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 really and so this wasn’t the easiest of tasks. Anyway, hope you enjoy. And I’m not including From Dusk till Dawn, Natural Born Killers or True Romance because he didn’t direct them or create the soundtrack.
8. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
This was Quentin’s first ever soundtrack (funnily enough) and it’s a real mix of eclectic pop songs from the 1970s. Reservoir Dogs is his only soundtrack not to have one instrumental piece on it and there is no dialogue save the Madonna’s big dick conversation and of course, Steve Wright’s deadpan extracts.
My favourite track – I Gotcha by Joe Tex
7. Kill Bill Volume 2 (2004)
Wu-Tang Clan and Robert Rodriguez collaborated together to produce this album and it features a song by Chingon – Robert Rodriguez’s band. This is 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 of the movies.
My favourite track – L’arena by Ennio Morricone
6. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The contrast between this soundtrack and Reservoir Dogs, is unbelievable. Though Quentin has a distinct style with all of his soundtracks, they couldn’t be more different. 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 a brilliant accompaniment to all the instrumental music – some of which is dramatic, some sad and some slightly comical.
My favourite track – Un Amico by Ennio Morricone
5. Jackie Brown (1997)
Back to old school QT now – no scores and loads of songs. The opening scene is in 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 soul music. And, interestingly its full name is actually Jackie Brown – Music From The Miramax Motion Picture.
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 the film 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 Quentin 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. Lots of Morricone and old 60s stuff – some beautiful songs.
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 there is a brilliant, eclectic mix of music – from an old Japanese movie score, to music orchestrated by Quincy Jones and 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 has one of the most recognisable Tarantino movie songs – 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 even 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, my Fiesta full to the brim with bin bags and boxes. Two people have asked me to copy this for them and neither are Tarantino fans and it was also nominated for a Grammy – speaks for itself!
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. And I guess I’m not alone as Pulp Fiction has been Quentin’s most successful, talked about and complimented soundtrack of all. Most of the album is pop music, with some rock and roll and American surf music and fantastic dialogue extracts. A true masterpiece!
My favourite track – Surf Rider by The Lively Ones