Martin Scorsese's Music: An A to Z Guide to the Director's SoundtracksAn alphabetical breakdown of the Oscar winner's sonic legacy, from "Atlantis" to Warren Zevon
blog comments powered by Disqus
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.
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