Music and Songs from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Soundtracks and OST)
Whether it's Chuck Berry's boogie-woogie, bringing out the dance moves in "Pulp Fiction" or the song "Stuck in the Middle with You", contrasting with the torture scene in "mad dogs"Tarantino films always contain a distinctive and thoughtful collection of songs.
In the booklet accompanying The Tarantino Connection (a 1997 compilation of soundtracks from his films), the director explained that music often guides his cinematic choices.
"One of the things I do when I start a movie, when I'm writing a movie, or when I have an idea for a movie, is I go through my record collection and just start playing songs, trying to find the personality of the movie, find the spirit of the movie. " Tarantino said. "Then boom, eventually I'll hit one, two or three songs, or one song in particular, 'Oh, that's going to be a great opening song.'
The director went on to explain that it's "one of those things that allows you to use music in movies, it's so cool. If you do it right, if you use the right song, in the right scene...really cool."
These views are reflected in Tarantino's latest film,Once Upon a Time in Hollywood". The film uses a cool cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino and Kurt Russell. But, again, the soundtracks outshine the bright stars and come to the fore.
The action takes place in the 60s in Los Angeles ... And the songs shown in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, include favorite hits of the era as well as lesser-known tracks. Below is a guide to the film's main soundtracks.
Soundtracks from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood...
Rolling Stones Out of Time (1966)
Released in the UK in 1966 and in the US in 1967, "Out of Time" is one of the rare cases where a Rolling Stones track was more commercially successful when it was recorded by a different artist. On this occasion, English singer Chris Farlowe's version received the most attention, peaking at No. 1 on the UK chart. However, Tarantino decided to stick with the original Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, opting to use the Rolling Stones version.
Bob Seger – Ramblin' Gamblin' Man (1969)
Seger's first career hit, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man", peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. A gem in Bob Seger's collection, this song served as the title track for Seger's debut studio LP. It would become the basis of his live performances and would later be featured on Seger's 1976 live album Live Bullet.
Deep Purple – Hush (1968)
Originally composed by Joe South, "Hush" gained attention in 1967 when it became a minor hit for country singer Billy Joe Royal. British hard rock band Deep Purple would later release a track on their 1968 debut album Shades of Deep Purple. This version would be the band's first hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard chart and earning a group of US fans. It is the most successful song featuring original Deep Purple vocalist Rod Evans.
Joe Cocker – The Letter (1970)
Perhaps one of the most recognizable tunes from the “60s blue-eyed soul movement,”* “The Letter” was originally a hit for Alex Chilton’s Box Tops in 1967. Joe Cocker would release his version three years later, adding horn arrangements, jazz elements and a stronger sound to make the song his own. Over 100 artists have recorded versions of "The Letter" since its original release. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was recognized among the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
* Blue Eyed Soul (also known as White Soul) is rhythm and blues and soul music performed by white artists. The term was coined in the mid-1960s to describe white artists who performed soul and R&B that were similar to the music of the Motown and Stax record labels (source Wikipedia).
Simon & Garfunkel - Mrs. Robinson (1968)
One of the most famous tracks of this legendary folk rock duo Mrs. Robinson gained wide acclaim when his choir was featured in the 1967 film The Graduate. The track will be finished and officially released a few months after the film's release. It appears on Simon & Garfunkel's 1968 studio album Bookends. The track hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Paul Revere and the Raiders – Kicks (1966)
Husband and wife writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil originally wrote "Kicks" for the Animals. When the band's singer, Eric Burdon, dropped the track, the song went to Paul Revere and The Raiders. The garage rock band became a rising star in the mid-60s thanks to a mix of cover art and original material. "Kicks" would become a big hit, reaching #4 in the US and #1 in Canada. The track's anti-drug message stood in stark contrast to most of the popular material released by artists and musicians of the time.
Paul Revere and the Raiders – Hungry (1966)
Another track written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and recorded by Paul Revere and the Raiders. The song's lyrics depict a man who longs for the "sweet life" with the woman of his dreams. "Hungry" peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. Sammy Hagar would later include the track on his 1977 album of the same name.
Paul Revere and the Raiders – Good Thing (1966)
Unlike early hits written by other artists, "Good Thing" was an original creation by Paul Revere and the Raiders. Released on the band's album The Spirit of '67, the track skyrocketed to No. 4 on the Billboard chart. In addition to appearing in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the song is also included in the film's trailer.
