MOULIN ROUGE: SOUNDTRACK
WHAT IF BAZ LURHMANN DIDN’T
MAKE MOVIES . . .
[The following is a work of pure fiction. Any similarities
between the character Buz Lemon and a successful Australian film
director must be excused as the product of a hallucinogenic mind
that is off with the green fairy—the sad result of either
many years of absinthe addiction, or perhaps too many hours in
front of a computer monitor writing film and soundtrack critiques.]
"Buz Lemon looks the goods. His suit is sharp and his
famously slicked-back coiffure is strand perfect.
An electronic billboard loops videos and latest release promos
from the summit of the edifice he is approaching. Inside, Buz
makes for the elevator and presses ‘Penthouse’.
Upon reaching his destination he steps out of the elevator and
is confronted by a blonde receptionist. She greets him with a
flutter of mascara lashes and a rouge pout the size of a windmill.
“Go straight in, Mr. Lemon, he’s expecting you,”
The office walls are replete with gold record plaques, and the décor
styled with a lavishness that would have abashed the most
dedicated Sybarite of Montmartre in its bohemian heyday. But there
is one particular object that assails the eye. Buz is momentarily
blinded by the glint of the impossibly polished mahogany of an
impossibly gargantuan desk.
As his vision returns he observes that, perched behind the
megalithic mahogany, one of the world’s most influential
record company executives is sporting a pair of purple shades on
his nose, and a pair of devastatingly glamorous legs on his lap.
A nod from Purple Shades and the owner of the latter unravels
them, revealing that they are even longer than the desk, as she
makes for the door with a wink at Buz.
“Now let me see if I’ve got this straight,” says
Purple Shades. “You’re suggesting we release a CD with
Beck singing Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, Bowie singing . . . ahem
. . . Nature Boy; an assortment of hip-hop
artists giving Patti LaBelle’s Lady Marmalade the hip-hop
treatment; Rufus Wainwright crooning between French and
English and these pastiches . . . what are they again .
. . Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend and Madonna’s
Material Girl—ok I twig the Madonna connection—and
then some Elephant Love Medley thing,
including a twist on every love song penned from Kiss to U2. Oh,
and lots of vocals by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor even though
they’ve never been known to record a note before. Have I got
“Well in a manner of speaking. I mean it’s a post-modern
blend of pop music and cabaret anachronisms to capture the
zeitgeist and romanticism of late nineteenth century Bohemian
Paris, and the universal tragedy of the Orphean myth,”
“Now listen Lemon, I’ll level with you,” says
Purple Shades. “I can hear it already. Lady Marmalade’s
a sure-fire radio hit; Bowie doing Nature Boy: that’s
poignant and sort of ironic; Wainwright’s got a voice to
break hearts, there’s no doubt about that; and I know the
red-head and the Scottish lad have enough charisma to pull it off.
But what’s the angle, Lemon? What’s the buz, Buz? What’s
with the Elephant stuff, is this for a circus, or some other
special release, or is it a soundtrack? Are you a ringmaster or a
“Er, neither. I’m just a guy who believes that the
homogenous twelve-track, one-style
CD with nursery rhyme lyrics and no motif could do with a bit of
imagination and direction. I know the ‘concept’ album
is dated, but . . .”
Purple Shades is reaching for a switch, hidden beneath the
mahogany: “Smithers,” he whispers in his best
Montgomery Burns, “release the hounds.”"
Published June 14, 2001
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Nature Boy - David Bowie
Complainte De La Butte - Rufus Wainwright
Sparkling Diamonds - Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Caroline O'Connor, Natalie Mendoza, Lara Mulcahy
Elephant Love Medley - Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Jamie Allen
TITLE: Moulin Rouge
ID: 397603 338328
ARTISTS: David Bowie, Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, Pink, Fatboy Slim, Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Caroline O’Connor, Natalie Mendoza, Lara Mulcahy, Valeria, Ewan McGregor, Alessandro Safina, Bono, Gavin Friday, Maurice Seezer, Beck, Jamie Allen, Jose Feliciano, Jacek Koman, Rufus Wainwright, John Leguizamo, Alka Yagnik, Massive Attack
SOUNDTRACK PRODUCER: Baz Luhrmann
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