John Powell burst into film scoring with a magnificent, emotional and modern soundtrack to John Woo’s iconic hit, Face/Off (1997). Six years later, Woo and Powell reunited for Paycheck (2003), a sci-fi techno-thriller based on a 1953 short story by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Total Recall).
Ben Affleck stars as a programming engineer who undergoes a voluntary memory wipe to protect his client’s secrets—but upon going to collect his paycheck, he is given an envelope of seemingly random trinkets and items. He must use these clues to unearth the terrible secrets of his own project.
By 2003, John Powell had already scored The Bourne Identity and had his finger on the pulse of the modern action-thriller score. Paycheck blends synth and pop-rhythms with orchestral scope and, most importantly, Powell’s impeccable sense of taste. Despite almost non-stop action and suspense, he focuses on emotion and utilizes melody to elevate the proceedings.
“I’ve always wanted to do a ballet, so I had been fascinated by choreographers and dance for quite some time. I utilized that conversation with John [Woo] as an inspiration to create the drama of a danced story,” says John Powell.
He explains, “This album has everything on it. It gives me a slight panic attack looking at how much music there is on this album. It all sounds very good to me and at the same time like utter nonsense. I’ve always tried to be better at harmony. A lot of composers I admire have this incredible sense of harmonic flow and flexibility. When I achieve that on occasion, it makes me happy.”
Paycheck was released by Varèse Sarabande at the time of the film. This 2-CD set Deluxe Edition greatly expands the playing time to over 95 minutes, and features new liner notes by Daniel Schweiger, incorporating new interview comments with Powell.
Paycheck (The Deluxe Edition): Original Motion Picture SoundtrackMusic Composed by John PowellDisc One:
- Paycheck: Main Title From The Motion Picture (3:29)
- A Kiss Of Flexible Morality (1:10)
- Memory Wipe (0:54)
- A Good Life (1:05)
- Party Of Two (0:32)
- Portents Of Crystal Balls (2:11)
- Injection (0:32)
- A Second Chance (1:54)
- You’re Done (1:16)
- Freeze Frames (1:59)
- Hot Seat (7:39)
- The Ring (0:42)
- That’s You (0:31)
- Twenty Items (5:39)
- Lucky Number (2:01)
- Wolfe Pack (4:01)
- The Third Rail (3:28)
- Reservations (3:25)
- Mirror Message / Imposter (8:43)
- Hog Chase, Part 1 (3:18)
- Hog Chase, Part 2 (4:06)
- I Don’t Remember (1:33)
- I Don’t Remember (Alternate Version) (1:35)
- Tomorrow’s Headlines (4:27)
- Return to Allcom (3:13)
- Future Tense (7:58)
- Bio Lab Bash (3:08)
- Fait Accompli (6:39)
- One Big Payback (5:37)
- Uma’s Tune (Bonus Track) (2:55)
You can check out (and purchase) the deluxe edition soundtrack for Paycheck now!
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