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Pulp Fiction soundtrack: Every song in the movie by scene

Get ready to Twist - here's every iconic song that plays during Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece.

Pulp Fiction
SEAC
Published: Sunday, 22nd May 2022 at 11:00 am
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Pulp Fiction has gone down as one of the greatest films of all time, thanks in large part to its impressive cast, non-linear narrative and endlessly quotable dialogue.

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However there's no denying that one of the first things that come to mind about Quentin Tarantino's classic is its excellent soundtrack, which helped energise a resurgence of surf rock in the 1990s and remains wildly popular to this day.

We're sure just mentioning the film has you picturing the iconic Pulp Fiction dance performed by John Travolta and Uma Thurman - so if you've ever wondered what exactly they were twisting to you're in luck, as we'll be going through the film's soundtrack scene by scene.

So grab yourself a royale with cheese and a $5 milkshake and kick back as we list one of the coolest movie soundtracks of all time!

Full Pulp Fiction tracklist in order

The original Pulp Fiction soundtrack released in 1994 only had sixteen songs, notably missing a few tracks that were included in the film. This was rectified somewhat by the 2002 Collector's Edition, which added several bonus tracks.

While we haven't included them here, the official soundtrack also includes snippets of the film's iconic dialogue - including that bible verse recited by Samuel L. Jackson, which amazingly was listed as its very own song.

  1. Misirlou - Dick Dale & His Del-Tones
  2. Jungle Boogie - Kool & The Gang
  3. Strawberry Letter #23 - The Brothers Johnson
  4. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
  5. Bustin' Surfboards - The Tornadoes
  6. Bullwinkle Part II - The Centurians
  7. Son Of A Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
  8. Waitin' In School - Gary Shorelle
  9. Lonesome Town - Ricky Nelson
  10. Ace Of Spades - Link Wray
  11. Rumble - Link Wray And His Raymen
  12. Since I First Met You - The Robins
  13. Teenagers In Love - Woody Thorne
  14. You Never Can Tell - Chuck Berry
  15. Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon - Urge Overkill
  16. Flowers On The Wall - The Statler Brothers
  17. If Love Is A Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags) - Maria McKee
  18. Comanche - The Revels
  19. Out Of Limits - The Marketts
  20. Surf Rider - The Lively Ones

Every song in Pulp Fiction by scene

Opening Credits - Misirlou

There are few more exciting ways to start a film than Dick Dale's iconic guitar solo, which perfectly set up the rollercoaster ride that was to come - and did it in style. Originally a Mediterranean folk song, the song gained worldwide popularity when Dick Dale recorded a surf-rock version in 1962, and again when the Black Eyed Peas sampled the tune in 2006's Pump It - but for many the song will forever be associated with Pulp Fiction, and one of the coolest film intros in history.

Listen on Spotify

Opening Credits - Jungle Boogie

Not content with just one iconic opening credits song, Tarantino served us a second only halfway through Misirlou - transitioning us from the '60s to the '70s, keeping the excitement going but adding a bit of funk. The song is not quite as symbolic of Pulp Fiction as its predecessor but has remained popular on its own terms, and has been sampled by the likes of The Beastie Boys and Madonna since its 1973 release.

Listen on Spotify

Vincent and Jules talk - Strawberry Letter #23

Strawberry Letter #23 was originally written and composed by Shuggie Otis in 1971, but it was the 1977 cover by funk and R&B band The Brothers Johnson that really blew up. The song reached number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the US Soul Singles Chart, and was even pressed on a red strawberry scented vinyl.

The song did feature on the original 1994 soundtrack, likely as it is only heard very briefly in the film as Jules and Vincent walk through the hallway to Brett's apartment - but finally got its due when Tarantino featured the track in length in his 1997 hit Jackie Brown.

Listen on Spotify

Butch meets Marcellus - Let's Stay Together

Al Green's signature song plays when Marcellus Wallace tells Butch Coolidge to throw his boxing match, with the camera focused firmly on Bruce Willis and his reaction - certainly an ironic choice given where the film takes the two characters. Green initially was not keen on the song and its gentle vocals, but shot straight to number one on the US Billboard chart and has been covered frequently since, most notably by Tina Turner.

Listen on Spotify

Vincent buys drugs - Bustin' Surfboards

Playing while Vincent procures heroin from Lance, you can practically hear the ocean in this 1962 offering from California surf band The Tornadoes. Complete with breezy whammy bar effects and no unnecessary vocals, it's easy to see why surf rock made a comeback off Pulp Fiction's success.

Listen on Spotify

Vincent meets Mia - Son of a Preacher Man

On the Collectors Edition DVD of Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino can be quoted saying that he probably would have not filmed this scene where Vincent speaks to Mia over the intercom had he not been able to use the Dusty Springfield classic - that's how important this song was to the sequence. It paid off, as Son of a Preacher Man received renewed popularity and even topped the Icelandic charts in 1995 - some 27 years after its initial release.

While now considered one of Springfield's signature tracks, the song was written with Aretha Franklin in mind - and following its success Franklin did eventually record a cover in 1969.

Listen on Spotify

Vincent takes drugs - Bullwinkle Part II

The easy-going surf sax Bullwinkle Part II is famous for contrasts rather heavily with the scene it accompanies in Pulp Fiction, in which we see a close up of blood pouring into a syringe as Vincent takes drugs. Bullwinkle Part II has become the best-known work of The Centurions, a California surf rock band from the '50s and '60s who reformed in 1995, a year after Pulp Fiction's release.

