Hear Ennio Morricone's Striking 'Hateful Eight' Opener

Quentin Tarantino corrals legendary composer to score his first Western in four decades

Ennio Morricone delivers a brooding, brutish opener to Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' the composer's first Western score in four decades

Iconic film composer Ennio Morricone has crafted a brooding, brutal opening song for the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, "L'Ultima Diligenza di Red Rock."

The Hateful Eight score marks Morricone's first for a Western movie in four decades, but "L'Ultima Diligenza" shows he hasn't lost his knack for blending serpentine strings, blistering brass and the occasional monastic chant. The Italian composer previously provided the legendary scores for classic Westerns like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West and My Name is Nobody.

Morricone's score — which garnered a Golden Globe nod last week — will anchor the Hateful Eight soundtrack, which sees release on December 18th via Decca, and on vinyl through Third Man. The compilation also boasts music by the White Stripes, Roy Orbison and David Hess.

Tarantino has pulled compositions from Morricone's extensive catalog for years, starting with Kill Bill: Volume 1's use of "From Man to Man" from the 1967 Spaghetti Western Death Rides a Horse. The director tried to recruit Morricone for 2009's Inglourious Basterds, but the composer was already working on Giuseppe Tornatore's Baaria; Morricone did, however, contribute a new track, "Ancora Qui," to Tarantino's 2012 follow-up, Django Unchained.

The Hateful Eight opens in select theaters on December 25th before going nationwide on January 8th.