John Barry

Game of Death

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In 1975, John Barry was invited to America to compose the score for the TV movie Eleanor and Franklin. The trip was supposed to last six weeks, but Barry ended up staying on the West Coast for five years as more and more soundtrack assignments piled up. His works during that period included King Kong and the ill-fated Game of Death, as, ominously, Bruce Lee died during the shooting. However, the movie was still released, including the short segments of Lee that had already been shot. The main title, a funky slice of kung fu disco, also sounds very much like the "James Bond Theme," with its swooping string motif and syncopated brass parts. Unfortunately, the rest of the album is pretty mediocre, and the syrupy track "Will This Be the Song I'll Be Singing Tomorrow" just fails to impress. Game of Death has got a late John Barry feel to it, very similar to his earlier effort The Deep. Interestingly, Silva Screen re-released the record in 1993 with the insertion of the cue titles originally chosen by Barry; the final track is absolutely insane, as for a few minutes it just consists of the sound effects of a stick fight before going back into the main title.

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