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Taking Of Pelham 123 Soundtrack CD David Shire


The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a superb urban thriller: four men, dressed alike in trenchcoats and calling each other Mr. Blue, Mr. Green, etc., take a subway car hostage and demand $1 million in ransom. Walter Matthau stars as the transit cop assigned to the case; Robert Shaw (Quint in Jaws) is the leader of the terrorists. It's a brilliant ྂs hostage movie with biting New York humor.

For the score, David Shire -- then going through a brilliant stretch of work which included The Conversation, Farewell, My Lovely, The Hindenburg, and All the President's Men -- came up with a stroke of genius. He wanted to do some kind of funk/jazz/big band, but wanted a way of making it dissonant and powerful -- not too light, but not too random. So for his melodic materials he utilized the 12-tone method of composition, a technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg in the early 20th century in which you make a theme by using all 12 pitches in a specific order, and then create other themes by playing that "row" backwards, upside-down, backwards and upside-down, or transposed. Shire ended up with a monster two-note bass line with these 12-tone themes running on top.

For our CD, the first-ever release of this music, we have utilized the complete score, including around 15 minutes of music not included in the film. The 12-page booklet includes movie stills, composer photos, and track-by-track notes by Doug Adams.

Listen to the "Main Title" and decide for yourself -- if you like funky ྂs film music, like Enter the Dragon and the blaxploitation pictures, you'll love this.

Main Title (2:18)
The Taking (3:10)
Dolowitz Takes a Look/Dolowitz Gets Killed (2:21)
Blue and Green Talk (2:03)
Money Montage (3:13)
Fifty Seconds/The Money Express (3:55)
Conductor Killed/The Money Bag (1:46)
The Pelham's-Moving-Again Blues (3:12)
I'm a Police Officer/Renewing Disguises/Goodbye Green, Hello Garber, Goodbye Hippie/Smoking More, Enjoying It Less (2:59)
Mini-Manhunt (1:56)
End Title (3:01)
Total Time: 30:55

(This is the COMPLETE score for the film.)

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  • Catalog#: 19CDT43
  • Theme(s): David Shire

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