Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Jake Speed
Music by Mark Snow
BSX Records BSXCD 8851 (US)
14 Tracks 31:53 mins

Much of Mark Snow's early career in Hollywood was spent providing scores for TV series and stand alone features, and rarely did a feature like 1986's Jake Speed, a low-budget action/adventure/comedy from New World Pictures, come his way. The film starred the now forgotten Wayne Crawford, with John Hurt as the baddie, and was in fact the first project Snow worked on since putting together his new home studio, performing the score solely on the Synclavier, an early synthesizer and sampler. The result is that the music sounds very dated, rooted firmly in the '80s, which if you are nostalgic for those years, you should certainly enjoy.
Snow's main theme is catchy enough when it surfaces, as it quite often does, with a pan pipe like sound carrying it. The choice of this sound grew out of the popularity at the time of the pan pipe, made so by the work of Gheorghe Zamfir. However, Snow of course used it in an entirely different way in what is largely a very rhythmic score, kind of bass guitar and drums-driven. To reflect the exotic settings of the film, the composer also made much use of a range of percussive samples. What the score does have in spades is energy and, on revisiting it, I couldn't help being swept away by it at times, despite my initial misgivings. But it's not all action by any means, and Snow also provides a haunting love theme, again featuring the pan pipe sound, but in a much lower register.
The accompanying booklet features Randall D. Larson's notes on both the film and its score, with contributions from the composer.
Go to for further information, samples, and to order your copy of this limited edition release of just 1000 units.


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