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June 3, 2009 12:38 PM   Subscribe

80s Film and TV composers filter: Let's hear it for Serbian-born action-flick composer Sylvester Levay. He scored a #1 Billboard 100 hit in 1975 with "Fly, Robin, Fly,", but moved from pop music to action movies. Maybe he's known best as the genius behind the alleged World's Most Expensive TV Soundtrack, the theme of which you don't have to pay $900 to hear.
Why did he move from action movies to historical musicals in the 90s? Maybe the genre was a little overloaded.

Other notable compositions:

Time Bomb (1984) - youTube playlist
Otherworld (1985) - theme

Cobra (1986) - homebrewed music video with the theme
Mannequin (1987) - The non-Levay soundtrack is well-known but unavailable; however here's a ten-minute version of the movie.
Navy SEALs (1990) - no theme on youTube, just the bangin' trailer
posted by hpliferaft (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My first thought was, he's not Serbian, he's Hungarian!

In this part of the world, most people would identify more with their ethnicity than their point of birth. And Levay is Hungarian, from that point of view. Historically, his town of birth, Subotica (Szabadka in Hungarian) was a part of Hungary . . . in fact, it had been until about a year before he was born. I mention this because Levay identifies himself as Hungarian, and because Hungarians have a rough time in Subotica today, a city where "we have to keep our heads low," as one Szabadkai lady told me. Last time I was there, someone hurled a firebomb through the office of a newspaper, and well, here's more about life in Subotica as a Hungarian. It isn't pretty.

In any case, if you want to get technical about it, he was actually Yugoslavian-born.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 1:08 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think the airwolf theme goes something like... doooo doo doo doo doo doooo dooo dooo dooo.
posted by gagglezoomer at 1:13 PM on June 3, 2009

need to get this out of my system now....


/Clerks reference
posted by ShawnString at 1:15 PM on June 3, 2009

Levay also composed the German entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977, Silver Convention's "Telegram".

(By the way, why are there so many songs about telephones, but so few songs about e-mail, SMS or Google?)
posted by iviken at 1:52 PM on June 3, 2009

Now you've started "Fly, Robin, Fly" playing in an endless loop in my brain. I had managed 34 years without thinking about it. I will hate you forever.

"Fly, Robin, Fly" is probably the single most important reason that punk was invented.
posted by fuzz at 2:29 PM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

"Fly, Robin, Fly" as "performed" on Dutch TV at the time. Lots of synchronized arm movements, but oddly, no simulated flapping of wings. Strange.

BONUS: Get Up and Boogie! (featuring a couple of brief shots of the studio audience looking bored and annoyed, probably because they had to sit through it at least twice so closeup fill shots could be obtained)
posted by longsleeves at 3:05 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

fuzz: "'Fly, Robin, Fly' is probably the single most important reason that punk was invented."

I think its single-minded, hateful nihilism sort of is punk.
posted by mph at 3:35 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Man, the project history page at is
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 4:47 PM on June 3, 2009

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