Listen on Spotify

Mia and Vincent arrive at Jack Rabbit Slims - Waitin in' School

Jack Rabbit Slims is a clear throwback to clubs of the '50s and '60s, and Tarantino appropriately enough kicks off the scene with two rockabilly songs by 1950s heartthrob Ricky Nelson. However this first track is a cover performed by Gary Shorelle - which does not feature on any release of the film's soundtrack and was never commercially released, thus was not available anywhere other than the film itself.

However, an uncut track has since surfaced on YouTube.

Mia orders a $5 shake - Lonesome Town

Playing as Mia Wallace orders a shake at the restaurant with Vincent, this 1958 hit was sung by then-teenage heartthrob Ricky Nelson. It has since been covered by everyone from Paul McCartney to Jason Donovan - as well as instrumental rock band The Ventures, who will also pop up again on this list.

The song is also featured in Heroes in fourth season episode Close To You when Sam Sullivan orders a milkshake in a diner in an apparent homage to Pulp Fiction.

Listen on Spotify

Mia and Vincent talk - Ace of Spades

The retro rock and roll continues at Jack Rabbit Slims as 1950s icon Link Wray plays as Mia and Vincent continue their conversation. As with Waitin' On School, Ace of Spades has not been included in any of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack releases - though Link Wray would eventually be included in the 2002 Collector's Edition for the very next track in the film.

Listen on Spotify

Mia talks about her TV pilot - Rumble

It's a Link Wray double bill, as this next track plays immediately after Ace of Spades - though Rumble would eventually make it to the film's soundtrack. Rumble holds the dubious honour of being the only instrumental single banned from the radio in the US, as the word rumble was slang for a gang fight and there were fears the song would encourage youth violence.

Rumble is said to have influenced the likes of Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop - though modern listeners may recognise it more from the confused.com adverts.

Listen on Spotify

Vincent drinks a $5 shake - Since I First Met You

American R&B group The Robins provides the soundtrack to this scene, in which Vincent tries the much-discussed $5 milkshake while Mia pops to the toilet. The Robins were influential in the formation of the doo-wop genre, though by the release of this song had suffered a split after Nunn and Carl Gardner had left to form The Coasters.

Listen on Spotify

Vincent and Mia discuss foot massages - Teenagers in Love

Just before the iconic twist competition, we get a brief listen to this Woody Thorne classic as Vincent asks Mia if Marcellus killed someone for giving her a foot massage. Teenagers in Love is the third and final song featured in the film not to make it to either of the film's soundtracks, though the song has remained associated with the Tarantino film ever since.

Listen on Spotify

Vincent and Mia dance - You Never Can Tell

Yep, the song playing during THAT dance scene between John Travolta and Uma Thurman is 1964's You Never Can Tell by the "Father of Rock and Roll" Chuck Berry. The song was a perfect choice for the Twist Contest - based on a dance craze from the early '60s - and unsurprisingly the song became popular again following Pulp Fiction's release, becoming one of if not the most symbolic songs of the film.

Listen on Spotify

Mia overdoses - Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon

Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon was of course written and originally performed by Neil Diamond, but it was the 1992 cover by alt-rock band Urge Overkill that Tarantino chose for his masterpiece. It was enough to launch Urge Overkill into the mainstream, and their cover achieved chart success when it was re-released as a single in 1994.

Listen on Spotify

Butch escapes from Vincent - Flowers on the Wall

Flowers on the Wall was a big hit for The Statler Brothers when it was released in 1965, spending four weeks at number two on the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart and earning the group a Grammy Award. In the film the song is performed by none other than Bruce Willis as he sings the line "smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo" - a year later in Die Hard With a Vengeance, Willis' character John McClane would describe his suspension from the police also for "smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo".

Listen on Spotify

Marcellus catches Butch in Maynard's pawn shop - If Love Is a Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags)

The one and only original song on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, Maria McKee's song is a tad overshadowed in the film by the pawnshop skirmish between Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames. It was not McKee's first movie soundtrack, however - she'd previously scored a UK number one with Show Me Heaven, recorded for the Tom Cruise sports drama Days of Thunder.

Listen on Spotify

Butch rescues Marcellus - Comanche

Comanche was performed by yet another California surf band, with The Revels performing this track when Butch ultimately decides to save Marcellus and kill Maynard. Comanche wasn't Tarantino's first choice, however - that honour goes to My Sharona by Knack, who declined and licensed the song to Reality Bites instead.

Listen on Spotify

Butch and Fabienne escape - Out of Limits

Originally called Outer Limits as a reference to the iconic '60s show of the same name, instrumental surf rock piece Out of Limits was a huge hit for The Marketts in 1963, staying in the US Hot 100 for fourteen weeks and selling a million copies globally. The song plays in Pulp Fiction as Butch escapes via motorcycle with his girlfriend - one of the few characters with a happy ending, and what is chronologically the last scene in the film.

Coincidentally a popular cover of the song was also released by The Ventures - who themselves are covered in this next track...

Listen on Spotify

End Credits - Surf Rider

The final song in Pulp Fiction - playing in the final diner sequence and during the end credits - is fittingly from another California surf rock band, namely The Lively Ones. However this particular track was the combined efforts of two instrumental '60s rock bands - originally a song called Spudnik by instrumental legends The Ventures, a sprinkling of sax was added in The Lively Ones' cover of the song which became a surprise hit.

Listen on Spotify

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