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Kill Bill (maverick Records)


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A Tarantino soundtrack needs no explanation.


1. "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" - Nancy Sinatra

2. "That Certain Female" - Charlie Feathers

3. "The Grand Duel - (Parte Prima)" - Luis Bacalov

4. "Twisted Nerve" - Bernard Herrmann

5. Queen Of The Crime Council - dialogue from film (Lucy Lui and Julie Dreyfus)

6. "Ode To Oren Ishii" - The RZA

7. "Run Fay Run" - Isaac Hayes

8. "Green Hornet" - Al Hirt

9. "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" (Shin Jingi-Naki Tatakai) - Tomoyasu Hotei

10. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - Santa Esmeralda

11. "Woo Hoo" - The's

12. "Crane"/"White Lightning" - The RZA/Charles Bernstein

13. "The Flower of Carnage" - Meiko Kaji

14. "The Lonely Shepherd" - Zamfir

15. You're My Wicked Life - dialogue from film (David Carradine, Julie Dreyfus, Uma Thurman)

16. "Ironside" excerpt - Quincy Jones

17. "Super 16" excerpt [remix] - Neu!

Kung Fu Stings and SFX:

18. Yakuza Oren 1 - The RZA [new]

19. Banister Fight - The RZA [new]

20. Flip Sting

21. Sword Swings

22. Axe Throws

Maverick Recordings

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I'm a huge Tarantino fan (nah really?), and I totally...um...got this soundtrack the next day. Tarantino soundtracks are definitely unique, because they are like mix tapes. There is no one kind of music on it, just a whole grab bag of stuff...comes very highly recomended.

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  • 1 month later...

Here is Pitchfork's review - they gave it an 8.7 out of ten!

Various Artists

Kill Bill, Vol. 1

[Maverick; 2003]

Rating: 8.7

The life of a hipster is arduous and complex, teeming with expensive haircuts, the obligation to buy the CDs the webzines have arbitrarily deemed cool, and those frilled skirts that you have to keep tugging at in the frigid lines to get into Chelsea's Bungalow 8. I mean, goddamn, it's like thirty degrees out there. The Hipster Handbook helped a little, but not enough. The questions linger. Is it cooler to be metrosexual, or to pretend to be metrosexual while actually being homosexual? Is it cooler to be an actual hipster, an ironic hipster, or the oft-imitated "fool on the hill" hipster? For those answers, only deep meditation can help; on the musical side of things, Quentin Tarantino has graciously solved many of our problems.

The ramifications of this album on the young proto-hipster set will be incalculable. Simply for comparison, think about how you'd soundtrack Kill Bill. The best I can come up with is putting Genesis' "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" over the climactic sword fight. Thank god, then, that the album, like the movie, was compiled by people who obviously have encyclopedic minds able to forge visual/musical puns and scorching contrasts between maddeningly obscure pop treasures. This is like a guidebook to the different genres needed to be cool. To quickly categorize:

Perverse torch songs, menacing revved-up rockabilly, ancient slasher scores, Wu-Tang allegiances, blaxploitation funk, swing, 70s disco, Japanese punk-pop, spy anthems. They even put on a quick excerpt of Neu! And all the rest consists of the best spaghetti western rip-offs of all time. At my screening, people were passing out in the aisles during the opening credits alone, clutching each other, finding the speed of sound insufficient, and hence feebly grasping at the sound emanating from the speakers, slamming their empty hands into their ears, trying to get even more music into their heads. If the Pulp Fiction soundtrack birthed a million surf-rock fanatics, this album is going to reinvigorate every genre simultaneously.

Whereas the Jackie Brown soundtrack occasionally felt hampered by songs that drew most of their interest from their relationship to the movie, these songs not only are able to exist independently from their cinematic representations, but, at their best, exceed even the sheer jaw-dropping coolness of the scenes they scored. The opener is Nancy Sinatra's enrapturing Hazlewood-produced gruesome breakup threnody, "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)". Next to a solitary guitar played by an underwater mortician, Sinatra sings the incomparable intro, "I was five and he was six/ We rode on horses made of sticks..." And these were written by Sonny Bono! If you're trying to make tedium, you can have John Williams; if you're trying to make a movie, you better make damn sure you have a Nancy Sinatra song in it.

Sun Records pioneer Charlie Feathers' "That Certain Female" is all warbling lasciviousness. In the lengthy history of country/blues/rock tunes that start with a god-defying "Wellllllllll...," this is in the very top tier. Whether he ever found his woman or not, his concupiscence has been fulfilled. The eight-minute epic of Santa Esmeralda's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is the Animals classic via Latin disco, dissolving in an astonishingly complex string arrangement (well, for disco anyway). The Arctic reed-and-bells of Meiko Kaji's "The Flower of Carnage" ain't Baudelaire, but it gets the job done, Will Oldham-style: "Begrieving snow falls in the dead morning/ Stray dog's howls and the footsteps of Geta pierce the air."

The remainder, and far superior, material is instrumental music cribbed from other movies. The best piece, Luis Bacalov's "The Grand Duel (Parte Prima)" (which accompanies the film's well-publicized anime sequence) is all operatic poltergeist sirens and campfire acoustic guitar. It's unabashedly plagiarized Ennio Morricone and, even then, deserves to be in the same sentence with him. The Bernard Herrmann theme to Twisted Nerve (the whistling nurse one) begins with whistle-while-we-work conviviality and flourishes into a demented shock of orchestral dread. Al Hirt's version of the Green Hornet theme is what "Flight of the Bumblebee" always promised to be, bearing the most ridiculous trumpet line since the theme to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Once the tortuous, dizzying riff ends, a strong sturdy tone emerges that, by the end, has started battling the initial trumpet for control of the song, concluding in a bop that grows dangerously close to free jazz.

There are two slight, avoidable problems. Many will probably decry the RZA's lyrics to "Ode to Oren Ishii". I will concede that he did indeed rhyme "Ishii" with "Japaneseshi." For a few years now, RZA has been adopting the unconvincingly out-of-control emotional delivery of Ghostface Killah with the lyrical inanity of ODB. It should be hilarious; it probably is. Secondly, a lot of music from the movie is missing, which I normally wouldn't deign to mention except that in the case of a soundtrack that is more or less dedicated to Morricone mood, it's just senseless to leave out "Death Rides a Horse". Perhaps even more significantly, I have no idea what depraved mind neglected to include the greatest garage-rock song of all time, The Human Beinz's "Nobody But Me". It would not be overreacting to murder the criminal. Still, who cares? As this review testifies, I am not qualified to critique music. However, if you dislike more than a third of these songs, you are not qualified to listen to music.

-Alex Linhardt, October 20th, 2003

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