The Big Boss (唐山大兄, Pinyin: Táng Shān Dà Xiōng) is a 1971 Hong Kong martial arts film, and is the first starring role of Bruce Lee. Also known as Fists of Fury in the United States and not to be confused with Fist of Fury also known as Chinese Connection. Various versions of the film feature music ranging from German composer Peter Thomas to bands such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson.
The Three Main Edits
There are three primary cuts of The Big Boss: The Mandarin print, the international prints (English dubbed), and the Cantonese print. These three cuts feature differing music scores. The Mandarin print (as well as the "beta" English dub and possibly the French theatrical cut) featured a score by composer Wang Fu Ling. The international prints (including the English dub, and most of the European prints) featured a score from German film composer Peter Thomas. The Cantonese print used an abundance of stock music, as well as unlicensed cues from Pink Floyd. The following lists show the known music tracks used in the international and Cantonese prints.
The International Music Score by Peter Thomas Sound Orchester
- Big Boss by Peter Thomas This is the film's theme, which plays roughly 5 times throughout the film.
- Mukuri by Peter Thomas This music first plays when Nora Miao's character is being harrassed by the four thugs. It plays two more times in the film, when the workers wait to hear what happens to Cheng (Lee) after their strike, and before Cheng and Mi (the boss) fight.
- A Girl Loves Cheng Li by Peter Thomas This music plays when the girl comes crying out of the casino and Hsiu (James Tien) goes to find out what's going on.
- Hard Drugs by Peter Thomas This music plays when the casino bouncers chase down Cheng and Hsiu after Hsiu has revealed them as crooks.
- China Love by Peter Thomas This is a mix of various cues used in the film. Part of it is used when Cheng's uncle leaves to head back home, as well as when Chiao Mei is crying upon her brother Hsiu not returning home. Another part is used when Cheng and Mei walk alongside the creek near their home. Another portion is used in one more scene when Cheng cradles his dead cousin Ah Kun.
- Amulett by Peter Thomas This is a mix of various cues used in the film. Part of it is used when Hsiu and Ah Pei go visit Mi at his mansion. Another part is used when Cheng returns home after a meeting with Mi and his cousins ignore him. Another portion is used when Cheng finally arrives at Mi's mansion for the final confrontation and is faced with his final 6 henchmen.
- Moontown by Peter Thomas This is used in two instances in the film. The first being when Hsiu and Ah Pei attempt to leave Mi's mansion and are surrounded. It is used once again when Cheng visits Wu Mang, the prostitute. This is featured on a rare library LP called Orion 2000. It is also found on the vinyl reissue of the "Raumpatrouille" soundtrack as a bonus track.
- Finding The Drugs by Peter Thomas This music plays when Hsiu and Ah Pei are finally losing to the boss's son and are approaching death.
- Malaparte Sinus by Peter Thomas This music plays when Cheng is searching around town for Hsiu. This song is found on Orion 2000 as well as "The Big Boss Original Soundtrack CD"
- Communication in Hyperspace by Peter Thomas This music plays when one of the foremen posts the information about Cheng becoming foreman. This song is also found on Peter Thomas' album "Warp Back to Earth".
- Cheng Li and His Friends by Peter Thomas This music plays when Cheng and his cousins return home after his promotion.
- Ekg by Peter Thomas This music plays when Chiao Mei brings it to Ah Kun's attention that despite the strike at the factory, they still haven't brought Hsiu home. This song is found also on Peter Thomas' album "Warp Back to Earth".
- Big Boss & His Gang by Peter Thomas This music plays when Cheng wakes up to see that he is in bed with a woman he only met the night before.
- The Fist of Fury by Peter Thomas This track is essentially two music cues. One cue is when Cheng discovers the drugs (and body parts) in the giant blocks of ice. Another cue is when Cheng finds his remaining cousins murdered.
Peter Thomas Interview (PDF)
The Cantonese Music
- How To Make a Monster (1958), Main Title by Paul Dunlap Used for the second half of the main title theme.
- Obscured by Clouds by Pink Floyd This first plays when Cheng and Hsiu are being followed by the casino bouncers. This plays again later when we first see Mi as his son and henchmen are training.
- Time by Pink Floyd This first plays when Hsiu and Ah Pei visit the boss at his mansion, followed by when they try to escape. This plays again later in the film when Cheng first visits the boss.
- The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Entertainment) by Pink Floyd This plays, mixed with Time, when Hsiu and Ah Pei try to escape the boss's mansion.
- Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Two by King Crimson This plays when Cheng is on the search for Hsiu around town.