Various Artists - American Flyers

Artist: Various Artists
Album: American Flyers (1985) original soundtrack


This soundtrack is impossible to find, as it was originally released on the GNP label in Vinyl only. It contains mostly up-tempo score by Greg Mathieson and Lee Ritenour, with some rock songs as well. In recent years a high-quality CD-R has appeared in underground circles, but if you can find it in either iteration, it's worth a listen for fans of the movie, or up-tempo instrumental rock music from the 1980's, interspersed with some good heartland-rock music from that era that doesn't match-up with the score at all, but none the less fit the movie well. Here are the tracks by listing:

1. American Flyers - A vocal cut by Glenn Shorrock that fits a rock/country feel and sets up the songs on the album well.
2. Traveling Music - A Mathieson/Ritenour tune with guitar and brass
3. Brand New Day - Really nice uplifting vocal song by Danny Hutton. Of all the (new) songs on the album, I like this one most. It makes me want to get out on my bike and just go!
4. Gone Ridin' - Good vocal track from a young Chris Issak. Fans of Chris may not be too familiar with this early song of his.
5. Bad Moon Rising - Classic CCR tune, I'm sure you know it well.
6. Brothers' Theme, Pt. 1 - Nice quiet instrumental with Ritenaur guitar.
7. 'j' Factor - Very short (1 min) synth cut build-up.
8. Theme from American Flyers (Hell of the West) - Much like an opening title theme, contains the theme by Mathieson & Ritenour
8b. Breakaway - Missing from Amazon's listing is the epic by Mathieson & Ritenour which is some active and changing rock music that really fit well on screen, and offers a great listen.
9. Brothers' Theme, Pt. 2 - Reprisal of the first theme, only a little more electric.
10. Treadmill - The most dated and peculiar cut, with sampled voices breathing, with the brassy theme played on top of heavy sampled drums.
11. Epilogue (Third Race) - A lot like end titles, it mixes the brassy theme with Ritenour's guitar into one complete piece.

All in all, while this album is somewhat dated, I think to this date I haven't really heard anything quite like it. The uptempo instrumental cuts are quite good and make for good workout music - it's kind of a shame that Ritenour and Mathieson didn't work together much again, and scored no more films. Add to that, the songs are good too.

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