Not traversing any uncharted territory here, just spinning some warm Giorgio Moroder vibes to fend off the impending winter.
In 2015, Cat People probably plays like a b-movie to some, but when compared to a true changeling b-movie, like 1981’s The Howling, Cat People is a cut above. A psycho sexual horror flick with some decent acting, and a transformation scene that traumatized my young mind.
The oft celebrated wizardry of Giorgio Moroder expertly heightens the taboo nature of the feline/ incest storyline between Nastassja Kinksi and Malcolm McDowell. I just typed that.
Lately I’ve been all in on “Leopard Tree Dream,” which is one of the more impactful scenes from the movie, where Kinksi and McDowell meet in a dream and discuss their primal and familial roots. This track is essentially a fluid reprise on the main theme, seeing Moroder hop on his flying carpet and build upon his magical synthscape.
It’s somewhat blasphemous to have a post about this soundtrack and not include the David Bowie sung title track, “Cat People (Putting Out The Fire,) but that song has transcended this soundtrack with it’s inclusion on Bowie’s Let’s Dance album and the brilliant usage of the song in Inglorious Bastards.
The story goes that Bowie was listening to the record when he got the news that his son Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones was born on May 30, 1971. He allegedly wrote the song one day, and performed it a week later during a BBC Session.
I’d been listening to a Neil Young album and they phoned through and said that my wife had a baby on Sunday morning, and I wrote this one about the baby. – David Bowie to BBC studio audience 6/3/71
When they phoned!
Just the idea of Bowie being in some sort of artistic seclusion somewhere, smoking a pipe, listening to vinyl while the mother of his child is in labor plays right into his mythology. Throw in a wall full of televisions and we’ve got an early draft of The Man Who Fell To Earth. Oh fatherhood.
Here is a Pause Tape containing snippets of the two songs. The horn part in both songs are pretty similar, so it seemed like a logical splicing point.