1CD(s) - Label:MCA - Distributor:Universal Music - Released:19/08/2002
9 reviews from the community
Review of "Pulp Fiction"
Tarantino’s got some personal style, clearly recognisable in his movies. This style have a few important ingredients, like good and ‘street-like’ dialogues (something he forgot in his last movie, ‘Kill Bill’, specially the first of the two parts), action, lots of characters, some of them really weird, violence, and a few more things, including, and with big importance, the music. Tarantino choose the music and the song of his movies himself. He gives a lot of importance to this fact of his movies, and so, its usually come out really good soundtracks, that happen to be as successful as the movies they come from. And a good soundtrack, is what came out from the movie ‘Pulp Fiction’, probably the best soundtrack from any Tarantino’s movie (well, Reservoir Dog’s is also really good).
I have the original soundtrack of this movie, and it includes some parts of the movie, I mean, some dialogues, sometimes just a few seconds, and sometimes a little bit more, like the ‘Royale with cheese’ speech by John Travolta, that longs almost two minutes. Anyway, some people might think this was just to fill and have a longer soundtrack, but I think it fits perfectly, and we could say Tarantino’s style is not only to be seen in his movies, but to be listened in his soundtracks.The album starts with the a fragment of the first conversation in the movie, that one between Pumpkin (‘Everybody be cool, this is a robbery’) and Honey Bunny (‘Any of you fuckin’ pricks move and I’ll execute every one of you motherfuckers! Got that?’), performed by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer. It’s just a few second of this weird dialogue, in its last part, and when the girl got mad and savage, starts the first song, ‘Misirlou’. This song became very famous, is that guitar song, instrumental, with no words (just a few ‘ah! ah!’), and a very nice guitar riff, played by Dale whith fis fender reverse. All this, performed by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones, a not well known band, I believe, until ‘Pulp Fiction’. I like this song, is the presentation card for this movie, in a 60’s, 70’s style (in fact, this song was released in May, 1962). And when this song is over, we can hear the funniest conversation of this movie and album, that one between Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta), about the little differences between U.S.A and Europe. Vega’s just back to L.A. after a few years at Amsterdam, so they start talking about hash. Then Vega starts to talk about those little differences, and for one minute and forty two seconds, he talks about stupid things, like how we call in Europe Quarter pounder with cheese (Royale with cheese), or what we put on French fries (mayonnaise instead of ketchup, which is not true, at least for me). Funny dialogue, anyway.
Jungle Boogie is the next track, track number three, a song performed by Kool and The Gang, from 1973. Three minutes and five seconds of boogie, a simple song that can get you bored, been so repetitive. It’s a lot of ‘get down, get down’, and some of ‘jungle boogie, boogie baby’, a very sexual song, I’d say, but not one of my favourites from this album, thou is not a bad one at all. And after this try to do some boogie, a kind of soul song starts with some nice trumpets in a slow song. That’s ‘Let’s stay together’, from Al Green, included in his album ‘Have a nice decade’ (not sure the year this song was released, sorry). Al Green sings in high tunes, well accompanied by trumpets, at the beginning and from the middle part to the end. Three minutes and fifteen seconds of a nice love song, with a bit of soul and some jazz.Then, as if you were watching the film, the next song gets you to the beach, with the sound of waves before hearing the first chords of ‘Bustin’ Surfboards’. This is the second instrumental song from this album, and a slower one, with very nice guitar chords (at the beginning, just chords, no lines) accompanied by soft drums. It’s a classic structure of rock style, I mean, three chords, like C-F-G, for example, and a whole song built from that basis. The song was recorded by ‘The Tornadoes’, and released in 1997. It sounds to me older, more like the 60’s again, but it’s from 1997 (this band was a powerful surf band years ago…. Still got some classy). The shame is that this is one the shorter songs, just two minutes and twenty six seconds of waves and nice guitars. But, after this nice slow instrumental song, comes another slow one, in a very different style. This is one of the most important things talking about Tarantino’s soundtracks, the difference of song styles. Been mostly 70’s style (if that was a style), you never knows if the next will be some soul, rock, love song, or whatever. Track number six consists on a love song, very slow, acoustic, and performed by Ricky Nelson, called ‘Lonesome town’. Listening to the song, you can tell that is an oldie. In fact, this song was first released in September, 1958 (46 years ago!). As I said, very slow, acoustic, and sung in an Elvis style, the king and the best seller by that time, constantly imitated.
As you are seeing, this album is not a fast, rock, heavy, savage. This a strange but interesting contradiction, as the film is all that. It’s funny to see hard action, violence, accompanied by slow nice tunes, like, in ‘Reservoir dogs’, when Mr. Black (I believe it was Mr. Black, I’m not sure…Michael Madsen, anyway) cut off some cop’s ear with a nice song (nicely danced by Madsen, by the way). In ‘Pulp Fiction’, violence is accompanied by slow tunes, and after having talk about five songs, three of them are slow ones. And so it’s the next one, again from the sixties (1969), and one of my favourites of the album. The song is ‘Son of a Preacher Man’, performed nicely by Dustin Springfield. In a Phil Spector style, this 50’s ‘motown’, Dusty Springfield’s great performance could make you love her just by her voice, really sweet. Also, as this motwon I mentioned, good trumpets during all the song, and very nice second voices, perfectly mixed with those trumpets and Springfield’s sweet voice.And then, going back to what I said at the beginning of this review, some Tarantino’s naughty stuff. In this case, it’s a short dialogue between Butch (Bruce Willis) and his French girlfriend (Maria de Medeiros), about a big motorcycle and his owner. I like the sweet voice of Maria de Medeiros when she asks about the motorcycle, and Willis, saying ‘Zed’s dead, baby, Zed’s dead’. Then, the sound of the motorcycle in a fade out, that leads us to one of the best tracks included in this album, probably because I CAN see the part of the film that was accompanied by the song. It’s, still on the eight track, ‘Bullwinkle part II’, by ‘The Centurions’. This is the third instrumental song of the album, again slow, but not as slow as others. Very nice song, re-released a month ago in a new album by ‘The Centurions’, consisting in a couple of nice electric guitars, again starting with just some chords, joining then a second guitar with good lines. The best thing of this song for me, is that I CAN SEE Vincent Vega (John Travolta) driving his car completely drugged after taking a dose of heroin. Nice scene and nice song.