Paul Revere and the Raiders (feat. Mark Lindsay) Sun, Mr. Moon (1969)
"Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon" was a hit by Paul Revere and the Raiders in early 1969. Tarantino took inspiration from this group to create the Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood vibe, and there is a connection between the group and the film's theme. In the 60s, Mark Lindsay, the lead singer of the group, lived in the same house with the group's producer Terry Melcher. The house they rented together was 10050 Cielo Dr, where actress Sharon Tate and her associates were murdered by the Manson family in 1969. These real events provide a key plot in Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood.
Neil Diamond - Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show (1969)
Appearing on the 1969 album of the same name, Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show tells the story of a traveling preacher. The track caused controversy at the time of its release, as some believed that the singer was insulting the evangelical movement. Despite this, the song would become a minor hit for Diamond, peaking at number 22 on the charts. The album will later show the world another successful composition - "Sweet Caroline". Along with the song "Good Thing" (Paul Revere & the Raiders' ), "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" is featured in the film and trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Deep Purple - Kentucky Woman (1968)
Released in 1968, a few months after "Hush" became a hit, "Kentucky Woman" became another successful Deep Purple cover hit. In this case, the hard rock band reintroduced a tune originally written by Neil Diamond. While the original had a great folk-rock feel, the Deep Purple version had heavy guitar, powerful organ and driving rhythm.
Jose Feliciano - California Dreaming (1968)
Made famous by The Mamas and the Papas, "California Dreamin" is one of the anthem songs of the 1960s counterculture movement. Puerto Rican guitarist José Feliciano included his version on the Feliciano! 1968. The album, consisting of the musician's reinterpretation of works by various artists, also included songs that were initially made popular by the Beatles and The Doors. Feliciano! was a commercially successful album, selling over half a million of its copies and winning two Grammy Awards.
Mitch Ryder – Jenny Take a Ride (1966)
Detroit native Mitch Ryder rose to success in the mid-60s through his rock and soul influences. "Jenny Take a Ride" was the first composition to reach national audience attention and peaked at No. 10 in 1965. The song, officially credited to Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, will appear on the band's debut album, Take a Ride. Bruce Springsteen would later include a collection of Mitch Ryder's "Jenny Take a Ride" songs in Detroit Medley. They would form the basis of his live performances (in his early years).
Vanilla Fudge – You Keep Me Hanging On (1967)
Since the Supremes recorded "You Keep Me Hangin' On" in 1966, it has become a popular cover version with a wide variety of artists including Rod Stewart, Reba McIntyre and Phil Collins. Vanilla Fudge were among the first to record a live performance of the song, a year after the release of the original Supremes. The band completely changed the style and tone of the song, turning it from Motown R&B to psychedelic rock. Their interpretation of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was a hit, peaking at number 6 and becoming the band's most commercially successful single.
Buffy Sainte-Marie – The Circle Game (1967)
The track is most commonly associated with songwriter Joni Mitchell, who released "The Circle Game" on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon. However, she was not the first to record this track. The original version belongs to Buffy Sainte Marie. The two Canadian singers were friends in the early 60's and shared the same manager at one time. Sainte-Marie's version of "The Circle Game" was released on her 1967 album Fire & Fleet & Candlelight. Another version recorded by Mitchell, "Song to a Seagull", was also included on the LP.
Box Tops – Choo Choo Train (1968)
With this song, Box Tops get their recognition, although it is one of their least known songs. Choo Choo Train was released in 1968 as part of their Non-Stop LP. The soulful melody of Alex Chilton throughout the track will not leave anyone indifferent. In the song, the singer yearns for his hometown, where his family and girl are “waiting for him at the station”.
Los Bravos - Bring a Little Lovin' (1967)
While the 1960s are remembered for the intrusion of British culture into all walks of life, England was not the only European country to churn out rock bands one after another. At that time, the Spanish group Los Bravos enjoyed great success as world stars. And it's all thanks to their hit "Black Is Black". Although their 1968 song "Bring a Little Lovin" was not as popular worldwide, it peaked at number 51 in the US. The track was originally written by Australians George Young and Harry Vanda, who would go on to make a name for themselves as producers of AC/DC. It is worth noting that Young was also the older brother of Angus and Malcolm Young.