Music Break: The Great Gatsby’s Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey

I have the Moulin Rouge!‘s soundtrack frequently playing in my car, so I admire Baz Luhrmann‘s creative use of music in his films. He’s known for using contemporary music in his films set in retro setting, and this one is no different.


NPR calls the Aussie filmmaker “…cinema’s boldest remixer, infusing familiar works with new rhythms that refresh their relevance…” Instead of going with what the Jazz Age that F. Scott Fitzgerald prominently featured in his novels, Luhrmann boldly mixed in hip hop, R&B, indie pop, rock, etc. in the film’s soundtrack. Music mogul Jay-Z executive produced the soundtrack, so naturally it also featured his wife Beyonce’s music.

Now, I’ve been obsessed with Lana Del Rey‘s track Young & Beautiful. I’ve been listening to it endlessly, sometimes half a dozen times in a row πŸ˜€

“Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful / Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul / I know you will, I know you will / I know that you will.”

That music is used in this extended TV spot:

After seeing the film last night, I still regard this song as my absolute favorite. Del Rey wrote the track with Rick Nowels and she described Luhrmann’s take on the F Scott Fitzgerald classic as “highly glamorous and exciting”. “It was an honor to work with Baz Luhrmann on his amazing adaptation of one of the most extraordinary books ever written,” the singer said. (per Digital Spy)

LanaDelReyGreatGatsbyI LOVE the melody of the song and Lana’s evocative and seductive voice makes for a soulful yet poignant rendition… Just like Jay Gatsby’s life where he’s surrounded by so many beautiful things, the mansion, the clothes, the endless parties… he’s still aching for that something that money can’t buy. That ‘I know you will‘ line uttered over and over again perfectly captures the nature of this tragic figure… as hope and dream is the prominent theme in Fitzgerald’s literary classic.

I’m glad that this song is featured prominently in the movie, instead of only playing during the end credits. In fact, I thought the scene fits the song nicely, and it’s actually played more than once. I hope to have my review done yet this week but my initial reaction is I dug it, I think Baz’s style and his ‘more is more’ philosophy fits the theme of the story and despite my initial quibble about the 3D aspect, it’s actually one of the best use of such format I’ve seen so far.

Hope you enjoy this music break. Thoughts on this song and/or The Great Gatsby‘s soundtrack?

29 thoughts on “Music Break: The Great Gatsby’s Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey

  1. First, I’m super jealous you already got to see this! It’s my most anticipated movie of the year!
    Second, the soundtrack has some pretty good tunes and this is one of them πŸ™‚ I also love the songs by Gotye, Florence + The Machine and Emeli SandΓ©’s cover of Crazy in Love.

    1. Your most anticipated eh? I hope it lives up to your expectations as it’s been in the works for some time.

      The soundtrack is great, I’ve listened to nearly all of the songs but this one is still my fave.

  2. Ted S.

    That’s a very good song, I’ll add it to my song library on my iPhone. I’ve never heard any of the songs from her before.

  3. I loved Lana Del Rey’s first album, but the poor girl can’t seem to sing live. She sounds embarrassingly bad from the times I’ve seen her in front of a live audience, struggling to get a half decent note out. I think it’s for this reason, that the song doesn’t really do a lot for me. She’s not a natural.

    I feel kinda bad for saying that, as you obviously liked it a lot Ruth.

    1. You’ve seen her sing live? I think a lot of good singers don’t sound good live, Coldplay is one of them. He sounds horrible live but on CD he’s perfect. Oh that’s ok that you didn’t dig the song, I like lush ballads generally so I’m inclined to like it πŸ˜€

  4. I’m almost done reading the novel, and I can’t wait to see the film. I like this song, but my favorite of the soundtrack is Jack White’s cover of “Love is Blindness”. It’s one of my favorite covers of all time. πŸ™‚

    1. Oh lucky you! I never got around to it, which is my fault, ahah. I just listened Love is Blindness again, I like parts of it, but I don’t really like Jack’s voice so when he’s screaming I just had to turn it off, ahah.

  5. Nice highlight here Ruth. Lana Del Ray’s stuff is very good. I’m a fan of hers myself and have already worn out my copy of her album. Looking forward to The Great Gatsby as well.

    1. Thanks Mark! I actually don’t have her album but I might get the soundtrack of this film. Hope you enjoy the film too, Mark.

  6. Oh, beautiful post! I love every single thing Lana has done, she is my favorite singer and that song is really lovely. I only listened to Florence + The Machine song from Gatsby soundtrack, but I didn’t love it, I may check the rest of the soundtrack soon, but I’m sure Young and Beautiful will still be my favorite.

    1. Hey Sati! I figure you’d like this song since you like Lana’s music. I think out of the other songs, this is the one that really made an impression on me both in and out of the context of the film. Plus the words captures the sentiment of the story too.

  7. Music is always a big part of a movie’s success for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the more recent Les Miserables soundtrack or the Life of Pi soundtrack or even Oblivion’s. I am glad that you like this one as well. If the rest of the soundtrack is a great as this song, I’m sure I will like it all just the same. We’ll see.

    (i do hope, though, that if the music is great, that it is not the only good thing about the movie!)

  8. I’m pretty obsessed with this song; and I’m rarely obsessed with music, so that’s pretty awesome. The song’s kinda making me want to watch the movie again in theatres. I have to check out the rest of the soundtrack, but I really like the song ‘Love is Blindness’.

    Great post, Ruth. πŸ™‚

    1. Did you like the film Daniel? I thought it was decent, but not as emotionally gratifying as I had hoped. I love how this song was featured prominently in the film, it was played twice too, which is cool!

      1. I did enjoy it, I thought it was really good! For a movie based on a fairly boring book, I was pretty entertained! I really liked the music and the performances. And the style was sweeet. I thought it had some good emotional layers, and I really only thought it was reallly dull in that one Wolfsheim scene…

        Too bad you didn’t enjoy it so much 😦

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