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CK 89265

Artwork copyright (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.; review copyright (c) 2004 James Southall



Surprising, eclectic early Barry gem 


With Arthur Penn and Sam Spiegel behind the camera and Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Angie Dickinson and Robert Duvall in front of it, to say that 1966's The Chase was highly-anticipated is an understatement.  It didn't go down particularly well on its release, but today is thought of more highly.  The tale about violence and repression in the deep south would seem to be perfect territory for Alex North, so I'm sure eyebrows were raised at the appointment of John Barry, who is unlikely to ever be compared with North, but he managed to capture the spirit of North's scores like The Misfits and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with a great deal of panache, of course pouring his own unmistakable touch all over the music.

The main title music is strident and powerful, a fast-paced piece which injects real drive and energy into the movie.  "The Chase is On" is one of the highlight cues, opening with a distinctly Morricone-like trumpet solo before throwing in harmonica and banjo (predating some of Barry's music in Midnight Cowboy and Monte Walsh, in some ways).  However, where Barry really shines is in his unexpected, subtle, anguished music for the movie's more emotional scenes, particularly in the two outstanding cues "What Did I Do Wrong?" and the exceptional "Stop Talking Foolish - Stop Talking Anything".  There is a hint of action music from time to time (such as in the dark-as-night "The Beating"), but in general, the rest of the music is quite jazzy, sometimes more strident ("Saturday Night Philosopher"), sometimes lighter and smoother ("Look Around").

This is a great score, very rarely mentioned alongside Barry's finest, but a terrific demonstration of his (one-time) versatility.  There is some particularly evocative and moving music, some fine jazz and a wonderful main theme.  This new album marks the third release of the score on CD, with content largely identical to the previous two, though it does actually present two alternative versions of the main theme, both re-recordings done by Barry for decades-old compilations which have themselves been released on CD a few times.  There are enjoyable new liner notes by Richard Torres making this a good package, though it's probably not worth it for those who already have one of the other releases of the score.

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  1. The Chase (2:43)
  2. The Chase is On (4:40)
  3. Saturday Night Philosopher (4:43)
  4. What Did I Do Wrong? (2:37)
  5. Call That Dancin'? (3:37)
  6. Stop Talking Foolish - Stop Talking Anything (3:32)
  7. Look Around (2:00)
  8. The Beating (3:23)
  9. And You've Got One! (2:39)
  10. I Came to the End of Me! (2:51)
  11. Blues for Bubber (4:04)
  12. The Junkyard (5:27)
  13. I'll Drink to That (2:43)
  14. The Killing / Next Morning (5:17)
  15. The Chase (alternate #1) (3:15)
  16. The Chase (alternate #2) (1:57)