KEY OF Q: 10 Songs Quentin Tarantino Hasn't Used. Yet. (But might want to.)

 By Bill Sweeney

Not a real mug shot but it plays one on TV.
Among the many stylization signatures Quentin Tarantino's movies are known for, the soundtracks to his films have always been a mesrmerizing trove of re-found treasures. None perhaps more poetically schitzophrenic than the track listings for the Kill Bill movies.

But looking over the songs from his films one can quickly start to gather an impression of music that may fit into the inferred QT esthetic - if there really is one. Simply put, it's easy to hear a song and instantly imagine it in a movie but sometimes you hear a song and know exactly who's movie it should be in. So, here are some tunes I think QT may want to check out, and since it's unlikely he'll see this, why don't you? Let's listen...

Sugar Man by Sixto Rodriguez - A man with a voice and musical sound poised for greatness but sadly it escaped him. A documentary of his unusual story, named for this song, will be making it's way out of the festival circuit soon. Can't wait. In the meantime, this track with it's weirdness, drug talk and haunting tones seems fit for some groovy, exploitative, pulpy fun...

Birds Lament by Moondog - From the Wiki: Moondog was the pseudonym of Louis Thomas Hardin (May 26, 1916 September 8, 1999), a blind American composer, musician, poet, and inventor of several musical instruments. Moondog removed himself from society through his decision to make his home on the streets of New York for approximately twenty of the thirty years he spent in the city. He could be found on the streets of New York wearing clothes he had created based on his own interpretation of the Norse god Thor. Because of his unconventional outfits, he was known for much of his life as "The Viking of 6th Avenue" Sounds like he needs a movie of his own...

The only one I know By Robbie Williams & Mark Ronson - A cover of a 90's jam originally by The Charlatans, the main differance between them at first seems to be the tempo, but this version has a retro soul tweak and the original, equally great, intones a more Hollies or CCR feel to its keyboards and guitar. This video use scenes from "Smoking Aces" but was not used in the movie but gives an idea of how it could be used.

I Know What It Is To Be Young By Orson Wells -  With a musical arrangement straight out of Kill Bill, Orson doesn't actually sing, he saves that for the ladies at the chorus, he pretty much just talks in a husky, naughty old man voice:

Rescue Me by Gemma Ray - So retro, so otherworldly. The opening whistle note that returns to warble in the background. The soft voice, the pleading for rescue. It sounds like it needs juxtopostion. Y'know, like a violent scene of bloody revenge while this plays behind it.

Use Me by Bill Withers - The best anthem ever made for male love-born stubbornness. Manipulation, mind games, blind allegiance of heart with a bassy riff that says "watch out, man".

Ungodly Fruit by Wax Taylor - Sergio Leone-ish in just the right places. Perhaps it is.

Psyche Rock by Pierre Henry -  Purportedly the inspiration to the opening theme of Matt Groening's Fururama, you can't miss it really, this has an off-kilter quirk that feels like it could play as incidental background. But may just be too familiar.

Boom Boom by John Lee Hooker -This here, it's more about this video footage. The song's been used quite a bit in TV, movies and adverts but something about these opening cuts says this should be on a TV in the background while tension rapidly builds. Or something.

Black Holes In The Sand by Gravenhurst - Someone MUST use this! QT or otherwise. Would this fit his new project Django Unchained? Only he could tell us for sure. But its cold, bleak, haunting tones couple, almost epically, with the sorrow and regret the lyrics reveal. The breakdown/solo with the guitar feedback and distorted keys, the nearly chanting drums... am I on peyote? Dancing in the dark... whoa Creepy Keyboard.... Where'd the Shaman go...

What are your suggestions? Tell us in the comments and maybe we'll include yours in a follow up!


  1. Outstanding Work, WT! Every list invites criticism, so here's mine. The Robbie Williams and Wax Tailor songs are more Guy Ritchie than QT. Otherwise, and excellent piece that shows off WT's "in-tune-ness" with Pop. You guys are no tyros.

    1. Thanks Haz! It was a tough list to crack actually, and i suspect it will divide people up a bit. Music's like that. But who's to say I can't do another list? BTW I had to look up Tyros, professor.

  2. Hey Bill...it's Jason Cicalese, great kist! As a man that feels QT can do no wrong, here's my greatest attempt at 11 (one for good measure), that I feel he use in future films.

    "Stomp" by The Brothers Johnson
    "Troglodyte" by The Jimmy Castor Bunch
    "Bits and Pieces" by The Dave Clark Five
    "Vapors" by Snoop Dogg
    "Junior's Farm" by Paul McCartney and Wings
    "Look What They've Done to My Song" by Melanie
    "Movin" by The Brass Construction
    "Hot Rod Lincoln" by Commander Cody
    "Love Me Tonight" by Tom Jones
    "Love Doctor" by Millie Jackson

    It might be hard to secure the rights for an Elvis tune on a modest budget, but I know QT is an Elvis man...and this one I can easily see in one of his retro cool films!

    "Little Sister" by Elvis Presley

    1. Thanks! It looks like this is something you've thought about Jay! Excellent choices you have there! I considered doing a longer list but know I'm thinking I may do another just based on suggestions from readers!

  3. Am I the only one that thinks that Jaan Pehechan Ho by Mohammed Rafi would be a perfect song for a Quentin Tarantino film?

  4. I can't imagine any of these songs in a Quentin Tarantino film, except Bill Withers (as he was featured in the soundtrack for Jackie Brown). You should do more research and listening before you try and predict Tarantino's choices for future films. This, however, would definitely feature in a Tarantino film if only he knew it existed... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDa42EkgO1A&feature=share&list=FLiSrWyTQn7ow44JUK7Gq1Bg

  5. An excellent music selection Lak, perhaps more on target than anything I suggested. I'll concede that my selections are a bit divergent of what he's used before. But, I own every QT movie and soundtrack and to assume I didn't consider his previous selections, or do any "research" is incorrect. If anything, I'm just wrong.

  6. Le temps de l'amour by Fran├žoise Hardy would fit perfectly in a Tarantino flick

  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXWqz5qWYEw

  8. I would love to hear Nancy Sinatra's "Burning Down the Spark" in Kill Bill Vol 3 or 4. It's a perfect echo to "Bang Bang" and has a very spaghetti western feel, with an older-sounding Nancy Sinatra. As for a more modern choice, "I Eat Boys Like You For Breakfast" by Ida Maria.

  9. Geno - Dexys Midnight Runners. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQO2wEJefjM

  10. Having a large movie collection readily available means you can always find something to watch that will appeal to you. used movies