One of Chuck Berry’s lesser-known songs provided the background for one of Quentin Tarantino’s most famous scenes.
Of course, I’m talking about John Travolta and Uma Therman’s “twist contest” dance sequence in Pulp Fiction.
The song in question is “You Never Can Tell”, which was originally released in 1964 on Berry’s album St. Louis to Liverpool. I have seen Pulp Fiction at least 10 times, but I never realized that Chuck Berry was on the soundtrack.
Director Quentin Tarantino is known for being one of the best ever when it comes to handpicked, obscure soundtracks. He has said that the lyrics “Pierre” and “Mademoiselle” contained in the song gave the scene a “uniquely ‘50s French New Wave dance sequence feel.”
On a related note, St. Louis to Liverpool is probably the best of Berry’s post-‘50s albums. It isn’t drastically different from Berry’s great 1950s albums, but it’s not just a case of same-old-same-old either. There’s just something catchy about it that I can’t put my finger on. It rocks and it’s nostalgic, a rare combo.
Here is the video: