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Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story (Soundtrack) by Randy Edelman

The Golden Theme
Review by Christopher Coleman

 

Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story (Soundtrack) by Randy Edelman

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
7/10

Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story (Soundtrack) by Randy Edelman  from Amazon.com

 

Category

Score

Originality 7
Music Selection 7
Composition 7
CD Length 6
Track Order 7
Performance 8
Final Score 7/10

 


Composer 
Randy Edelman

Composed and Conducted by Randy Edelman
Orchestrated by Randy Edelman and Greg McRitchie
Vocal Performance by Lynn Ray
Released by MCA Records 1993

I have lost count just how many times I have heard the love theme from Dragon in various movie trailers, television specials and commercials. Some have said that the title theme from Dragon was the reason they got into film music!  That is quite a compliment to the composer Randy Edelman.  Truly, one of the best composers around when it comes to penning a good, memorable theme, Edelman has struck thematic gold several times including his themes for: Dragonheart and Gettysburg, but maybe none so poignant as in Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story. While Dragon suffers from Edelman's over-reliance upon sythensized instruments and leans heavily upon its main theme to carry it, it does still feature other noteworthy moments scattered throughout. 

Randy Edelman seems to shine brightest when conveying the ideas of hope, love, and romance in general.  His main theme for Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story stands out as one his best.  Introduced in track 4, Bruce and Linda, Edelman again demonstrates his ability to craft simple music that remains a pleasure to listen even after it has been heard dozens of times.  Beginning softly and simply on solo piano, the theme is then repeated by strings. Additional sythensized accompaniment is layered in until it finally reaches its crescendo.  The mountain-top moments of the film all utilize the theme quite effectively.  The theme is reprised in Victory at Ed Parker's (9), The Premiere of Big Boss (13) and helps bring the film to its bitter-sweet conclusion in The Dragon's Heartbeat (15).

Beyond the title theme, Randy Edelman establishes what could be entitled, "the family love theme" in track 3, Len Hoi Cheun's Love - which establishes the relationship between Lee and his father.  Continuing to echo the film's idea of family-love versus family-curse, Edelman also uses the family-theme in Sailing on the South China Sea (track 6), where Lee and his family share a rare moment of relaxation and bonding.  While Edelman may not deliver a knock out blow with every piece he writes for a film, he certainly knows how to induce musical goose-bumps when he wants to.

The final two tracks are period pieces from the 1960's and 70's and might have been left off completely.  Adding the two cuts might have been necessary due to this soundtrack's overall brevity.  Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story features one of Hollywood's favorite trailer-tracks and it is the highlight of the score.  A full orchestral performance of the theme would be a joy to hear, but the theme is so satisfying that even a fully synthesized performance is enjoyable.  

 


 

Track Listing and Ratings

 Track Title Time

Rating

1

Dragon Theme/ A Father's Nightmare

3:33

 ***
2

Yip Man's Kwoon

2:26

 ****
3

Lee Hoi Chuen's Love

2:09

 ***
4 Bruce and Linda 2:43  *****
5

The Challenge Fight Warm-Up

2:13

 **
6

Sailing on the South China Sea

2:12

 ****
7

Fists of Fury

1:16

 **
8

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do

2:15

 ***
9

Victory at Ed Parker's

1:32

 ***
10

Chopsaki

1:11

 ***
11

Brandon

2:04

 **
12 The Mountain of Gold 0:44  **
13

The Premiere of The Big Boss

1:44

 *****
14 Fighting Demons 2:36  **
15 The Dragon's Heartbeat 5:08  *****
16 First Date 2:15  ***
17 The Hong Kong Cha-Cha 3:45  **
 

Total Running Time

39:46  
 

 

 

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