Quentin Tarantino discusses the music of ‘Django Unchained’
The music in any Quentin Tarantino film is an adventure unto itself, a tradition that continues with “Django Unchained,” Tarantino’s movie opening on Christmas Day.
The soundtrack album was released a week ahead of the film itself, and Tarantino took time to walk listeners through the music in a Sirius XM satellite radio special, “Quentin Tarantino Unleashed,” that aired Dec. 14 on Little Steven’s Underground Garage show, which Tarantino lauds as “the coolest radio station on the planet.”
Tarantino gives a track-by-track commentary on the program Sirius XM has made available for streaming free through Jan. 2 at UnchainedSoundtrack.com.
“It’s a pretty eclectic soundtrack as [are] most of my soundtracks,” the idisosyncratic writer and director says at the outset. “This one in particular, though, is a neat mix of old school songs, spaghetti western snundtrack pieces, and some new music, which is actually a very first for me.”
In fact, Tarantino has brought together tracks from the godfather of spaghetti western music composers, Ennio Morricone (“The Braying Mule” and “Sister Sara’s Theme,” both from his score from “Two Mules for Sister Sara”), rapper Rick Ross (“100 Black Coffins”), jazz musician Anthony Hamilton (“Freedom,” with Elayna Boynton), R&B-pop; singer John Legend (“Who Did That To You?”) and ‘70s folk-rocker Jim Croce (“I Got a Name”).
Here’s what Tarantino says about the film‘s main theme, “Django,” composed by Luis Bacalov.
“It’s sung,” he says with a chuckle, “in quasi-Elvis style, by Rocky Roberts. Now this was the actual title track to the original 1966 movie ‘Django.’”… I’ve always loved this song--I think it’s fantastic. Not only that, ‘Django’ was so popular around the world, I’ve heard Japanese versions of the song, Italian versions of the song, I’ve heard Greek versions of this song, because it was played all over...”
“I have to say,” he adds, “when I came up with the idea to do ‘Django Unchained,’ I knew it was imperative that I open it with this song as a big opening credit sequence. Because basically this movie is done in the style of a spaghetti western, and any spaghetti western worth its salt has a big opening credit sequence. In fact, if it doesn’t, I don’t really want to see it.”
The rest of Tarantino’s hyper-passionate remarks, which also can be downloaded at iTunes, can be heard here.
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2
PHOTOS AND MORE
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
Get our revamped Envelope newsletter, sent twice a week, for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes insights and columnist Glenn Whipp’s commentary.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.