Released today in 1985: This Is Not America

EMI America EA190

EMI America EA190

This Is Not America is taken from the soundtrack to the movie The Falcon and the Snowman: the single reaches the shops in the UK three days after the film hits cinemas in the US. Based on the book by journalist Robert Lindsey, the film is the true story of two Californians who sold classified US government information to the Soviets. The title refers to one of the two’s interest in falconry and the other’s involvement in cocaine use and distribution. The Snowman, Andrew Daulton Lee, is portrayed by Sean Penn (who married Madonna later the same year). Years later, on Lee’s release from prison, Penn hired him as a personal assistant.

The soundtrack album is composed and produced by Pat Metheny and his long-time collaborator, keyboardist Lyle Mays, and performed by their Pat Metheny Group. In the US, the Group are regulars on the Billboard album chart in the 1980s: the soundtrack is one of nine hits for them during the decade, four of which win Grammys for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. In the UK, though, This Is Not America is their only chart entry, brought to the British public’s attention by the involvement of David Bowie. The week promo copies are sent out the press, it is Tom Hibbert’s turn to review the singles at Smash Hits and he has this to say: “Certain people in the Smash Hits office have described this as ‘the greatest record ever made’. Others, slightly more sensible, have noted its tendency to borrow musical elements from The Mama’s and The Papa’s extremely old hit California Dreamin’. The one completely sensible person would like to point out that as the record contains the line “Snowman melting from the inside”, it is scarcely worthy of further debate.”

He had a point, as usual.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Jan. 28
1983
The FINK BROTHERS (Suggs) Mutants In Mega City One (Zarjazz JAZZ2)
The FUN BOY THREE Tunnel Of Love (Chrysalis CHS2678)
UB40 I’ve Got Mine (DEP International DEP6)
1985
David BOWIE / PAT METHENY GROUP This Is Not America (EMI America EA190)

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