Anthony Lees

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Anthony Lees
Born 19??
Birth Place Unknown
Nationality Unknown   Unknown.svg
Died August 2016
Aliases Ant. Lees

Anthony Lees was one of the well-known Commodore 64 composers.

Contrary to the many others video game composers, Anthony Lees was familiar with the music from early childhood. He learned how to play clarinet, alto sax and bassoon, for many years working in a choir.

In the mid-1980s, however, he switched to a Commodore 64 programming. He was able to write a music routine no later than in 1986, and then to enter a music competition to compose the music for the game called Mindsmear. Actually, by itself the whole "competition" was a kind of April Fool joke held by ZZAP! 64 magazine, because the Mindsmear did not even exist, but some composers brought a music pieces and Anthony Lees won. It caught an attention of the System 3 owner, Mark Cale, who then chose Lees to work alongside the professional composer, Ben Daglish, on the music for the real game, The Last Ninja (C64). Anthony Lees provided 6 tracks (tunes 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, and 10 in the game's rip), while Ben Danglish composed the rest.

Anthony Lees' new music was considered for the sequel, Last Ninja 2: Back With a Vengeance (C64), but was rejected, as it was told, due to the unfitting style, and Matt Gray's work was chosen instead. He then composed music for some other games, including the Incredible Shrinking Sphere (C64), also trying to move onto 16-bit systems, but much of his work remained unpublished.

Unfortunately, in the late 1980s, Lees' father passed away, and that affected him deeply. He made a decision to quit composing music for a job, making it as a part of a hobby instead. His new job was at the Civil Service, and he remained here for about 30 years.

In August 2016, Anthony Lees passed away in a traffic accident, just two years before his former collegue, Ben Daglish, died from a lung cancer. Due to him not maintaning much contacts with any people in the Commodore 64 community, only in June 2018 they heard about his death, and obituary has been written using the information from his friends.

Music Development

Commodore 64

Anthony Lees wrote his own music routine for composing music on Commodore 64. He has stated on the making of the Last Ninja:

I did six tunes for LN, the first of which was the one involving the creepy jungle music (which was and still is my favourite) - the inspiration is hard to nail down, but it was probably the film 'Apocalypse Now' - very dense, troubled and scary moods were evoked.

In the game's binary of the fifth tune, he added an interesting comment:


It is unknown what he has used to create tunes for Amiga and Atari ST, though it was never published anyway.


Released Title Sample Comment
1987-??-?? The Last Ninja (C64) With Ben Daglish
1987-??-?? Captain America in The Doom Tube (C64)
1987-??-?? Rainbow Dragon (C64)
1988-??-?? Dream Warrior (C64)
1988-??-?? Street Warriors (C64)
1989-??-?? Incredible Shrinking Sphere (C64)