A moderate hit in Europe became a monster when American teens found it in art film soundtrack.
I was not a teenager in the 90’s, but I was alive in the 90’s desperately wanting to be a teenager. Somebody we knew at school would have to raid their older siblings CD collection and then share it with the rest of us. The Romeo + Juliet soundtrack was THE HOLY GRAIL. When we became teenagers a few years later, we would all talk about that soundtrack with awe. I’m not sure if any of us saw the movie the whole way through, certainly it was not easy to listen to the dialogue but the images oh my god they were EVERYTHING.
Perhaps the biggest single to come off that soundtrack was “Lovefool” from Swedish band The Cardigans. It had already been released a year earlier and was in the top 40 in Europe, but it went all the way to #2 in the US when it was re-released with the soundtrack to Romeo + Juliet. This is yet another example on this Flashback Friday series where a song finds a second (or even third!) life thanks to a movie.
I think about the lyrics and part of me wonders if an upbeat song like that could ever be a hit now. Everything has to be empowering. Can we just ever relax a little bit and have a song about emotions that are not healthy?
Bahz Luhrman’s films are almost never as impressive as the soundtrack he curates around them. Romeo + Juliet turned 20 last year and the music still has a hold on people. The Guardian called it the “ultimate film soundtrack“. The AV Club has a song-by-song breakdown of why it all worked so well together. Luhrman would go on to have success again with Moulin Rouge in 2001 and with the hip-hop infused The Great Gatsby. Gatsby shares a lot of themes of obsessive and doomed love in its music as Romeo + Juliet, but to me is far superior because that’s what happens when you get Beyonce and Andre 3000 to do a dark recreation of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black“.
Russick Smith, 2013
Bossa Nova style! You could play this at a party and boxed drink wine and be like “Yes hello I am a classy adult with sophisticated tastes”.
Postmodern Jukebox ft. Haley Reinhart, 2015
If you haven’t caught on, PMJ tends to rotate it singers. Haley with her “babydoll voice” is definitely one of my favorites.
The gay 80’s prom version you didn’t know you needed.
Share your favorite teen movie soundtrack in the comments! (Its okay if you were not a teen when the movie came out)