Martin Scorsese's Music: An A to Z Guide to the Director's Soundtracks

An alphabetical breakdown of the Oscar winner's sonic legacy, from "Atlantis" to Warren Zevon
Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

blog comments powered by Disqus
1 of 28

Early on in Martin Scorsese's latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio's brash young broker throws a party at his office. Strippers, a secretary with a shaved head and even a marching band parade around while his coworkers are worked into an animalistic frenzy. It could be a scene from any raunch comedy, until Scorsese drops the needle on a recording of Elmore James' "Dust My Broom." Suddenly, the bacchanalian excess goes from nutty to nightmarish, and the way he syncs the hedonistic abandon with James' creeping guitar just feels. . . perfect.

The Wolf of Wall Street and 2013's Best Films

Of course, Scorsese has long had a knack for finding the right pop or rock song to kick a scene into the stratosphere. For every time he's used a Bernard Hermann score or a Bach sonata, there are a dozen instances when he's employed vintage R&B, doo-wop, blues or British Invasion numbers – "the music we used to hear in the street," he's said – to liven up his films. So we've come up with an alphabetical breakdown of Scorsese's musical legacy – the most memorable songs in his movies to his connections to rock icons, from "Atlantis" to Warren Zevon. To paraphrase his favorite band, it's just a click away. David Fear

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.