Ever wanted to hear Emeli Sandé cover ‘Crazy In Love’? No, me neither, but now thanks to Baz Luhrmann and Jay-Z’s bonkers stewardship of The Great Gatsby soundtrack that prospect is a confusing reality. The first sampler from the soundtrack has just been released online, and it features a glittering array of new material from some of the biggest acts in the world. Florence and the Machine rub shoulders with The xx, Jack White, Lana Del Rey and Bryan Ferry at the sort of party Gatsby himself would be jealous of.
Will it work? Well, Luhrmann has form in the soundtrack business. Both Romeo & Juliet and the radical reworkings on the Moulin Rouge album set a bar for motion picture soundtracks that surely only arch-record-rummager Quentin Tarantino can match up to. His soundtracks, from Reservoir Dogs through to Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained have introduced generations to a whole trove of underrated artists from the past as well as discovering a few new ones. The 18.104.22.168’s made a career out of their appearance in Kill Bill. Still, this got us thinking about our favourite film soundtracks. Here’s a few suggestions from the office: what would you pick?
Dan Stubbs, News Editor The Great Gatsby soundtrack is exciting because it’s a collection of new songs written specially for the film, but there’s a lot to be said for a soundtrack that picks a perfectly curated selection of period tracks too. For that reason, I’m nominating the brilliant, cock-rock-filled soundtrack to ’70s-set stoner classic Dazed And Confused, which takes place in an Austin, Texas suburb as-yet untouched by the coming storms of punk and disco. So you get Lynyrd Skynyrd’s weary ‘Tuesday’s Gone’, Aerosmith’s brilliant ‘Sweet Emotion’, the sheer joy of Alice Cooper’s ‘School’s Out’ and much more. Honourable mentions go out to any John Hughes soundtrack for the perfect mix of cool British indie and ’80s pop, plus the psychedelic soundtrack to Russ Meyer’s free love-fest Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor Baz Luhrmann is a soundtrack MONSTER. He uses music almost like an additional character in his films, and the music is integral to the way he updates classic tales for modern times. Imagine how appealing Leonardo DiCaprio would have been as a 20th-century Romeo without tracks such as Mundy’s ‘To You I Bestow’ soundtracking his drives to and from Mantua? Not as appealing, basically. The Romeo & Juliet soundtrack is a time capsule for everything that was fresh in 1996: Garbage, Everclear, The Wannadies, One Inch Punch, The Cardigans… eh, Des’ree? Oh, and I’d never listened to Radiohead before I heard that soundtrack so it was something of a gateway drug. Aren’t all decent soundtracks?
Lucy Jones, NME.com Deputy Editor Is this embarrassing? Maybe it is. The first soundtrack I really fell for was City Of Angels. Remember that cheesy-as-hell film with Nick Cage and Meg Ryan? I hold it dear because it got me into Jimi Hendrix for the first time (along with Sarah McLachlan and *cough* Paula Cole). And I can’t not mentioned Reservoir Dogs. I lost it a few times and ended up buying it from Woolies four times in total. What an incredible collection of songs: Harry Nilsson’s ‘Coconut’, Bedlam’s ‘Harvest Moon’… ‘Hooked On A Feeling’! ‘Little Green Bag’! I didn’t even see the film until the other week. Tarantino’s the ultimate soundtrack g.
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Matthew Horton, writer I’m not sure I’ve even seen the film and I don’t remember how or when I got hold of the album, but the lunk-headed stoner soundtrack of Dazed And Confused is the one for me. It reaches critical rawk mass with the frankly greedy inclusion of Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, and – in ‘Rock And Roll All Night’ – it’s got the best Kiss song I’d never heard. Sign of the Devil, dude.