Music

The 10 Best Musical Moments From ‘American Hustle’

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(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

caricature Brad Haynes
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Nominated for 7 Golden Globe Awards, and already the winner of AFI’s Movie of the Year, American Hustle is a front runner for a Best Picture nomination when the 2014 Academy Awards nominees are announced on Thursday, January 16th. Don’t be surprised to find quite a few acting nominations in there as well as a nomination for director David O. Russell.

The latest from Russell, who was responsible for last year’s Academy Award nominated Silver Linings Playbook, the film makes great use of music from the 70s as it weaves a fictional tapestry through the 70s FBI sting known as Abscam. In fact, it’s like the perfect mixtape of 70s gold, with a few undiscovered gems (and several tunes not exactly from the 70s) thrown in as well.

Russell’s use of music, which becomes a key part of the film, is pure genius. Check out the top 10 musically melded moments from the film and the songs that make them happen.

1. “Dirty Work”- Steely Dan

The Steely Dan classic is heard as the film’s three leading characters, played by Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper, saunter down a hotel hallway in slow-mo over the film’s opening credits. It’s the perfect setup for the dastardly doings to come.

2. “Live and Let Die”- Paul McCartney and Wings

One of the highlights of McCartney’s recent tour, it will be hard NOT to imagine Jennifer Lawrence’s spastic dance moves set to the Bond theme song after viewing American Hustle.

3. “10538 Overture”- Electric Light Orchestra

The song that became the very first single from ELO, “10538 Overture” ended up receiving massive exposure for the first time when it was set to accompany the American Hustle trailer.

4. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”- Elton John

The first meeting of the mistress (Amy Adams) and the wife (Jennifer Lawrence) of Christian Bale’s Irving Rosenfield character takes place as the bulk of the film’s cast arrives at an Atlantic City casino in this effective atmospheric sequence.

5. “White Rabbit”- Mayssa Karaa

The Arabic rendition of the Jefferson Airplane 60s classic is bound to make a name for Lebanese/American songstress Mayssa Karaa and its placement in the film, as the phony sheikh is introduced, is perfect.

6. “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?”- The Bee Gees

The Bee Gees are the epitome of the disco era that the film captures, but it is this ballad from 1971 that effectively hustles its way into the film’s soundtrack.

7. “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”- Chicago

Played as accompaniment to a seemingly decadent pool party, and the initial meeting of Christian Bale’s Irving and Amy Adams’ Sydney, the Chicago classic is the perfect setup for the decade.

8. “Delilah”- Tom Jones

Forget the pop and the disco, it’s this “adult contemporary” classic by Tom Jones from 1968 that seems to embody the feel of many of the sleazy characters in the film.

9. “Long Black Road”- Electric Light Orchestra

Not one, but two  rare songs from Electric Light Orchestra receive pronounced exposure in American Hustle. “Long Black Road,” which previously had only been released as a bonus track on the Japanese release of ELO’s final studio recording, 2001’s Zoom, finally finds an audience.

10. “I Feel Love”- Donna Summer

Bradley Cooper’s “disco-riffic” FBI agent, the permed Richie DiMaso, and Amy Adams’ Sydney Prosser take to the dance floor to show off their moves to the preeminent disco tune of the 70’s, Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.”


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