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Monday, January 25, 2010


Nate and Hayes (Savage Islands)
Music by Trevor Jones
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1116 (US)
15 Tracks 39:46 mins

Thanks to La-La Land Records, I can cross another off my list of desirable unreleased scores, with their release of Trevor Jones' score to this enjoyable 1983 swashbuckler, starring a relatively young Tommy Lee Jones, Meatballs' Michael O'Keefe and Jenny Seagrove. Unfortunately the bland US title didn't help its domestic box office performance, but I recall seeing it here, under the original title of Savage Islands, in our local cinema, which is sadly no more.
The film carried a score from relative newcomer Trevor Jones, best known at the time for his excellent Dark Crystal music, and The Sender, though he did of course write the original music to Excalbur, which is often overlooked, thanks to the director's reliance on popular classics.
Those familiar with The Dark Crystal will notice a certain similarity in styles when listening to this album, which opens splendidly with the composer's boisterous and adventurous main theme, which is followed immediately by the exciting action of "Escape from Mumi Village/Hayes Fights Mumi Women on Bridge," and then Jones' gorgeous love theme makes its first appearance in "Hayes' and Sophie's Pact/Sophie Disembarks/The Veranda at Night."
Both the main theme and the composer's action theme are reprised in "The Rona Turns About/Pease Attacks Village," with "Ruined Village" sporting a suitably tragic new theme, which continues into and ends with an anguished variation on the main theme in "Nate Sails Off/Nate is Shipwrecked/The Rona Turns About." A more expansive and exotic main theme appears in "Arrival at Samoa," complete with expressive violin solo; leading to a lush reprise of the love theme, which combines nicely with the main theme in "The Parting."
After a tense build, there's more action to be found in "Hayes and the Men Overpower Pease Crew/Chase to the Gunboat," with darker, more menacing fare following in "Gunboat Pursues the Leonora/Gunboat is Boarded."
Jones reprises his brief "German March" in lighter form for "Gunboat is Paralyzed," before a final reprise of his action theme in the "Sword Fight/Escape from Prison," with the main theme bursting forth triumphantly as the forces of good prevail. The "End Credits" bring proceedings to a glorious close, with a final reprise of both main and love themes.
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by the late Marcus Dods, with barely noticeable electronic support, the music is masterfully performed, as one would expect.
Accompanying the disc is the usual quality colour booklet, with plenty of stills from the film, plus Jeff Bond's detailed notes on both film and score, including the invaluable cue-by-cue guide.
Limited to just 3000 units, I would get along to and maybe sample a track or two before buying your copy of this splendid album.


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