Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Instrumental Surf Sounds Of Pulp Fiction & Show # 602

In the days when movies actually had soundtracks that were sold and purchased, there was the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Released in 1994, it accompanied the equally influential Quentin Tarantino film of the same name and many of the songs in the film were from the 50s and 70s. Shades of R&B, soul, 50s rock n’ roll and surf rock music coloured in the sonic landscapes between the frames of Pulp Fiction. As opposed to having a standard film score, Pulp Fiction featured songs from what many may have thought were lost eras of music which was seen as unconventional at the time. Tarantino did this not only with Pulp Fiction, but also with his first film Reservoir Dogs. The title sequence features the song “Misirlou” by Dick Dale & His Del-Tones. This track as well as other instrumental surf oriented rock n’ roll tracks were used partly due to budgetary restrictions for the film’s soundtrack. The other reason this type of music was used in the film was as Tarantino has stated, surf music is reminiscent of a rock version of the Spaghetti Western music created by Ennio Morricone.

The unconventional story is told in a non-linear order in Pulp Fiction and the characters exemplify an intensity that is at times characterized by violence and drug use. The music selected for this film is often contrasted with the music selected for the Forest Gump soundtrack, which features several more conventional selections from similar time periods. And although both films have had an impact on popular culture, the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction is still being talked about. When it was originally released, several of the tracks featured in the film were not on the soundtrack. For example, Link Wray’s “Rumble” is not on the soundtrack, The Robins “Since I First Met You” and “The Marketts “Out Of Limits” are not on the original soundtrack album that was released in September 1994. Seven songs in total were not on the original soundtrack. Dusty Springfield’s “Son Of A Preacher Man”, Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Boogie”, Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” and Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” were all featured in both the film and on the soundtrack and resulted in resurgences of interest.

Urge Overkill’s version of Neil Diamond’s “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” helped launch them into the mainstream subconscious. They were also one of the only modern bands at the time to be featured in the film and on the soundtrack. Another interesting fact about this film and soundtrack is the song “Waitin’ In School” is performed in the film by Gary Shorelle and is not available commercially. The song was originally recorded by Ricky Nelson and released in 1957. It is often seen as one of Nelson’s best contributions to the rockabilly genre. Most importantly, surf/instrumental music was in high concentration in the film and on the soundtrack. The Tornadoes “Bustin’ Surfboards”, The Lively Ones “Surf Rider”, Link Wray’s “Ace Of Spaces”, The Centurions “Bullwinkle Part II”, The Revels “Comanche” and of course “Misirlou” by Dick Dale & His Del-Tones all were featured in the film and on the soundtrack. Following the release of this film surf music enjoyed a new sense of resurgence and popularity even appearing in commercials.

By 1996, the Pulp Fiction soundtrack had sold over 2 million copies. With this soundtrack surf music was reintroduced to a new generation of film and music enthusiasts. In the film Vincent and Jules have a conversation about how a lot of things are similar in Paris and Europe, but are done differently. Beer can be purchased at McDonald’s and a Quarter Pounder With Cheese is called a Royale With Cheese in Paris. Pulp Fiction’s soundtrack is a bit like a Royale With Cheese and being able to drink a beer at a fast food establishment. It was a film with a soundtrack featuring a collection of music that had been around for a while, but people may not have been aware of it. Pulp Fiction was a film, but it was a film that was done differently. This wasn’t just another soundtrack and film. It was more than just your average hamburger.

Revolution Surf Playlist:

1. Dick Dale & His Del-Tones - Miserlou (Summer Surf - 1964/Pulp Fiction Soundtrack - 1994)
2. The Mel-Tones - In Praise Of The Lime (Surf Sensation - 2004)
3. Marell's Marauders - The Maurauder (Surfin' In The Midwest Surf Vol 3 - 1998)
4. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Zombie Compromise (Savvy Showstoppers - 1988)
5. Luau Or Die - Coldwar Cowboy (Dead On The Floor Vol 1 - 2015)
6. Yuzo Kayama - Black Sand Beach 94 (Black Sand Beach - 1994)
7. The Bambi Molesters - Long Gun (Dumb Loud Hollow Twang Deluxe -2003)
8. The Mongols - Nautoloid Reef (Time Machine: The History Of Canadian 60's Garage Punk & Surf 1985-1995 - 1996)

Surfphony of Derstruction 2000 Segment:

9. The Mighty Swells - Zissou Twist (Jaguar Shark Mix) (Off The Top With The Mighty Swells! - 2015)
10. The Fathoms - Fathomized (Overboard - 1998)
11. Takeshi Terauchi & His Blue Jeans - Movin' (Surfing - 1963)
12. The Apeman - Crash (Are You Being Surfed? - 1994)
13. Dick Dale & His Del-Tones - Banzai Washout (Summer Surf - 1964)
14. The Lively Ones - High Tide (High Tide/Goofy Foot -1963)
15. The Hollywood Tornadoes - Moon Dawg (Moon Dawg/The Inebriated Surfer - 1963)

16. The Ghastly Ones - Werewolves On Wheels (Unearthed - 2007)
17. Lee Kristofferson - Night Of The Werewolf (Dinner With Drac - 1977)
18. Tarantula - The Tarantulas (Tarantula/Black Widow - 1961)
17. Link Wray - Ace Of Spades (Ace Of Spades/Hidden Charms - 1963)
18. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Having An Average Weekend (Savvy Showstoppers - 1988)
19. Trout - Bite The Tow (Salty Waves/Bite The Tow - 2014)
20. This Machine Kills Robots - Tidal Wave From Beyond The Grave (A Horrid Heart Still Beats In Its Mummified Remains - 2013)
21. The New Waves - Surf Macabre (Surf Macabre - 2009)
22. Atomic 7 - Save Your Fork There's Pie (Gowns By Edith Head - 2002)
23. The Sadies - Lay Down Your Arms (Stories Often Told - 2002)
24. The Replacements - Buck Hill (Hootenanny - 1983)
25. Beachmover - Directed Energy (Do The Microwave) (Beachmover - 2014)
26. X-Ray Cat Trio - The Buzzard's Claw (Out For Blood - 2015)
27. The Bell Peppers - The Spray (Sizzling Hot Bell Peppers - 2013)
28. The Revels - Comanche (Intoxica/Comanche - 1964/Pulp Fiction Soundtrack - 1994)
29. La Luz - Hey Papi (Weirdo Shrine - 2015)
30. The Lively Ones - Surf Rider (Surf Rider! - 1963/Pulp Fiction Soundtrack - 1994)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for February 27. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

As a side note and for those keeping count, episode 603 of Revolution Rock was a repeat episode that originally aired earlier in February 2016. You can download that episode here and find the playlist in this post.

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