Pulp Fiction Music Up close

The soundtrack in Quentin Tarantino’s breakthrough film ‘Pulp Fiction’ stands out as among the finest soundtracks ever devised. It combined some great renowned songs that had once been hits with other tracks that were new, obscure, and vibrantly enticing. The mix became an instant hit and remained popular for years after the movie was released.

Pulp Fiction 20th Anniversary

Pulp Fiction Poster (Drawing)

The motion picture ‘Pulp Fiction’ had a creative mix of rock and roll, American fashion juxtaposed between surf music, classic soul and pop. The Pulp Fiction music was unconventionally creative, innovative, and adventurous. The Pulp Fiction title song especially has a blend of almost every known genre of music, including rap and heavy metal, for short instances during the play duration. Even the soundtrack was equally liberal and untraditional. It for instance consisted of nine songs, also used in the movie, and four distinct tracks of audible dialogue snippets. On top of that rare mix, the Pulp Fiction soundtrack also included a song and three different tracks of pure dialogue.


 

The popularity of the Pulp Fiction Soundtracks 2002 album saw it reach position 21 tops on Billboard 200 while the Pulp Fiction title song, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” done as a single by Neil Diamond in her ‘Urge Overkill’s’ album peaked at position 59. When the 41 minute album of the soundtrack was released, it omitted six of these songs as used in the movie.

 

Evidently the most distinctive features of the film ‘Pulp Fiction’ are the sound tracks employed. The particular Pulp fiction soundtracks that are of repute include ‘Misirlou’ written by Milton Leeds and Fred Wise and performed by Dick Dale and his Del Tones; ‘Coffee Shop Music’ and ‘Jungle Boogie’ written by George Brown, Ronald Bell and Claydes Smith and performed by Kool & The Gang; ‘Strawberry Letter’ written by Shuggie Otis and performed by the Johnson Brothers; ‘Bustin’ Surfboards’ written by Jesse, Norman and Gerald Sanders and performed by The Tornadoes; and ‘Let’s Stay Together’ written by Al Jackson Jr. and Willie Mitchell and performed by Al Green.

Other Pulp Fiction soundtracks that are popular are ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ written by Ronnie Wilkins and John Hurley and performed by Dusty Springfield; ‘Bullwinkle Part II’ written by Ernest Furrow and Dennis Rose and performed by The Centurians; ‘Teenagers In Love’ written by William Rosenauer and performed by Woody Thorne; ‘You Never Can Tell’ written by Chuck Berry and performed by Chuck Berry; ‘Waitin’ In School’ written by Dorsey Burnette, Johnny Burnette and performed by Gary Shorelle; ‘Lonesome Town’ written by Baker Knight and performed by Ricky Nelson and also ‘Ace Of Spades’ written by M. Cooper and Link Wray, also the performer.

With suggestions from musicians Allison Anders, Boyd Rice, Laura Lovelace, and Chuck Kelley, Tarantino selected an eclectic music assortment from the songs done by different artists. The most notable of these songs was the iconic rendition of Dick Dale’s ‘Misirlou’. ‘Misirlou’ played on the film during the entire opening credits. Ideally, Tarantino decided on surf music as the basic score in Pulp Fiction, with a specific bias to Ennio Morricone’s music, spaghetti Western music, and rock and roll. The assisting musicians were credited in the film as music consultants.

Film critics felt that the soundtrack songs that really hit in the film were two, one being Ricky Nelson’s ‘Waiting in School’ which was performed by Gary Shorelle. This song plays when Vincent and Mia are entering Jackrabbit Slim’s. The second acclaimed song was ‘Lonesome Town’ written by Baker Knight and performed by Ricky Nelson, which is played low during the overlapping conversation on 5-dollar milkshake.

In 1994, the Pulp Fiction title song went platinum with one million tracks sold in Canada alone, and peaking at number 21 on Billboard 200, and then progressed to peak at number 6 on the charts by 1995. Total sales hit over 1.6 million worldwide at the time, and by September 1996, more than 2 million album units had sold worldwide. Pulp Fiction music helped propel careers in music to a new height. The Neil Diamond band, Urge Overkill, that featured the Pulp Fiction title song, ‘Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon’ was launched into mainstream success simply because of the song. Sony earned great loyalties for the song ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ while Kool & The Gang gained a phenomenal resurgence to the world stage due to their ‘Jungle Boogie’ song.

In fact, many advertisers at the time employed the Pulp Fiction soundtrack in their ads, specifically using the surf music so as to sell products such as toothpaste, underwear, soft drinks and men wear in the newly reinvigorated market. This made the surf music used in the Pulp Fiction title song a hugely popular achievement in film music.

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