Revisiting one of the best soundtracks of the 1990’s: Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet

June 7th will see Sydney’s Enmore Theatre host one helluva love in for fans of Baz Luhrmann‘s Romeo + Juliet, when some of the country’s favourite vocalists will perform the beloved soundtrack in full. Featuring Hayley Mary (The Jezabels), Jake Stone (Bluejuice), Ella Hooper (Killing Heidi), Cash Savage and more, the event will also feature special guest vocalist Quindon Tarver, who you might remember from this special wedding…

So with this in mind, let’s cast our minds back to 1996 when young Leo DiCaprio was peaking and Claire Danes in her angel wings was the inspiration for many Halloween costumes to come. The multi-Platinum selling record featured songs from artists including GarbageRadioheadButthole SurfersThe Cardigans and of course, Des’ree – what were your favourites?

There’s the first meeting of the star-crossed lovers, positioning the romantic tones of “Kissing You” in great contrast to the all out indulgence of Kym Mazelle‘s cover of “Young Hearts Run Free”, featured at the beginning of the Capulet’s party scene/Romeo’s drug trip.

Or perhaps, you remember Tarver’s cover of Prince‘s “When Doves Cry” – a significant turning point of the film’s mood, as things start to devolve from what should be marital bliss to the final act of murder, retaliation and well…you know how it all ends.

Of course, Nellee Hooper‘s work on the film’s score and composition of the soundtrack alongside Craig Armstrong and Marius De Vries proved to be a strong trio of musical influences, injecting a fusion of house, trip hop and rock into the projects, already anchored by a vibrant screenplay and original Shakespearean dialogue.

When we think of what was to come in terms of Luhrmann’s future films and the way popular music was integrated into otherwise very set period pieces, Romeo + Juliet most definitely set the bar. Of course, Moulin Rouge had an overall sound very much its own, while The Great Gatsby positioned itself well and truly on the radars of younger music fans with its Jay Z produced soundtrack.

Romeo + Juliet is still a classic now though, even down to the use of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” in the credits, ensuring that the sombre tone of the film’s final scenes didn’t dissipate.

Timeless, like the story itself.

Young Hearts Run Free at the Enmore Theatre has been described as ‘the ultimate trashy 90’s masquerade party’, so go all out. For tickets and more information, head here!





This content has recently been ported from its original home on The AU Review: Music and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT