What's the best song Tarantino hasn't used yet?
March 13, 2008 8:43 AM   Subscribe

What's the best song Tarantino hasn't used yet?

I'm directing a theater production that's going to be an improvised Tarantino movie. It's gonna be good, but it'll be even better if I can put together a really awesome soundtrack.

2 needs: before the show and between the scenes.

I'm thinking old school soul/funk and 50s/60s obscurish pop. The songs that are spurring this: I Gotcha - Joe Tex (from Reservoir Dogs), Misirlou - Dick Dale (Pulp Fiction) and Bang Bang - Nancy Sinatra (Kill Bill). Anything with a really strong opening is especially helpful for in-show.

Basically this is a chance to list the badassest song you know. Or the most goose-pimpley. Or, best, both.

Relatedly, any ideas for songs similar to Battle Without Honor or Humanity are appreciated. I've got RJD2's The Horror and that's it.
posted by ictow to Media & Arts (50 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress by The Hollies is good for soundtracks, bris, wakes, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Because it's the bestest song evar.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:00 AM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mojo Hannah. My favorite version is Little Esther Phillips version.
posted by drezdn at 9:01 AM on March 13, 2008

Green Onions by Booker T and the MJs
posted by sully75 at 9:03 AM on March 13, 2008

'Rebel Rouser,' by Duane Eddy.
posted by box at 9:12 AM on March 13, 2008

These fit the old school soul/funk category:

Fatback Band - Gotta Learn How to Dance
Little Denise - Check Me Out
Joseph Henry - Who's the King
Iron Knowledge - Showstopper
posted by saladin at 9:15 AM on March 13, 2008

Response by poster: These are so great. Keep 'em coming!
posted by ictow at 9:17 AM on March 13, 2008

Rebel Rouser was in Natural Born Killers.

If you wanted to go with something poppy and weird, Love You by The Free Design... Though Jordanjessego fans will recognize it immediately.
posted by drezdn at 9:19 AM on March 13, 2008

Natural Born Killers, really? Ah, well. Okay, then, sticking with '50s rock instrumentals, how about Bill Justis' 'Raunchy'?
posted by box at 9:22 AM on March 13, 2008

Aaron Neville - Hercules

This was before The Neville Brothers got to be such pussies. This is gooooood.
posted by rachelpapers at 9:22 AM on March 13, 2008

Vehicle by The Ides of March.
posted by togdon at 9:28 AM on March 13, 2008

Village Green Preservation Society or Picture Book by the Kinks (both on the VGPS album).
posted by farishta at 9:30 AM on March 13, 2008

Has Jack Nitzsche's "Lonely Surfer" been used in a Tarentino movie? Howabout Jorgen Ingmann's "Apache"?
posted by kimota at 9:32 AM on March 13, 2008

Anything from Elvis Presley's "The Sun Sessions". "Baby Let's Play House" in particular has a great opening.
posted by gfrobe at 9:33 AM on March 13, 2008

Patti LaBelle - On My Own
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:35 AM on March 13, 2008

Two Fools by Francine King.
posted by micayetoca at 9:36 AM on March 13, 2008

And just about anything by Duane Eddy
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:36 AM on March 13, 2008

Oh, Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band's version of Apache would be a good funk/soul track as well.
posted by kimota at 9:37 AM on March 13, 2008

Surf/Badass Instrumental:
Switchblade by Link Wray (I thought someone would have used it before but it only has one mention on the IMDB)

Disintegration by The Ready Men, starts with snare and goes to a quick guitar part, similar to Man... Or Astroman but from the 50s/60s (a preview is available here)
posted by drezdn at 9:37 AM on March 13, 2008

Sorry, this one seems to work (careful, some NSFW images) Two Fools (scroll down).
posted by micayetoca at 9:40 AM on March 13, 2008

Lee Michaels - Do You Know What I Mean

It's not exactly obscure, but then again, neither was "Stuck in the Middle With You."
posted by anthom at 9:44 AM on March 13, 2008

Some Velvet Morning - Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra

(well, it was in Morvern Callar, but I still think it's relatively obscure)
posted by O9scar at 9:52 AM on March 13, 2008

Since I just watched the You’re Gonna Miss Me documentary last night, I’ll suggest looking into The 13th Floor Elevators.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 10:04 AM on March 13, 2008

No Regrets by the Walker Brothers.
posted by fire&wings at 10:05 AM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Breakwater's "Release the Beast." It was sampled by Daft Punk, which may ruin the effect, though.

Take a long stroll through the Herbaliser's stuff for that "Battle Without Honor" vibe. "A lot of the stuff on the Session One would be good, particularly "Who's The Realest" and "The Missing Suitcase" (link to fan video).
posted by Shepherd at 10:09 AM on March 13, 2008

I've always thought that Zeppelin's When the Levee Breaks would be a great soundtrack for a "prep for a fight scene." After the muscular, bluesy intro, the lyrics describe an unstoppable doom.
posted by Jorus at 10:13 AM on March 13, 2008

Mike Mitchell/Gene King - Never Walk Out on You
posted by cinemafiend at 10:18 AM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I got the above mp3link from http://www.neapolitanfunk.com/ - a great collection of mp3's ripped from obscure 7 inch releases....

