The Sounds of Quentin Tarantino

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Pulp Fiction, 1994
Pulp Fiction, 1994

In celebration of his birthday, we've compiled a playlist of our favourite Quentin Tarantino soundtrack moments

Quentin Tarantino's films and their soundtracks are indelibly linked. The cult director uses music as a key tool in creating the atmosphere of a scene, picking so perfectly that it's hard to believe that the songs weren't created specifically for his films (except in the case of Django Unchained, when they actually were). Chuck Berry's You Never Can Tell was immortalised by Pulp Fiction's dance off; Nancy Sinatra's uttering of "Bang, Bang" conjures up all the tension of Kill Bill's opening scene; and can anyone who's ever watched Reservoir Dogs think of anything but Mr Blonde's horrific torture of policeman Marvin Nash when they hear Stuck in the Middle With You? 

In the creation of the majority of his cinematic mixtapes, Tarantino has been aided by Music Supervisor Mary Ramos. The duo clearly have their favourites – Ennio Morricone and Johnny Cash crop up lot – as well as a penchant for covers: think Nouvelle Vague's version of To Drunk to Fuck (Grindhouse) and Santa Esmerelda's Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Kill Bill). Tarantino also enjoys pilfering from past soundtracks, like his use of David Bowie's Putting Out The Fire With Gasoline, originally recorded for horror film Cat People, in Inglorious Basterds and Morricone's L’Arena, written for 1968 western The Mercenary, in Kill Bill Vol. 2. Here, we've compiled a playlist of our favourites, spanning Tarantino's entire filmography, in celebration of the great man's 52nd birthday.