by Laurent Kelly
One of Scorsese’s main strengths as a filmmaker is his ability to choose the right music in order to establish the key notes of atmosphere in his many films. Below are ten great songs that I first came across in Marty’s films.
1.) ROLLING STONES – TELL ME (FROM MEAN STREETS, 1973)
The atmopsheric Stones Classic which was used perfectly to accompany Harvey Kietel as he strolls through the bar and greets a series of familiar faces. Really captures a vital and energetic vibe.
2.) JACKSON BROWNE – LATE FOR THE SKY (FROM TAXI DRIVER, 1976)
The haunting, sombre and hollow ballad which brilliantly encapsualtes the depression and helplessness of the protagonist Travis Bickle.
3.) RAGING BULL – MAIN TITLE THEME
Okay so technically not a record but I go few days without listening to this exsquisite composition used in the opening credits sequence to show Jake La Motta in the only environment in which he seems to find calm – which is ironically a boxing ring.
4.) RAY CHARLES – COME RAIN OR SHINE (FROM THE KING OF COMEDY, 1983)
The beautifully sung, slow burning, soulful classic which is used in the credits sequence of The King of Comedy – the calmness of the tune juxtaposing the mad actions of the bustling crowds desperate to grab hold of their hero Jerry Lewis.
5.) THE CRYSTALS – THEN HE KISSED ME (FROM GOODFELLAS, 1990)
The fabulous pop song which is used to show Karen falling for Henry’s power as he takes her backstage through the copacabana. The energy of the song is excellently matched by the frantic tracking shot which creates an exciting and intense atmosphere and absorbs you into the glamurous world of the characters (for the time being anyway.)
6.) THE SHANGRI-LAS – REMEMBER (WALKING IN THE SAND (FROM GOODFELLAS, 1990)
A more sombre, brooding pop classic which is used to reflect the beginning of the downfall for Henry and his mafia gang.