Whether or not you love Tarantino’s movies, one thing you have to give him credit for is his ability to include some incredible music in every one of his films. He’s introduced me to some excellent songs over the years from the Smith version of “Baby it’s You” played in “Death Proof,” right down to “Stuck in the Middle with You” from “Reservoir Dogs.”
With “Django Unchained” it’s no real exception. The film is admittedly anachronistic in its soundtrack since the film is essentially a nod to the blaxploitation westerns of the seventies.
One of the sad points of this soundtrack is the omission of Richie Havens’ “Freedom” which is shown during a portion of the film but is not included in the compilation, for some odd reason. Save for the obligatory sound bytes from the film, the “Django Unchained” soundtrack is a very entertaining compilation of music from the actual movie. There’s the three minute theme song entitled “Django” from Rocky Roberts & Luis Bacalov, a very raucous ode to the hero; “The Braying Mule” from Ennio Morricone is a masterful classical song.
There’s character King Shulz’ theme song entitled “His Name Was King” from Luis Bacalov, a marvelous and upbeat tune turned eccentric in the context of the movie. For what I’m assuming the Richie Havens’ song was excluded, there’s “Freedom” from Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton, a very good tune set during Django’s last fight and one I enjoy listening to again and again. Featured is the wonderful Jim Croce song “I Got A Name,” and Ennio Morricone’s “Sister Sara’s Theme.” One of the highlights of the soundtrack is “Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable),” an excellent hip hop combo from James Brown & 2Pac.
And as a bonus track, frequent Tarantino composer RZA offers his fantastic “Ode to Django (The D Is Silent).” If you’re a Tarantino completist who wants to educate yourself in Tarantino’s musical offerings and how they apply to the narratives in his films, the “Django Unchained” soundtrack is a really good entry in the ever growing library of unique and fascinating Tarantino music.