Various Artists – The Tarantino Connection

By 1995, Quentin Tarantino was riding on the crest of a wave. He had received an OSCAR for writing the film Pulp Fiction, his film Reservoir Dogs was critical as well as financial success and his screenplays for True Romance as well as Natural Born Killers had only increased profile. Four Rooms was the only blip in this upward momentum. Posters for both Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs as well as their soundtracks graced the rooms of many of my fellow students when I was at University. It is the soundtrack albums that I am going to focus on here. 

Film soundtracks at that time could be classed into two categories. The first was the one which had a soundtrack specifically written for it. These tended to be, but not exclusively, classical in nature. John Williams seemed to do quite a number of these but he did not have exclusive on this. Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman and James Horner are but a few of the composers who produced film scores before the rise of Tarantino. Even Queen got in on the act when the scored Flash Gordon. The other was to take a few star names with a below par song they were looking to offload, some relative unknowns and some up and coming acts who were desperate for the exposure. These songs would be shoehorned into the film and then a soundtrack album would be released with the hope that they might shift a few units or that one song would become a massive hit. Top Gun, Mallrats and Cocktail are but a few I could have mentioned that fit into this category.  Then there were the films of Tarantino. 

These films had soundtracks of already released music, some of which had been used in other films that seemed to have been carefully considered beforehand. The choice of music was instrumental in some of the scenes. Look at the use of ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’ by Steelers Wheel in Reservoir Dogs. Would another piece of music have worked as well as that in that scene?  There were also snippets of dialogue from the films that would sometimes, but not always, introduce the song that was about to be played. This was a man, it would seem, that took the music as seriously as he did the film he was going to make. 

What I was looking to produce here was a compilation of songs from Tarantino films. These would also include some the dialogue as having played some of these soundtracks to death back when they were released, I find it difficult to listen to them without the actors in there as well. This compilations includes films from Reservoir Dogs up to Grindhouse. 

Disc 1

  1. Shaw Brothers Theme
  2. ‘Pumpkin & Honey Bunny’/Misirlou Amanda Plummer & Tim Roth/Dick Dale & his Del-Tones
  3. Jungle Boogie – Kool & The Gang
  4. Who Is He (& What Is He To You?) – Bill Withers
  5. Son Of A Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
  6. Baby, It’s You – Smith
  7. Natural High – Bloodstone
  8. Strawberry Lette 23 – Brothers Johnson
  9. ‘And Now Little Green Bag’ – Steven Wright
  10. Little Green Bag – George Baker Selection
  11. Staggolee – Pacific Gas & Electric
  12. Everybody Be Cool’ – George Clooney
  13. Truck Turner – Isaac Hayes
  14. Super Sounds’ – Steven Wright
  15. Stuck In The Middle With You – Steelers Wheel
  16. Jeepster – T.Rex
  17. Foolish Heart – The Mavericks
  18. Bustin’ Surfboards – The Tornadoes
  19. Graceland – Charlie Sextion
  20. Hooked On A Feeling – Blue Swede
  21. You’re So Cool – Hans Zimmer
  22. Sentimental Journey – Esquivel
  23. Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) – Delfonics
  24. The Grand Duel (Parte Prima) – Luis Enrique Bacalov
  25. Since I First Met You – The Robins
  26. You Belong To Me – Bob Dylan
  27. My Grudge Blues (Urami Bushi) – Meiko Kaji
  28. ‘Let’s Get A Taco’ – Harvey Keitel & Tim Roth

Disc 2

  1. ‘Kill The Band’ – Tom Savini
  2. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – Nancy Sinatra
  3. That Certain Female – Charlie Feathers
  4. Surf Rider – The Lovely Ones
  5. Rumble – Link Wray & His Ray Men
  6. ‘Jack Rabbit Slims Twist Contest’/You Never Can Tell Jerome Patrick Hoban & Uma Thurman/Chuck Berry
  7. Coconut – Nilsson
  8. Lonesome Town – Ricky Nelson
  9. Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon – Urge Overkill
  10. If Love Is A Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags) – Maria McKee
  11. Street Life – Randy Crawford
  12. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  13. Run Fay Fun – Isaac Hayes
  14. The Green Hornet Theme – Al Hirt
  15. Battle Without Honour & Humanity – Tomoyasu Hotei
  16. The Lions & the Cucumber Vampire’s – Sound Incorporated
  17. Flowers One The Wall – The Statler Brothers
  18. Across 110th Street – Bobby Womack
  19. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Santa Esmeralda
  20. Summertime KIller – Luis Bacalov
  21. The Flower Of Carnage – Meiko Kaji
  22. The Lonely – Shepherd Zamfir
  23. ‘Ezekiel 25:17’ – Samuel L. Jackson

Both the title and the cover of this compilation were taken from an actual release from 1996 which was the inspiration for completing this in the first place. 

This playlist could not be reproduced on Spotify because the it would seem that that platform has not secured the rights to the dialogue.

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