THIEF Recorded 1980,Chris Franke’s Studio Berlin
Mastered George Piros all Composition by Edgar Froese,Chris Franke,Johannes Schmoelling Execerpt Confrontation by Craig Safan
Thank to Music Techology Inc for GDS Computer Instruments and Roland,Japan.
Direction TWM Management Bill Dern
Produced by Michael Mann and Tangerine Dream
1981 Elektra Records 5E-521
2004 Wounded Bird RecordsWO 521
- Beach Theme 3:44
- Dr. Destructo 3:18
- Diamond Diary 10:48
- Burning Bar 3:11
- Scrap Yard 4:40
- Trap Feeling 2:57
- Igneous 4:45
- Confrontation 5:44 Composed by Craig Safan
FROM MY SAMPLE “MANN OF SCORES”
In the Virgin edition the sound track Confrontation (composed by Craig Safan), used for the final gun fight between Frank (James Caan) and Leo (Robert Prosky), is omitted, apparently, by order of Edgar Froese, leader of the electronic rock group Tangerine Dream (born in the ‘70s in Germany), more inclined to produce an album exclusively of their pieces.
The wonderful post rock piece, whose player is “still unknown” and that vaguely recall Confortably Numb by Pink Floyd, has been replaced by another passage of a different kind and, equally great, called Beach Scene(Virgin Remastered reissue Tand 12).
Anyway, it is possible to draw some conclusion, both for the style rendered in the album Force Majeure and for the fact that played but not composed works are often omitted (in The Keep it is possible to notice that twice); such elements make us think that Tangerine Dream themselves have performed it.
As a result of my enquiry at ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) my hypothesis has been confirmed.
Anyway, the website voices in the net by Michael Berling quote this:
Thief was the second big Hollywood film that TD worked on after
Friedkin’s Sorcerer. Michael Mann was professionally prepared and knew precisely what he wanted. Up to this point, no one had ever used a sequencer for this category of movies. Sorcerer, which was the first film in which sequencers appeared, took place in very strange primeval
forest. Many people did not even really notice the exotic music. But
Thief took place in a normal thriller setting – here the music was
once unusual. This score was and is one of the most unusual of its
kind for American film, and TD received many offers after.
Michael Mann, who the band later worked for on The Keep, really helped TD quite a lot on the way when he offered this film to them.
There were two versions of the album; only the US release from 1981
included the track Confrontation that was composed and performed by
Craig Safan. All other worldwide releases featured the composition
Beach Scene (itself an extended version of the opening title Beach
Theme) instead, though, by mistake, the US track listing was printed
on the covers of some of the first releases.
There have been rumours that Confrontation was composed by Safan but played by TD, as the cover information suggests, but issue #9 of the newletter of TD’s now defunct official fan club (TDIFC) clearly
states: “During the time Michael Mann was editing and dubbing the
movie Thief, TD played some gigs in Italy. Michael rang them in
Venice and asked for a final guitar sequence which should close the
movie. There was no time for the band to step into an Italian studio
to record such a piece of music. What’s very unusual for TD,
happened. Michael had to ask an LA based guitarist to compose what’s
called later Confrontation on the record. It had to have playing
technique and a TD sound. Virgin records, who did the release of the
record outside the States, didn’t like the piece or the whole
procedure. It was done and taken off the tape. Business as usual!”
In the film, starting from the first talk between Frank and Leo and during the scene in the bar where the former quarrels with a very young William Petersen (Detective Will Graham in Manhunter), it is played Turning Point by the Mighty Joe Young (Album Live at Wise Fools Pub), with Willie Hayes,the band leader percussionist also in real life. However, in the music credits there is neither the title nor the author of the piece.
Willie Nelson, actor and famous country singer, has a small part in the film as Okla while Willie Dixon, bluesman in the Chicago area, appears in a short cameo in a wonderful scene both for colours and shade, cut off in the movie edition.
Finally, a note about the piece Igneous also included in the above mentioned “Force Majeure”; in this latter, slightly readapted album it is named “Thru Metamorphic Rocks” and it contains a part not present in the album but used in the film, and precisely when Frank is driving to
the car showroom unaware that some Leo’s hitmen (among whom “Carl” Dennis Farina) are waiting for him.
I would say for close this little analysis that Thief is Miliar stone in to field of 80’s soundtracks that keep alive its impressive electronic post rock modernism
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE SOUNDTRACK THIS IS THE BEST ITEM YOU COULD BUY From ORANGE RECORDS..20th Anniversary editon GREAT TRACKS , BUT HARD TO FIND NOT IMPOSSIBLE