* Prices may differ from that shown
Quentin Tarantino really knows his music, and how to pick it to suit the mood of his film. Pulp Fiction is perhaps the best example of this, with Q selecting from a smorgasbord of funk and soulful tunes, reinforcing the film's pop-culture papier-mache format.
The first track opens with Pumpkin and Hunny Bunny holding up the restaurant as occurs at the start of the film, before seguing into Dick Dale's excellently frenetic Misirlou which has made the film's opening credits among the most iconic in film.
There are three dialogue snippets on this album - the "Royale With Cheese" conversation, the "Personality Goes a Long Way" chat, and also the famous "Ezekiel 25:17" sequence, both of which are short enough so they don't intrude on the music. The album, for the most part, is a memory game: songs play and then remind us of small moments in the film, and that's very much the whole joy of this collection, like the following tunes:
Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" is, I think, most people will agree, an insanely cool song, and Tarantino uses it to great effect in the film, setting a funky mood that's massaged further by the appearance of Samuel L Jackson as it fades out during the film.
Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" instantly reminds one of Mia Wallace and the infamous overdose debacle that Vincent Vega has to then sort out. Also their stop-off at Jack Rabbit Slim's is referenced with the great song "You Never Can Tell", that'll also remind you of John Travolta's hilarious dancing! Urge Overkill's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" is indicative of Wallace's vivaciousness and Vega's attraction to her: a very sexy song indeed.
This album has charm to spare and its ending with The Lively Ones' "Surf Rider" just reinforces how much this soundtrack epitomises cool, as does the film. Fans of the film will love it.
For anyone who has seen the film and liked it I would think that the soundtrack is a must. The film has been made in such a way as to make the soundtrack an integral part of the story. The songs chosen have been well thought out and enhance the storyline during the film and allow you to relive a lot of the best parts of the film when listening to the soundtrack.
The soundtrack differs from other soundtracks in that it also contains various clips and quotes from the film in addition to the songs. I think this reflects the importance of the soundtrack to the film. It is not merely an afterthought released to make more money from the popularity of the film; it is a significant part of the film. The quotes and clips that have been used on the soundtrack relate to the point in the film where the song appears and also include some of the most quotable aspects of the film.
** Track List **
1. Pumpkin and Honey Bunny Misirlou (Dick Hale & His Del-Tones)
This track begins with the end of a conversation between Pumpkin and Honey Bunny while they are in a diner having breakfast. The end of their dialogue marks the beginning of an attempted burglary on the diner. The music that follows has become something of a theme for the film and is a bold electric guitar track.
2. Royale With Cheese
This track is a discussion between Vincent and Jules while in the car on the way to collect a case for Marcellus. The dialogue is taken directly from the film.
3. Jungle Boogie (Kool & The Gang)
Probably the weakest track on the album. There is a slightly funky feel to the start of the track but it never lives up to expectation. Definitely one to skip.
4. Lets Stay Together (Al Green)
This track is one of my all time favourite soul songs performed by a legend. It is a slow, soothing track with a strong love theme. This track is certainly not for those who dont have a soft side.
5. Bustin Surfboards (The Tornadoes)
This is the first of many tracks on this soundtrack to be music only tracks. This is predominantly a guitar track and has the relaxing sound of waves in the background. Far from my favourite track on the CD this track is better when considered with the film.
6. Lonesome Town (Ricky Nelson)
This is a very slow track performed with a single guitar for the backing music. The vocals really take center stage with this track, which has a 60s feel to it.
7. Son Of A Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield)
Track 7 is another classic soul track performed by a great singer. This track is upbeat and will get you moving. The words are memorable and will soon have you singing along.
8. Zeds Dead Baby Bullwinkle Part II (The Centurians)
This track begins with an exert from the film where Butch returns to collect his girlfriend on a chopper. As he went out in a car she is a little curious as to where the bike has come from. The track itself is a guitar track without lyrics.
9. Jack Rabbit Slims Twist Contest You Never Can Tell (Chuck Berry)
This track begins with an exert from the film where Vincent and Mia enter into a dancing competition while out for dinner. The dialogue introduces the contestants to the competition and is followed by the song that Vincent and Mia dance to in the competition with their two fingers across the eyes dance (you know the one I mean). The track that follows is upbeat with catchy lyrics. Youll soon be dancing around the room like Mia and Vincent.
10. Girl, Youll Be A Woman Soon (Urge Overkill)
One of the best tracks on the album, this song has good lyrics and a catchy tune. The song is almost haunting and is superbly performed by Urge.
