High Road To China – Original Score – OOP – John Barry


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Was this John Barry’s chance at an Indiana Jones? Apart from the jovial high-jinks as Tom Selleck’s boozy pilot blunders about, the other connection would be the actor’s passing over for the role only a few years previous. Speculation aside, Barry works from the inside out as usual. Instead of soaring fanfares there’s a portrait of the lonely souls lost in the air. Bess Armstrong’s dad is missing in the East, and in just that brief précis the tone of the “Main Title” should be explained. Barry gets plenty of mileage from this main theme, in variations stretching to express free floating in the air as well as the perilous pitfalls of being chased by enemies along the way. There’s a bountiful use of percussion, too, which distances this score from the general romantic style Barry has pursued in the last two decades. Although the sound is a little off from its mastering to CD, this is another Barry classic that is a pleasure from start to end.

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