Film director Quentin Tarantino is a famous audiophile. As FarOutMagazine.co.uk writes, the director is very open about being influenced by music across his entire filmography. “One of the things I do when I am starting a movie, when I’m writing a movie or when I have an idea for a film is, I go through my record collection and just start playing songs, trying to find the personality of the movie, find the spirit of the movie.” This is why his fans are often treated to an eclectic soundtrack with every new film.
To describe the man’s taste as broad and eclectic would be an understatement. Apart from maintaining an encyclopedic collection of vinyl records, Poker.org writes how the movie director’s hobbies also includes collecting board games. As a collector’s collector, he’s also known for hoarding movies on VHS and DVDs, and has even considered collecting lunchboxes. This broad fascination with things from the past is reflected in the director’s choices for his soundtracks. Filtered by Tarantino’s eclectic vision, his soundtracks are often multi-genre playlists filled with obscure musicians and cult hits from unexpected artists.
And here are some of the best tracks from this vast film discography.
If Love is a Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags) – Maria McKee
This song is arguably the most beautiful track in the wide repertoire of alternative country singer Maria McKee. In the film Pulp Fiction, it’s the song that’s playing on the radio when Butch (Bruce Willis) and Marsellus (Ving Rhames) end up in a pawnshop during their street fight. Soon after, viewers are treated to some of the ghastliest scenes in film as the true character of Maynard (Duane Whitaker), the pawnshop proprietor, is revealed. If Love is a Red Dress also carries the distinction of being the only original song in the groundbreaking Pulp Fiction soundtrack.
100 Black Coffins – Rick Ross
The legendary Rick Ross also contributes his fair share of swag in Tarantino’s filmography. Equally accessible to fans of Latasha and classic country rock, 100 Black Coffins is a western-inspired trap and hip hop jam that encapsulates the soul of the movie Django Unchained. It’s the track that plays as Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) explains to his fellow slavers why Django (Jamie Foxx) is an exceptional black man. The song hits its climax as Candie and Django lead a contingent of slaves across the plains, a poignant examination of the hero’s tormented ordeal.
L’Ultima Diligenza di Red Rock – Ennio Morricone
As the composer behind the soundtracks of some of the most seminal westerns in history, Ennio Morricone has influenced much of Tarantino’s career. And when the director made The Hateful Eight, he finally got to work with one of his heroes. L’Ultima Diligenza di Red Rock is the orchestral opening theme to Tarantino’s epic western. It’s the first track in a collection that is Morricone’s first work involving a western in the last 30 years. The soundtrack also won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.
Hush – Deep Purple
Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is often described as a love letter to Hollywood in the ‘60s and ‘70s. And this is highly apparent in certain scenes, such as when Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha) ride a convertible across town on their way to a fancy Hollywood party. With the wind in their hair and faces, Deep Purple’s Hush plays loudly on the radio, the perfect way to drive on an empty, beautiful highway at night.
This is just a taste of Tarantino’s insane soundtracks. In the man’s quest to craft the perfect scenes on film, his song choices are intimate peeks into the evolution of rock, hip hop, folk, country, and classical music.