- Composed by Georges Delerue
- Quartet Records / 2014 / 53m
A film that sounds like it came from a different era, Partners – actually from 1982 – paired Ryan O’Neal and John Hurt as a pair of detectives – one straight, one gay – pretending to be a couple and infiltrating the gay community in Los Angeles where there has been a spate of murders. It attracted much scorn for the stereotypes employed by Hurt’s character (he just loves doing the housework), though it was intended just as a light comedy (from the writer of La Cage Aux Folles). Georges Delerue was trying to make a career for himself in America at the time, having had such a glorious one in Europe, and wrote a typically heartfelt score for this film, virtually all of which went unused; and it makes its album début on this 2014 release from Quartet Records. It is fairly typical of his work on American movies at the time – light, airy, wonderfully tuneful and very enjoyable.
The two main themes are presented in the first two tracks. “Partners Theme” is one of those characteristic waltzes the composer did so well, with the sweeping strings and rhythm section such clear identifiers of his work (it’s probably closest to the outstanding Steel Magnolias). Then in “1M2 / 1M3” (seriously, why don’t the record labels just make up titles when for whatever reason the composer didn’t name the cue!?) comes the folksy secondary theme, a lovely homely feel from the harmonica solo. There’s a beautiful, summery melody in “I Need Some Air”, highlighted by a cheerful dancing flute solo. “M52” is a peculiar bit of action music, all madcap and jolly; elsewhere the suspense material is mostly more straight-faced, done fine but not the most interesting music apart from when Delerue dials up the melodrama a bit with some dramatic horns. Perhaps the highlight of the album is the heartfelt “Domestic Scene”, the lilting theme at its most attractive. Partners is slightly odd, the mix of gorgeous melodies with darker suspense and comedy action never quite flowing as naturally as the composer’s music usually does; having said that, the good parts are certainly good enough to make it an easy recommendation to any Delerue fan – and it’s a nice breezy album that is never unappealing.