One of the many ways in which Martin Scorsese changed the world of movies was his use of music as both a potent motor of plot and an instant indicator of character and milieu. When he made Mean Streets back in the early Seventies, the notion of licensing music rights was not even a twinkle in corporate lawyers' eyes, so he simply went ahead and "borrowed" whatever music he wanted. Indeed, it would probably have been impossible at the time to discover who actually owned the rights to such long-forgotten Fifties doo-wop marvels as The Paragons' "Florence" and The Chips' comically gymnastic "Rubber Biscuit". The result was the best pop soundtrack ever assembled, albeit one legally impossible to release as an album. This two-disc anthology offers compensation aplenty, however, mingling these gems with copious tranches from later films, notably GoodFellas and Casino. Throughout, the impeccable taste of Scorsese and his musical director Robbie Robertson is clear, from old cabaret chestnuts to blues and soul classics.
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