The Great Gatsby Soundtrack Will Be Perfect (Probably)

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby will be released May 10th. Who is excited? I’m excited. Perhaps you’re nervous because the source material is one of your all-time fave tomes, but eager to see what Baz Luhrmann will do. No one does decadence quite like Baz, so at the very least, the movie will be gorgeous with a great soundtrack. The track list has generated a lot of discussion (Beyonce & Andre 3000 covering an Amy Winehouse song?!), but overall, looks super promising. Unsurprising, given that Jay-Z is the executive producer and Luhrmann movie soundtracks consistently are top-notch. Want proof? Let’s take a look at highlights from Baz’s other offerings:

Strictly Ballroom (1992)

It’s a rom-com set in the Australian ballroom dance world. Pro-dancer teams up with n00b dancer and they pasadoble their way into our hearts. This movie is campy in the best way, and was my initial exposure to ballroom dancing (long before Dancing With the Stars). And! The music is a great mix of pop covers and quickstep classics.

“Time After Time” – the Cyndi Lauper hit covered by Mark Williams and Tara Morice

This scene is so sweet. I love it.

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

One of the more ubiquitous Shakespearean texts set in the 1990s. So, natch, the soundtrack is 90s alt-pop perfection. Watch the fish tank scene. Afterward, listen to Des’ree’s “Kissing You” and try not to crumple into a blubbering heap. I hate picking favorites, but…this is one of the best soundtracks, like, ever.

Exhibit A:“#1 Crush” – Garbage

Exhibit B:“Lovefool” – The Cardigans

Exhibit C:“Talk Show Host” – Radiohead

Also, Luhrmann timed Sampson singing along with One Inch Punch’s “Pretty Piece of Flesh” so that it would line up with the Act One, Scene One dialogue.If that isn’t perfection, I don’t know what is.

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

The first time I saw this movie, the brief sampling of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana in the opening musical number freaked me out. But in a good way. Every song in the movie continues this trend; pop and rock jams mashed up and musical’d to fit the tale of star-crossed lovers in 1899 Paris. (Stray observation: Baz loves him some doomed love stories.) Some highlights:

“Elephant Love Medley”

They sing approximately 729 different songs in this medley. And each song seamlessly flows into the next. BAZ WIZARDRY!

“Lady Marmalade”

To this day, I brace myself whenever I turn on the radio. Because I’m still reeling from 2001, a.k.a. The Year You Couldn’t Escape “Lady Marmalade”. I can’t knock it. It’s a legendary song. Xtina+P!nk+Lil’ Kim+Mya=the only combo that could hold a candle to the Labelle original.

Australia (2009)

Oops. I never saw this movie. According to iTunes, Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is on the soundtrack. Can’t go wrong with a Wizard of Oz jam.

There are songs by Elton John, John Butler Trio and others. Most of the soundtrack is instrumental scoring (from the movie, I would assume. It’d be weird if otherwise.). As far as movie soundtracks go, it’s more traditional than other Luhrmann offerings. Based on the 90-second clips, the music seems pretty epic.

Ack! I’m all the more excited for the Gatsby soundtrack! Especially for that Sia track! Luhrmann does no wrong.

The Great Gatsby image courtesy of Warner Brothers.

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