I saw "The Wolf of Wall Street" in the theatre during the long Christmas weekend last week, and afterwards made a mental note to myself to check out the soundtrack. Director Martin Scorsese is a notorious stickler when it comes to selecting the music that will be featured in his films, and usually with great results.
"The Wolf of Wall Street: Music From the Motion Picture" (16 tracks; 56 min.) kicks off with Cannonball Adderly's bluesy "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy". We go even further back in time next with Elmore James' "Dust My Broom". Billy Joel's "Movin' Out (Antony's Song)" plays in a critical scene of the movie. It's a true-and-tried oldie but still sounds good. But THE song on here for me is Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' cover of "Goldfinger" (yes, the James Bond song). In the movie, Sharon and her band are performing it during a party and the camera sweeps by them. When I saw it, my first reaction was "that can't possibly be Shirley Bassey!" (Bassey being the original performer). It was only later that I saw it was Sharon Jones (sounding impossibly close to Bassey). Other key songs in this collection include: the two songs from Bo Diddley ("Pretty Thing" and "Road Runner"), "Double Dutch" by Malcolm McLaren (yes, the Sex Pistols manager, who actually made music himself as well--this is from his 1982 album "Duck Rock"), and last but not least, the Lemonheads' fun cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" (playing towards the very end of the movie), taken from their excellent 1992 album "It's A Shame About Ray". Strangely and disappointingly, the punk classic "Ca Plane Pour Moi" (by Plastic Bertrand), which plays prominently in the movie, is NOT included is this collection. Why? That quibble aside, this soundtrack is gathers a bunch of great music from well known and not so well known artists, and is very diverse. Yet somehow, this soundtrack plays as a surprisingly coherent album on its own, regardless whether you have see the movie.
Just a few words on the movie: "The Wolf of Wall Street" is the fifth collaboration between Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese. The movie's 3 hour running time is, frankly, a bit of a challenge. In particular the first half of the movie is a bit too repetitive (yes, we get it, these guys did a lot of sex and drugs). Things become far more interesting when things start going south for Belfort (the character played by DiCaprio) & Co. The last hour of the movie is when it all comes together for us, the neutral viewer, as we finally become emotionally invested in Belfort and those around him, as they are desperately trying to hang on and stay ahead of the feds. Because of the many scenes involving nudity or violence, this is definitely not for everyone, but if you are a long-time fan of Scorsese's output, you'll still want to check this out.
Meanwhile, "The Wolf of Wall Street: Music From the Motion Picture" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!