Featuring Original Music Composed By Jim Copperthwaite

Varèse Sarabande will release the STEVE MCQUEEN THE MAN & LE MANS – Original Soundtrack digitally on November 6 and on CD November 13, 2015. The soundtrack features original music by composer Jim Copperthwaite (SPORTS LIFE STORIES, THE FIGHT OF THEIR LIVES).  The film is a documentary that looks at the making of the seminal Steve McQueen film, LE MANS.  As a special bonus, the album also includes selections of Michel Legrand’s themes from the film LE MANS.

It is widely known that actor Steve McQueen was an avid racing fan.  “He wanted to put the person in the theatre in the seat of a race car. He wanted them to feel what he felt as a driver himself. That was always his objective,” said Bob Rosen, Executive Producer, Cinema Center Films, which released LE MANS.

As a nod to McQueen’s love for racing, composer Jim Copperthwaite turned towards the speedway.  “The sound that begins the score is a wavering drone that I created from a recording of a Porsche 917 engine at full throttle,” described Copperthwaite.  “This sound became central.  It’s really got something of the era in it.”

“When you’re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.” STEVE MCQUEEN: THE MAN & LE MANS is the story of obsession, betrayal and ultimate vindication. It is the story of how one of the most volatile, charismatic stars of his generation, who seemingly lost so much he held dear in the pursuit of his dream, nevertheless followed it to the end.

The story of the making of LE MANS seemingly takes as many turns as the race for which it was named.  “I’ve never seen the movie. It’s too difficult for me. He lost his wife, lost his marriage, lost the film … lost everything. The world just became a different color to him after that film,” said his ex-wife Neile Adams McQueen.

For his score, Copperthwaite also took several twists and turns, “It’s quite a hybrid,” he described.  “I have a core string orchestra augmented by Piano and solo Flugelhorn along with processed electric guitars and lots of creative synth work.  It has its thematic core, its dramatic moments, but is more often than not it is nuanced, atmospheric and beautiful.  I felt the notion of a solo Flugelhorn could do a great job bringing some sense of the vulnerability of Steve McQueen.”

A highly accomplished and sought-after composer and multi-instrumentalist, Jim combines a classical schooling with a passionate thirst for new approaches to music.  He’s equally at home bowing his guitars, programming beats, or tweaking his vintage synths has he is playing Chopin Nocturnes or directing an orchestral session – he can also butcher a pig if needs be. He has a state of the art scoring studio at his smallholding near Bath, Somerset where he also spends time looking after sheep, pigs and poultry and running a craft brewery.

Raised in the North of England Jim studied Piano and Clarinet as a child and began writing music largely influenced by his introduction to Debussy, John Williams and Vangelis’ score for CHARIOTS OF FIRE.  He moved to London to study music further at City University and the Guildhall School of Music where he graduated with a first class degree and departmental award for outstanding final year.  As a young composer his interests lay firmly in the avant garde – an approach that continues to inform if not directly influence his output for screen.

As a graduate in London Jim pursued a number of musical ventures; experimental electronic music with several releases supported by regular airplay by the legendary DJ John Peel, a Zappa/Zorn influenced rock band, and numerous collaborations with his University friend Matt Hales (Aqualung). Following several penniless years, and a Masters degree in Information Technology, Jim cut his teeth in advertising after hearing an Aphex Twin track “Gardens of Linmiri” synced to a Pirelli commercial. Demand for his services in advertising remain strong with a diverse client base including Nike, Range Rover, Samsung, EE, Sony and Stella Artois.

In the late nineties he began a long and fruitful relationship with EMI’s production music label KPM and has built a varied catalogue running to hundreds of tracks which are in constant demand for sync across the world. In 2001 Jim began working with the British band Aqualung from the inception of their debut album through to completion of the third album. This included preforming (drums, bass, keys) on global tours, producing, remixing and recording. With Aqualung now based in Los Angeles Jim continues to provide transatlantic support when possible (co-writing the recent “Use Me”) and on the ground support when visiting – responsibilities include remembering the corkscrew when camping at Joshua Tree.

Jim’s completed work on STEVE MCQUEEN: THE MAN AND LE MANS follows three highly regarded sport documentaries with the same team for ITV; the Grierson nominated CLOUGH, WHEN PLAYBOYS RULED THE WORLD and the BAFTA nominated THE FIGHT OF THEIR LIVES.  In addition to feature-length projects he’s scored all three series of ITV’s SPORTS LIFE STORIES strand, the music for their 2012/13 FA Cup coverage and 2010’s FIFA Football World Cup.  In 2014 he was hired directly by FIFA to score their review of the 2014 World Cup for a global TV audience.

FilmRise presents STEVE MCQUEEN THE MAN LE MANS in theaters on November 13, 2015. Varèse Sarabande will release the STEVE MCQUEEN THE MAN LE MANS – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on November 6 and on CD November 13, 2015.


1. Steve McQueen: Excerpt From 1980 Interview (0:42)
2. Seminal Moment (1:02)
3. Obsession (1:55)
4. Sebring (2:32)
5. The Juice (1:56)
6. Battle Stations (1:32)
7. Death Was All Around (2:21)
8. Camera Car (3:07)
9. Chateau (1:24)
10. Louise (0:59)
11. The Accident (1:59)
12. Fallout (1:23)
13. Danger On The Set (2:28)
14. 10050 Cielo (2:46)
15. Deeply Wounded (1:16)
16. The Parable Of Alan Trustman (2:05)
17. Work Of Art (3:30)
18. ‘In Blood’ (1:57)
19. Broken Dreamer (1:36)
20. No Quitting (1:02)
21. The Piper Crash (3:20)
22. Racing Is Life (1:50)
23. Vindication (3:49)
24. The Man & Le Mans (3:13)
25. Delaney’s Arrival And Memories – Michel Legrand (7:54)
26. The Race, First Laps – Michel Legrand (2:10)
27. Delaney Takes A Break/The Race, Final Laps – Michel Legrand (9:08)
28. Finale – Michel Legrand (4:28)