A fast song, at least, but just for some Travolta’s show (you see, when there’s a faster song, a rock and roll one, there’s not violence, just some good dancing). The track starts with Ed Sullivan at ‘Jack Rabbit Slims twist contest’, introducing Mia and Vincent Vega. Then, a short nice guitar line, and the whole band join to play this song, performed by Chuck Berry, and released in the late 50’s. I consider this song a piano one basically (including piano solo), but it also contains some good guitars. One of my favourites, as I love piano songs. The name, ‘You never can tell’, with its famous main line in French ‘”C’est la vie”, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell’. Really good dancing in the movie, performed by both Travolta and Thurman.‘Girl, you’ll be a woman soon’ made Thurman dance again for a while, just after winning the ‘Jack Rabbit slims twist contest’, but now at home, and with Vega doubting about what to do (leaving, or staying there for a drink and who knows…). A slow song, specially at the ‘girl, you’ll be a woman soon’ part, performed by Urge Overkill. And following this song, as track number eleven, we have the longer song from this album, almost five minutes of a very slow tune, ‘If love is a red dress’, performed with a great voice by female singer Maria McKee. Nice tune, with some whistle parts that remind me that whistling song at ‘Kill Bill’, when Daryl Hanah goes whistling looking for her victim (yeah, both songs got nothing to do each one with each other, it’s just that whistle). A nice but, for me, a bit too long song. At least, Maria’s performance is great.
That, at track 12, some more dialogue before the next song. It’s the part of the movie that made some people look somewhere else. Too violent this part, when a guy catch Butc and Marsellus, and calls Zed. To keep an eye on Butch while Zed ‘plays’ a bit with Marsellus, he made ‘The Gimp’ wake up: ‘I think The Gimp’s asleep’, ‘Well, I guess you’ll just wake’em up now, won’t you?’. And then, ‘Comanche’, another (and this is the fourth) instrumental song, this one, yes, fast and accompanying some of the roughest part of the film, that part when Marsellus is abused by Zed (ops, not sure how to express myself here, excuse, I’m not English speaker, and don’t want to be rude here). Just a couple of minutes of a very good trumpet song, perfect to the scene that comes along with it on the film (maybe a bit to loud in the film). As I said in the part of Travolta driving drugged, I can see as well this part of the film just listening to the music, with Butch doubting about what to do, and everyone dying to know what the hell is going on in that closed room between Zed, his friend and Marsellus.The run away by Butch is funnily accompanied by a weird song, not a run away style at all, just this ‘flowers on the wall’, track 13, kind of country style, by ‘The Statler Brothers’, with Butch singing the song while listening to it on the radio of his car. But, this part, in fact, comes before the ‘Comanche’s’ one, as after that one, Butch goes back home at Zed’s motorcycle, not his girlfriend’s Honda car. It doesn’t matter, anyway.
The 14th track consists on one minute of dialogue between Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta). The track is called ‘Personality goes a long way’, and in this conversation, as senseless as the ‘Royale with cheese one’, Jules and Vincent talk about pigs and dogs, and the fact that pigs are filthy but dogs, even eating their own ‘feces’, are just dirty, as ‘dogs got personality, personality goes a long way’. Another funny conversation between this two guys, one of them, Jules, really serious always, and the other, Vincent Vega, as I said in my review of the film, my favourite character, just ‘trying’ to be serious, but being a very funny character (without wanting to). Tarantino’s dialogues, just that. But, after the last of the dialogues included in this album, there’s a last song (not track), and, again, and I believe is the fifth, an instrumental one. In this case, the song is ‘Surf rider’, performed by ‘The Lively Ones’, and it’s a bit faster than others of the instruments songs, but not too much. Again, in the very same style, with good guitar lines, and also some trumpets, including a nice trumpet solo, for this song released in 1962 by this ‘surfers’ band.And, for the last track, a 50 seconds speech by Jules, in his roll of kind of a priest man. The name of the track is ‘Ezekiel 25:17’, and that is what contains the song, this ‘chapter’ of the bible, just before shooting some young guys: ‘The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides, by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.
And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you’. Then shooting sounds, and the album is over. Sixteen tracks. Thirteen songs. Forty one minutes and thirty one seconds of good music and funny dialogues. That is this album about.
The cover is the same of the DVD, and the promotional posters, that shows Mis (Uma Thurman) on a bed, reading a comic and smoking a cigarette in a sexy position, with a gun above her. Inside, a little booklet that contains a few details of every track (performer, composer and producer for the songs, and people involved in the conversations for the dialogues parts), and eleven nice colour photographs taken from the film, all this in different colours backgrounds. Nice booklet for this great soundtrack. The best thing is that is not an expensive album. I paid for this nine euro, and, as I’ve seen here at ciao, you can get it there for just 7,49 pounds, which is not very expensive, I believe. Anyway, it’ll worth it.
Product Information : Pulp Fiction
Manufacturer's product description1CD(s) - Label:MCA - Distributor:Universal Music - Released:19/08/2002
Listed on Ciao since: 04/07/2011