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Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Gary Hughes

Recorded By
John Neal

Performed By
The London Studio Symphony Orchestra

Album Produced By
Ford Thaxton

Prometheus PCD 158

Previous Release(s)
Varése Sarabande
(Suite on Jerry Goldsmith At 20th Century Fox)
Silva Screen CD
AEI Records

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Cues & Timings


1. The World That Only Lovers See (2:25) *
2. Main Title (2:23)
3. Good-bye For Now (1:45)
4. A Late Visitor (2:44)
5. The Tour (2:37)
6. Soong Chu (2:17)
7. The Red Guard (3:15)
8. Hathaway's Farewell (2:45)
9. Escape (3:02)
10. Fire Fight (3:20)
11. The Fence (1:40)
12. End Title (3:13)

* Piano Solo Performed By Jerry Goldsmith

Soundtrack Ratings







The Chairman

One of Jerry Goldsmith's many strengths as a composer was his ethnic scores in particular his ability to vividly recreate the sounds of the far east. A part of the world Goldsmith would musically travel on regular occasions; The Spiral Road, The Sand Pebbles, Tora, Tora, Tora, Inchon, The Challenge, The Shadow, Mulan and in 1969 The Chairman, also known as The Most Dangerous Man In The World. Here Goldsmith was tasked with writing for a cold war thriller with James Bond overtones as Gregory Peck goes to China on a mission for the US and Russia to retrieve a new plant enzyme that could help feed the third world.

For this new presentation of the album Prometheus have changed the running order and open the CD with Jerry Goldsmith's Piano solo of the love theme (The World That Only Lovers See
) , performed by the composer and supported by orchestra. It's said that Goldsmith's gorgeous love theme went on to become a song sung by Shirley Bassey with lyrics by Hal Shaper.

The Main Title introduces a percussive lead march for the People's Republic of China, spotlighting the Yang Chin, a Chinese dulcimer. Scenes of Chinese culture mingle with the revolutionary aspects of the communist regime, as these intensify so does the virtuosic performance of Goldsmith's powerful theme building to a deafening crescendo for a final image of Mao.

Good Bye Now presents Goldsmith's tender love theme with strings and woodwinds centre as Hathaway bids farewell to his lover Kay before departing on his mission. Goldsmith's theme hints at the far eastern destination but it's those wonderfully melancholy strings that dominate the cue. A Late Visitor reprises the theme again but this time as Hathaway, now in Hong Kong, is seduced by a local Chinese girl. Unsettling string figures inject suspense as a Red Agent is spotted trying to go through his belongings. As Hathaway is knocked unconscious Goldsmith's cue descends into violence.

The Tour begins in spectacular fashion with a powerhouse rendition of the main theme for Hathaway's arrival in China to a sea of flag waving Chinese all holding their little red books. As he makes his way through the crowd he meets his mentor's daughter Soong Chu. Here Goldsmith provides a lovely, lyrical episode with a gentle melody supported by minor percussion and playful winds.

Soong Chu opens in suspenseful mode with the dulcimer and tremolo strings as Hathaway covertly steals some Acid to be used later in the recovery of the plant enzyme film. The cue then gives way to a tender reading of the love theme for clarinet and harp as Hathaway talks with Soong Chu about living in Communist China.

The Red Guard explodes with a ferocious statement of the Chairman theme as Hathaway is escorted to Soong Li's home by the Red Army, an earlier sequence in the film. As they arrive and Hathaway is escorted inside his quarters Goldsmith provides low key suspense as he surveys his new surroundings while a Red Guard watches from outside.

Hathaway's Farewell develops the love theme further with a melancholy variation as Soong Chu discovers her father has committed suicide. The second portion of the cue distorts the heartfelt string writing with snares and piano as Hathaway coerces her into helping him escape.

The Escape begins the final act as Hathaway, with the help of a Russian spy, escape Soong Li's compound. Goldsmith begins tentatively as he escapes across the roof before the chase is on to reach the gate. Goldsmith's suspenseful cue supports with strings, piano and interjections from varied percussion elevating the tension as they successfully breakout.

Fire Fight develops these ideas further into the score's major action cue as the chasing Red Army come under fire from the Russian. Snares initiate the vigorous action motif as all hell breaks loose building to a full statement of the main theme for horns, with further percussion and pulsing string writing as Hathaway makes his escape to the border in a Scout Car.

The Fence concludes the action on the album as Hathaway attempts to crawl under the electric wire at the border with Russia. Snares and brass rally for the arrival of the supporting Russian Army as they attempt to help him across, but strings and punctuations from the Yang Chin inject further suspense as Hathaway fails. His escape is one of a handful of short cues not featured here.

The End Title closes the album and reprises the love theme for Hathaway and Kay now back in London. Goldsmith's resolution is tinged with sadness before a triumphant final reading of the stirring Chairman march dramatically closes the film over the end credits.

This new CD of The Chairman is another attempt at offering Goldsmith fandom a better sounding version of the original LP over the particularly poor sounding Silva disc. A far superior mono source was utilised by Varése Sarabande from the Fox archive for their suite on the Jerry Goldsmith At 20th Century Fox box set. This selection contained some of the album content plus an additional cue. It's believed the Fox archive contains the complete score in this form, and there are unconfirmed reports that a clean stereo source for the majority of the album is also in circulation. So in some ways it remains annoying we have another less than stellar version of this score. Without doubt this sounds infinitely better than the previous Silva Screen CD but it is by no means anything special. Listen carefully on your headphones and you'll realise the source is none other than a cleaned up LP! Perhaps one day we will get the definitive presentation of The Chairman replete with all those short extra cues. Until then this is the best version of the album on offer.