11. If Love Is A Red Dress (Maria McKee)
This is a country style track. It has a slow pace and focuses on the vocals. There is a guitar playing in the background but the focus of the track is certainly the singer and the lyrics.
12. Bring Out The Gimp Comanche (The Revels)
This track begins with a clip from the film where a strange shopkeeper and his policeman friend are discussing the gimp they have locked away. Apparently the gimp is sleeping. The track that follows the dialogue is a jazz style track with no words. The track is full of energy and has a good tempo.
13. Flowers On The Wall (Statler Brothers)
This is a country style track with a catchy beat that has a tendency to stick in my head once I have finished listening to the soundtrack.
14. Personality Goes A Long Way
This track is a conversation between Jules and Vincent on the relative merits of pigs, sewer rats, dogs and pumpkin pie. This is a humorous outtake from the film that will make you think twice before you tuck into bacon butty again.
15. Surf Rider (The Lively Ones)
This track is another guitar and trumpet track. There are no words to spoil this song it is just the music.
16. Ezekiel 25:17
Probably the most quoted passage from the film it would have seemed wrong to leave this off the soundtrack. Performed by Jules (Samuel L Jackson) shortly before killing his target this passage will be well known to any fans of the film.
** My Opinion **
I am a big fan of this film and the soundtrack. I particularly like the fact that I think the soundtrack is an important part of the film. I have seen a lot of films where the music used in the film gets lost and doesnt really stand out to anyone watching the film. That is not the case in this film where the music plays a massive part in telling the story and sticks with the viewer long after they have finished watching the film.
As I mentioned above in addition to music from the film, there are also quotes and clips included on the soundtrack. The quotes that have been included offer different references to the film. Some have been included to set the scene before some music while others have been included due to the memorable dialogue contained in them. Ezekiel 25:17, Personality Goes A Long Way and Royale With Cheese are tracks that have been included for the dialogue, while the clips at the beginning of tracks 1, 8, 9 and 12 help to set the scene from the film before playing the music.
One of the things I like about this album is the diversity of the music on it. Ranging from soul, and country style music to more modern guitar style tracks, there is something for most musical tastes on this soundtrack. Having said that I do think that it is best listened to when you have seen the film itself. There are a lot of tracks on the album that I wouldnt normally listen, but I like the album because of the references to the film that each track has. There are still good individual songs on this album but it is best listened to after watching the film.
If you liked the film then I think you will like the soundtrack. If you didnt like the film then unless you want one of the individual tracks on the album I would give it a miss. If you havent seen the film then give it a chance, there is something on there for everyone, but beware you may have to watch the film to get the best out of the soundtrack.
** Price and Availability **
This CD is widely available and can be bought for around £9 from CD-Wow or similar.
Thanks for reading.
Well what can you say about this! It is absolutely fabulous. It encapsulates the films spirit and humour flawlessly. It doesn't have any gaps or holes with every song from the film featuring, interspersed with great monologue from the film itself, all of which are obviously excellently hand picked by Tarantino himself! A great blend of music, alot of which you may not of heard of, but will definitely like. It also includes some classic names such as Chuck Berry, Al Green, Dusty Springfield and Kool & The Gang! Need I say more... Not for pop enthusiasts really....
This is one of the coolest soundtracks ever. It really captures the spirit of the movie, like other Tarantino soundtracks the music is an integral part of the film, not just background filling. So when you listen to the songs on this album they are already coloured by scenes from pulp fiction. When you listen to the song that Vincent and Mrs Wallis danced the twist to at Jack Rabbit Slims (chuck Berry - You Never Can Tell) it makes you want to twist along, just like they did. This was my favourite album to listen to when I used to be an appliance engineer. I spent many a happy hour swaggering about the workshop in my boiler suit waving my ratchet threateningly at any washer that wanted to start any trouble. Eating lots of burgers and imagining my life was a lot more interesting than it really was. There is a real mix of styles here. Old hits like Al Greens wonderfully smoochy "lets stay together" and Dusty Springfields soulfoul "son of a preacher man" side by side with top tunes from unlikely sources, Urge Overkills cover of "Girl You'll be a woman soon" is dark and haunting and Kool and the Gangs "Jungle Boogie" is a wild song that makes you want to go crazy on a rainy monday morning driving to work.. Long after the dust has settled over the film, this album will still be worth playing LOUD. You can also scare your neighbours by playing Jules "Ezekial" speech loudly in the early hours of the morning. What Fun!