• Categories

Vanilla 1.1.4 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

 
  1. He of Mad Max and not Queen fame...

    The music of this composer is something I have not come across. I've seen Mad Max, but many years ago and I do not recall any of the music from the film (though listening to some tracks on YouTube it does sound worth seeking out at some point).

    Does anyone have any recommended titles as a starter for this composer's music?

    I am listening to his 1987 score for the film Death Before Dishonor and although it does sound a bit cheesy in places, I do like the militaristic feel of the score and the orchestrations that he uses - particularly in the action scoring.

    Cheers.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
    •  
      CommentAuthorCobweb
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2012 edited
    I certainly have very fond memories of the film music by Brian May.

    In the early 1980s, when I began to collect soundtracks as an adolescent, Brian May was second only to Jerry Goldsmith in my quest to get any soundtrack album by May available.

    LP labels such as Citadel and Varese Sarabande spearheaded the U.S. distribution of May's Australian soundtracks. In retrospect, this was quite daring for an American record label to release non-U.S.A. recordings from movies which may not even had a North American distribution.

    This aspect of my soundtrack collecting conditioned me very early to search for titles which I was likely to never see and attempt to procure albums from overseas. I have been hunting the so-called "obscure" for 30 years now!

    I am still a Brian May completist, but May and his music no longer holds top rankings within my current favorites list. This does not imply that May's music has lost its worth - the Aussie thrillers & chillers benefit greatly from May's in-your-face & Pendereckian styles. The late-1970s and early-1980s is still May's "prime" period, in my opinion. After May scored CLOAK AND DAGGER in 1984, his subsequent scores during the late-1980s and early-1990s lacked the urgency and innovation that peaked between 1978 & 1982.

    My personal recommendations are :

    Patrick '78
    Thirst '79 (sounds like Hammer horror was alive and well down under!)
    Harlequin '80
    Survivor '81

    Both May's MAD MAX soundtracks are iconic examples of his music, but I sort-of resent them because May's posthemous reputation (he died in 1997) seems to rest solely on its attachment to the popularity of MAD MAX rather than the quality of his music heard in the titles I mentioned above.

    If one doesn't cite MAD MAX within May's credits, one risks a lot of people confusing him with the lead guitarist from QUEEN.

    I'm sure, though, that the beneficiaries of Brian May's Scholarship program will never confuse this Brian May with the other! biggrin

    http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/scoring/brian_may
    •  
      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2012
    Very fine summary there Cobweb!
    I would certainly throw my vote behind Thirst, even though I find -and Thirst is no exception- that May's work benefits from brevity or selective listening. While I like a lot of tracks that he has done, to be honest sitting through an entire album of his is a bit of a chore for me!
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
  2. Thanks Cobweb for that summary. Certainly things to mull over.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
    •  
      CommentAuthorCobweb
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2012 edited
    Glad you like THIRST, though, Martijn.

    I suppose if one is already acclimated to the brief cues and musical stings which were typical of music written for pre-1980s episodic television (Brian May was doing TV before films), then one should be more predisposed towards liking May's Australian soundtracks.

    However, I guess collectors growing up listening to soundtrack album setpieces by the likes of John Williams or James Horner or Hans Zimmer have more difficulty adjusting to a 29-second track of blaring brass or stabbing strings, for example. From this vantage point, Brian May's compositional approach is closer to that of Gerald Fried's movie & TV music than, say, music by James Newton Howard...
    •  
      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2012
    Very good analysis, Cobweb. I agree. That is indeed very much wat May's work reminds me of.
    That's not to say he isn't capable of the odd set piece: the tracks Vampire Ceremony and Initiation Ritual both get regular spins from me!
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
    •  
      CommentAuthorCobweb
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2015 edited
  3. Don't know much about this composer, but I recently saw Mad Max 1 and 2, I didn't like the music for the first movie one bit. Overdone and it worked on my nerves. Plus the fact the first movie is a bit of a unbalanced effort made it all the more irritating for me

    Mad Max 2 was music wise a bit more appreciative, and the movie itself was much better as well smile
    waaaaaahhhhhhhh!!! Where's my nut? arrrghhhhhhh
  4. I watched them recently as well. I agree that some of the sax-y family theme stuff from the first Mad Max hasn't aged all that well and seems a tad overwrought these days (can't remember much else, truth be told). Mad Max 2 feels like a totally different score, more action-oriented and quite Goldsmithian and, yeah, better.
    •  
      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2015
    The music in the first Mad Max film is so laughably bad. It's one of those rare scores that actually ruined the movie for me. May's second score was handled much better!

