American Made

Songs By Various Artists

Musical Score By: Christophe Beck

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                American Made is a biographical crime drama starring Tom Cruise as Barry Seal, a pilot for TWA who is contacted by CIA case officer Monty Shafer (Domhnall Gleeson) to fly reconnaissance missions over Central America in the late 1970s.  He is later asked to serve as a courier between the CIA and General Noriega in Panama.  Seal becomes a drug smuggler for the Medellin Cartel in the 1980s.  In an effort to avoid jail time for his crimes, Seal becomes an informant for the DEA.

                The American Made Soundtrack features songs by various artists, including The Allman Brothers Band, Linda Ronstadt, Townes Van Zandt, The Heavy, Loosely Tight and more.  The musical score found on the album was created by Christophe Beck, a Canadian composer who began his foray into music by learning to play the piano at the age of five.  Studying music at Yale and attending the USC film scoring program under the tutelage of such notable composers as Jerry Goldsmith, Beck began composing for television at the personal recommendation of Buddy Baker.  He won an Emmy Award for his music for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the rest is history.  Some of his works include the musical score for The Hangover, Frozen, We Are Marshall, Under the Tuscon Sun, Waiting for Superman, Edge of Tomorrow, The Peanuts Movie, Pitch Perfect, Sisters and Trolls.

                What can I say about this album?  I loved every single minute of music from Track 1 to Track 12!  The music took me back to my youth, starting off with the disco/classical mix of A Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band.  Oh man, did that one take me back – I could remember listening to this on my transistor radio…yes, I said transistor radio…and thinking how cool it was to introduce a disco beat, electric guitar and synths to the classical music of Beethoven.  This is followed by funky blues of One Way Out by The Allman Brothers Band, which is just a fun song to sing along with.  Blue Bayou by Linda Ronstadt follows and then the Spanish stylings of Seguro Lo Hara Otro by Jahn Ever Villa, probably a nod toward the various locales Seal flies to.

                Then the classics are back with Hooked on Classics (Parts 1 and 2) by Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  Featuring a medley of classical music like the 1812 Overture, the Hallelujah Chorus, the Overture to William Tell, Rhapsody in Blue, Flight of the Bumblebee and more performed with a disco beat and electric and orchestral instruments, the song was among the top ten on the Billboard Charts in the early 80s.  Next is the psychedelic rock song I Don't Need You by The Troyes and the big hair band rocking guitars of Loud n' Restless by Loosely Tight.  The final song on the album is the rock/blues track What Makes A Good Man performed by The Heavy.

                The next three tracks, What Now, Sandanistas y Reagan and Heading to the States, are musical score by Christophe Beck.  In keeping with the tone of the film and the music of the era, Beck gives his score that 70s/80s edge, featuring synths, electric guitar riffs and rocking percussion. 

                I’ve already listened to the American Made Soundtrack four times and I’ve had a great deal of nostalgic fun, singing along with the songs and tapping out the beats or playing electric guitar to the musical score by Christophe Beck.  This is one of those movie soundtracks worth adding to the collection!


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