The video

The video for ‘Absolute Beginners’ was directed by Julien Temple, and mixed new footage of David Bowie with scenes from the film.

It begins with a pastiche of the famous 1950s cigarette advertisement “You’re never alone with a Strand”. In Temple’s version, the brand is renamed Zebra. Bowie’s cigarette pack is empty, leading him to imagine a dancer dressed in zebra stripes whom he chases to the Thames for a final kiss.

In concert

Bowie performed ‘Absolute Beginners’ during his Glass Spider Tour in 1987, and thereafter during his mini tour in the summer of 2000, and two years later on the Heathen Tour.

A version recorded on 25 June 2000 is available on the 2018 album and DVD Glastonbury 2000. Another performance from two days later was included on the bonus CD with early copies of Bowie At The Beeb.