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
    •  
      CommentAuthorCobweb
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2015
    Hhmmm ... 3 people posted in a row their dislike of May's 1st Mad Max.
    This does not bode well for them regarding May's scoring from that '78 to '82 period on non-Mad Max features.
    If you don't like Mad Max, then most likely you won't be receptive towards Patrick or Thirst or Harlequin, etc.

    Those aspects which you guys dislike the most ("overdone", "overwrought", "laughably bad") are the very facets with which I grew up listening to and love about May's Aussie thrillers.

    Despite Thor's statement that MainTitles is the best film music site, I don't visit or post here regularly anymore because the overall aesthetics of the MT membership has little intersection with my own tastes for pre-1980s film music.
    •  
      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2015 edited
    Well, even if it's not the classic that ROAD WARRIOR is, I like the first MAD MAX film very much, and think the score is fine in it (although I wouldn't want to listen to it alone).

    I think you'll find there are several who share your taste here in certain things, Cobweb (pr previous discussions), but -- and I can only speak for myself -- I also like to let my hair down now and then, with stuff that is NOT just edgy or gritty or dissonant. It would drive me mad if that was my only interest. The reason I claim this is the "best film music forum", though, is more because of the atmosphere than the topics being discussed.
    I am extremely serious.
    •  
      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2015
    Cobweb wrote
    Those aspects which you guys dislike the most ("overdone", "overwrought", "laughably bad") are the very facets with which I grew up listening to and love about May's Aussie thrillers.


    I like over the top scores a lot. Thor calls them "Erik Woods scores." For instance, ID4 is one of my all time favourite scores and is arguably one of the most over the top, over done, bat shit crazy Hollywood blockbuster scores ever written.

    But there comes a point where over done and over wrought becomes laughably bad when the score FAILS miserably to support the images on screen. Brain May's Mad Max score... just the first one... fails on almost every single count to support the picture. It's as if the score was written for some other movie. It turns a rather fun, revolutionary action film into a laugh out loud comedy!

    Cobweb wrote
    Despite Thor's statement that MainTitles is the best film music site, I don't visit or post here regularly anymore because the overall aesthetics of the MT membership has little intersection with my own tastes for pre-1980s film music.


    So be it. We all can't like the same thing. If we did then this wouldn't be the best film music message board on the planet.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
    •  
      CommentAuthorSouthall
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2015
    Brian May. On the other hand, Brian May Not.
  5. Erik, somehow I don't think Independence Day is the sort of thing Cobweb is talking about... biggrin
    •  
      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2015
    Indeed. biggrin
    I am extremely serious.
    •  
      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2015
    I know what types of scores Cobweb likes but my example was comparing two rediculosly over the top scores and how one works and the other doesn't. And saying that Brian May's First Mad Max score blows is not a dig at Web's unique love of film music. A bad score is a bad score.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
    •  
      CommentAuthorfrancis
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2015
    I get that May's music for the Mad Max series is dated, but so are the Mad Max movies. They still have their charm and so does the music (for me at least).

    Definitely check out THIRST if you haven't, it's a beautiful 70s score. I'm also looking forward to more of his Freddy's Dead music on the upcoming Varese Nightmare on Elm Street boxset.
    •  
      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2015
    Like I said... I love Bay's MAd Max 2. The first one though is so wrong it's not even funny.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
    •  
      CommentAuthorfrancis
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2015
    Erik Woods wrote
    Like I said... I love Bay's MAd Max 2.


    Michael Bay didn't direct Mad Max 2. tongue
    •  
      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2015
    Whoops! sad
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
  6. francis wrote
    Erik Woods wrote
    Like I said... I love Bay's MAd Max 2.


    Michael Bay didn't direct Mad Max 2. tongue

    Thank Christ.
    •  
      CommentAuthoravadeaux
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2019
    Brian May is one of my favourites, particularly for the Mad Max and Mad Max 2 soundtracks. Around the time when I listened to them the most (mid 1980s), there was an Australian mini series on Swedish tv called Return to Eden, with music by Brian May and a winderfully Mad Max-ian adventure style theme. The theme appeared in the record store on a 7" single, released on a Swedish label, with Swedish text on the cover. This is very odd, I don't remember ever seeing something else like this: soundtrack records were pretty much never singles, and foreign soundtrack records were imported with the original covers.

    I digitalized and put it on youtube here: Return To Eden Mini Series Theme

    This mini series was apparently followed by a season of a “regular” series, which also had music by Brian May, and whose soundtrack was released by Varèse Sarabande, and later brought to CD by BSX Records. It has some of the original theme popping up here and there, but the title music is quite different. And the B side Crocodile Attack is not the same track as Croc Attack on the Varèse LP either.

    Does anybody know anything about this? Is it a re-release of a record that existed somewhere else? Has any other music from the mini series than these two tracks been released? I've been keeping my eyes open for it for about 35 years and never seen any track of it.