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The 10 Best Soundtracks of LALO SCHIFRIN

Still active today, Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin defined the sound of the crime genre in the 1960s and '70s with a series of standout scores for iconic movies. Here are our favourites.

Words by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)





The Liquidator (1965)
This Rod Taylor headlined James Bond cash-in couldn't match the success of 007, but it did boast a cracking Shirley Bassey sung theme song orchestrated by Schifrin.

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
Schifrin teamed up with the great Ray Charles for this gambling classic, providing a score that's somewhere between spaghetti western and spy movie.

Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Schifrin's acoustic guitar laden score for Paul Newman's finest hour perfectly captures both the melancholy nature of its title character and the sweaty haze of the film's Southern setting.

Coogan's Bluff (1968)
This contemporary western teamed Schifrin with Clint Eastwood for the first time in a project that served as a prototype for Dirty Harry.

Bullitt (1968)
One of the most iconic scores of its era, it's impossible to listen to this ridiculously cool piece of music without picturing those famous hills of San Francisco.

Kelly's Heroes (1970)
Brian G Hutton's WWII heist movie was way ahead of its time in its postmodern approach, transferring the attitudes of the hippy era to the European frontline, and Schifrin's score sounds like a military marching band commandeered by a bunch of beatniks.

Dirty Harry (1971)
There are a few contenders for Schifrin's most iconic score, and while Mission Impossible is undoubtedly his most recognisable, for us Dirty Harry is his finest work. The '70s would never sound the same again after this, and Schifrin's sound here can be heard in practically every crime movie that followed over the decade.

Enter the Dragon (1973)
Another soundtrack that instantly takes you back to the '70s, Schifrin's score for Bruce Lee's biggest movie is as 1973 as it gets, with organs, horns and of course that great wah-wah guitar.

Magnum Force (1973)
The first sequel to Dirty Harry is almost as good as the original, and the same goes for its soundtrack.

Charley Varrick (1973)
Don Siegel cast Walter Matthau as a womanising tough guy, yet somehow it worked! We think Schifrin's score had a lot to do with it; how could you not look cool strutting around to this music?

Bonus tracks:

Mission Impossible (1966)
Schifrin's most recognisable theme tune came courtesy of the small screen, and was a huge part of the show's success.

Jaws
Huh? Lalo Schifrin didn't write the Jaws theme! No, but he did record an insanely funky cover version of John Williams' theme for his 1976 album Black Widow.


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