SV-517150 The Falcon And The Snowman:
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Produced by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays
(track 5 by Pat Metheny and David Bowie)
Released on January? 1985
US CHART POSITION #54
Find it at GEMM
SV-517150 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

I saw this film when it came to the theatres and, despite being a big Bowie fan at the time, had no recollection of the song “This Is Not America” being used in the film. That’s how good it is. Bowie’s EMI America output was no one’s idea of anyone’s golden years, marred by perfunctory performances that constituted product and nothing more. There is no shared affinity between the music of Pat Metheny and David Bowie; if the two artists recorded this in the same studio, they needn’t have. The melody from Metheny and Lyle Mays is forgettable, the vocals from Bowie dry and disinterested. The rest of the soundtrack finds the Pat Metheny Group trying their hand at a traditional soundtrack, producing eerie sounds (“The Level of Deception”), milking the same thin melody in different arrangements (“This Is Not America” is recycled throughout), and pulling the strings of an orchestra and choir (“Psalm 121”). Devout fans of Pat Metheny may find the exercise interesting, if only because it shows their hero embracing new sounds, but as an album of music I can rattle off a half-dozen Tangerine Dream soundtracks that deliver more for the money. And I have yet to meet a Metheny album that offers less. I would imagine that the Bowie/Metheny meeting came at the request of label EMI America, who was still chewing on Bowie’s bitter contract. It remains one in a series of bad matches (Bing Crosby, Giorgio Moroder, Queen, Mick Jagger) that found others cashing in on the singer’s still-considerable cachet. Pat Metheny Group stood to benefit the least from that list of suitors, as they’d managed a commercial crossover quite well on their own, whereas EMI America likely saw an opportunity to boost the visibility of an otherwise sleepy score. And so consumers like me were duped into buying something that they wouldn’t ordinarily touch with a steel-reinforced falconer’s glove. And so consumers like me use their freedom of speech to warn others from making the same mistake. And that, in a nutshell, is America.

SV-517150 back cover
SV-517150 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. PSALM 121/FLIGHT OF THE FALCON    4:08
  2. DAULTON LEE    5:56
  3. CHRIS    3:16
  4. "THE FALCON"    4:59
  5. THIS IS NOT AMERICA    (David Bowie/Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays)    3:53
  6. EXTENT OF THE LIE    4:15
  7. THE LEVEL OF DECEPTION    5:45
  8. CAPTURE    3:57
  9. EPILOGUE (PSALM 121)    2:14

    All tunes written by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays unless noted. All arrangements & orchestration by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays.

CREDITS

LYLE MAYS -- synthesizers, piano
PAT METHENY -- guitar synthesizer, acoustic & electric guitars
STEVE RODBY -- acoustic & electric basses, conductor
PAUL WERTICO -- drums, percussion
Ambrosian Choir -- choir (1) Pedro Aznar -- voice (2,4)
David Bowie -- vocals (5)
John McCarthy -- choir conductor (1)
National Philharmonic Orchestra -- orchestra
Marcellus Frank -- engineer, mixing
Bob Clearmountain -- mixing (5)

return to PAT METHENY GROUP discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US January? 1985 EMI America LP/CS SV/4XV-517150  
GER/NET 1985 EMI LP 064 2403 051  

 

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