With their mutual admiration of all things kung fu, Wu-Tang's RZA and Quentin Tarantino were destined to hook up. The chop-socky-loving odd couple have collaborated on the soundtrack to Tarantino's long-awaited new film, "Kill Bill: Volume 1."
The 17-track album to Tarantino's fourth feature — the first part of which hits theaters on October 10 — will feature an original RZA song alongside the usual mix of Tarantino-picked musical obsessions and oddities when it hits stores September 23, according to the project's publicist.
Kill Bill: Volume 1 mixes Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)," which plays over the opening credits, with cuts by soul legend Isaac Hayes ("Run Fay Run"), honky tonker Charlie Feathers ("That Certain Female"), soundtrack legend Bernard Herrmann ("Twisted Nerve") and Japanese surf-punk band the 220.127.116.11's ("Woo Hoo"). RZA contributes the original spoken/rapped piece "Ode to Oren Ishii," in which he lays out the plot of the film.
Electronic music forefathers Neu! ("Super 16") are also on the eclectic collection, which revives an old Quincy Jones number ("Ironside") amid several snippets of dialogue and a number of sound-effects tracks that re-create the movie's fight scenes. And, believe it or not, trash culture obsessive Tarantino has also tossed in a song from the master of the pan flute, Zamfir ("The Lonely Shepherd"), which RZA stumbled upon while dining at a Thai restaurant.
RZA's hookup with Tarantino seems a natural fit, considering the Wu-Tang master sharpened his scoring teeth on Jim Jarmusch's 1999 martial arts flick, "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai." Many of the songs on the soundtrack have previously appeared in classic kung fu flicks, though Tarantino discovered the 18.104.22.168's while browsing in a clothing store in Hong Kong several years ago. Smitten with the band's sound — so smitten, in fact, that they have a cameo in the film — he insisted the clerk sell him the store's copy of the album on the spot.
The film stars Uma Thurman as a former assassin betrayed by her boss, Bill, played by David Carradine. Thurman returns four years after taking a bullet in the head to get revenge on Bill and his arsenal of assassins, including Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen and Darryl Hannah (see "Quentin Tarantino Makes Uma Thurman Dress Like Bruce Lee").
The always high-energy Tarantino, who has not released a film since 1997's "Jackie Brown," wrote a nearly 200-page script for "Kill Bill" and ended up shooting so much footage that he and Miramax head Harvey Weinstein decided to cut the movie in half and release it in two parts (see "Instant Sequel: Tarantino's 'Kill Bill' Chopped Into Two Parts"). The second installment of the film is expected to hit theaters two to six months after "Part 1." The spokesperson said it is not yet clear if there will be a soundtrack album from the film's second part.
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was working with RZA on the score (see "Metallica's Ulrich Asked To Work With RZA On Tarantino Score"), but his contributions are not expected to appear on the album, according to the spokesperson.
Track listing for Kill Bill: Volume 1:
- Nancy Sinatra - "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"
- Charlie Feathers - "That Certain Female"
- Luis Bacalov - "The Grand Duel - (Parte Prima)"
- Bernard Herrmann - "Twisted Nerve"
- "Queen of the Crime Council" - dialogue excerpt from film featuring Lucy Liu and Julie Dreyfus
- RZA - "Ode to Oren Ishii"
- Isaac Hayes - "Run Fay Run"
- Al Hirt - "Green Hornet"
- Tomoyasu Hotei - "Battle Without Honor or Humanity"
- Santa Esmeralda - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
- The 22.214.171.124's - "Woo Hoo"
- RZA/Charles Bernstein - "Crane"/"White Lightning"
- Meiko Kaji - "The Flower of Carnage"
- Zamfir - "The Lonely Shepherd"
- "You're My Wicked Life" - dialogue excerpt from film featuring David Carradine, Julie Dreyfus and Uma Thurman
- Quincy Jones - "Ironside" excerpt
- Neu! - "Super 16" excerpt