The music by Bernard Herrmann was his final score before his death on December 24, 1975, and the film is dedicated to his memory. Robert Barnett of MusicWeb International has said that it contrasts deep, sleazy noises, representing the "scum" that Travis sees all over the city, with the saxophone, a musical counterpart to Travis, creating a mellifluously disenchanted troubadour. Barnett also observes that the opposing noises in the soundtrack—gritty little harp figures, hard as shards of steel, as well as a jazz drum kit placing the drama in the city—are indicative of loneliness in the midst of mobs of people. Deep brass and woodwinds are also evident. Barnett heard in the drumbeat a wild-eyed martial air charting the pressure on Bickle, who is increasingly oppressed by the corruption around him, and that the harp, drum, and saxophone play significant roles in the music.
Also featured in the film is Jackson Browne's "Late for the Sky", appearing in a scene where couples are dancing on the program American Bandstand to the song as Travis watches on his small TV.
The soundtrack for the film, re-released in 1998 on CD, includes an expanded version of the score as well as the tracks from the original 1976 LP. It also features album notes by director Martin Scorsese, as well as full documentation for the tracks, linking them in great detail to individual takes. Track 12, "Diary of a Taxi Driver", features Herrmann's music with De Niro's voice-over taken directly from the soundtrack.
Some of the tracks feature relatively long titles, representative of the fact that similar reprises are heard in many scenes.
Only the A-side of the 1976 soundtrack LP featured the Herrmann score. The B-side (tracks 14 through 18 on the CD) was dedicated to jazz "interpretations" of the score, arranged and conducted by Dave Blume. None of these recordings appeared in the film.
|2.||"Thank God for the Rain"||1:58|
|3.||"Cleaning the Cab"||1:05|
|4.||"I Still Can't Sleep/They Cannot Touch Her (Betsy's Theme)"||4:51|
|5.||"Phone Call/I Realise how much She is Like the Others/A Strange Customer/Watching Palantine on TV/You're Gonna Die in Hell/Betsy's Theme/Hitting the Girl"||6:10|
|6.||"The .44 Magnum is a Monster"||5:20|
|7.||"Getting into Shape/Listen you Screwheads/Gun Play/Dear Father & Mother/The Card/Soap Opera"||5:25|
|8.||"Sport and Iris"||2:18|
|9.||"The $20 Bill/Target Practice"||2:33|
|10.||"Assassination Attempt/After the Carnage"||5:04|
|11.||"A Reluctant Hero/Betsy/End Credits"||4:40|
|12.||"Diary of a Taxi Driver (Album Version)"||4:28|
|13.||"God's Lonely Man (Album Version – With Alternative Ending)"||2:00|
|14.||"Theme from Taxi Driver"||4:02|
|15.||"I Work the Whole City"||2:24|
|16.||"Betsy in a White Dress"||2:13|
|17.||"The Days do not End"||4:05|
|18.||"Theme from Taxi Driver (Reprise)"||2:25|