June 18, 2012

Robertson's collaboration with Scorsese

Scorsese at 70: Robbie Robertson

By Justin RiellyThe most significant film in the Scorsese-Robertson canon was the 1986 pool hustling drama The Color of Money. He was working on the Paul Newman-Tom Cruise project while finishing his first solo album with producer Daniel Lanois; a contractual issue kept him from delivering vocals on the material. Despite his famous raspy vocals being a no-show, Robertson still gave Scorsese an original score for the film, along with the hit single "It's in the Way That You Use It." While that song was credited to fellow guitar virtuoso Eric Clapton, Robertson co-wrote it with him. It would surprisingly be the only original material Robertson would compose for a Scorsese film.

The rest of Scorsese and Robertson's partnership would ultimately be involved in the selection of songs from other artists and composers--to give the filmmaker's images powerful soundscapes. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Robertson was credited as a music producer and/or consultant for several Scorsese films--including Casino, Gangs of New York and recently, Shutter Island. He was also given "special thanks" credit on Scorsese's 2005 documentary No Direction Home, a look at the early years of music legend Bob Dylan--a period in which Robertson and his fellow members in The Band were playing with him as The Hawks.
Comment:  For more on Robbie Robertson, see Robertson on Canadian Stamp and Robertson to Write Memoirs.

Below:  "Singer-songwriter Robbie Robertson and Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese." (Warner Bros. Records/Jan Hoiberg)

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