For Fans Of
The story of the West Memphis Three, the teenagers who were convicted of the murder of three young boys in 1993, has been well documented over the years with strong support from many in the entertainment industry who believe the three are innocent.
The latest film on the subject is ‘West Of Memphis‘ which follows the history of the convicted three all the way up to their release and along with it, a soundtrack of tunes from some of the biggest supporters of the cause.
The soundtrack begins with a letter written by one of the three, Damien Echols, to Henry Rollins while he was on death row, read by Rollins and set to a score provided by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. This immediately sets the tone, more so for the film, as it glimpses briefly into the mind set of the men while in prison nine years into their sentence. Another letter is read near the end of the soundtrack, read by Johnny Depp, set sixteen and a half years into the sentence, which exemplifies the decline of the prisoner’s mental state, a spiral into depression written by a man who has truly lost all hope.
Natalie Maines and Lucinda Williams are the first to offer some tracks, country tinged numbers, the first of which ‘Mother’ is soft and innocent offset by its follower ‘Joy‘ which is an aggressive blues rock number mirroring the sounds of the Memphis setting. Depp‘s band Tonto’s Giant Nuts perform a dark and brooding cover of Mumford & Sons‘ ‘Little Lion Man,’ before another cover from Marilyn Manson, ‘You’re So Vain,’ which is less than impressive.
Citizen Cope is one of the soundtrack’s highlight with his groove heavy number DFW before another of the Three’s biggest supporters, Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder, finger picks his Ukulele through the beautiful ‘Satellite‘. The soundtrack ends with a live recording of Patti Smith performing ‘Wing‘ at the Voices For Justice benefit concert in 2010 which sums up the vibe of the entire record, and indeed the story, perfectly thanks to Smith‘s powerful and amazing voice.
West Of Memphis gives a slight glance into what is truly an incredible story regardless of which side of the fence you sit on. That will however have an effect on whether or not you buy this record however as proceeds go to the West Memphis Three.
1. Henry Rollins (feat. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis original score) – Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 9
2. Natalie Maines – Mother
3. Lucinda Williams – Joy
4. Camp Freddy – The Jean Genie
5. Tonto’s Giant Nuts feat. Johnny Depp & Bruce Witkin – Little Lion Man
6. Marilyn Manson – You’re So Vain
7. Band of Horses – Dumpster World (Live)
8. Citizen Cope – DFW
9. Eddie Vedder – Satellite
10. Bill Carter – Anything Made of Paper
11. The White Buffalo – House of Pain
12. Bob Dylan – Ring Them Bells
13. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – West of Memphis Score Suite
14. Tonto’s Giant Nuts feat. Johnny Depp (feat. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis original score) – Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 16
15. Patti Smith – Wing (Recorded Live at Voices For Justice Benefit Concert – August 28, 2010)