Fav Five Vocal Tracks From Quentin Tarantino Films

Well, we did QT’s instrumental selections… now lets go over the other tracks he’s dug up for us. I’m only including songs I had never heard until I heard them in one of his movies, so though Reservoir Dogs has plenty great ones, they wont be showing up here because I knew them all already.

 

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino

5. Flowers On the Wall, by the Statler Brothers (from Pulp Fiction)

 

 

Not a big country fan, but this track is just to catchy to not like, and lyrically, well, it speaks to the solitary nature of life. Don’t we all hate having to socialize? Isnt the true American Dream to have enough money to indulge in out innate agoraphobia? Perhaps I just have issues, but in that case, so did Howard Hughes and Marlon Brando.

 

4. Bang Bang, by Nancy Sinatra (from Kill Bill Vol. 1)

 

 

I of course knew this song before I saw the movie, but I had been familiar with the original version by Sonny and Cher ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU4oEWoS3dI ), which is a quaint and equally catchy version, and of course I was also familiar with the horribly over produced version Cher later re-recorded for a greatest hits album ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JDs3ZSDb_w ). It was almost as bad as Cher’s version of Masters of War ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12ZErkwDTEk ), though in all fairness, the Cake fan inside me did enjoy the use of the virbra-slap in that track. Nancy Sinartra’s version though is the antithesis of Cher’s over produced travesty. The song is pared down to beautiful evocative vocals that is brimming with pathos, and a bass track that is equally solemn, making the song sound as if it had never been recorded before, as it this were the original and that all others were a shadow of an imitation of it.

 

3. Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon, by Urge Overkill (from Pulp Fiction)

Here’s Neil Diamond’s original:

 

Like Bang, Bang, I knew the song already, (classic Neil Diamond!), but this version, I’d never heard (I think it may have even been recorded for the soundtrack?!?!?). Rather than the actual video, I’ve posted the scene from the movie in which it is played. Lyrically it seems to have little to nothing to do with the scene (outside of a girl becoming a woman, potentially Uma’s character being forced to realize the recreational nature of her childlike life has very adult consequences), but the verse are all about the boy who just isn’t good enough for the girl, at least in the eyes of those around her, a theme that always translates well into popular music (see Radio Head’s Creep, or Frankie Vallii and the Four Seasons’ Dawn).

 

2. Flower Of Carnage, Shura No Hana -as in not Hanna Montana- (from Kill Bill Vol. 1)

 

I of course do not understand a word of the song, but it features a beautiful pan flute performance (a la The Lonely Shepherd), at least, I think it’s a pan flute, I could be wrong. And the vocals are hauntingly soothing and at the same time carry a kind of helpless humility that makes the track sound so sombre one feels sympathy being projected onto the vocalist, even though they may have no clue what she is saying!

 

1. A) Chick Habit: April March (from Death Proof)

 

Here’s the French original:

 

A sharp feminist edge to the lyrics discouraging the passive possessive nature of the ideal patriarchal subservient! And It has the same cord combo as a song I wrote, well, the verse/chorus at any rate. Catchy song, great lyrics, and very fitting for the film Death Proof. And my fav line from that movie fits in nicely with this track: “I don’t know what futuristic utopia you live in, but in the world I live in, a bitch need a gun.”

 

1. B) Goodnight Moon, by Shivaree (from Kill Bill. Vol. 2)

 

 

I honestly don’t even remember hearing this song when I watched the movie the first time, but when I bought the sound track on CD (yes, I still buy CDs) and loaded it up on my soundtrack, this song kept popping up when I hit shuffle, and I feel in love with it during the summer while I was running around Essex trying to lose weight and get my 5K under 25 minutes. There is so much going on in the song. Harmonies, the guitar with the falling notes that drop and pop up at the peak of the chorus, the vocals have so much personality and character, but are balanced enough that it doesn’t sound at all theatrical, and it just creates this mellow dark mood, but is up-tempo enough at the same time that it always kept me going at a good pace when I was running. This one and Chick Habit are so great, I could decide which one should be number one, so it’s a tie!

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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