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Superb Soundtracky Saturday: Kill Bill Vol.1

A Killer Soundtrack Album

Though some critics, as well as viewers, are rather “harsh” on Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, I personally like these series, especially Vol.1; the second volume is a bit disappointing with Bill’s “easy death”, and now waiting for the who-knows-it-is-for-real third volume. Borrowing David Gilmour’s term in his book The Film Club, this is my "fuck-you movie," a movie that makes me imagine (and act a little tiny bit) crazy nonsense stuffs (being an adversary of Musashi in a duel is one of those stuffs).
Besides the Tarantino-esque style (a pure fun, don’t get too serious with it, that's the key), and also the appearance of fabulous Uma Thurman (one of my favorite actresses), Kill Bill also becomes a “reunion” for me with the legendary Kwai Chang Caine, aka David Carradine…oh wait, not David, but John Arthur Carradine (he was born with that name). I used to be a fan of Kung Fu the Legend Continues, I wasn’t around yet during his phenomenal Kung Fu series. Carradine mostly starred in B-movies, did more than 100 features film (maybe this is what made him received a quite queer award, the award for being the hardest working member of his profession in Hollywood), and was nominated 4 times for Golden Globe. In 2004, Kill Bill brought him the last nomination before his death in 2009.

Okay, enough about David Carradine and let’s move to the soundtrack.
The music for Kill Bill and its soundtrack was produced by The RZA (aka Robert Fitzgerald Diggs), the leader of hip hop legend Wu Tang Clan. Despite the fact that RZA is a hip hop legend, the soundtrack itself is not hip-hopish. In fact it’s far from hip hop or any popular genre for that matter.

This OST album contains 15 songs (plus some sound effects and scores from the movie) and overall it received a quite positive responds. I’ll put some of the songs that I think deserve highlighting. The first one is Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank Sinatra, who performs a killer gloomy song here, literally—with her version of Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)—a perfect opening for the film. There’s also a vintage rockabilly number from Charlie Feathers. Another vintage stuff is The Grand Duel, which actually is the title score of 1972 Italian Spaghetti Western Strom Rider (aka The Grand Duel), which was composed by Luis Bacalov. Gheorghe Zamfir, a great pan flute player, contributes a beautiful instrumental that sounds soooo melancholic. Another cool hip upbeat number comes from The 5, 6, 7, 8s, a garage rockabilly girl band from Tokyo, with their version of Woo Hoo and there’s a big chance it will make you shake a bit. Then there’s a great excerpt of Quincy Jones’s jazzy music illustration for Ironside, a TV series in late 60’s to mid 70’s. Al Hirt, a truly marvelous trumpeter, is also featured in this album with a really awesome energizing trumpet instrumental—I think awesome is still not enough to describe this one. This song is the theme of Green Hornet 60’s TV series and—I’ve guessed it before—it was a reminiscent of Flight of the Bumblebee. Lastly, I also highlight Meiko Kaji’s The Flower of Carnage, a striking poignant enka number.

Kill Bill Vol.1 Soundtrack is indeed a killer soundtrack album and I believe that set of songs suits Tarantino’s taste really well, and I believe it will do the same to you if you’re a fan of his artistic style. Well at least it works for me….Well, it’s a lot more than that.

Hope you enjoyed it. You may share it if you like.

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