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Raging Bull soundtrack, EMI
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The Independent Culture

The music in Raging Bull has never been released as a soundtrack in its own right - until now. In its absence, it's become one of those legendary great lost albums, accruing a reputation which it perhaps doesn't quite deserve. Apart from a few piano instrumentals by Robbie Robertson - reflective versions of "At Last", "A New Kind of Love" and "Webster Hall" - it's entirely comprised of period pieces, which sprawl across these two discs like some combination of the wedding scene from The Godfather and the club scene from Goodfellas, so well does the selection convey the Italian-American cabaret mindset. So sure, there's the requisite complement of Frankie and Tony and Perry and Bing, and a smattering of Italian pop and classical pieces, augmented by a bunch of swing pieces from Benny Goodman, Harry James and Gene Krupa, the latter's aggressive tattoo on "Drum Boogie" featuring blinding hand-speed to match the boxers' efforts. Rounding everything off are a few smooth slices of Forties jazz vocals from the likes of The Mills Brothers and The Ink Spots - the latter duetting with Ella Fitzgerald on a notably urbane "Cow Cow Boogie" - though the aggressive character of the film's protagonist casts The Ink Spots' "Do I Worry", and the two versions of "Prisoner of Love", in a more troubled, ironic light than usual.

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