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by Barry Walters

January 17, 2014

Martin Scorsese's Best Music Moments

by Barry Walters  |  January 17, 2014

When you hear the music that soundtracks the films of Martin Scorsese, you're not just hearing the sounds of his characters' lives, but also the music that has accompanied the filmmaker who created them. Throughout his long, hugely productive career, Scorsese has distinguished himself by making wildly idiosyncratic, and often anachronistic and willfully perverse, music choices that favor mood over meaning, reality, chronology and other rules that govern less imaginative minds.

Starting with Robert De Niro's swaggering entrance to "Jumpin' Jack Flash" in 1973's breakthrough Mean Streets, Scorsese has filled his typically dramatic and often operatic films with luridly passionate pop. If Italian-American mobsters are assumed to live on an exclusive musical diet of doo-wop, girl groups, blues and The Rolling Stones, he's the guy to blame. Often collaborating with Robbie Robertson of The Band as both composer and music supervisor, the 71-year-old director typically favors the sounds of his generation, but does so in a way far more personal than other filmmakers his age, one that's inspired several generations of artists. He's not the first to use pop music to depict the inner worlds of his characters but he's arguably the first to master that technique, and few do it better today, as he has proven most recently with The Wolf of Wall Street. Even when his films falter, his soundtracks can be counted on to rock.

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