Seconding Shepard,The Missing Suitcase by Herbaliser is excellent...
posted by cinemafiend at 10:22 AM on March 13, 2008

James Brown's "The Payback" is awesome. Real grungy, scratchy, raw. Excellent for a gritty film soundtrack.

It was used to great effect in "Poolhall Junkies."
posted by SlyBevel at 10:40 AM on March 13, 2008

I don't think Tarantino has ever used Mother Popcorn but I suppose it's what you're looking for. I don't know how easy is it going to be to secure the rights for your play, though.
posted by matteo at 10:43 AM on March 13, 2008

Oogum Boogum or Gimme Little Sign by Brenton Wood

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy by Ohio Express

Love Grows Where my Rosemary Goes by Edison lighthouse. (I think maybe K-billy mentions this one, but doesn't play it, in Reservoir Dogs. Could be wrong)

Soul Sisters, (or anything, but Soul Sisters has a killer opening that is pretty Tarantinoriffic) by Weldon Irvine.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:59 AM on March 13, 2008

OH! and The Night Chicago Died by Paper Lace
posted by dirtdirt at 11:02 AM on March 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

I've always thought M. Ward's "Right in the Head" from Post-War was a very Tarantino song. (Here's a youtube video of him playing the song live to give you an impression, but the album version has more fuzz and funk to it.)
posted by jacobm at 11:04 AM on March 13, 2008

Death Wish by Herbie Hancock.
posted by zerobyproxy at 11:27 AM on March 13, 2008

You know...the begining of Every Picture Tells a Story by Rod Stewart is pretty fucking cool. Starts with some twinkly stuff and then slams into some serious rock. I think it'd be a great movie opener.
posted by sully75 at 12:13 PM on March 13, 2008

Jaan Pehechan Ho
posted by Rumple at 1:30 PM on March 13, 2008

I immediately thought of the Budos Band. Funk, Big horns, tight rhythms. All instrumental, so it makes for a sweet badass soundtrack. "Chicago Falcon" or "Adeniji" would make for killer tracks.
posted by nemoorange at 1:45 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is a whole album full of Tarantino-ready songs: O Bidu: Silencio no Brooklin by Jorge Ben, released in 1967. I can't listen to any of the first three songs without imagining opening credits whizzing by me. The third one, Jovem Samba, kicks extra ass.

What may be a problem for you with this album is that it's truly lo-fi material. Very tinny sound. Then again, that might not be a bad thing at all, depending on what you're looking for.

This guy has put the whole album on blogspot because it's apparently not sold anywhere. Download is through Rapidshare, and you have to jump through all sorts of hoops, but you should finally get access to the file itself.
posted by Anything at 2:01 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

P.J. Proby -- Niki Hoeky
Mickey and Sylvia, Love Is Strange
The BroJays (i.e., Brothers Johnson) -- Strawberry Letter 23
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:25 PM on March 13, 2008

P.J. Proby -- Niki Hoeky
Mickey and Sylvia -- Love Is Strange
The BroJays (i.e., Brothers Johnson) -- Strawberry Letter 23
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:27 PM on March 13, 2008

The best for this would be Driver's Seat by Sniff 'n the Tears, but there's also The Night Chicago Died by Paper Lace.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 3:14 PM on March 13, 2008

Apologies, dirtdirt.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 3:18 PM on March 13, 2008

For a couple of years I thought of April March's Chick Habit as the best song Tarantino never used... then it showed up over the end credits of Death Proof. I laughed out loud. Some of her stuff with the Dust Brothers also fits.

Other than that... um.... 96 Tears? Anything by Helena Noguerra?
posted by rokusan at 3:34 PM on March 13, 2008

Ooh, fun stuff.

"You Got What You Wanted," Ike and Tina Turner

"Cebu", The Commodores (apologies for the stupid video clip)

"Engine No. 9," Wilson Pickett

I would also suggest tracking down "Grits Ain't Groceries" by Little Milton, as well as "Mr. Lucky" by Betty Wright (the latter is available on this compilation).
posted by Vervain at 3:38 PM on March 13, 2008

You probably need to get to know Barry Adamson. "The Snowball Effect" from The Negro Inside Me will really grab someone's attention.
posted by Martin E. at 4:00 PM on March 13, 2008

Look at the soundtrack from Walker (released in '87), specifically Brooding Side of Madness, Tennessee Rain, or Unknown Immortal. Most of the music is by Joe Strummer.

John Kongos: Tokoloshe Man or He's Gonna Step On You Again

Dick Dale: Ghostriders in the Sky or Mexico

Bodeans: Fadeaway (maybe not so obscure)

Traffic: 40,000 Headmen

Village Stompers: Washington Square
posted by joaquim at 4:13 PM on March 13, 2008

Response by poster: God this is so much fun.
posted by ictow at 5:38 PM on March 13, 2008

I've always wanted Tarantino's soundtrack producer's job.

Betty Davis - If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up
The Deadly Snakes - Everybody Seems to Think (You've Got Some Kind of Hold On Me)
Soul Children - Hearsay
Just about anything from A Cellar Full of Motown or Vol. 2
The Free Design upthread is a good suggestion; there's also a remix album available called The Now Sound Redesigned that's an excellent blend of 60's sunshine pop and modern hip-hop/pop.
Along the same lines, A Light in the Attic Records is known for rereleasing forgotten classics from the 60's and 70's. They're home to The Free Design and Betty Davis.
posted by carsonb at 5:45 PM on May 3, 2008

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