I love Quentin Tarantino. I love his stories, his scripts, his characters, his enthusiasm for films and of course…his soundtracks. Which I will be concentrating on today as I try to put each of his eight original soundtracks into the order of their brilliance. Now, as QT fans will know, his soundtracks are just as impressive and exciting as his movies and to be honest, I found it pretty darn tricky. I adore all of them and so this wasn’t the easiest of tasks. Though I didn’t include From Dusk till Dawn, Natural Born Killers or True Romance – because he didn’t direct those movies or create the soundtrack.
Quentin Tarantino – The Soundtracks
8. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
This was Quentin’s first ever soundtrack (funnily enough) and it’s a mix of eclectic pop songs from the 1970s. Reservoir Dogs is his only soundtrack not to have one instrumental piece on it – and not as much dialogue as he likes to include now. But of course we have each song introduction by the grim voiced Steve Wright.
My favourite track: Stuck in the Middle With You – Stealer’s Wheel
7. Kill Bill Volume 2 (2004)
Wu-Tang Clan and Robert Rodriguez collaborated to produce this album and it’s probably the slightly more typical sounding soundtrack between both Kill Bill efforts, featuring some classic songs and old movie scores which – if you remember the films well – goes hand-in-hand with the plot and style.
My favourite track – L’arena by Ennio Morricone
6. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
This is a wonderful collection of scores and old music. The only pop song on here is David Bowie’s Cat People – which is rather marvellous and hilarious (putting out a fire with gasoline?). It’s very different, to say, Reservoir Dogs, but still has his very distinct style all over it.
My favourite track – Un Amico by Ennio Morricone
5. Jackie Brown (1997)
Back to a more old school QT now – no scores and loads of songs. The opening scene is true Tarantino form as we follow the eponymous Jackie Brown strutting her stuff to Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street. The rest of the album follows suit with a lot of funk and soul. Interestingly its full name is actually Jackie Brown – Music From The Miramax Motion Picture. Why? I have no bloody clue.
My favourite track – Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time by The Delfonics
4. Death Proof (2007)
The juke box featured in the bar in Death Proof is actually Quentin’s own personal juke box – and contains 45 hand-picked songs. If you look carefully, you can see Misirlou listed! I’d love to hang out with QT and have a few beers and go through every track. The Death Proof soundtrack is definitely closest to the type of music I listen to generally and out of all of his film ideas, this one has the most central connection to music. There’s a lotta music in it.
My favourite track – Down in Mexico by The Coasters
3. Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003)
There are some incredibly big tunes on this album and a brilliant, eclectic mix of music – from an old Japanese movie score to music orchestrated by Quincy Jones and then sung by Wu-Tang Clan. Kill Bill Volume 1 has been one of Quentin’s most commercially successful soundtracks and apart from Misirlou (Pulp Fiction) I think it contains one of the most recognisable Tarantino movie tracks – Battle Without Honor Or Humanity.
My favourite track – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Santa Esmeralda
2. Django Unchained (2012)
I actually bought this before the film was released. It pissed me off it came in a cardboard sleeve but that’s my only complaint. I was moving house at the time and so most tracks remind me of driving up and down the A130 with my Fiesta full to the brim with bin bags and boxes. Two people have asked me to copy this for them and neither are massively into Tarantino. It was also nominated recently for a Grammy – speaks for itself man.
My favourite track – The Payback / Untouchable – James Brown / 2Pac
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Not only is Pulp Fiction my favourite Tarantino soundtrack, it’s one of my all time favourite movie soundtracks as well. And I guess I’m not alone as Pulp Fiction has been Quentin’s most successful, talked about and complimented OST of all. Most of the album is pop music, with some rock and roll and American surf music and fantastic dialogue extracts. It’s a classic CD, a true masterpiece and one I have never, ever tired of.
My favourite track – Surf Rider by The Lively Ones