Dragon’s Domain Records presents the soundtrack release of TREASURE OF THE YANKEE ZEPHYR, featuring music composed by Brian May (MAD MAX, ROAD GAMES, THE ROAD WARRIOR, CLOAK & DAGGER) for the 1981 action/adventure film directed by David Hemmings (BLOW-UP, THE SURVIVOR), written by Everett De Roche, produced by Antony I. Ginnane, starring Ken Wahl, Leslie Anne Warren, Donald Pleasence and George Peppard.
December 1943. World War II. New Zealand. The Yankee Zephyr, an American military DC-3 cargo plane carrying supplies, mail, and holiday packages for the troops serving with MacArthur’s fleet – and $50 million in gold bullion for operational aid in the Pacific – disappears in the rugged mountain countryside of New Zealand’s South Island. The plane, its crew of two, and its entire cargo – seemingly lost forever. Until Gibbie (Pleasence), a drunken hunter accidentally discovers the forgotten relic and its payload. After finding boxes of vintage whiskey, currency, and brand new WW2 military medals, Gibbie realizes he’s found a minor treasure. He makes his way into town with a box of medals and promptly sells them for a high price to the owner of an antique store. After Gibbie leaves to spend his earnings in the local tavern with his partner, Barney (Wahl), the store owner makes a call and mobster Theo Brown (Peppard) shows up with a gaggle of henchmen, looking for Gibbie and the whereabouts of the plane. Brown knows about the Yankee Zephyr’s payload and he intends to claim it for himself, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, in order to fund repairs on Barney’s helicopter, Gibbie visits his daughter Sally (Warren), trustee of his bank account during his ongoing state of inebriation. Gibbie succeeds in persuading Sally to loan him the money to repair the helicopter. Just as they are about to depart, Brown arrives with his men and threatens our heroes and the chase is on…
Released in 1981, TREASURE OF THE YANKEE ZEPHYR, also known as RACE FOR THE YANKEE ZEPHYR was one of the most ambitious and expensive films in producer Antony I. Ginnane’s series of motion pictures that helped thrust Australia out of the regional folk adventure stories that had formerly typified its homegrown cinema into respected world class adventure, science fiction, and horror films and shared an equal part in resurrecting the country’s film industry. To score the film, Ginnane turned to composer Brian May with which he’d already established a creative relationship after hiring him for some of his other recent films such as PATRICK, THIRST, HARLEQUIN and THE SURVIVOR. May’s music for the TREASURE OF THE YANKEE ZEPHYR focuses on energizing the action, reflecting and acknowledging the humor between the characters, and imitating their personalities in the midst of propulsive, exciting orchestrations for brass, string, and percussion during the lengthy chase scenes.
Born in Adelaide in 1934, Brian May (no relation to Brian Harold May of Queen) was one of the first composers to achieve international acclaim as an Australian composer and was best known as the composer of MAD MAX and THE ROAD WARRIOR (MAD MAX II). May received his musical training as a pianist, violinist and conductor at the Adelaide Elder Conservatorium. He joined the Australia Broadcasting Company in 1957, where he formed the ABC Adelaide Big Band, an ensemble that performed all manner of light music for broadcast, and May became a leading figure in Australian light music as a result. He moved to Melbourne in 1970 to arrange and conduct the ABC’s Melbourne Show band. Moving into film music in a period of time when Australia’s film industry was just beginning to take its place among international film circles, May composed such notable film scores as RACE FOR THE YANKEE ZEPHYR, ROAD GAMES, CLOAK AND DAGGER, DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR, MISSING IN ACTION 2, SKY PIRATES, STEEL DAWN, DR. GIGGLES, FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHT MARE and BLINDSIDE. He won the Australian Film Institute Award for best original score with MAD MAX; many other awards followed, including the Golden Award from the Australian Performing Rights Association. He continued to score films until 1993, composing music for more than 30 films and many hours of television, most of which he orchestrated himself. Sadly, the composer passed away in 1997 at the age of 63.
Previously released on compact disc by 1M1 Records in the early 1990s, Dragon’s Domain Records is excited to bring TREASURE OF THE YANKEE ZEPHYR screaming back from the past, newly remastered by Digital Outland, including a special bonus track. Added to this album is a remix that loops the Main Title music, sans the comic segment that begins with the entrance of Barney’s wobbly helicopter, in order to present a fuller and purer version of the composer’s powerful main theme. The booklet includes exclusive liner notes written by author Randall Larson, with the participation of producer Antony I. Ginnane.
01 Main Title 5:24
02 Newsreel Music 3:26
03 Gibbie On The Lake /
The Zephyr Appears 3:34
04 Gibbie's Hearts and Flowers /
Helicopter Chase 8:58
05 Tank Chase 7:06
06 General Gibbie 1:22
07 Jet Boat Chase 4:07
08 The Zephyr's End 3:33
09 End Titles 5:21
10 Overture 3:59
Total Time: 47:12