Quentin Tarantino's history of iconic film music
Legendary film director Quentin Tarantino joined Myf for a one hour co-host, giving us the history of iconic scores used in his films.
"I think one of the reasons people responded to my soundtracks was because I did them not too dissimilarly to the way I would do a mixtape," he said. "They have the same personality as a mixtape.
"On a mixtape I would put in some cool movie bit or commercial that I thought was fun in between the stuff. I was really good at making mixtapes. So my soundtracks were just these really professional version of my own mixtapes that really reflected my personality and my tastes."
The George Baker Selection – 'Little Green Bag' (Reservoir Dogs, 1992)
"This song was part of the very short lived Dutch Invasion of the early-'70s. I think there were about three songs. There was 'Little Green Bag', Tee Set's 'Ma Belle Amie' and a third one... I can't remember what it is.
"What was interesting is in Reservoir Dogs, part of the ironicness of it is we're playing these innocuous '70s pop songs with this violent crime story.
"I grew up in the '70s. If you grew up in the '70s, that means you had people the generation older than you who grew up in the '60s and did nothing but make fun of the Top 40 music of '70s radio. But I grew up loving it.
"When I was a kid, my favourite group forever was The Partridge Family and I still think David Cassidy is one of the great underrated vocalists in rock music history. I think he's terrific.
"All the people who grew up and started making music in the '90s had a lot of the same affection for it as well.
"At the time there was an aspect of American independent cinema in general – and my music Reservoir Dogs in particularly – coinciding with the alternative music/grunge scene. We were kind of on parallel tracks. We were doing a new way to do a movie, people had gotten sick of the corporatised Hollywood movies of the '80s and the same thing with the corporatised music of the '80s.
"One of the things that was really interesting was, without me trying to do this at all, the Seattle grunge bands of the day loved Reservoir Dogs. I think it was a good tour bus movie. Pearl Jam loved the film, Nirvana loved the film. Kurt Cobain loved the movie so much he thanked me on his second album. I never met him, he just loved Reservoir Dogs so much that he thanked me."
Urge Overkill – 'Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon' (Pulp Fiction, 1994)
"I was in England for the first time doing press on Reservoir Dogs and I went into a cool used record store – as I am wont to do when I'm travelling.
"I was going through all these records and I found an EP of theirs that I'd never seen before. One of those small EPs with two songs on each side, and one of them was 'Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon'. So I bought it and took it to my hotel room and played it and thought 'Wow, this is a fantastic Neil Diamond cover'.
"The entire time I'm writing Pulp Fiction, that song changed quite a few times. Until finally I decided, no, this is the song it should be. It maybe even mirrors a bit of interior monologue from John Travolta's character Vincent.
"So we got in touch with Urge Overkill and they were like, 'Really? You like that? We thought we screwed that cover up. We're all kind of ashamed of that cover'.
"We had to talk them into giving it to us, not because they didn't want to give it to us, they just didn't think it was that good. Then they saw it in the movie and they loved it – thank god.
"After the film came out, I got in the mail a 45 of Neil Diamond's original. With the sleeve, the picture of him back in the '60s with his pompadour. Written on the sleeve was 'To Quentin, thanks for making me hip again, Love, Neil.'"
David Bowie – 'Cat People (Putting Out Fire)' (Inglourious Basterds, 2009)
"I barely knew a couple of the guys from Duran Duran, Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes. We and some friends of ours had had dinner together. After the dinner was over they had to go and do Loveline on KROQ, where people would call up with problems.
"Me, Simon and Nick did this little radio show together and they said 'David Bowie is shooting this video down the street. He's invited us over, do you want to come?'
"So we go over to this video shoot and he's dressed in his kind of Tin Machine suit. I meet him and we talk and he's really nice and told me how much he really liked Reservoir Dogs.
"When it's time to leave, he shook my hand and said 'Okay. Next time you're thinking about casting Tim Roth, cast me. No more Tim Roth. D Bowie.'"
Rick Ross – '100 Black Coffins' (Django Unchained, 2012)
"This is a song that Jamie Foxx wrote for the movie. He came up with the idea and said Rick Ross would be perfect for it. He wrote the song for me and played it and I thought 'this sounds fantastic'. So we put it together, it became a big hit, and I'm really proud of it."
Ennio Morricone – 'L’ultima diligenza di Red Rock (The Last Stage to Red Rock) [Versione Integrale]' (The Hateful Eight, 2016)
"I've never worked with an original composer before. I've always chosen [the soundtrack] from other stuff, I've mixed and matched it. It seemed like this was the one to kind of explore.
"We got the script translated into Italian, sent it over to Ennio, he read it, his wife read it – she really liked it, I think that went a long way – I was invited to Rome to sit down and talk with him.
"He said 'I'm curious to why you're here. You're coming to me to write an original score, however you don't use original scores, you take music from other movies and mix them and match them and you do a really good job with that and people really seem to like that. So why do you want to change?'
"My answer to him was 'Well, I'm not 100 percent sure that I do want to change. The reason I'm here is to explore this idea with you. The only reason I would do an original score is to do it with you and if it doesn't work out, I'll probably do this one just like I've done all the rest.
"'However, the real reason I'm here now as opposed to any other time, is I have a little voice in my head. Of all the movies I've done, I've had this little voice that says this one should have a theme all of its own. One that's originally and organically The Hateful Eight. When that little voice in my head talks to me, I usually feel it's my talent trying to tell me something and I try to listen'.
"When he read the script, he heard the basis of this theme in his head."
Jennifer Jason Leigh – 'Jim Jones at Botany Bay' (The Hateful Eight, 2016)
"It's an old Australian folk song about the British convicts and their ship ride on their way to Australia back when it was a penal colony.
"It was perfect because [Leigh] plays a convict on her way to execution, singing a song about convicts on their way to death and execution.
"Not only does she sing this song, but she plays the guitar on it. She didn't know how to play the guitar when I cast her, she spent months learning how to play the guitar and she does a great job."