Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 jukebox musical romantic drama film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. It follows a young English poet, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine. The film uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris and is the final part of Luhrmann’s “Red Curtain Trilogy,” following Strictly Ballroom (1992) and Romeo + Juliet (1996). A co-production of Australia and the United States, it stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, and Richard Roxburgh feature in supporting roles.
Moulin Rouge! premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and was released in theaters on 18 May 2001 in North America and on 25 May 2001 in Australia. The film was praised for Luhrmann’s direction, the performances (particularly from Kidman), its soundtrack, costume design, and production values. It was also a commercial success, grossing $179.2 million on a $50 million budget. At the 74th Academy Awards, the film received eight nominations, including Best Picture, and won two (Best Production Design and Best Costume Design). In BBC’s 2016 poll of the 21st century’s 100 greatest films, Moulin Rouge! ranked 53rd.
Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film is the soundtrack album to Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, released on 8 May 2001 by Interscope Records. The album features most of the songs featured in the film. However, some of the songs are alternate versions and there are two or three major songs that are left off. The original film versions and extra songs were featured on the second soundtrack.
The soundtrack consists almost entirely of cover versions—”Come What May”, composed by David Baerwald and Kevin Gilbert, is the only original song on the album. The opening track, “Nature Boy”, is performed by David Bowie, though in the film the song is performed by actor John Leguizamo as the character Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Originally by American singer-songwriter eden ahbez, the song is reprised as the last song on the soundtrack with performances by Bowie and Massive Attack, along with a dialogue by Nicole Kidman.
“Lady Marmalade”, written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, was made famous in the 1970s by the girl group Labelle. The song contains the sexually suggestive lyric “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?”, which translates to “Do you want to sleep with me tonight?” Labelle’s version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003. The version for the soundtrack is performed by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa, and Pink, with production and additional vocal credits by Missy Elliott. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and earned a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
“Because We Can” is credited to Norman Cook, with performance and production credits given to his stage name Fatboy Slim. The song contains portions of “Zidler’s Rap”, performed in the film by Jim Broadbent as the character Harold Zidler, and has been called the “‘Can Can’ for the next generation”. “Sparkling Diamonds” is performed by Kidman, Broadbent, Caroline O’Connor, Natalie Mendoza and Lara Mulcahy. The song is a medley featuring “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”, written by Jule Styne and Leo Robin and introduced by Carol Channing in the Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), and “Material Girl” by Madonna. “Rhythm of the Night” was made famous in 1985 by the American R&B group DeBarge. The track reached number one on the Billboard Hot R&B chart and number three on the Billboard Hot 100, and is said to have “jumpstarted” the career of songwriter Diane Warren. The soundtrack version is performed by Valeria, and includes a dialogue by Kidman.
Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number five on 16 May 2001. Four weeks later, the album reach its peak position at number three. The soundtrack reached number one on the Top Soundtracks chart and number 33 on the Top Pop Catalog chart. On 23 April 2002, it was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
In Australia, the soundtrack debuted on the albums chart at number four on 11 May 2001. The following week, it reached number one and remained there for 11 consecutive weeks and upon the albums chart for 58 weeks. It was the highest-selling album of 2001 in Australia and has been certified five-times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film also reached number one in New Zealand, where it remained on the albums chart for 16 weeks. The soundtrack reached the top five in Austria, Denmark, France, and Norway. (wikipedia)
At the very least, director Baz Luhrmann has created something different here. His modern-day musical weaves new cover versions of songs from the past three decades into one story about a brothel in turn of the century Paris. Its an odd combination to begin with, and the soundtrack itself bounces back and forth between very hip, modern tracks from artists at the top of their game and big Broadway-style ballads from the cast of the film. Some of the most well-respected names in music signed on for the project, including Beck, Bono, Timbaland, and David Bowie. Fatboy Slim created a “Can Can” for the next generation with “Because We Can,” and Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Pink, and Mya teamed up for a surefire hit with their naughtier version of Patti Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade.”
In stark contrast to these edgy tracks, the album spends the rest of its time on love songs from Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. They perform big-voiced, orchestra-backed versions of sentimental favorites like Elton John’s “Your Song.” The “Elephant Love Medley” strings together some of pop’s sappiest hits, including “Up Where We Belong,” “One More Night,” and “I Will Always Love You.” Perhaps to many people’s surprise, Kidman and McGregor can really sing, and maybe in a different environment it would be easier to take these songs seriously, but standing here outside the context of the film and next to Beck covering David Bowie, they seem more comic than creative. (by Brad Kohlenstein)
Many many musicians … too many to mention …
01. David Bowie: Nature Boy (Ahbez) 3.26
02. Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa & Pink: Lady Marmalade (Crewe/Nolan) 4.25
03. Fatboy Slim: Because We Can (Cook) 3.27
04. Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Caroline O’Connor, Natalie Mendoza & Lara Mulcahy: Sparkling Diamonds 2.52
04.01. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend (Styne/Robin)
04.02. Material Girl (Brown/Rans)
05. Valeria: Rhythm Of The Night (Warren) 3.49
06. Ewan McGregor & Alessandro Safina: Your Song (John/Taupin) 3.39
07. Bono, Gavin Friday & Maurice Seezer: Children Of The Revolution (Bolan) 2.59
08. Nicole Kidman: One Day I’ll Fly Away (Jennings/Sample) 3.19
09. Beck: Diamond Dogs (Bowie) 4.34
10. Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor & Jamie Allen: Elephant Love Medley 4.13
10.01. All You Need Is Love (Lennon/McCartney)
10.02. I Was Made For Lovin’ You (Stanley/Child/Poncia)
10.03. One More Night (Collins)
10.04. Pride (In the Name Of Love) (Bono/Clayton/The Edge/Mullen Jr.)
10.05. Don’t Leave Me This Way (Gamble/Huff/Gilbert)
10.06. Silly Love Songs (McCartney)
10.07. Up Where We Belong (Nitzsche/Sainte-Marie/Jennings)
10.08. Heroes (Bowie/Eno)
10.09. I Will Always Love You (Parton)
10.10. Your Song (John/Taupin)
11. Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor: Come What May (Baerwald) 4.48
12. Ewan McGregor, José Feliciano & Jacek Koman: El Tango de Roxanne 4.44
12.01. Roxanne (Sting)
12.02. Le Tango du Moulin Rouge (Mores/Luhrmann/Pearce)
13. Rufus Wainwright: Complainte de la Butte (Van Parys/Renoir) 3.07
14. Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo & Alka Yagnik: Hindi Sad Diamonds:
14.10. Chamma Chamma (Sameer)
14.02. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend (Styne/Robin)
14.03. The Hindi (Sharples)
15. David Bowie & Massive Attack: Nature Boy (Ahbez) 4.24
16. Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa & Pink: Lady Marmalade (Thunderpuss radio mix) (Crewe/Nolan) 4.10