Prometheus (PCR 504)
Release Date: 1999
Conducted by Alex North
|8.||Old Timer's Horse||1:32|
|11.||Carbo & Luke||2:40|
|13.||Bite the Bullet||2:17|
|16.||Clay and the Mexican||2:04|
|21.||Mexican Dance #1||1:22|
|24.||Stars & Stripes||1:54|
|25.||National Emblem March||2:12|
|26.||Drums & Bugles||1:34|
|27.||The Calssons Go Rolling Along||1:11|
|Total Album Time:||59:38|
|by Dan Goldwasser
November 20, 1999
Bite The Bullet was a western where, at the turn of the century, a newspaper organized a 600-mile race. The film explored the relationships between the nine competitors, and how they all came to respect one another. Composer Alex North was tapped to score this film, and he brought his previous experience scoring westerns as well as his unique brand of percussion and jazz rhythms to the film.
The score starts off with a very rousing main theme that is entirely in the "western" vein. Towards the end of the cue, it becomes more of a fun comedic romp than a western theme, but most of the themes in the film are appropriately referenced in this "Overture". Many of the cues vary from fun western pomp and circumstance ("Fun Ride"), quiet reflective guitar pieces ("Night Pause"), to tense "jazzy" moments ("Carbo & Luke"). While the main theme is rather enjoyable, and fits the mold of the "western", it doesn't really stand out too much from the countless other western themes that permeate the film industry. (Let's just say that it ain't no Magnificent Seven!) But this is still a rather enjoyable North score, and is nice that it was finally released.
Also included on the album is almost 15 minutes of additional source music. From the Mexican music to the different marches found in the film - they're all here. Truly a nice addition to an already well-done album. On a technical side, this album was remastered from the original sources, and there are varying amounts of tape-hiss present, depending on the cue. Additionally, the tracks were recorded to be mixed in mono, and this album presents them in a simulated stereo, which works well for the most part but might sound a bit odd at time (especially when listening to the album through headphones)!
Released by Prometheus Records as part of their Limited Edition series of soundtracks, this is one that you might be inclined to get merely because of it's scarceness. But if you are just passively buying soundtracks, you could probably live with any of the many other western scores out on the market - except that they probably weren't composed by Alex North.
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