Plenty has been said about the incredible 1970s clothes, hairstyles, and designs in "American Hustle." In fact, two of it's 10 Academy Awards nominations were for Costume Design and Production Design. But the other element that rooted the film so firmly in the '70s was the incredible soundtrack.
Elton John's "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road," the Temptation's "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," and Santana's "Evil Ways" are all classics, and "American Hustle" fits them all into one five-minute sequence. Not only to they fit the changing mood and pace of the scene, but they comment on the characters' shifting states of mind.
Director David O. Russell reteamed with his "Silver Linings Playbook" music supervisor Susan Jacobs to select the tracks from the era to underscore the scenes. Jacobs told the Huffington Post that the Elton John track was their original choice for the scene where all the major players in the film converge, but they went through a lot of second guessing. Jacobs said, "'Yellow Brick Road' was in there very early on, then it went away for a long time because there was a feeling that we needed more energy there."
They tried several tracks under the scene with a faster beat, but eventually went back to the slower, moodier song. But it was the right choice for the scene, and it allowed them to drop out the sound of the characters' dialogue and — in a very talkative movie — let the music express all of the conflicting emotions.
"American Hustle" is available now on digital download, and will be out on Blu-ray/DVD on Mar. 18.