*SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Great Gatsby, the companion album to the Baz Luhrmann-directed movie of the same name, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart this week, selling 136,840 copies and becoming the best-selling movie soundtrack since The Hunger Games. This is the third soundtrack from a Baz Luhrmann film to reach the top three, following William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!
The Great Gatsby had a very impressive opening in theaters this past weekend, taking in more than $50 million at the domestic box office.
Luhrmann stated, “It is enormously satisfying to have fans embrace both the movie and the soundtrack so completely. Music was front and center in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s very beautiful and very modern novel, The Great Gatsby, and so we followed him in doing the same with this contemporary translation. JAY Z, Anton Monsted, Jeymes Samuel and I had the benefit of working with some of today’s greatest artists on this film version of The Great Gatsby. Blending modern-day music with the sounds of the Jazz Age had an immeasurable impact on the film, and I’m so pleased that the soundtrack is allowing audiences to enjoy the music long after they leave the theater.”
The first single is BRIT Award winner Lana Del Rey‘s “Young and Beautiful,” which was written specifically for the film. Watch the video here.
The album was produced by Baz Luhrmann and executive produced by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, who is also an executive producer on the film, and features original new music from artists that span several genres, including rock innovators Florence + the Machine, The xx, Gotye, and Jack White, multi-platinum artists U2, Beyoncé, will.i.am, Fergie, and Jay Z himself, as well as newcomers Emeli Sandé and Quadron’s Coco O. Anton Monsted is the executive music supervisor.
Here’s what the critics have had to say about The Great Gatsby soundtrack:
“… Luhrmann uses music not simply as atmosphere or emotional punctuation but as a primary storytelling device, a means of putting the viewer in the world of his characters.” — The LA Times
“… musical roller coaster mixes electronica, hip-hop and rock with jazz-age sounds into a breathy, sexy, dangerous, electric result.” — The Washington Post
“The Great Gatsby features a stunning array of hip-hop royals, pop champs and de rigueur alternative rockers. Distilling the essence of the Jazz Age though never completely reflecting it, this soundtrack is as much an event as is the film that inspired it.” — NPR
“The Gatsby soundtrack seems, on the whole, to be an extraordinary melding of vintage and contemporary sounds, fulfilling Jay-Z and Luhrmann’s goal to ‘translate Jazz Age sensibilities’ into something that can speak to, and enchant, the modern listener.” … “Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young and Beautiful’ proves itself a sweeping and gorgeous ballad, ably evoking the romantic drama of Fitzgerald’s classic while taking full advantage of Del Rey as a no-brainer fit for this endeavor.” — Slant Magazine
Also available digitally is The Great Gatsby – The Jazz Recordings (A Selection of Yellow Cocktail Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film The Great Gatsby), which features The Bryan Ferry Orchestra performing songs from and inspired by the film.