We have created a soundtrack that we believe would fit well with a movie adapted from The Great Gatsby. The songs chosen fit with the mood of the story and connect to the characters and/or events in it. Here, organized chronologically, are the six songs we chose.
"Money", by Pink Floyd. This song would be played during Nick's dinner at the Buchanans' house at the start of the story. This song characterizes and represents the Buchanans' lifestyle. They live bombastically and grandiosely. They are very rich and clearly spend as much money as they can on luxury and grandeur. Tom doesn't even seem to think money is an object in his life – simply an endless resource for him to draw from. Lyrics in "Money" such as "I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set and I think I need a Lear jet" and "New car, caviar, four star, daydream, I think I'll buy me a football team" accurately depicts this lifestyle. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
"Killer Queen", by Queen. "Killer Queen" would be played during Myrtle's small party in her apartment. It is meant to characterize Myrtle's lifestyle. Myrtle is a selfish character who dreams of being rich and tries to live the sort of lifestyle Tom does. She and her sister envy and imitate the upper class. The "queen" described in "Killer Queen" has similar attributes. Her favorite things are "caviar and cigarettes", which are symbols of wealth from that time period, and conjure an image of pretentiousness and putting on airs. In addition, the "queen" in the song is evidently dishonest in some way, as "to avoid complications, she never kept the same address," just as Myrtle is dishonest in her marriage. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
"Life's Been Good", by Joe Walsh. This would be played during the scenes of partying at Gatsby's mansion. The song represents two different lifestyles: those of the East Egg residents attending the parties and that of Jay Gatsby. Lyrics such as "My Maserati does one-eighty-five. I lost my license, now I don't drive." and "I go to parties, sometimes until 4. It's hard to leave when you can't find the door." depict the carefree, partying, show-offy life of the East Egg-ers. In contrast, references to working hard and "makin' records" depict Gatsby's life and the fact that he worked for his wealth. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
"I Will Wait", by Mumford and Sons. This song would play during Gatsby and Daisy's first meeting in the story, when she comes to Nick's for tea. This song links to the plot strongly just through it's title. Gatsby wants Daisy to "be bold", as the song, says and leave Tom and return to him. Gatsby "will wait" for her as long as he has to. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
"Psycho Killer", by The Talking Heads. "Psycho Killer" would play after Myrtle's death, when George Wilson is shown struggling to deal with it and ends up going somewhat crazy, deciding he must kill whoever killed his wife. Just as the song states, he "can't seem to face up to the facts" and the line "Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire" seems very fitting. Due to the death of his wife, Wilson essentially becomes a "psycho killer". CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
"Clair de Lune", by Claude Debussy. "Clair de Lune" would be the background music during the scene of Gatsby's murder. "Clair de Lune" is a quiet, beautiful song, and it is very fitting for this scene, as Gatsby's death is portrayed in the novel as beautiful, albeit tragic. Also, the music is supposed to conjure an image of a still lake or ocean, which is congruent with the idea of water symbolizing cleansing that is prominent in the novel. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
"Movin' Out", by Billy Joel. The last song we chose for this movie would be played after Gatsby's funeral, when Nick thinks back over the story and eventually decides to move out west. When Nick is thinking back over Gatsby's life, he starts to question the American dream and the lives of the East Coast millionaires. He comes to the conclusion that Anthony does in "Movin' Out": that "it seems such a waste of time, if that's what it's all about." Also like Anthony, Nick decides to "move out" – West – to start his life again. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN