The Conversation (David Shire)
SILVA SCREEN RECORDS (SV SILCD1661 02)
Previously released over 20 years ago on CD, David Shire’s captivating soundtrack to The Conversation is reissued in remastered form alongside new artwork and album notes from film music journalist Michael Beek. Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974, tense contemporary thriller, gives The Godfather: Part II a run for its money when it comes to citing the director’s best. The Academy Awards agreed, nominating both for a Best Picture Oscar in its 1974 batch, though the brilliant Corleone sequel would pip The Conversation to the post on the night.
Gene Hackman plays hi-tech wiretapper Harry Caul, a master in his field but away from his job a socially awkward loner. Composer David Shire captures his twilight world with a magnificent score entirely performed on solo piano. The jazz flavour counteracts perfectly alongside Harry’s lonely sax playing in his apartment, his escape from his insidious occupation.
Shire, Coppola’s brother-in-law having married his sister Talia had made his mark on Broadway and Hollywood as a composer, songwriter and arranger. His scores include some of the biggest films of the 1970s including The Taking Of Pelham 123, All The President’s Men and Norma Rae, the latter securing him an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song, It Goes Like It Goes.