The incomparable Quentin Tarantino has had quite the filmmaking career, with many huge accomplishments and accolades to his name. One aspect of his films that always creates a buzz is his use of music and the iconic soundtracks to his movies. Stick with us to count down our top picks for the best Quentin Tarantino soundtracks!
7. Death Proof
This soundtrack has quite the eclectic mix! Including tracks from Ennio Morricone, T. Rex and Eddie Floyd, Death Proof‘s soundtrack is loose, fun and carefree. In classic Tarantino style, the soundtrack also features multiple clips of dialogue. Unfortunately (and I’m sure a lot of people agree), this soundtrack is arguably better than the movie itself!
6. Inglourious Basterds
Unfortunately for Inglourious Basterds, it did not receive an original score by Ennio Morricone, as hoped. Instead, there are some older Morricone tracks originally written for various scenes in other movies. Fortunately, these are still great! Although we do wonder how a more cohesive, tailored soundtrack would have sounded. We’ll allow it for the incredible “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” by David Bowie, though!
5. Kill Bill Vol. 2
Although not quite up to par with its predecessor, Kill Bill Vol.1, Vol. 2 does have some standout tracks. These range from (not surprisingly) Ennio Morricone to Johnny Cash. Also, there is a hidden bonus track by the Wu-Tang Clan, which we can definitely get behind. In regards to how the soundtrack began, RZA said that “he (Robert Rodriguez) took the electronic stuff and kept it there, then built the orchestrations on top of it”. Cool stuff, huh?
4. Django Unchained
As a movie that explores American slavery, its no surprise that there are lots of incredibly talented African-American voices on the Django Unchained soundtrack. A particular highlight is “Unchained”, which mashes up James Brown’s ‘Payback’ and 2Pac’s ‘Untouchable’. The soundtrack perfectly compliments the movie, and features the likes of Rick Ross and John Legend. There are even some spoken dialogue tracks from Samuel L Jackson himself.
3. Reservoir Dogs
Reservoir Dogs‘ soundtrack truly stands out from the pack because it is interwoven into the plot of the movie. In case you haven’t seen it, the narrative takes place over one weekend. Tarantino therefore decided to make the soundtrack revolve around fictional radio show ‘K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies Weekend’. The music featured is brilliant, and is taken from the 60s-80s era. Tarantino features memorable choices such as Stealers Wheel’s upbeat pop sound intertwined with a gnarly torture scene. We highly recommend!
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
RZA composed the soundtracks for both Kill Bill movies, and both feature classics and new pieces. Vol. 1 involves a faster piece and better action sequences, which is mirrored in the punchier rhythms selected. We all remember the opening credits and how perfectly the track ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ works. It truly is a masterclass on selecting music to exaggerate and highlight action within a movie.
1. Pulp Fiction
Frequently hailed as one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time, Pulp Fiction truly earns our top spot. The soundtrack features surf music from artists such as Kool and the Gang, Al Green, Dusty Springfield and Chuck Berry. This iconic soundtrack earned a spot at number 21 in The Billboard 200, and helped to launch the band Urge Overkill. All hail the Pulp Fiction soundtrack!
Quentin Tarantino Soundtracks: Final Thoughts
Let us know if you agree, or if there are others that should have made the cut. Quentin Tarantino is truly great at mastering the use of music within movies. In fact, a lot can be learned from focusing on these tracks and how they are used within his movies. If you’re a filmmaker yourself, check out Audiosocket’s catalog of over 80,000 tracks to use in your movies!