“Bullet Train” Movie Soundtrack Features Distinctive Music From Japan

Arriving in North American theaters August 5, Sony Pictures’ action-comedy High-speed train features a soundtrack with uncommon music from Japanese artists. Brad Pitt stars in the film based on a Japanese novel by Kotaro Isaka.

In the film, Pitt plays a hitman unlucky for another job, but fate will take him on a difficult journey from Tokyo to Kyoto on the proverbial bullet train. While the high-speed film is aimed at Western audiences, the filmmakers chose particular Japanese music based on the film’s setting.

Two English songs covered by Japanese musicians feature prominently on the Arista Records soundtrack. The movie’s opening is a different take on the Bee Gees classic Stay alive where the phrases are rephrased and sung in Japanese! The altered disco hit is performed by Avu-Chan, lead singer of Jrock punk band QUEEN BEE.

Later in the film, another piece is upset by its respective Japanese cover. Jpop singer Miki Asakura’s dance version of Bonnie Tyler’s thunderous 1984 rock song Hold on for a hero slips in during a climactic scene.

Tamio Okuda’s exceptionally heavy banger gets loaded kill me pretty. Okuda is best known as the vocalist and lead guitarist of Jrock’s 80s band Unicorn. For the film, this track exudes a brooding, ominous tension setting up the dark, gritty action sequences.

Barely noticeable in the movie, but classic 60s Jpop songs are also worth mentioning. Old school crooner Kyu Sakamoto has his big hit Sukiyaki (上を向いて歩こう) on the soundtrack, and Carmen Maki’s upbeat voice fades to her wistful air Tokiniha Hahano Naikonoyouni.

Other soundtrack artists from around the world include Alejandro Sanz, Siiickbrain, UPSAHL, Engelbert Humperdinck, Big Fella and Shuggie Ottis. The film’s score credits Dominic Lewis, who also composed for The king’s man and The Man in the High Castle.

The action is explosive as High-speed train is directed by former stuntman David Leitch, who also directed Deadpool 2. So if you need a bit of escapism and like a mix of action with Tarantino-style storytelling, this may be for you. Try listening to the music we highlighted from the soundtrack as it plays on the screen.

High-speed train is now playing in North American theaters and opens worldwide later this month.


  1. Stayin’ Alive – Avu-chan (QUEEN BEE)

  2. Power (feat. Pussy Riot) – Siiickbrain

  3. I always blow bubbles – Engelbert Humperdinck

  4. La Despedida – Alejandro Sanz

  5. My time to shine – UPSAHL

  6. Kill Me Pretty – Tamio Okuda

  7. Fruit Couple – Big Fella

  8. Tokiniha Hahano Naikonoyouni – Carmen Maki

  9. Sweet Thang – Shuggie Ottis

  10. Five Hundred Miles – Song for Memories

  11. Hold On For A Hero (Dance Version) – Miki Asakura

  12. Sukiyaki – Kyu Sakamoto

  13. I just wanna celebrate – Rare Earth

  14. Momomon – Dominic Lewis

Ziyoou-vachi (QUEEN BEE):