Death Proof - Original Soundtrack [Maverick, 2007]

Being a TOTAL film geek I thought it would be appropriate that my first review should be a soundtrack and that soundtrack should be Death Proof.

Now I have run the gambit of emotions when it comes to Tarantino's films. As a film student I remember sitting there in the dark, watching Reservoir Dogs seething at the slow motion shot of the thieves dressed in the now classic black suits set to George Baker’s “Little Green Bag”, thinking… he beat us to the punch. By the time the infamous ear-cutting scene came onto the screen, set to Stealers Wheel “Stuck in the Middle With You”, I was wide eye with admiration and realized I was studying every shot, every edit and every song carefully placed in select scenes.

I have to admit by the time Death Proof came out I wasn’t excited to go see another Tarantino movie and decided to wait for the DVD to be released. Huge fucking mistake! The film itself is amazing on many levels, but the music… 13 hand picked songs by bands and composers we have heard either on the radio or in films but Tarantino takes these artists such as the Coasters and exposes us to a song most of us haven’t heard outside of whatever poppy tune we hear on the radio and makes us want to explore the band even further.

I am not one to download my music, for me it takes away from the experience, the joy of after a long search in record stores, second hand stores and even the garages of old men, of laying my hands on the LP or disc I have long been hunting. Now I didn’t have to go to such extremes to get this sound track but I did have to hit a few record shops in three different counties until I found this soundtrack. Mind you I did all this hunting just to hear one song. Imagine my absolute joy that track after track left me wanting more. More information about the artist, more music by the Coasters, April March and Smith. I love when an album exposes me to either another side of a band I already like and this soundtrack does this successfully.

1. The Last Race by Jack Nitzsche: This "Wall of Sound" surf guitar instrumental originally used in the 1965 sci fi teen film "Village of The Giants.

2. Baby It’s You by Smith: This is a hip, seductive soul cover that was released in 1969. The Shirelles originally sang it. There are moments in this song that when certain notes are being hit, I think of Janis Joplin. You feel it when Gayle McCormick belts out those lyrics.

3. Paranoia Prima by Ennio Morricone: From the original score for Dario Argento's 1971 Italian thriller The Cat O' Nine Tails. I love Ennio Morricone’s music. Suspenseful, surreal and textured, I do find it difficult to listen to some of his tracks while alone in my house.

4. Planning and Scheming: Dialog between Eli Roth and Michael Bacall. Is this what you men are talking about when you’re getting us our drinks? Fair enough, we women are saying about the same thing.

5. Jeepster by T Rex: A classic song we all know it but it takes on such a different feeling when it’s being played from a jukebox at Texas Chili Parlor.

6. Stuntman Mike: Dialog between Rose McGowan and Kurt Russell.

7. Staggolee by Pacific Gas & Electric: Lee Shelton (also known as Stagger Lee, Stagolee, Stackerlee, Stack O'Lee, Stack-a-Lee and by several other spelling variants) was a black cab driver and a pimp, convicted of murdering William "Billy" Lyons on Christmas Eve, 1895 in St. Louis, Missouri. The crime was immortalized in a blues folk song that has been recorded in hundreds of different versions.
This dark bluesy track happens to be Pacific Gas & Electric’s version of this crime. This song takes me back to my time spent in Texas and spending those horrible, tortuous summer days at various icehouses with my buddies.

8. The Love You Save (May Be Your Own) by Joe Tex: “People, I've been misled and I've been afraid I've been hit in the head and left for dead I've been abused and I've been accused I've been refused a piece of bread.”
This song is what I call kick in the teeth. The type of song you listen to over and over and over again while drowning your broken heart in whatever poison you chose. No matter how blue you might be while listening to this song, the tempo of this tune makes your hips sway back and forth with a little grind tossed in for good measure.

9. Good Love, Bad Love by Eddie Floyd: Best know for his hit Knock on Wood, this haunting song is a tale of that heart breaking moment when you realize what all your friends and family have been telling you for years… that bloke\chick you have been with all these years is actually a soul sucking harpy.

10. Down In Mexico by The Coasters: This song is catchy, funky and sexy as hell. Between the back up singers, the guitar and descriptive lyrics, the percussion alone makes you want to do terribly naughty things… it curls my toes and all I can think about is hot sweaty make out sessions with random strangers.

11. Hold Tight by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich: Five friends from Wiltshire, David John Harman, Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies, John Dymond, Michael Wilson and Ian Frederick Stephen Amey, formed a group in 1961 called Dave Dee and the Bostons. They soon gave up their jobs (e.g. Dave Dee was a policeman) to make money from music. Vocalist Dee, the ex-policeman, was at the scene of the automobile accident that took the life of American rocker Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent in April 1960. Dee had taken Cochran's guitar from the accident and held it until it could be returned to his family. They were referenced in the Red Dwarf episode "Timeslides".
The information above was just a fraction of their history and, in the film Jungle Jane tells even more history of this underappreciated band. This particular tune is surf music on crack with a British vibe and a catchy grinding beat that makes you want to drive on the interstate as if it were your own personal Indy 500.

12. Sally and Jack by Pino Donaggio: This track was originally used in the 1981 Brian DePalma conspiracy thriller Blow Out.

13. It's So Easy by Willy Deville: Originally featured in the 1980 cop thriller Cruising. This song has hints of “The Yardbirds - Train Kept A-Rollin” to it. This is a bluesy dirty rockin’ song. These are all positive things.

14. Whatever-However: Dialog between Tracie Thoms and Zoë Bell.

15. Riot In Thunder Alley by Eddie Beram: Theme from the 60s American International Pictures teen hot rod exploitation film Thunder Alley. An awesome example of what can happen when you properly mix a bitchen drum solo and some surf guitar.

16. Chick Habit by April March: This is the song that originally made me go bananas over this soundtrack. It’s Groovy Ghoulie, girl band, stock car, and driving fast thrill of a song. April March has got to be one of the coolest women on the planet, she sings in English and French, is the former Vice-President of Education at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, Ohio AND worked for the Ren and Stimpy show as a principal animator!

Tabrina Lea Hughes

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Death Proof - Original Soundtrack