I love this movie, and I can confirm that I’m far from the only guy who also loves this score (just ask Brett Ratner how he decided to hire Lalo Schifrin for the Rush Hour movies). It is, of course, the greatest kung-fu movie ever made, with an amazing performance by Bruce Lee both as star and fight choreographer. Lalo Schifrin’s score was originally released in 1973 as a 26-minute LP but then expanded by producer Nick Redman into a 56-minute CD by Warner Home Video in 1998. I was privileged to write the notes for that expansion, interviewing the composer and delving into the creation of this iconic score. So for Aleph’s reissue of the latter — expanded slightly to include the film’s main title, with Lee’s unique shouts — I have adapted my earlier essay.
I was honored to be asked to contribute notes to Rhino’s 4-CD box set of songs and scores drawn from 75 years of Warner Bros. movies. My old friend Rudy Behlmer — who had memorably contributed to the studio’s landmark “50 Years of Film Music” box set of LPs — was quite rightly commissioned to cover the period from the 1920s through 1959. Cartoon-music expert Daniel Goldmark penned a short essay on animation, and it was my job to chronicle the period of the 1960s through 1997. Together we filled an 80-page book to accompany of the discs. The music is a real potpourri, of course, but it’s a fair cross-section of the vast WB output over nearly eight decades of American film.