romeo juliet

Craig Armstrong - Romeo + Juliet

It's a contemporary music Osterizer.

It's Music From The Motion Picture William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet Volume II.

As a kickoff to the release of the groundbreaking sequel soundtrack album, Romeo + Juliet Volume II, film director Baz Luhrmann has graciously agreed to a live chat. The chat can be accessed via the Capitol Records Hollywood and Vine website on the world wide web at

In the hands of Australian director Baz Luhrmann, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo and Claire Danes as Juliet, is a vivid, contemporary tale set in the fictional Verona Beach, a sexy, violent otherworld ruled by two rival families: the Montagues and the Capulets. "The first album was a collection of the best songs from the film, and the second is, in fact, a contemporary opera that excerpts techno and rock and classical forms," offers Luhrmann. "It's true eclecticism."

"Instead of just doing a soundtrack album with little quotes of orchestral music," Luhrmann continues, "we wanted to create additional music to create a modern opera. It's a complete piece of music that changes in style and tells a story so the listener can reexperience the story from start to its tragic finish."

Luhrmann was deeply involved in the creation of the second Romeo + Juliet soundtrack album.

He explains, "I actually wrote a script for it, detailing how the music is structured and where the quotes from the film come in. And from that script, Nellee Hooper, Marius De Vries and Craig Armstrong began the production work. It was very important to point out that a good 70% of the work is the brilliant composition of Craig Armstrong and Marius De Vries, coupled with the extraordinary producing talents of Nellee Hooper. And, if you like, I conceived and directed the album."

Luhrmann was also assisted by co-executive album producer Karyn Rachtman, VP Soundtracks, Capitol Records, in crafting this remarkable cohesive and sophisticated musical production. It's no accident that the film's music is so avant garde and sophisticated.

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet is directed, co-written and produced by Luhrmann, renowned for his critically hailed box office success, Strictly Ballroom. A classical music aficionado, Luhrmann has also directed several operas and non traditional musical theatre productions including: Puccini's famed opera "La Boheme" for the Australian Opera (for which he placed the action in the '50s); a unique production of Britten's operatic version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Night Dream," also for the Australian Opera; the original opera "Lake Lost," composed with Felix Meagher; and a fascinating Sydney Festival event, "Dance Hall," in which he recreated a 1940s dance hall, inviting participants to relive the night celebrating the end of World War II.

The first smash soundtrack album for William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet was an amazing pop compilation that has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide since its U.S. release on October 29, 1996. The record setting album yielded a variety of smash radio and club hits on multiple formats - "#1 Crush" by Garbage, "Lovefool" by the Cardigans, "To You I Bestow" by Mundy, "Young Hearts Run Free" by Kym Mazelle, and tracks from Capitol's own Butthole Surfers, Everclear and Radiohead.

It's very rare that a movie or an accompanying soundtrack catches the public's fancy the way Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet did over the past year. We at Capitol were thrilled to be part of this phenomenom; our soundtrack, featuring the music of Garbage, Des'ree, The Cardigans, The Butthole Surfers, Mundy, Kym Mazelle, Everclear, Radiohead and more, went on to sell nearly three million copies, and is still in the Top 30 on the BILLBOARD album charts months after release. But even with its rich selection of songs, the album left out several notable tracks included in the film as well as the lush, orchestral pieces that contributed so much to the film's mood. Not only is Romeo + Juliet Volume II the perfect companion piece to the rental release of the film's home video, it perfectly captures the mood of this landmark cinematic effort with its presentation of score, spoken dialogue and key music.

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