Drawing on his unique and unrivalled position in popular culture, Jay Z (with collaborator and the film’s executive music consultant Jeymes Samuel) has worked with Luhrmann and his team on the project over the past two years, translating the Jazz Age sensibility of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel into the musical equivalents of our own times, through the blending of hip-hop, traditional jazz and other contemporary musical textures.
Luhrmann stated, “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is peppered with contemporary music references specific to the story’s setting of 1922. While we acknowledge, as Fitzgerald phrased it, ‘the Jazz Age,’ and this is the period represented on screen, we-our audience-are living in the ‘hip-hop age’ and want our viewers to feel the impact of modern-day music the way Fitzgerald did for the readers of his novel at the time of its publication.”
“The Great Gatsby is that classic American story of one’s introduction to extravagance, decadence and illusion. It’s ripe for experimentation and ready to be interpreted with a modern twist. The imagination Baz brought to ‘Moulin Rouge!’ made it a masterpiece, and ‘Romeo + Juliet’s’ score wasn’t just in the background; the music became a character. This film’s vision and direction has all the makings of an epic experience,” JAY Z said in a previous statement.
Jay Z’s own “No Church in the Wild,” which he was recording when he and Luhrmann first came together, is included in the film, along with his original “100$ Bill.” The first single to drop is the hauntingly melodious track “Young and Beautiful,” from recent Brit Award winner for Best International Female Solo Artist, Lana Del Rey. Del Rey collaborated with Luhrmann in creating the song.
Del Rey said, “It was an honour to work with Baz Lurhmann on his amazing adaptation of one of the most extraordinary books ever written. The movie is highly glamorous and exciting; Rick Nowels and I were thrilled to write the song for the film.”
Luhrmann also worked personally alongside good friends and collaborators Florence Welch, of Florence + The Machine, and The xx. Each of the artists worked to picture.
The highly eclectic soundtrack also features songs performed by such artists as Beyoncé x André 3000; Fergie + Q Tip + GoonRock; Coco O. of Quadron, Gotye; Nero; and Sia. Moviegoers will also recognise a few favourites with a new twist, such as Jack White’s interpretation of U2’s “Love Is Blindness,” Beyoncé x André 3000 collaborating on Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” and Bryan Ferry’s new take on a couple of classics: his own “Love Is The Drug,” and, with Emeli Sandé, Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love.” New songs by Florence + The Machine, Lana Del Rey, Nero, will.i.am and The xx were written for scenes in the film, and appear on the soundtrack.
The score is composed by Luhrmann’s regular collaborator, Craig Armstrong, who worked with the director on “Moulin Rouge!” and “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.” Both the standard album and the deluxe edition will be released worldwide by Universal Music. In Australia, the soundtrack will be released on May 10th.
The full track list for “The Great Gatsby” standard soundtrack album is as follows:
1. 100$ Bill – JAY Z
2. Back To Black – Beyoncé x André 3000
3. Bang Bang – will.i.am
4. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) – Fergie + Q Tip + GoonRock
5. Young And Beautiful – Lana Del Rey
6. Love Is The Drug – Bryan Ferry with The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
7. Over The Love – Florence + The Machine
8. Where The Wind Blows – Coco O. of Quadron
9. Crazy in Love – Emeli Sandé and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
10. Together – The xx
11. Hearts A Mess – Gotye
12. Love Is Blindness – Jack White
13. Into the Past – Nero
14. Kill and Run – Sia
The deluxe soundtrack will feature the above songs, plus three additional bonus tracks.