Monday, June 25, 2012

Bernard Herrmann - Taxi Driver OST (1976)

Like most people, I work a pretty shitty job that takes up far too much of my time. Unless your one of the very small ( and depending on your opinion, either lucky or annoyingly smug ) minority that loves your chosen vocation, I can pretty much guarantee that we all think about losing control from time to time.
One such person that did lose control was a man named Travis Bickle. He was a fictional character in the 1976, Martin Scorsese directed motion picture, Taxi Driver. You should all know about it.
The musical score to this great film was handled by this man......

Bernard Herrmann was a highly respected composer within Hollywood. Racking up a stupidly impressive body of work that included much radio work and live orchestration.. He scored nearly all of Hitchcock's films ( including The Birds, which doesn't feature any music. just electronically generated bird sounds) as well as creating the signature music for other classics such as The Day The Earth Stood Still, Fahrenheit 451, Cape Fear and The Bride Wore Black. He worked with Ray Harryhausen on Jason And The Argonauts and The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad. Composed and conducted the music for Orson Welles original radio broadcast of War Of The Worlds and the stirring and dynamic score for today's post, Taxi Driver. His final work before his death in 1975.
The score for Taxi Driver perfectly compliments Robert De Niro's portrayal of Vietnam vet turned New York cabby, Travis Bickle. The combination of traditional jazz instrumentation and discordant bursts of brass perfectly underpin his slide into psychosis and eventual vigilantism while painting a very dark and grimy view of 1970's New York.

I used to listen to this on a regular basis before work. Now, I don't know if that was really a good thing or not and I am pretty sure a lot of people would argue that it was. The version below is the 1998 reissue. It features all of the music Herrmann recorded for the film as well as a few extra pieces of background music. It also features this little number.......

This is the one I used to listen to the most before work. I hate working.

So hopefully you should enjoy this. Maybe it will help bring change into your work life or work environment, maybe it will just help you scare a few people. Hopefully you will just enjoy it.

"Someday a real rain will come and wash this scum off the streets"


The Goodkind said...

This was the first soundtrack I ever bought, and it was because I used to hear that opening brass/drum bit (Main Title)over and over as I carried food up the stairs to the bar.

"Everywhere, in bars, cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. I'm God's lonely man."

Herrmann initially refused the job according to Scorcese, until he read the part of the script where Travis pours peach schnapps over his corn flakes.

Nothing Left Inside said...

I watched a documentary on it not long ago and Paul Schrader told a story about a guy who came into his office not long after the film was on general release. This guy asked Schrader how he knew. Schrader didn't know what he was talking about until he said that he had planned on doing all the things Travis Bickle gets upto. he couldn't now as it was public knowledge. scary stuff.

ergo baby carrier said...
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Shelby Cobras said...

I used to rock this soundtrack in my old '74 Monte Carlo back in high school.