Remastered and expanded edition. 12-page CD booklet with French and English liner notes by Sylvain Pfeffer. Limited Edition of 1000 units.
In collaboration with EMI Music Publishing France, Music Box Records proudly presents the newly remastered and expanded edition of Georges Delerue's score to the 1965 classic adventure film Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine (Chinese Adventures in China / Up to His Ears), directed by Philipe de Broca (King of Hearts, Chouans!) and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Ursula Andress and Jean Rochefort.
Following the huge success of That Man from Rio (1964), the film’s producer Alexandre Mnouchkine offered Philippe de Broca to direct a sequel. After acquiring the adaptation rights for Jules Verne’s novel Tribulations of a Chinaman in China (1879), Mnouchkine convinced de Broca to adapt it as an indirect sequel to Adrien Dufourquet’s adventures. George Delerue wrote a rich adventure score for the film with a dynamic and brassy main theme that uses the pentatonic mode characteristic of Chinese music and gives a taste of Asia. Built on a waltz rhythm, the theme also suggests Europe with its typical Western musical rhythm. The composer also wrote numerous pieces that create tension, with its double bass chords, shrill brass instruments and jittery strings. This dense score also offers one of the gems of musical romanticism written by the composer for cinema: Alexandrine’s theme. This delicate and bewitching melody played on the flute and the harp illuminates the passionate but complicated love story between the billionaire and the ethnologist.
This present edition has been fully remastered from complete scoring session elements and features 20 minutes of previously unreleased music. The package includes a 12-page booklet with liner notes by Sylvain Pfeffer, discussing the film and the score. The CD release is limited to 1000 units.
1. Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine (1:43) 2. Les joies de la famille (2:18) 3. Alexandrine (2:33) 4. Charlie Fallinster (1:42) 5. Croisière en Orient (2:18) 6. Arthur recherché (1:30) 7. Dans les rues de Shanghai (1:03) 8. Striptease d’Alexandrine (1:42) 9. Dernier crépuscule (3:37) 10. Promenade à Delhi (2:27) 11. Tentatives de suicide (1:48) 12. Marche dans la montagne (2:42) 13. Fallinster attaque (1:30) 14. Alexandrine (version 2) (1:28) 15. Menace à Hong Kong (0:49) 16. Poursuite en ballon (2:30) 17. L'étrange Mister Goh (0:54) 18. À la poursuite de Suzie et Cornelius (2:05) 19. Le bateau des pirates (2:24) 20. Striptease d’Arthur (1:27) 21. Cabaret chinois (2:26) 22. Piège en Everest (1:13) 23. Solitude d'Arthur (0:58) 24. Les cinq cercueils (1:16) 25. Sur les sampans (1:44) 26. Kabuki (1:27) 27. À la rescousse d’Alexandrine (1:23) 28. La route des éléphants (1:43) 29. Final (1:55) 30. Un Chinois en Chine (2:10)
For those too young to remember, when the soundtrack LP was released in the ‘60’s, it became an instant collector’s item, selling in some cases for hundreds of $. United Artists only released the LP in New Zealand, and an EP 45 in France…
Playing now. A nice little effort by Le Georges. It is certainly a mixed bag: suspense, comedy,melancholy, whimsy, a little dramatic choir. There's on cue that had an ' Edda' style vocal over harp and strings, lovely.
About 40 years ago, I read in the catalog of Recollections, an Eastern US soundtrack dealer, that they wanted $200 for Chinese Adventures. I went to the local library, looked in the Auckland, New Zealand phone directory which they had and found a record store. I wrote to them and got a copy of this LP ... for $10 plus shipping. I mentioned this to some friends who promptly bombarded the store with further requests. Unfortunately, the copy that I got was the one and only one that they had.
A few years after this, some California bootlegger issued several albums on the POO label which sported color front covers and fake Japanese liner notes, including Chinese Adventures in China. Federal agents, reportedly searching for Elvis Presley bootlegs, came upon this "reissue," and confiscated the entire stock. Copies of it thereafter sold for as high as $100 each.
A few more years later, an Australian record dealer read about collectors in the US paying astronomical sums of money on out of print soundtrack albums. So rather than going into the bootleg business like POO did, he decided to reissue these albums legally. He contacted the companies who owned or represented most of the labels involved in the various soundtrack releases.
There were about 20 titles involved that were in demand including Chinese Adventures, Alexander the Great, Night of the Hunter, Kings Go Forth, The Lion, Francis of Assisi, etc. They were all pressed on good quality vinyl with the original covers. The Chinese Adventures reissue can be distinguished by the color of the label (the original label is below, the Aussie reissue is a colored one and has AUSLP on the front cover).
They sounded better than the original releases and the pressings were done in New Zealand because the New Zealand currency was below par against the Australian dollar. (This leads to confusion on Ebay with Chinese Adventures being described as having a "NZ pressing," like the original.)
Interestingly, Delerue's Our Mother's House (subsequently reissued by FSM) was also a very rare item (reportedly selling for up to $500), and it was only issued in Canada. In response to "collector demand," it was reissued by Polydor of Canada, but it had stiff competition from a bootleg, and was deleted within a year and a half of its release. I remember picking up a lot of copies of it at this second-hand record store near me in Vancouver, sealed, for $2 each.