Saturday, March 17, 2012

Great Soundtracks - Romeo + Juliet

The year was 1996 - Pop culture was in a flux; grunge was dying, Britpop was rising and two of America's biggest rising stars were about to get thrust into the spotlight for the generation they represented. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes were Romeo and Juliet in Baz Luhrmann's modern day adaptation on the Shakespeare classic. While the idea of the film was risky, it ended up proving to be a hit but all these years later, while the film has gone on to help the next generation understand a story of forbidden love, the soundtrack of the film has gone on to be one of the best of the last 20 years.

With artists like Radiohead, Butthole Surfers, Gavin Friday the soundtrack appealed to tastemakers of the time. The soundtrack also appealed to commercial audiences and achieved success with artists Garbage, Des'ree, Everclear and the breakout single and band, The Cardigans with their song, "Love Fool." An interesting fact, while the film itself closed with "Exit Music (For a Film)" from Radiohead, the song was not featured on the soundtrack but did appear a year later on their brilliant and groundbreaking album, OK Computer, given the title of the song, it alludes that the song could have allegedly been written directly for Romeo + Juliet. While it combined two audiences and styles, the soundtrack to Romeo + Juliet was one of the most celebrated when it was released and even spawned a second volume of music on a separate disc, which ended up just featuring the score of the film with music from The Dust Brothers, Butthole Surfers, Munday and more. In 2006, the studio released a 10-year anniversary for the soundtrack and featured bonus songs with Baz Lurhman and Craig Armstrong, and more.