get a definitive edition, it’s pretty clear by now. I personally stopped to amount duplicates, if something comes out remastered I stick with the edition I have or sell it and buy the new one. Regarding demos and rarities, well, if they really worth I go with digital downloads, otherwise I simply don’t bother. Most of the times those so-called rarities, demos and various stuff from the voults worth one listen and then get archived forever, so not really a big deal.

Mic Smith

I’m assuming here that Rick is ordering stuff from Amazon and returning it. Don’t they have a policy of suspending accounts when it becomes clear the purchaser is not actually keeping stuff they purchase? I understand they extend this to other linked accounts using the same address – so spouses, parents, siblings etc. can find themselves being banned for doing no wrong. Aside from the legalities – and yes it is stealing – what Rick is up to could mean his Amazon account is pulled once they spot a trend.

David Morgan

Is it me or is there a bit too much publicity for this release (especially here)? It’s not really a Bowie release, simply a film that he starred in. The film is ok, but I prefer a number of other Roeg efforts. Is the soundtrack such a big deal?

David Morgan

Fair enough. Your site is an invaluable resource.

Matthew McKinnon

The soundtrack is a fairly big deal, as a lot of people have been after it for a while. My old boss, who was a huge 70s Bowie fan, used to have a bootleg.

Kevin Allen

Just got this “10 Things You Didn’y Know About …. The Man Who Fel To Earth” from the people selling the book.



“I’ll continue my practices in not getting ripped off and exploited”

Bit of an oxymoron there. Not prepared to get ripped off but willing to rip content instead of buying it.


Not correct at all.


I’m with you on this Rick. The record/film companies have had six digits of money from me over the years and it’s probably the same with many others here.

I haven’t done as you have done but I don’t think what you do/may do is wrong, the companies rip the consumer off over and over, example the exclusive audio content in TMWFTE Bluray box.

Matthew McKinnon

Looks that way to me. Ever heard of ‘do unto others’ or taking the moral high ground?

If you feel record companies are ripping you off, don’t buy their stuff. But don’t then turn round and say, ‘oh, they’d do it to me so I’m going to do it to them in order to get what I want’.

There’s a real whiff of entitlement here.


Are you the president of Universal Matthew? I don’t allow myself to be ripped of by the record/film companies, there are legal ways to get what I want and I stay within that framework.

These companies continue to suck the consumer dry and I will continue to operate as I do. The wife ain’t reading this so I can be open here. I spend £5K annually and upwards on music, LPs, CDs, DVD/Bluray, as I stated above I’m not alone here, I suspect there are people who spend more. I am entitled to state my opinion and I will again support Rick who obviously also helps to keep these greedy companies afloat.

I will soon cease spending the amount I have in the past, in my opinion my collection is complete. Only Beatles/Dylan/XTC will tempt me to part with my money, otherwise, the legal framework will do for me, go figure.


Not sure that I am tempted by this book (as much as I love the film).
– Assuming that everyone that reads their blurb would not know all ten things is slightly annoying. I actually knew six of them already fwiw. ‘Ten things you might no know’ would be less assuming :-)
– I’m still not convinced that no 8 is true. Bowie says he submitted something to Nic Roeg for his approval but had it rejected AND supposedly Paul Buckmaster says he has a DAT of the work he and Bowie did together for the soundtrack (although Paul himself is quoted as admitting it wasnt very good as he and Bowie were out of their heads most of the time while making it). Time will tell whether something turns up or not
– Any publisher that has a prominent and repeated error (in this case the misspelling of edition as Edtion) on their website (still the case when I last looked ten minutes or so ago) doesn’t inspire confidence regarding the care and attention they are putting into a very expensive book.
I’m also starting to feel a whiff of ‘license to print money’ (as someone else has suggested) around anything Bowie-related although I presume this book was probably in the works before Bowie passed away.


Nice work. This set and the double CD will make a nice package at a good price.

My only gripe now would be the continued doubling up of Bluray and DVD on many film/music sets, which inevitably affects the price and means one format is always redundant. When I buy this, 2 out of the 4 discs are useless to me and at £20 that’s fine, but when I consider the ridiculously overpriced cost of the Pink Floyd Early Years box, the duplicated Bluray/DVD media does have a price impact and is an issue to me. I don’t want the vinyl either, which is why I am eager to know more about the separate releases of that set. (Sorry to go off topic at the end there).

Gary Thompson

I agree about the Floyd box set – the duplication of material across BD & DVDs seems silly & wasteful. One of the formats will be untouched by the purchaser. Someone on another forum said it probably would have been cheaper to forget about DVDs and just bundle a BD player with the box. Alternatively, have 2 editions, one for each format.


“…it probably would have been cheaper to forget about DVDs and just bundle a BD player with the box”

Classic! I can see why they’ve bundled the DVD and Blu-ray – it must be cheaper than manufacturing and marketing two different versions.


Because of the disproportionate cost and withholding of the two 5.1 mixes, which were prepared and ready for the box, I intend to buy the box, copy all the audio (including bonus disc) then return it and get the individual sets at a later date for the quad mixes and video. The exclusive bonus disc has little to offer and the contents are an odd choice as bait for the box so won’t miss the video portion.

Don’t want DVD, don’t want vinyl, don’t want repro posters. you bundle it in for silly money and I’ll find a way around it.


…and charging £375 isn’t?


….and it isn’t boasting, it’s a reaction to the bundling everything together reasons I stated.

I’ll get the bits I want somehow and while the practices of the record companies continue, ie the Division Bell 5.1 Bluray in a £100 box of vinyl as one example, I’ll continue my practices in not getting ripped off and exploited.


There was a side conversation going on about different format bundled sets.


If your concern is to have the full soundtrack included in the £100 box set why don’t you just buy it digitally when it’ll be available?

Or, if you’re eager to steal it anyway, you might as well download it from some torrent site rather than getting the box and return it.

Sometimes I just can’t understand what kind of reasoning goes behind people’s actions, really.


Ordered the two CD set which is exceptionally good value. Not interested in the DVD. I’ve bought hundreds over the years and they rarely get watched more than once. More than happy to stream (either as part of a subscription or rent) films nowadays than have DVDs taking up space and gathering dust. A different story with CDs of course. I never properly enjoy music unless I own a physical copy. Clearly a psychological condition; one that I’m sure affects most people who visit this site!


Same here re:CDs RJS, but I still buy DVD/Blurays although that may change sooner rather than later. I’m quite happy with the single CD in the box only containing John Phillips music because that was the only reason I was going to buy the double CD, now I don’t need to having already ordered the Bluray box.

John Hirst

It is first and foremost a movie, so for me it’s a no brainer to get the version with the best quality version of the movie in it. It is sad that there isn’t one definitive version of this, and I don’t know how they are expecting to shift lots of units of the big box set when it doesn’t even contain the movie in it. It seems anything with Bowie attached to it is becoming a license to print money.


mmmmhhhhhh, well, region locked…I suppose no subtitles…will the US edition come with the physical stuff?…to buy or not to buy, that is the question!!!


Thank you Paul for clarifying the differences!


Crikey!! Mind you that cd has a running time of less than half an hour. I wonder how much longer the two disc set is.

[…] Despite the image above showing four blu-rays, StudioCanal have confirmed to SDE that this set contains a blu-ray, two DVDs and a CD. The CD element contains just John Philips music from the soundtrack and has two tracks/versions of tracks not included in the version being issued separately. More on that here. […]