NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER - Original Soundtrack by Paul Gilreath

Dragon's Domain Records


Disc-On-Demand (CDR)
CD Includes Digital Download / Digital Booklet

Dragon’s Domain Records presents the original soundtrack to NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER, featuring music composed by Paul Gilreath for the 1985 action film directed by Corey Yuen, written by Keith Strandberg and starring Kurt McKinney, J.W. Fails, Kathie Sileno, Timothy D. Baker, Tai-jeong Kim and Jean Claude Van Damme as Ivan the Russian.

Released in 1985, NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER was a production of Seasonal Films, an independent film company from Hong Kong, originally founded by Ng See-yuen, a former assistant director employed by the legendary Shaw Brothers. NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER would be one of the first films to bring the influence of Hong Kong cinema here to the United States and would begin a trend of action cinema that continues to this day. The film is directed by Corey Yuen, a Hong Kong film director, film producer, action choreographer and former actor. Yuen was a member of the Peking Opera Schools and one of the Seven Little Fortunes. As an action director, Yuen gained fame in American cinema beginning in 1998 with LETHAL WEAPON 4, followed by X-MEN and six of Jet Li’s American films, including ROMEO MUST DIE, KISS OF THE DRAGON, THE ONE, CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE, WAR and THE EXPENDABLES. Yuen would go on to co-direct action films such as THE TRANSPORTER and SO CLOSE.

There are actually two different versions of NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER. One version for Europe and one version for the United States. The European cut was scored by composer Frank Harris and released in 1985. The U.S. version was released in 1986 and featured music composed by Paul Gilreath. This album features his score for the film along with trailer music composed for Roland Emmerich’s first film MAKING CONTACT, released in 1985.

Paul Gilreath is an award-winning composer who creates original music in a variety of styles for video games, film, television, trailers, and broadcast advertising.
Gilreath has written theme, underscore and broadcast advertising music for a wide range of clients that include NBC, CBS, Cartoon Network, ESPN, American Airlines and many others. His music has been used multiple times for the Olympic Games broadcasts on NBC and several PGA tournaments on NBC. Gilreath received a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Piano Performance from Stetson University and attended University of Southern California's Master's of Arts program in Music Composition. He received his DMD degree from The Medical College of Georgia. He is also the author of THE GUIDE TO MIDI ORCHESTRATION 4E, now in its fourth edition.

An early compact disc release by Silva Screen Records and long out of print, Dragon’s Domain Records brings NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER back to the marketplace, featuring music composed by Paul Gilreath, remastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland.

NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER is a disc-on-demand release. NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER is expected to start shipping the week of March 18th, 2024.

01. “Making Contact” Trailer Music (1:39)
02. It’s Showtime (1:01)
03. Stand On Your Own* (3:14)
04. Main Theme (0:56)
05. Reflections (1:02)
06. To Seattle (1:27)
07. Country Music Hell (2:57)
08. Bruce Lee Appears (1:26)
09. I-5 (1:12)
10. Training Montage (3:25)
11. The Russian Appears (0:47)
12. The Pike Place Market (1:12)
13. Young Lovers (1:05)
14. The Aroma of Tacoma (3:03)
15. The Rescue (1:26)
16. A Night Out In Fife (1:03)
17. Time To Kick Ass! (0:48)
18. The Race To Victory (2:35)
19. The Lovers Kiss (0:56)
20. No Retreat, No Surrender* (2:49)
Total Time: 34:55
* - Vocal by Joe Torono


No Retreat, No Surrender (1986) ***
Dragon’s Domain DDR797
20 tracks - 34:02
Fans of low-rent 1980s action films will appreciate this reissue of Paul Gilreath’s score to No Retreat, No Surrender, one of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s first movies. There were actually two different scores for the film, with the European cut featuring music by Frank Harris. That score and its power ballad, “Hold On to the Vision,” were released previously by Perseverance (2010), while Gilreath’s work on the 1986 U.S. release was issued by Silva Screen in England way back in 1994, with a BSX re-release coming in 2012. That same release is back in 2024 as a disc-on-demand and digital offering from Dragon’s Domain.

No Retreat, No Surrender is one of Gilreath’s only feature film scores, with the other, Making Contact, also represented on this album in the form of trailer music. The composer’s career has since focused on broadcast advertising music, and some folks may have also come across his book, The Guide to Midi Orchestration.

Gilreath’s score for No Retreat is a blend of electronic pop elements with Asian flute gestures, as in “Bruce Lee Appears.” The soundtrack’s obligatory “Training Montage” gives a good general sense of the former idiom, and is very much of its era.

“Young Lovers” contrasts with a fine reflective moment, offering some beautiful writing for guitar supported by strings. The big song here, “Stand on Your Own,” features Joe Torono, while there is also an uncredited performer in “Country Music Hell.”

This album is essentially a collection of pop-rock instrumentals that should provide a bit of nostalgia for those who grew up in the 1980s, while also offering a snapshot of the kind of music written for the low-budget action films created for the growing video and cable market at the time. For additional information and to hear audio samples, head to BuySoundtrax’s website. —Steven A. Kennedy