The Coolangatta Gold was released in 1984, along with an LP, which featured mainly pop/rock songs, and just 6 tracks of music by Bill Conti. There is approximately 40 minutes of previously unreleased music by Bill Conti on this 1M1 Records new release. The CD totals over 78 minutes of music, with many bonus tracks, and expanded tracks.
Bill Conti wrote this exhilarating scores for the film The Coolangatta Gold in 1984. The large symphonic orchestra performs a similar role in the film as Conti's underrated action score in the Sylvester Stallone film about POWs and football, Victory (aka. Escape to Victory), the triumphant orchestral music of The Karate Kid and The Right Stuff, and the fanfares of the Rocky series.
At the very time Bill Conti won the Oscar® for The Right Stuff, Australia's biggest budget film ever was in production. Conti's aggressive, dashing, and triumphant orchestral style was exactly what the filmmakers wanted for this prestigious film, featuring many race and action sequences.
His musical approach to competition, such as featured in the climactic ballet scene in Slow Dancing in the Big City, convinced the producers that Conti was the composer they wanted for their new film about people pushing themselves beyond normal physical limits.
In September 1984, he recorded the main orchestral sequences in Australia at the Sydney Town Hall and the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. The score has been almost totally forgotten over the years, with only a few tracks by Bill Conti released amongst numerous pop songs on an LP at the time.
The original majesty of his music for this film has been buried away, and forgotten, for so many years. Nearly two decades later, the original recordings have been located, and most of the neglected and flaking tapes have now been fully restored. Some of the tapes, however, were damaged - due to the aging process - beyond the current technology for satisfactory restoration. Some cues, therefore have been placed out of order, but have still been included on the CD for those who would like to have Bill Conti's score in its entirety. Conti's music captures the feverish excitement of the early Iron Man races, athletes training and the long triathlon race, which is the climax of the film. Full of brass fanfares, swirling woodwinds and rhapsodic strings, there is also an expanded percussion section including several timpani and snare drums, and crashing cymbals. There are also many tracks underscoring the emotional relationships between the characters in the film, and the tensions involved, which have never been released before.
One of Conti's most delicately beautiful love themes is not in the final film, but is included on this CD (Track 10).
We have also included alternate versions of some of the action cues which were written for the film, as well as Conti's rearrangements of some of the musical themes and cues, extended cues which have not been previously released including the "Prelude" to "The Big Race" and the "Finale" from the end titles, as well as extended cues which were cut down for the final-release-edit of the film (Tracks 13, 14, and 15).
- Philip Powers, 1M1 Records
"I was, in short, knocked out... If you love what the composer did for such films as the ROCKY series, THE RIGHT STUFF and ESCAPE TO VICTORY, you're going to lap this score up, as it's full of heroic and exciting music, lead by the triumphant main theme... Unquestionably one of the film music releases of the year."
- Jeff Hall, Film Music Bulletin (London), Issue No .19, January 2003
"The opening cue 'The Coolangatta Gold' is a glorious, stirring march that is an inspirational cross between the composer's fantastic theme for 'The Right Stuff' and Dvorak's 'New World'. This cue is full of pride and triumph, and is one of those cues that is an instant favourite… As the training intensifies and the film moves into the big race finale the music grows more like the big band, heavy beat music used in Rocky, increasing in power until breaking into the glorious orchestral 'Gold' theme once again for the 'Finale'. If that were not enough, most of the best cues receive a reprise, either in their LP versions or as alternative versions, in the eleven extra tracks included at the end of the album.
For fans of Bill Conti's work in the 1970s and 1980s this score is heaven, full of long exciting orchestral cues and dynamic big band exhilaration with every cue an absolute delight. A highly recommended score."
- Andrew Keech, Music From The Movies, January 2003
"(W)henever the composer directs his attention onto what Powers calls "the emotional relationships between the characters in the film, and the tensions involved," he replaces the dance floor hooks with symphonic arrangements that swell, contract, soar and fall gracefully. On "Finale," for instance, he presents an exciting, four-part march with brass, violins and percussion. "Family Competition," perhaps the prettiest track on the album, is a waltz that slides along like water over glass. And in "Kerry and Steve - Love Theme," Conti combines a piano melody with hushed strings to create an emotionally complex sound that pays passing homage to Beethoven's "Sonata Pathetique."
"In addition to the original score, One M One packs this album with alternative and extended versions of the film's main themes, making 40 minutes of previously unreleased music available; and with its clear, clean sound and informative liner notes, this comprehensive collection should delight Conti's devotees."
- Stephen Armstrong, Film Score Monthly, March/April 2003