Brian May

Sky Pirates

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A far cry from the post-apocalyptic sprawl of Brian May's work on the Mad Max trilogy, 1984's Sky Pirates delivers rousing, widescreen action themes in the classic cliffhanger tradition. While plainly inspired by John Williams' era-defining scores for the Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark series, the music nevertheless boasts an energy all its own, marshaling blaring brass and shrieking strings to generate uncommon suspense. May proves a master of pacing, ratcheting the thrills with precision. Sweeping actions themes like "The Great Plane Robbery" and "To Easter Island" are sharply contrast against quietly tantalizing cues like "Sea of Lost Ships," but even the more elegiac moments boast a larger-than-life scale perfectly attuned to the onscreen adventure.