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Peter Thomas and Bruce Lee

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  • Peter Thomas and Bruce Lee

    Hi guys,

    Since hearing the soundtrack to Bruce Lee's "Fists of Fury" aka "The Big Boss" and finding out that Peter Thomas is the man behind the music, I have been on a desparate search for the soundtrack on CD or LP.

    Does anyone know if PT formally released a soundtrack to this movie (not that Japanese bootleg, :P). I know the german title to this movie is called "Die Todesfaust des Cheng Li". I have also been been able to grab a few tracks that have been rereleased on PT CD comps. I also know that some of the music comes from a rare LP called "Orion 2000". It'd just be nice to have the complete music on one soundtrack, should that soundtrack actually exist.

    So if anyone has any information, please reply.


  • #2
    Originally posted by analogue_assassin
    Does anyone know if PT formally released a soundtrack to this movie (not that Japanese bootleg, :P).

    so you don't mean that one?

    Autobahn vas ein Monster: here she is, mit 7 others


    • #3
      Originally posted by effi_deep
      so you don't mean that one?

      Exactly. I DON'T mean that one. When I first saw this bootleg release, I was excited. But upon hearing it, I was disappointed. See, this bootleg contains a mix of music that was never used in the U.S. release of "Fists of Fury" along with snippets of Peter Thomas' score with movie dialogue. The fact that they couldn't get the original master tape version of the PT tracks is a big clue that this was a bootleg and not the original release. And where in the hell is PT credited on this bootleg??

      Tracks I could mention to add weight to my statements are "Big Boss," which is the opening track at the beginning of the movie credits (and heard as reprises throughout the film) and appears on the PT "Easy Loungin" CD. Another track is "Malaparte Sinus," which appears when Bruce Lee is looking for his cousin Hsu Shang (spelling?) and asks Nora Miao who plays the shaved ice vendor. "Malaparte Sinus" can be found on the "Moonflowers and Miniskirts" PT CD (track 18, I believe). Finally, the track "Moontown" appears twice in the movie- first, when Hsu Shang and another male relative are killed at the Big Boss's house and second, when Bruce Lee is followed by the Big Boss's son when going to see the prostitute for information. This track is available on the LP rerelease of PT's "Raumpatrouille" soundtrack and is a bonus track. I'm pretty sure none of those titles are credited on the bootleg.

      So my question still there a formal soundtrack release of "Fists of Fury" or "Big Boss" by Peter Thomas? Or was the soundtrack just ripped off by the Hong Kong film company? If you watch the U.S. release of "Fists of Fury" and pay attention to the background music, you'll know what I mean. Any help would be appreciated.



      • #4

        In a word. . .no.

        But about half of it is on the Orion 2000 Library LP on Golden Ring (which I have, as well as the Big Boss LP). It's a very, very good record - probably one of the most consistently funky things I own - every track is really fast, beaty big band action, with a healthy topping of fromage and P.T's electronic idiosyncrasies. Getting hold of a copy of this is your best bet. Comes up on the Ebay every once in a while - I bought my last copy through someone on this forum actually.

        However a lot of the other tunes on the soundtrack are not on this LP, though they have a similar sound. . .origin unknown, for now. At least 2 or more library records must have been used as source material though - that is definite. I did once have a copy of another Peter Thomas LP from the era - Electronic Water (I think it was 75 or 76) but this wasn't in the same league, and I didn't recognise any of the tracks on this being used in Big Boss.

        HK movies of the era are (in)famous for ripping of western soundtracks from disparate sources, but, errr. . .library records are MEANT to be ripped off! Well, used - and licenced - by the production company. Remember that there are lots of films where this is the case - i.e. Dawn of the Dead - and these artists were never credited on the original soundtrack LP, which only included the Goblin material recorded for the film. The recent Trunk release shows how much library material can be crammed into a feature - without any of the original composers receiving any credit on the titles at all! Hopefully Golden Ring - or P.T. - got some $$$$ for this - though it is somewhat deceptive that only Joseph Koo is credited on the LP cover, when he blatantly only composed about 2 or3 songs for the movie.

        The producers obviously had a copy of the Orion 2000 Library LP - I very much doubt if they had access to any "master tapes" - and these were used for this mix of the soundtrack. The sound quality is somewhat poor (the LP sounds great) but this is probably due to poor mixing and the LP probably being recorded directly from a print of the film, I'm guessing.

        However I think that you are mistaken in assuming that these Japanese releases are illegal or bootlegs. Indeed, there have been recent western bootlegs of these records, but all of this material was legitimately released in Japan in the 70's by TAM records. This is a mainstream Japanese company which released a shedload of Bruce Lee LP's, 45 RPM singles, EP's and flexis to cash in on Bruce-mania. I've also read about recent CD reissues of these from Japan. . .but never seen them. Just because Peter Thomas isn't credited doesn't imply they're somehow illigitimate. . .

        Do a search for Bruce Lee lp in item descriptions on the Ebay and you should find a fair few of these. The original Japanese issues all came with OBI strips, posters or inserts. . .

        Like the copy of Fist of Fury shown here:
        Last edited by Viva Chiba; 22-04-2005, 02:34 AM.


        • #5
          Now Available

          I discovered that you can purchase a CD of tunes from The Big Boss thru iTunes. It was just recently released, and does list Peter Thomas as the artist. 12 bucks, I am listening to it now!


          • #6
            Big Boss cd

            >> I discovered that you can purchase a CD of tunes from The Big Boss thru iTunes. It was just recently released, and does list Peter Thomas as the artist. 12 bucks, I am listening to it now!<<

            I would LOVE to trade for a CD-R of that! Please drop me a line at [email protected] and I'll send you my list, if you're interested. I trade to find this disc on ITunes, but no luck.

            Also, want to thank everyone for this informative thread. I've been obsessed with the music from the Big Boss since I first saw the movie as a kid. In fact I think it's what lead to my fascination with the funky fuzz/wah sound. I always assumed it was created by studio musicians in Hong Kong; I never suspected it was by Peter Thomas. I can also attest that those old kung-fu flicks really did sample music from wherever they pleased. I've even seen a very low-rent flick from the early '80s called "Golden Protectors" that samples music from "The Empire Strikes Back!"


            • #7
              You can also use spiral frog which is completely free to use. Only catch is you cant burn 'em
              Thomas Tooma