David Shire / Soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Conversation’

First time on vinyl • Brilliant soundtrack to superb film

Here’s one I’m really excited about… Trunk Records will next month release David Shire‘s haunting soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 film The Conversation on vinyl for the first time.

The film was written, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and made in between The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. It stars Gene Hackman as surveillance expert Harry Caul, a loner who becomes obsessed with the detail and implications of a conversation he is hired to record (a young Harrison Ford works for Caul’s client).

Coppola chose a young David Shire (his brother in law) to do the music. With no budget for a big orchestra Shire came up with a deceptively simple piano theme – the sparse and haunting score works beautifully with the film as Harry’s world starts to unravel.

What’s incredible about the music for The Conversation is that the soundtrack was never issued at the time.  A seven-inch demo of the theme was sent out as promotional material by Paramount (PAA-0305), and the same music was also issued on as a seven-inch vinyl in Japan around the same time (JET-2273), but until now nothing else has ever been pressed on vinyl (Intrada put out a CD version in 2001).

The Conversation is released on 140g black vinyl on 2 November 2018 via Trunk Records. You can pre-order your copy via the SDE shop using this link or the button below.

Theme From The Conversation (3:33)
The End Of The Day (1:37)
No More Questions / Phoning The Director (2:18)
Blues For Harry (Combo) (2:39)
To The Office / The Elevator (2:40)
Whatever Was Arranged (2:09)
The Confessional (2:21)

Amy’s Theme (2:51)
Dream Sequence (2:35)
Plumbing Problem (2:54)
Harry Carried (2:47)
The Girl In The Limo (2:25)
Finale And End Credits (3:54)
Theme From ‘The Conversation’ (Ensemble) (2:31)

Personnel Baritone Sax – Jack Nimitz , Bass Ray Brown, Drums – Shelly Manne,
Sound Montage – Walter Murch, Recording Engineer – Norman Wachner, Piano –
Pete Jolly (tracks 4, 11, 14), Piano Solo Selections – David Shire, Arp 2600 – Clark
Spangler , Tenor Sax – Don Menza, Trumpet – Conte Condoli

Artwork by Paul Flack Album . Produced by Jonny Trunk


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Sammy Waslow

I bought the Michael Small/David Shire: Klute/All the President’s Men twofer soundtrack CD about ten years ago. I was really delighted to get Shire’s minimalist score for All the President’s Men.


I’d forgotten how beautiful this piano piece by David Shire is. Thanks for posting it Paul.

I see references in the comments to similar movies and can’t help feeling that The Conversation (David Shire), The Parallax View (Michael Small) and Three Days of the Condor (Dave Gruisin) all have very different but really compelling soundtracks.


What you didn’t say Paul is that most Trunk stuff sells out REALLY fast – great that you are supporting the small guys.

Warren Bowman

The credits you listed include “Sound Montage – Walter Murch”. Does that mean that this will have some of Murch’s beautifully layered audio work included on the LP? I would love that!


Watch the Conversation, then watch Enemy of the State. Very different tone, but a spiritual sequel in some ways.


I saw this as a teen ages ages ago.
For some reason it always stuck with me.
I’ve seen it numerous times since that first time
and its probably my favorite from Gene Hackman.
As a bonus its nice seeing a very young Harrison Ford and Cindy Williams in it!


I wish there was a new CD release too. Is it a sacrilege to say that The Conversation is my favorite Coppola film?


Glad we agree on this, Paul!


Is David Shire related to Talia? I know she was a Coppola so it wouldnt surprise me.


This is a film I feel I *should* like (as one of series of ‘conspiracy style’ films that were popular around that time (‘Three days of the Condor) springs to mind. And it is Coppola after all…
However whenever I have tried to watch it I have always found it a bit impenetrable.

Maybe I should give it another go…


One of the my favourite films of the 1970s, if not of all time. Would be great to see this on CD at some point too.


It has been on CD for many years from Intrada film score label.



You’ve persuaded me. Also read a summary of The Parallax View and it sounds interesting too so I’ve purchased both on DVD.

An evening’s worth of paranoia watching… :-)

P.S. I’ll let you now how I get on (assuming I can bear to sit in front of a computer afterwards…)


Parallax View is terrific. Really needs a proper reissue though. Glad to see it getting some mentions, last time I saw it was on BBC2 in the late 80s, maybe on Moviedrome.


It takes a bit of patience, but it’s well worth it. And many think it’s Coppola’s best film!

Pete C T

Managed to get a silver coloured version directly from Trunk Records (think they’ve sold out). Utterly brilliant soundtrack and a very very welcome release. Nice to see it for sale in your shop : )

Martin Stacey

There are not many better things in life than a classic film and soundtrack combo, one of my favourites is The Long Goodbye from 1973.

Martin Stacey

And you only referenced the film the other day! I watched it earlier this year, it is a great film and Gene Hackman is fantastic.

gary clarke

brilliant, i have the Intrada version, but I’d love this on vinyl. Is there a DL code?

Rob G

Thanks for the information, I see what you mean by “Haunting”. Very much an accurate depiction.

Now, if there was only a way to get the 1984 Vangelis soundtrack to “The Bounty” and the 2003 “Lost In Translation” soundtrack on vinyl release, I would be a VERY happy man.

andrew R

Bought and paid you have brilliant taste Paul