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Tarantino Talks 'Django Unchained' Soundtrack, from Vinyl Oldies to Original Morricone

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood January 2, 2013 at 12:56PM

How much you like spaghetti westerns will be a factor in how much you want to consume the "Django Unchained" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, now available through Loma Vista Recording. This soundtrack marks the first time Quentin Tarantino has collaborated with artists to create original music for one of his films.
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Quentin Tarantino in "Django Unchained"
Quentin Tarantino in "Django Unchained"

Whether or not you like spaghetti westerns will be a factor in how much you want to consume the "Django Unchained" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, now available through Loma Vista Recording. This soundtrack marks the first time Quentin Tarantino has collaborated with artists to create original music for one of his films.

"If you like spaghetti westerns, one of the reasons you like them is because the music so awesome," Tarantino said at a recent DGA Q & A. "And the fact is, you don't just have cool operatic music, you also have really groovy catchy songs, that show up, some will be mock Frankie Laine style, trying to be like the Americans and kind of failing at it but that's what's charming about it, like the 'Django' theme. Or 'His Name is King' is a very poppy 60s style number. I love that they tell these little stories inside of that."

Tarantino continued: "I've been using spaghetti western music in the last five movies, so it's about time I put them in quasi-spaghetti westerns. Two of my heroes when it comes to Italian movie composition are Ennio Morricone and Luis Bacalov. The Django theme is throughout the movie, not just this one song. We got an original song from Morricone, I was so proud of it I put it in the opening credits. As opposed to second-hand Morricone, I actually have original Morricone this time."


The new and/or exclusive music includes Rick Ross' "100 Black Coffins," produced by and featuring the film's star, Jamie Foxx, as well as John Legend's "Who Did That To You?," Ennio Morricone and Elisa's "Ancora Qui," and Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton’s “Freedom.”

Tarantino picked out older recordings, many of which came from his personal vinyl collection. Instead of having the record companies give him new digitally cleaned up versions of these recordings from the 60’s and 70’s, he wanted to use the vinyl he's been listening to for years, complete with all the pops and cracks.

Complete track list below. Listen to the soundtrack with Tarantino's commentary here. The soundtrack is currently No. 4 on iTunes' soundtracks chart, and No. 6 in Amazon's soundtrack category. Four songs from "Django" are eligible for the Best Original Song Oscar: "Ancora Qui," "Freedom," "100 Black Coffins" and "Who Did That to You?"

This article is related to: Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino, News, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.