cover art for Mike's Murder

Mike's Murder

1984

No Soundtrack Release (of Barry's Music)


The Movie

Debra Winger falls for tennis teacher Mike (Mark Keyloun), who gets killed. When Deb starts looking for him, it leads her into the dangerous underground of illegal drugs.


The Music

I never saw it so I haven't heard the music (see release notes below). I'll comment if I ever watch the movie.


Release Notes

This is an interesting illustration of the goofiness of the film music world. In the old days under the studio system, a movie would be assigned to a composer and that was it. Unless the studio head hated the music, he'd go with the score. And if he hated the music, chances are the composer would be fired from the studio, not just the film.

But since then, when movies became a project-by-project coalition of creative forces, film scores are no longer a given. A composer can be hired and turn in his work, and then have it rejected and another composer hired to redo it--in whole or in part. Anyone who's worked era long enough will end up on either side of this equasion. Alex North's score for 2001 was replaced by classical music. Lalo Schifrin's score for The Excorcist was rejected. Michele Legrand's score for The Appointment was rejected in favor of a John Barry score, which was subsequently rejected for a Stu Philips score. The list is endless.

In this case, Joe Jackson scored Mike's Murder and it was subsequently rejected and John Barry was brought in. It's Barry's music that's on the film. But Joe Jackson probably had the deal with the record company, and it's his score that got released on the soundtrack LP (I'll bet the record company loved that). So while Barry did score Mike's Murder and you'll hear the music if you watch the film, you won't find any of it on the soundtrack LP. Something similar to this happened in reverse on Mercury Rising, where portions of the Barry's work were rejected in favor of Carter Burwell's, but none of Burwell's music appears on the soundtrack.

Such is the nature of film music in modern film.