January 2000 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

Lalo SCHIFRIN Bullitt Music from the film conducted by the composer WARNER BROS 9362-45008-2 [32:17]

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Bullitt (1968) was a tough cops and robbers film set in San Francisco. It would have been routinely tedious had it not been for the charismatic presence of Steve McQueen and probably the wildest, most exciting car chase ever filmed.

Lalo Schiffrin’s score is still remarkably popular and has seen something of a revival of late with copies of this CD prominent in most shops. It is big band mainstream jazz-based with strong Latin inflections. The music of many tracks is thrusting and exciting appropriate to the hard-edged gritty atmosphere of this fast-moving thriller. One track, Ice Pick Mike has dark sinister piano figures, growling brass, a low rumbling saxophone motif over an abrasively scraping ostinatio. I guess by the powerful motor rhythms of ‘Shiting Gears’, that this track serves as undersoring for the famous car chase. More relaxed and romantic, sometimes smoochy material makes up other cues such as ‘The Aftermath of Love’ and ‘On the Way to san Mateo;’ while others such as ‘The First Snowfall’ make agreeable easy listening.

The music divorced from the film makes great listening; it’s great jazz to a great beat’ – good for dancing too.


Ian Lace


Ian Lace

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