Sky Riders

Music By: Lalo Schifrin

Distributed by: Aleph Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Sky Riders was a film released in 1976 about an well-off international industrialist (Robert Kulp) who seemingly has everything until his wife Ellen (Susannah York) and children are kidnapped by terrorists in Greece.  After failed attempts at rescue by local authorities, the task is taken up by Ellenís ex-husband (James Coburn) who hires a band of professional mountain gliders to perform the dangerous rescue.

            The soundtrack of Sky Riders was composed by Lalo Schifrin, but as the movieís reception wasnít very positive, the soundtrack was never released.  Now, 33 years later, the composer of more than 100 musical scores for movies and television has decided that it is high time that the soundtrack for Sky Riders finds its way into Lalo Schifrin fansí homes everywhere.

            The Sky Riders Soundtrack begins with Flying Circus, a six-plus minute track that sounds very much like a circus thanks to the use of the brass, percussion and glockenspiel associated with the enjoyable event.  It is very reminiscent of the old tune The Man on the Flying Trapeze.  In fact, I found myself thinking the words: ďHe'd fly through the air with the greatest of ease / That daring young man on the flying trapeze.Ē  The music offers the impression of a high-flying act somewhat describing the flight of a hang glider.  But, quite honestly, that was the only song that actually grabbed my attention.

            The soundtrack in its entirety is only eight tracks long, but it was the longest eight tracks Iíve ever been forced to endure.  Almost an hour in length, most of the tracks are longer than five minutes.  These long tracks annoyed me in particular.  When one creates a soundtrack, there are often small segments that they are required to compose music for.  These segments can be less than a minute in length.  The longer tracks of the album seem to be short segments strung together.  This may not have annoyed me much if there werenít such lengthy pauses in between and if the music even seemed like it belonged together in the same track.

            My reaction to the Sky Riders Soundtrack is somewhat surprising since I have enjoyed his works in the past, but we canít always be perfect.  Some soundtracks are not meant to be released and in my opinion, the Sky Riders Soundtrack is one of them.  This is one soundtrack that will very likely spend its time on the music store shelves collecting dust.


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