Varèse Sarabande has announced the re-release of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for Smokey and the Bandit. Widely available on vinyl for the first time in 25 years, the soundtrack to the classic Burt Reynolds film features massive hits from Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Reed, including “East Bound and Down” and “The Bandit.” Jerry also provides much of the instrumental score alongside celebrated musician and composer Bill Justis. The album additionally includes many memorable dialogue tracks taken right from the movie and featuring Reynolds, Reed and Jackie Gleason. The soundtrack will release on September 10, and is available for pre-order today, July 20.
The film follows Bo “Bandit” Darville (Reynolds) and Cledus “Snowman” Snow (Reed), two bootleggers attempting to illegally transport 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana to Atlanta. While the Snowman drives the truck carrying the beer, the Bandit drives a Pontiac Trans Am to distract law enforcement (called blocking) and keep the attention off the Snowman. During their run, they are pursued by Texas county sheriff Buford T. Justice (Gleason).
Smokey and the Bandit was the second highest-grossing domestic film of 1977, with $126 million against a budget of $4.3 million.
Jerry Reed was a celebrated Country music guitarist and a bonafide superstar of the stage and screen in the 70s and 80s. In 2017 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, an exclusive club with less than 150 members. Bill Justis was a pioneer rock and roll musician, composer and arranger best known for his 1957 Grammy® Hall of Fame song “Raunchy.” At Sun Records he recorded music for himself as well as arranged music for Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Charlie Rich, the latter of which he is credited with discovering.
Varèse Sarabande is one of the leading and most prolific producers of film and television soundtracks. The label was formed as a merger between Varèse International Records (named for composer Edgar Varèse) and Sarabande Records (named after a musical dance form). The label’s iconic logo—a frequent curiosity of fans around the globe—is actually an inkblot created by blowing a straw on a piece of paper with India ink.
Initially a classical label, Varèse Sarabande released its first album of film music in June 1978. Since then, Varèse Sarabande has released thousands of soundtracks and new recordings of classic film scores conducted by celebrated composers with the world’s best-known orchestras.
The label upped the ante for fans by creating the Varèse Sarabande CD Club—releasing exclusive limited-edition deluxe soundtracks featuring rare and long-requested titles. The CD Club ran initially from 1989–92 and was restarted in 2001, and Varèse continues to create Deluxe Editions of cherished scores that might otherwise never see a release.
Since joining Concord in 2018, Varèse Sarabande continues to release new television and film scores, high-quality vinyl and Deluxe Edition soundtracks.
Jeremy [Six Strings]