Dakota Harris (France) / (West Germany)
Pirati del cielo (Italy)
Dakota Harris in der Höhle des Todes (West Germany)
Himmelhunde über England (West Germany) (TV title)
Limited edition of 1000 copies.
Dragon's Domain Records, to be distributed through buysoundtrax.com, presents the soundtrack release of SKY PIRATES, featuring music composed and conducted by Brian May (MAD MAX, THE ROAD WARRIOR, ROAD GAMES, PATRICK) for the 1986 science fiction adventure thriller directed by Colin Eggleston (LONG WEEKEND), written by John D. Lamond (STAGE FRIGHT aka NIGHTMARES), starring John Hargreaves, Meredith Phillips, Bill Hunter, Alex Scott, Simon Chilvers and Max Phipps.
Released in 1986, SKY PIRATES follows the adventures of Air Force Lieutenant Dakota Harris (Hargreaves) as he is called to a secret airbase to begin a discreet mission: fly an American plane to Washington D.C. by way of Bora Bora. On board the plane, a trio of unexpected passengers including Major Savage (Phipps), a former adversary of Harris', genial Reverend Mitchell (Chilvers), who specializes in archeological mysteries, British General Hackett (Scott) and the plane's flight crew, and it's cargo, a mysterious wooden crate that tends to glow when its disturbed. Not to mention, numerous boxes of Kentucky Whiskey. Enroute to their destination, the glowing box seems to attract a supernatural storm which sends the plane far off course, crashing into a kind of Bermuda Triangle known as the Sea Of Lost Ships. Five men escape in a life raft as the plane sinks, taking its mysterious cargo to the bottom of the ocean and thus begins the quest to recover the contents of the crate.
While the spirit of the film was meant to evoke RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and ROMANCING THE STONE, audiences largely stayed away from SKY PIRATES. With the quest of the film's characters launching them throughout the South Pacific, Lamond facilitated filming mostly on location at such exotic locales as Bora Bora, Tahiti, Easter Island, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The film's period was aided by the use of a number of historical aircraft, including Douglas C-47 Skytrain, North American B-25 Mitchell, CAC Mustangs, and Grumman Mallard. The movie was filmed between May and June 1984 with post-production running through December of that year, although the finished film sat on the shelf for some time before it finally achieved release in 1986. Despite its lavish production design and entertaining storyline, it was a major flop, earning back only a fraction of its production budget. The picture was much more successful in Europe, where it was called DAKOTA HARRIS.
If any element of SPY PIRATES can be found not to be wanting, it's Brian May's boisterous and colorful musical score, which gives the movie a thoroughly exuberant dynamic. SKY PIRATES is immersed in bold gestures, large orchestral adventure, and heroic measures that are expressed in energetic and exciting terms. Recorded at Allen Easton Studios in Melbourne with a 62-piece orchestra, May's SKY PIRATES score is powerful and quite thrilling; based on melody, mystery, and motif, it buttresses the film very well and more often than not subverts the movie's logistical failures with the diversion of thrilling adventure.
Born in Adelaide in 1934, Brian May (no relation to Brian Harold May of Queen) was one of the first composers to achieve international acclaim as an Australian composer and was best known as the composer of MAD MAX and THE ROAD WARRIOR (MAD MAX II). May received his musical training as a pianist, violinist and conductor at the Adelaide Elder Conservatorium. He joined the Australia Broadcasting Company in 1957, where he formed the ABC Adelaide Big Band, an ensemble that performed all manner of light music for broadcast, and May became a leading figure in Australian light music as a result. He moved to Melbourne in 1970 to arrange and conduct the ABC's Melbourne Show band. Moving into film music in a period of time when Australia's film industry was just beginning to take its place among international film circles, May composed such notable film scores as PATRICK, HARLEQUIN, THIRST, THE SURVIVOR, RACE FOR THE YANKEE ZEPHYR, ROAD GAMES, CLOAK AND DAGGER, DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR, MISSING IN ACTION 2, STEEL DAWN, DR. GIGGLES, FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHT MARE and BLINDSIDE. He won the Australian Film Institute Award for best original score with MAD MAX; many other awards followed, including the Golden Award from the Australian Performing Rights Association. He continued to score films until 1993, composing music for more than 30 films and many hours of television, most of which he orchestrated himself. Sadly, the composer passed away in 1997 at the age of 63.
Previously released on compact disc by 1M1 Records in the early days of the compact disc format and very hard to find over the years, Dragon's Domain Records is excited to bring SKY PIRATES roaring back from the past, newly remastered by Digital Outland. The booklet includes exclusive liner notes written by author Randall Larson.