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Taxi Driver: Original Soundtrack Recording Original recording remastered, Soundtrack

36 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack, May 19, 1998
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Taxi Driver: Original Soundtrack Recording + Vertigo: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1958 Film) + Psycho: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

American composer Bernard Herrmann's last film score was for director Martin Scorsese's (and writer Paul Schrader's) deeply unsettling, Dostoyevskian film noir, Taxi Driver--a portrait of urban alienation that's never been matched. In the slow-motion images of New York City as Dante's Inferno (steam rising into the air to suggest the hellfire below), the orchestral music is ominous and dissonant, a rumble and crash that rises up from the underworld. But Herrmann's other major motif is a slinky, smoldering sax theme that suggests the forbidden pleasures of big-city nightlife--bars and clubs, prostitutes and porno palaces--things Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) may himself indulge in, but that give him no pleasure. (In fact, they disgust him.) The soundtrack features a track in which Herrmann's music is played behind bits and pieces of narration from Travis's "diary": "Some day a real rain will come along and sweep all the scum off the streets." Unforgettable music, unforgettable movie. --Jim Emerson

1. Main Title (Herrmann)
2. Thank God For The Rain (Herrmann)
3. Cleaning The Cab (Herrmann)
4. I Still Can't Sleep/They Cannot Touch (Herrmann)
5. Phone Call/ I Realize How Much She Is (Herrmann)
6. .44 Magnum Is A Monster (Herrmann)
7. Getting Into Shape/Listen You... (Herrmann)
8. Sport and Iris (Herrmann)
9. $20 Bill/Target Practice (Herrmann)
10. Assassination Attempt/After The... (Herrmann)
11. Reluctant Hero/Betsy/End Credits (Herrmann)
12. Diary Of A Taxi Driver (Album... (Herrmann)
13. God's Lonely Man (Album Version, With (Herrmann)
14. Theme From Taxi Driver (Herrmann)
15. I Work The Whole City (Herrmann)
16. Betsy In A White Dress (Herrmann)
17. Days Do Not End (Herrmann)
18. Theme From Taxi Driver (Reprise) (Herrmann)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: February 8, 1976
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Arista
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • ASIN: B000006OHL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,508 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jules De Simone on November 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is an import from Arista Europe. Upon first glance, the only difference between this and the American version is that this CD is cleverly made to resemble a vinyl disc from it's 1975 release, not 1968 as the Amazon product description states.
The good news is that the difference between this version and the US version extends far beyond the merely superficial and cosmetic. This soundtrack sounds so crisp, it sizzles! No wonder, since it's a 20-bit transfer mastered from the original tapes.
I've been a huge fan of Bernard Hermann (and Martin Scorsese) for many years and I've never heard this music sound so sparklingly clear and detailed. Beyond all this, there's a stunning dynamic range on this disc that simply blows the US version out of the water.
I'm completely delighted with the sonic quality of this disc and would recommend it without reservation to anyone who appreciates Bernard Hermann's incomparable scoring.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Herr Tarquin Biskuitfaß on January 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD
There is something fascinating and still very haunting about this music. The main theme, with such a simple theme of just two notes, is barely music and almost absurd in its base form, but given the pacing, dynamics and subtle orchestration, it becomes gold. In its understated and twisted beauty, if you could even call it that, this is more horrifying than the theme from Psycho, for example. The theme from Taxi Driver is ethereal and subsconscious, rather than in your face. There is great influence of jazz in the score and Miles Davis certainly comes to mind.

For example, listen to "Thank God for the Rain": the music literally inhales and exhales; there is a sublime, constant tension that is never quite resolved. It matches the film and the stressed mind of main character of Travis Bickle perfectly.

It is not without reason that the producers of Taxi Driver, and Martin Scorsese, honored "friend" Bernard Herrmann in the credits by dedicating the film in his memory.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the final tracks (those not scored by Herrmann) sound horrible in comparison. They sound very '70's', which is appropriate for the film and the time, but very dated and not fitting the intense, gritty mood of the film at all. It shows how differently the same material can be handled by two opposing minds, and how drastic the contrast can be. Still, this does not detract from the release, since they are all placed at the end of the CD, so they are easy to skip without hassle.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard Espinor on December 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I first became aware of American composer Bernard Herrmann's movie music in 1958 at age nine when I saw "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" on the big screen. I was in awe of the great Ray Harry hausen special effects and the movie music, also, added great excitement to the scenes. At age fourteen I saw another Ray Harryhausen movie with a music score by Bernard Herrmann. Again, Herrmann's music added excitement to the scenes in the movie. Herrmann's music touches me emotionally. That's what I want. I want to feel the music. I didn't see Taxi Driver in 1976 when I was twenty-seven years old. After the publicity of the assassination attempt of President Reagan, the newspapers reported the assassin was inspired by watching the movie "Taxi Driver." I rented the video in 1981 or 1982. The movie is a disturbing account of a New York City cab driver slowly entering into madness. Again, Bernard Herrmann's music added the ingredients that capture Robert DeNiro's character moving into the world of madness. I am a music composer myself using my computer to write original music and Bernard Herrmann is one of the major movie music composers who is a major influence for me. I rented the DVD Collector's Edition of "Taxi Driver" and I enjoyed the "Making of Documentary of Taxi Driver" which was made in 1999. I can write without a doubt that I am glad that director Martin Scorsese seeked Bernard Herrmann and that the late Bernard Herrmann accepted writing the music score after reading the script to "Taxi Driver."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Martin Scorsese's classic film "Taxi Driver" is not only one of the greatest films of all time but it also managed to produce one of the best musical scores of all time as well. Bernard Hermann (Psycho, Vertigo) composed the nightmarish score heard in the movie. He died hours after finishing it and it was arguably his best score ever. Hermann's themes can be really light and lush jazz music at times yet can also be very psychotic which is the feeling Travis Bickle had in the movie. It is one of those scores that paints a wonderful portrait of what the film was all about and one doesn't see that too often anymore. It is a truly wonderful score. There are 30 minutes of additional material. One is Diary of a Taxi Driver which is when the listener gets to hear what went on in the mind of Travis Bickle. Then there is a bunch of strange smooth jazz arrangements of the score which are nice but don't have the feel of Hermann's score at all. The bottom line is you have to get this if you appreciate movie scores. Even if the movie didn't do much for you it is still a score that belongs in every music lover's collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on April 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Bernard Herrmann has been considered by many as the most influential composer working in film during the 20th century. His superb, sophisticated compositions for many films, starting with "Citizen Kane", through others such as "The Day The Earth Stood Still", and of course, "Taxi Driver", are worthy of comparison to great film scores composed by "serious" composers such as Copeland, Prokofiev, and Walton. Indeed, much of the great film music of today, composed by recently departed Elmer Bernstein and Jerry Goldsmith, and of course, John Williams, owes much of its roots to the classic scores composed by Herrmann and his colleagues Newman and Korngold, among others. Without question, "Taxi Driver", recorded days before his death in 1975, remains one of his finest achievements. It is replete with marvellous repetitions and variations on two themes; a dissonant, angry theme which emphasizes the harshness of urban existence, and the soothing, jazzy saxophone theme evoking the pleasures of sex enjoyed at some of New York City's sleazy bars and prostitution dens. It still holds up remarkably well as the perfect musical background to the scenes featuring the lunatic loner cabbie Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) and the waifish, but by no means innocent, child prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster).
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