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For the First Three Death Wish Films, the Music Rocked

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Over the years, Charles Bronson’s Death Wish franchise has gained a certain amount of notoriety for its intense violence and pro-vigilante themes. Beyond the controversy and killing, however, the first three Death Wish films in particular offer some fairly serious musical rewards.

Jazz musician Herbie Hancock composed the score for the original movie in 1974. Producer Dino De Laurentiis had asked director Michael Winner to find an English rock band because Brit pop was popular at the time but Winner’s girlfriend, a jazz fan, suggested Hancock instead. Lucky for us.

When Death Wish II came out eight years later, De Laurentiis got his wish…even though he was no longer the producer. Jimmy Page — yes, the guitarist from Led Zepplin — composed the score for the sequel as well as its followup Death Wish 3. He even released a bluesy album inspired by the former film’s Chicago setting.

If all that killing is just too much to watch, close your eyes and listen to the Death Wish marathon today, Sunday, April 6 starting at noon on AMC. For a complete list of air (and audio) times, click here.

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