Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice Playlist

As Chosen By the Master Himself

Thomas Pynchon actually compiled a playlist of sorts for his 2009 novel, Inherent Vice, as an Amazon Exclusive. It was definitely and infinitely weird and eclectic, a wide-ranging hodge-podge of musical digressions, rounding up everyone from Roy Rogers and Frank Sinatra to The Doors and The Beach Boys, from bossa nova to surf music. Heck, The Archies even make the cut.


You bet.

The official intro follows:

Larry “Doc” Sportello is a private eye who sees the world through a sticky dope haze, animated by the music of an era whose hallmarks were peace, love, and revolution. As Doc’s strange case grows stranger, his 60s soundtrack–ranging from surf pop and psychedelic rock to eerie instrumentals–picks up pace. Have a listen to some of the songs you’ll hear in Inherent Vice—the playlist that follows is designed exclusively for, courtesy of Thomas Pynchon.

I’ve tweaked it a bit, so that the links will lead you to the actual individual MP3 downloads for the songs or albums, except of course for those that don’t actually exist except in Pynchon’s brain. Sorry, Meatball Flag fans… and whatever happened to Carmine & the Cal-Zones? Or Droolin’ Floyd Womack?

And, just to add to the confusion, it should be noted that there was also an actual Inherent Vice soundtrack album, featuring original music by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, plus selections from the film  mentioned in the novel and on this playlist.



Respectfully “borrowed” by Kevin Burton Smith.

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