Baz Luhrmann, Jay-Z and other music partners assembled a collection of songs that could revive the fortune of the out-of-favor-movie soundtrack
The high-profile soundtrack, an artifact of the '80s and '90s largely dormant during the last five years, is being revived by "The Great Gatsby," Baz Luhrmann's $100 million-plus adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. With Jay-Z onboard as executive music producer and a roster of artists from across Universal Music Group's labels, the soundtrack is both star-laden and a gamble: Can a hit film that isn't a musical generate a smash soundtrack?
If the soundtrack succeeds commercially it'll reinforce the idea that soundtracks need to take listeners on a journey reminiscent of the film, a driver in two of last year's soundtrack successes, "Pitch Perfect" and "Les Miserables." The Interscope "Gatsby" release mirrors the film exactly in its running order: "The razzle dazzle upfront," music supervisor Anton Monsted says, "and as the layers are peeled back on Gatsby's character, the music enhances the storytelling, both in the songs and the score."
Lana Del Rey, among the artists who wrote songs for the picture, is the first out of the block. Her "Young and Beautiful" was released ahead of the album, which arrives May 7, and is being used in trailers along with Beyonce and Andre 3000's cover of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," and "Over the Love" from Florence & the Machine. The ads drive home the fact that the story is the set in the '20s, but the music is most definitely not.