The Sounds of Wall Street

By January 28, 2014Films

The Wolf of Wall Street, the film that’s rolling off everyone’s lips at the moment, should definitely secure an Oscar. Not only is it an outrageous and controversial movie, it’s a brilliant work of art. Aside from the film’s boldness and bluntness, its outstanding cast, its exceptional performances, its fast-paced dialogue and its dynamic and rhythmic scene sequences, The Wolf of Wall Street is an epic tale about modern day hedonism, wild debauchery, self-indulgence, greed and excess, communicated via a tone of dark-sadistic humour.

As for the film’s soundtrack, the legendary Martin Scorsese, is yet to shy away from surprising us all. “The main thing about Marty’s use of music is he’s fearless, creatively fearless” says music supervisor Randall Poster on THR. Indeed, the music adds unequalled depth to the movie and adds emphasis to the power of the performance.

There are 60 songs in total throughout the almost 3-hour-long production (which includes the likes of Cypress Hill, The Foo Fighters and Jay Z) and 16 terrific and adventurous tunes (listed below) in The Wolf of Wall Street’s Official Soundtrack, named “a comic grand opera” by THR Todd McCarthy. Marty, Randall Poster and executive music producer Robbie Robertson artfully mix up the genres and decades for the enjoyment of the every-man, including classical, ska, jazz, blues, hiphop and indie rock. Each song harmonically fits each scene, bringing each sequence to its climax. No doubt, the film’s energetic, vibrant, emphatic and lively music more than appropriately – if not fantastically – matches, and yet simultaneously clashes, with the openly loud exhibition of “sex, drugs and risky business”.

The Wolf of Wall Street Soundtrack

“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!” – Cannonball Adderley
(In certain countries, on a mobile device, you wont be able to view this video ☹)

A smooth, jazzy & soulful tune – What a great song! The crowd cheering and clapping in the background adds to the overall atmosphere of the piece. We love the saxophone riff. It’s a triumphant choice of song for Jordan Belfort’s first day on Wall Street.

“Dust My Broom” – Elmore James

Who doesn’t love a bit of swing! This old school blues track that dates back to the 1930s captures the essence of Jordan Belfort’s cocaine-sniffing and edgy rock n’ roll lifestyle, as he narrates his life at the start of the movie, showing off his gorgeous naked wife and white Ferrari.

“Bang! Bang!” – Jo Cuba

In 1966, Jo Cuba, Nuyorican (New York fused Puerto-Rican) boogaloo mastermind, sold millions of copies of his smash hit “Bang! Bang!”. This fun, rhythmic and exotic gem sets the mood for what’s to come, as Jordan sells his first penny stock and meets Donnie for the first time. Yes, we’re in for a ride!

”Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” – Billy Joel

The song describes the singer’s disgust with the money-hungry aspirations of middle and lower-class New Yorkers who spend their lives working in order to claim they’ve “made it”, rejecting their working-class backgrounds. It’s ironic and brilliant that the song appears as Jordan introduces his sales friends to the idea of becoming stockbrokers.

“C’est Si Bon” – Eartha Kitt

We hear this refined, sophisticated and alluring French melody as Jordan sniffs cocaine off of Naomi’s chest in the limo, just before his wife catches him. What an unfitting choice of song – a wonderful contrast!

”Goldfinger” – Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones nails the vocals on Shirley Bassey’s great classic. This track is so unique and a great song choice for a film about wealth, excess and fraud. It fits the glamorous wedding scene between the Duke and Duchess like a glove! Plus, Jordan Belfort (yes, the real Jordan Belfort) played “Nobody Does it Better” – the theme song for The Spy Who Loved Me – at his very own wedding.

”Pretty Thing” – Bo Diddley
(In certain countries, on a mobile device, you wont be able to view this video ☹)

This electrifying tune with its haunting beat is the film’s running motif and is heard throughout and at its most unforgettable at Jordan’s bachelor party, during the infamous and explicit scene on the plane.

”Moonlight in Vermont” – Ahmad Jamal Trio

A couple of Ahmad Jamal’s tracks are heard in The Wolf of Wall Street. This particular one is playing as Jordan asks Naomi to marry him and presents her with a ring that nobody could say no to.

”Smokestack Lightning” – Howlin’ Wolf
Who could forget the scene where the stockbrokers are rolling around the office floors with strippers up to their ears? It’s a classic – “A whoo hoo!”In 1956, “Smokestack Lighting” became one of the most influential blues songs of the time. This video is a live performance of the song form the maestro himself.

“Hey Leroy, Your Mama´s Callin’ You” – Jimmy Castor
Click here to view video (embedding disabled).
This song stays permanently engrained in your mind. As Jordan finishes his speech and the brokers start dialing their clients’ numbers, they’re not exactly “callin’ mama”, they’re on the road to making 22 million dollars in 3 hours!

“Double Dutch” – Malcolm McLaren

An energetic tune to emphasise the excitement, energy and drive of the young aspiring millionaires who come looking for broking jobs at Stratton Oakmont, one day after Jordan’s article appears in Forbes Magazine.

”Never Say Never” – Romeo Void

This punchy and funky bassline illustrates the moment Naomi enters Jordan’s life. The lyrics “I might like you better if we slept together” definitely read what’s on Jordan’s mind. Life is about to get even crazier…!

”Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” – 7Horse

“Let’s strap some cash to a Swiss hooker and let’s smuggle it into Switzerland”… says nobody in his right mind! Rock n’ Roll baby! This track is unique, it’s electric, and it captures the moment when the movie takes on a whole new dimension and things are about to ignite.

”Road Runner” – Bo Diddley

You may have heard The Rolling Stones cover this song but there’s nothing quite like Bo Diddley’s 12-bar blues track, with its victorious beep-beep chorus. Stratton Oakmont begins to sell penny stocks to the wealthy.

“Mrs. Robinson” – The Lemonheads

Famous for its soundtrack in The Graduate, this song was written by Paul Simon and originally performed by the incredible Simon & Garfunkel. Although The Lemonheads’ cover cannot be compared to the genius of the original, with its unbelievable harmonies (what a classic!), it became one of the band’s most successful releases – now associated with the very anticipated scene in which the FBI arrests the entire company in The Wolf of Wall Street. Poster says: “I just like the energy and irony of it”.

”Cast Your Fate to the Wind” – Allen Toussaint

This song is rebellious, dynamic, exhilarating and charismatic. It’s a running theme throughout the movie. “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by Cannonball Adderley’s, with its similar riff, is played on Jordan’s first day on Wall Street, welcoming him into the fabulous, scandalous and self-indulgent life of a multi-millionaire. What better song to choose for the film’s ending? A grand opening needs a grand finale. It’s unforgettable.

Like the soundtrack? Buy it on iTunes