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In Pursuit of Honor/Class of '61
Album Cover Art
Score Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Co-Produced by:
Ford A. Thaxton
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Promotional Release
(1996)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Promotional release, only available at soundtrack specialty outlets.
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AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you're enticed by the thematically appealing consistency to John Debney's dramatic and heroic tributes to militaristic glory.

Avoid it... if the simplistic, straight forward sound to his Western music leaves you shunning Debney in favor of composers that use a more folksy approach to the genre.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,258
WRITTEN 10/20/99, REVISED 6/11/07
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Debney
Debney
In Pursuit of Honor/Class of '61: (John Debney) The second in the series of pressed promotional products pairing two of John Debney's scores on one CD was the 1996 presentation of the war genre scores for In Pursuit of Honor and Class of '61. The 1995 HBO film In Pursuit of Honor provides the vast majority of music on the album, and represents some of Debney's most resolute Western music. The film is the brutal portrayal of the execution of the 1935 order of General Douglas MacArthur to officially disband the country's cavalry units. He ordered that 500 former cavalry horses be led to Mexico to be slaughtered, leaving the officers in command of the unit carrying out these orders with a significant moral dilemma. Their choice to attempt to save most of the horses after their termination begins leads them on a frantic chase back north with as many of the horses as they could save. The true story presents some of the most gruesome animal execution scenes ever put to film, though the story does offer some positives at the end. Debney tackled the film the same year he would stun film music collectors with his ambitious Cutthroat Island, and throughout the score for In Pursuit of Honor, you can hear that he has firmly established the high standard of orchestral writing that fans would come to expect from him in the decades to come. Few of his subsequent scores would offer the same shamelessly heroic militaristic atmosphere. The score is led by snare for the majority of its length, sometimes mixed at different distances from the microphone for a layered effect (such as the opening of "Signals"). With the snare comes a persistent sense of movement, a logical choice given the pacing of the story. The Western rhythms are more dramatic than most of the cliched usages you typically hear, straying far closer towards Lee Holdridge's straight, modern Western sound and avoiding the folk influences defining Basil Poledouris' popular Westerns of the time. Debney's title theme is as heroic as any he has ever written, layering brass with great effect. His use of trumpets in a "call to arms" fashion as counterpoint over the rest of the ensemble provides for outstanding moments such as the driving force of "The Journey." That cue also features a harmonica mixed as an equal with the ensemble; its only memorable solo performance comes as expected in "Campfire."



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VIEWER RATINGS
158 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.07 Stars
***** 30 5 Stars
**** 34 4 Stars
*** 39 3 Stars
** 28 2 Stars
* 27 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 63:59
Class of '61:

• 1. Main Theme (1:31)
• 2. Saying Goodbye (1:00)
• 3. Simple Dignity (1:08)
• 4. "Steal Away" (spiritual) (1:11)
• 5. 1st Regiment/Fallen Hero (2:26)
• 6. Two Old Friends (1:59)
• 7. The Battle (1:48)
• 8. An Irish Girl (0:58)
• 9. Oh Shannon (1:00)
• 10. For Honor and Glory (1:52)
• 11. "Where You Go, I Follow" (2:01)
• 12. To Fallen Comrades (1:46)
In Pursuit of Honor:

• 13. Main Theme (3:01)
• 14. The Horses (2:58)
• 15. "Of Honor, Of Truth" (3:05)
• 16. Fateful Decision (1:07)
• 17. The Pit (4:39)
• 18. The Price of Honor (1:11)
• 19. The Army Advances (2:18)
• 20. Campfire (1:57)
• 21. Signals (1:30)
• 22. Shooting the Horse (1:29)
• 23. The Journey (3:13)
• 24. Chase Thru Dry Gulch (2:47)
• 25. Death of a Soldier (1:08)
• 26. To Canada (1:34)
• 27. Flags (2:49)
• 28. "It's Time!" (1:11)
• 29. The Running (3:48)
• 30. Safe Haven/Honor Call (4:31)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 1999-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from In Pursuit of Honor/Class of '61 are Copyright © 1996, Promotional Release and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/20/99 and last updated 6/11/07.
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