The “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack song list is full of iconic, exciting songs, but that is not a surprise. One of the things Quentin Tarantino is known for is his encyclopedic knowledge of popular culture, from movies to music. When choosing songs for his movies, he always dips into his extensive knowledge of the past and picks and chooses the perfect songs for the moment. He has often been said to write scenes with a specific song in mind, and that has never been more evident than in “Pulp Fiction.”

“Misirlou” – The song that starts off the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack song list is truly iconic and, hearing the song, immediately brings back memories of the movie. This is interesting since the song is a classic Greek number originally performed in 1927. The version used in the movie is the 1962 version by Dick Dale, which was also at one time covered by the classic rock band, The Beach Boys.

“Let’s Stay Together” – Quentin Tarantino went back to 1972 to find this Al Green number to add to the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack song list. In the movie, the song plays over the background of the scene where gangster Marcellus Wallace tells boxer Butch that he will throw his upcoming match, or else. It is a great mix of the sound of the song mixed with the seriousness of Wallace’s speech.

“Son of a Preacher Man” – When we first meet Miss Mia Wallace, the Dusty Springfield song “Son of a Preacher Man” is playing. The song fits well as Mia is the untouchable wife of the gangster and the song fit her retro style perfectly. The way Tarantino shot the scene, with Mia being seen only in glancing views, fits well with the beat of the music as well. This number from the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack song list is a perfect example of a scene from a Tarantino movie being edited perfectly around a song.

“You Never Can Tell” – One of the best musical scenes in the movie is the dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slims. The number from the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack song list that Mia and Vincent use as their dance number is “You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry. The song, with the memorable quote “C’est La Vie,” plays as one-time movie dance star John Travolta and Uma Thurman shimmy on the screen. The song fit both the theme of the restaurant in the movie as well as, once again, Mia’s retro look.

“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” – One of the tensest scenes in this movie used the number from the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack song list to play as Mia dances around before accidentally overdoes. What makes the entire song work so well is the lyrics about Mia becoming a woman soon is realized when she almost dies and realizes that she is not as vulnerable as she believed. From dancing to the music to snorting the heroin, the song plays as much as role as the acting.

-Shawn Lealos