All of the Music from Martin Scorsese’s Movies: Listen to a 326-Track, 20-Hour Playlist

Mar­tin Scors­ese’s cin­e­mat­ic real­i­ty, pop­u­lat­ed by hus­tlers, wise guys, prize fight­ers, vig­i­lantes, law­men, mad­men, and moguls, demands set­tings as vivid as its char­ac­ters. His movies, often peri­od pieces root­ed in par­tic­u­lar parts of 20th-cen­tu­ry Amer­i­ca (and increas­ing­ly, ear­li­er eras and far­ther-flung lands), evoke their times and places most notably with songs. Among their twen­ty great­est musi­cal moments Indiewire lists War­ren Zevon’s “Were­wolves of Lon­don” in The Col­or of Mon­ey, The Clash’s “Janie Jones” in Bring­ing out the Dead, Mick­ey & Sylvi­a’s “Love Is Strange” in Casi­no, and the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shel­ter” in The Depart­ed (one of its three uses so far in Scors­ese’s fil­mog­ra­phy).

But Scors­ese’s involve­ment with music goes far beyond lay­er­ing it below, or indeed above, the scenes he shoots. In addi­tion to direct­ing his wide­ly acclaimed fea­tures from the “New Hol­ly­wood” 1970s to the present day, he’s also led some­thing of a par­al­lel career mak­ing films whol­ly ded­i­cat­ed to music and musi­cians, includ­ing 1978’s The Last Waltz, which cap­tured The Band’s “farewell con­cert appear­ance”; the 2003 mul­ti-direc­tor doc­u­men­tary series The Blues on that ven­er­a­ble Amer­i­can musi­cal tra­di­tion; 2005’s No Direc­tion Home on Bob Dylan, 2008’s Rolling Stones bio­graph­i­cal con­cert film Shine a Light, and 2011’s Liv­ing in the Mate­r­i­al World on George Har­ri­son.

Some of the pow­er of Scors­ese’s musi­cal selec­tions owes to his long friend­ship with The Band’s gui­tarist Rob­bie Robert­son, which began with The Last Waltz and con­tin­ues to this day. “We’ve always had this rela­tion­ship going back and forth,” a Telegram arti­cle on their qua­si-col­lab­o­ra­tion quotes the direc­tor as say­ing. “We start­ed a kind of rela­tion­ship in which we’d touch base as to every film I was doing and the type of music I was using.”

In his new mem­oir Tes­ti­mo­ny, Robert­son touch­es on a par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant job in Scors­ese’s career that sure­ly did some­thing to shape his friend’s musi­cal-cin­e­mat­ic con­scious­ness: assis­tant-direct­ing and par­tial­ly edit­ing his NYU film school class­mate Michael Wadleigh’s Wood­stock. “We were all, nat­u­ral­ly, pas­sion­ate about film-mak­ing, but Wad­leigh and I were equal­ly pas­sion­ate about rock music,” Scors­ese writes in the fore­word to Wood­stock: Three Days that Rocked the World. “I thought then, and I still think, that it formed the score for many of our lives; we moved through the days to its swag­ger­ing rhythms.”

Now you can move to all the rhythms of Scors­ese’s days, and there­fore of his fil­mog­ra­phy to date, in a 326-Track, 20-Hour Spo­ti­fy playlist. (If you don’t have Spo­ti­fy’s free soft­ware, you can down­load it here.) It comes assem­bled by Thril­list, whose Anna Sil­man writes that, “as might be expect­ed, The Rolling Stones take the crown for most fea­tured artist with a total of 14 appear­ances,” but “Ray Charles, Eric Clap­ton, and Louis Pri­ma all put up some decent num­bers, too.” She sug­gests you enjoy it “on shuf­fle with some egg noo­dles and ketchup,” and if you get the ref­er­ence right away, the playlist will cer­tain­ly bring back some of your most vivid cin­e­mat­ic mem­o­ries — and maybe even a few his­tor­i­cal ones.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Mavis Sta­ples and The Band Sing “The Weight” In Mar­tin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz (1978)

The Film­mak­ing of Mar­tin Scors­ese Demys­ti­fied in 6 Video Essays

Mar­tin Scors­ese Reveals His 12 Favorite Movies (and Writes a New Essay on Film Preser­va­tion)

Mar­tin Scorsese’s Very First Films: Three Imag­i­na­tive Short Works

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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