Upon its 1985 release, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome divided critics and fans alike with its big-budget rendering of Mel Gibson's iconic vigilante. Gone was composer Brian May (not the Queen guitarist) and in came Maurice Jarre and Tina Turner -- the latter had a starring role -- to give the Australian series some mid-'80s shine. What sounded odd in theory came across a great deal better onscreen. Jarre, who previously helmed the baton for films like Witness and A Passage to India, conjured up an elegant storm of a score that remained reverent to May's brutish dissonance, while establishing a memorable melody -- "The Children" -- and introducing a lushness that was absent from the first two films. His segue into the raunchy "Bartertown" saxophone section showed a keen ear for the era, and complemented Turner's "One of the Living" opener with a sly wink. The soundtrack provided Turner with one of her biggest hits, the sprawling and majestic "We Don't Need Another Hero," which despite containing the silly lyric "All we want is what's beyond the Thunderdome" spent a good deal of the year at the top of the Billboard charts. Unfortunately, EMI offshoot Fuel 2000's reissue of this previously unreleased gem features nothing in the way of liner notes or additional material, marking it as a bit of a disappointment for film music buffs.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger