MAN AT THE TOP
Caldera Records is proud to present the original score for the motion picture “Man at the Top” from 1973, directed by Mike Vardy, featuring music by Roy Budd.
Writer John Braine established Joe Lampton as a ruthless force to be reckoned with when he published his novel “Room at the Top” in 1957. The film rights were snatched up immediately, and only two years later, Jack Clayton’s adaptation premiered in theaters. Following another outing in the cinema and a television series, Anglo-EMI, in collaboration with Hammer Films, decided to let Joe Lampton (now played by Kenneth Haigh) loose on the big screen once more. In 1973, “Man at the Top” premiered. Here, Joe Lampton is appointed Managing Director of ChemExport, a company overseen by Lord Ackerman, played by Harry Andrews. All is not well: six months later, it emerges that Lampton’s predecessor committed suicide. Slowly it becomes clear to Lampton that he might have been appointed to take the blame for a massive marketing blunder that could crush not only him but the whole company.
Kenneth Haigh was delighted when he heard that Roy Budd had been contracted to write the music for “Man at the Top” since the actor had admired Budd’s music for a long time, especially “Get Carter”. His score for “Man at the Top” is quite similar to his most beloved composition in that it is equally sparse. The composer devised a simple motif for the titular character which is introduced on a cimbalom and which recurs throughout the whole score. Apart from the Hungarian instrument, Budd employs strings, flute, piano, harp and percussion to create a tense atmosphere fitting for the film. His leitmotif is particularly clever since, in its coldness and restraint, it doesn’t try to make Joe Lampton likeable, and yet manages to underscore the more tender moments in the film with a slight tension that the images lack. Moreover, “Man at the Top” gave Budd the opportunity to provide two memorable jazz pieces as source cues for dinner parties.
The 37th CD-release of Caldera Records features a detailed booklet-text by Stephan Eicke and elegant artwork by Luis Miguel Rojas. The CD was produced by Stephan Eicke and John Elborg.
Music Composed and Conducted by Roy Budd
Album Produced by Stephan Eicke
Executive Producers for Caldera Records: John Elborg, Stephan Eicke
Man at the Top
1. Opening (1:21)
2. Main Titles (1:18)
3. End Credits (1:45)
4. The Journey Continues (0:54)
5. Man at the Top (2:26)
6. Night is Falling (2:44)
7. Bedtime (3:58)
8. In the Woods (2:48)
9. Peeping Robin (0:28)
10. Change of Plan (1:12)
11. Bossa Nova (3:26)
12. In the Office (0:22)
13. Joe is Being Followed (1:06)
14. Swept Up in Memories (1:31)
15. In the Woods (alt.) (1:37)
16. Mingle With Me (5:55)
17. Demo Jingle (2:20)
18. You Can Never Trust a Friend (2:49)
19. Pipe Tobacco (0:32)
Listen to a 5 min clip here:
“The composer developed a warm and pleasant ambience that is in line with other scores for that genre. The main theme is very bright and it is taken full advantage of. The score also has a romantic central theme as well as some 70s music that make it especially dynamic.”
“Made up of some serious tones, [the score] makes a bold statement and is strong on guitar work. Composer Roy Budd seams to bring the light and reflections at times and holds our attention. Then comes the BOSSA NOVA. Wonderful release. Ah, thank you.”
“This is a complex and richly layered score that Caldera Records have lovingly brought back to life for soundtrack collectors to enjoy.”
“All-in-all, a thoroughly intriguing and very likeable dramatic score.”