Thursday, December 8, 2011
55 Days at Peking Soundtrack [1963-2011]
La-La Land Records presented an expanded version of a classic score by Dimitri Tiomkin from 1963: 55 Days at Peking.
A dramatization of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 China, 55 Days at Peking depicts the Battle of Peking from the perspective of a group of foreign diplomats protected by the Chinese government in Peking’s legations district. Charlton Heston stars as an American major defending the ambassadors, and David Niven and Ava Gardner play British and Russian dignitaries, the latter of whom engages in an affair with Heston’s major.
One of the last regular directing credits by Nicholas Ray, director of Rebel Without a Cause, Peking boasts an Oscar-nominated score that’s classic Tiomkin, all muscular action interspersed with descriptive romantic themes at times. The music of 55 Days at Peking received two Oscar nominations, one for the general score and one for Best Song, the end title theme “So Little Time,” performed for the film by Andy Williams. The film was also prestigious enough in its day to warrant an album release on vinyl at the time.
Now, La-La Land greatly expands that album presentation on a lavish two-disc set, featuring nearly all of the score in stereo (with a few cues in mono), as well as several mono bonus tracks released on original singles or intended for EP releases. The set, featuring a 24-page booklet including liner notes from film score writer Mark K. DeWald, is limited to 2,000 copies and can be ordered here. As always, the track list is after the jump!
Dimitri Tiomkin, 55 Days at Peking: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (La-La Land Records LLLCD 1184, 2011 – original film released 1963)
“Peking, China, the summer of the year 1900…” *
Order from a Prime Minister/In the Palace *
The Water Wheel Torture *
A Dead British Missionary *
Lewis and Natasha’s First Encounter *
Prince Tuan *
Dance At the British Embassy (The Belfry Two-Step) (Mono) *
The Boxers Entertain *
Murder of the German Minister
Mass Execution *
An Empress’ Warning *
Rescued from an Angry Crowd *
Preparing for Battle *
Natasha Visits a Chinaman *
Lewis and Natasha Disagree * +
Attack on the French Legation
British Soldier Wounded *
On Top of the Wall *
All Quiet on the Eastern Front (Mono) *
Here They Come (Peking First Battle)
Hospital Scene *
Intermission: The Peking Theme (So Little Time)
At the Hospital *
A Message from Admiral Sidney *
Lewis and Natasha *
Theresa in Danger *
Religious Ceremony/Covert Operation *
Spoiling the Empress’ Party: Explosion of the Arsenal
Old Soldiers Never Volunteer *
Lewis Saves the Boy *
Necklace for Drugs *
The Truce is Over *
Theresa and Lewis *
Death of Natasha +
A New Kind of Weapon *
Peking Second Battle
Bad News *
Attack on the Compound *
The Empress Alone *
Auld Lang Syne (Sir Arthur And Lewis Say Goodbye) *
The Peking Theme (So Little Time) – Andy Williams
So Little Time (Mono EP Version) *
March (Mono EP Version) *
Natasha (Mono EP Version) *
Theresa (Mono EP Version) *
So Little Time (Mono Single Version)
Moon Fire (Mono Single Version)
* denotes previously unreleased track. + denotes track unused in film.
Disc 1, Tracks 1-2, 8-9, 14, 22 and 28 and Disc 2, Tracks 1-2, 8, 14, 19, 22 and 23 released as Columbia LP CS-8828, 1963.
Disc 2, Track 28 from Columbia single 4-42784, 1963.
Disc 2, Track 29 from Columbia single 4-42828, 1963.