Taxi Driver – 1976
Director – Martin Scorsese
Soundtrack Composer – Bernard Herrmann
Words – Joe H.
As a 4K restoration of Martin Scorsese’s influential masterpiece is released in the UK, we take a look at one of the film’s standout features – its soundtrack, via the special 40th anniversary release featuring the complete film score on vinyl for the very first time.
Bernard Herrmann earned himself a cinema veteran status with his iconic soundtrack work on features which have come to be considered some of the greatest films of all time – with Citizen Kane, North By Northwest, The Day The Earth Stood Still and Mysterious Island, to notable Hitchcock films such as Vertigo and Psycho.
In Taxi Driver, the central character carries a warped perception of the world around him, as his mental state zig zags and becomes increasingly irrational as the story progresses.
Herrmann compliments and accentuates this journey with a score which draws you in – its light and smooth jazz feels as though it belongs in a classic Hollywood romance, but then a change in tone will suggest something ominous lurks beneath the surface, a representation of the conflict and internal struggle within the film’s anti-hero.
This is set from the opening scene, as a New York taxi cab makes its way through the city streets at night, the soundtrack accompaniment hits you in waves, going from from soft and smooth to loud and sudden – against a close-up of the eyes of the central character and his out-of-focus point of view of the city, setting a feeling of two tones struggling against each other, which we proceed to witness portrayed with our main protaganist.
Herrmann composed a blend of sounds and tones in creating a suspenseful film score that carries the listener from the film’s opening, to its climactic end.
This music by Bernard Herrmann was his final score before his death on December 24th, 1975.
Marking the 40th anniversary of this seminal film, Waxwork Records released a deluxe double LP featuring the vinyl debut of Bernard Herrmann’s complete original score, plus the remastered original 1976 soundtrack.
Waxwork Records worked with director Martin Scorsese on this 40th Anniversary release to which the director provided new, in depth, and exclusive liner notes.
The first disc presents Bernard Herrmann’s score, while the second disc has the complete and remastered original soundtrack from the film.
There are two versions of the release – a limited “Taxi-Cab” version featuring two tri-coloured LPs that are yellow, black and white (the colours of a New York taxi), and the full-coloured yellow release.
Included is a 4-page booklet featuring director liner notes by Martin Scorsese specifically for this release on working with Bernard Herrmann.
There’s everything here to please both fans of the film and vinyl collectors.
Soundtrack released via Waxwork Records (also available through UK record stores) –