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Soundtrack album: Gangs of New York

[cover art]

Soundtrack album from Martin Scorsese's 2002 film Gangs of New York . Released in December 2002. Robbie Robertson did the job as musical supervisor.

Martin Scorsese's sprawling meditation on the rise of street gangs in 19th-century New York (the roots of the modern mafia) also became another soundtrack buff's "What If?" after the director scrapped the original orchestral underscore of modern collaborator (Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, Bringing Out the Dead)/veteran scoring legend Elmer Bernstein and replaced it with this typically rich, Robbie Robertson-supervised collection of eclectic pop, folk, and neo-classical tracks. The latter come courtesy of three brooding excerpts from film composer Howard Shore's previously unpremiered concert piece Brooklyn Heights, tracks that help emphasize the film's darker emotional gravitas. Much of the other catalog choices by Robertson and Scorsese lean on an evocative slate of Celtic and folk-tinged selections that range from hammered dulcimers, fiddles, and tin whistles to the spare, emotive balladry of Linda Thompson and Shu-De; even U2's main theme, "The Hands That Built America," is cast in a similar mold. But that Irish musical stew gets leavened by everything from the postmodern dirges of Peter Gabriel and Jocelyn Pook to a black field hand recording by legendary musicologist Alan Lomax and even the Chinese flavors of "Beijing Opera Suite." It's an imaginative, compelling mix, one that gratifyingly pushes the usually staid boundaries of what film scores can truly encompass.
--Jerry McCulley,


  1. Brooklyn Heights
  2. Dark Moon, High Tide - Afro Celt Sound System
  3. Gospel Train - Silver Leaf Quartet
  4. The Hands That Built America - U2
  5. Shimmy She Wobble - Othar Turner
  6. Breakaway - Sidney Stripling
  7. Signal to Noise - Peter Gabriel
  8. New York Girls - Finbar Furey
  9. The Murderer's Home - Jimpson And Group
  10. Dionysus - Jocelyn Pook
  11. Brooklyn Heights
  12. Morrison's Jig/Liberty - Mariano De Simone
  13. Durgen Chugaa - Shu-De
  14. Unconstant Lover - Maura O'Connell
  15. Devil's Tapdance - Vittorio Schiboni
  16. Beijing Opera Suite - Anxi Jiang
  17. Paddy's Lamentation - Linda Thompson
  18. Brooklyn Heights


  • Robbie Robertson - Music Supervisor
  • Alan Lomax - Producer, Engineer
  • Finbar Furey - Vocals
  • Tom Lazarus - Engineer, Mixing
  • Bob Ludwig - Mastering
  • Hal Willner - Producer, Liner Notes, Soundtrack Producer
  • John Work - Engineer
  • Geoff Foster - Engineer, Mixing
  • Carl Glanville - Engineer, Mixing
  • Eric Liljestrand - Engineer, Mixing
  • Boris Salchak - Arranger
  • Joe Rangel - Music Coordinator
  • Martin Scorsese - Executive Soundtrack Producer
  • Andrea Corr - Tin Whistle
  • Sharon Corr - Violin
  • Liam Ward - Package Design
  • Teddy Thompson - Arranger
  • Randy Spendlove - Executive in Charge of Music
  • Chris Heaney - Assistant
  • Rachel Levy - Soundtrack Coordination
  • Andrew Van Meter - Producer

Soundtrack album - Gangs of New York - 2002 - Interscope Records - 493565

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