There have been several benefit CDs over the years to assist the wrongly accused West Memphis Three trio — Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. and Jason Baldwin — the subject of the crucial HBO documentaries “Paradise Lost 1-3” that led to their partial exoneration in 2010 (though not from a legal standpoint, they were forced to take the Alford plea, though all signs pointed to a super botched investigation and prosecution).
So it’s no surprise then that there’s a soundtrack for another documentary on the a similar subject, “West of Memphis,” produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy) and directed by Amy Berg (Best Documentary Oscar nominee “Deliver Us From Evil“) that focuses on the prime suspect in the case. The film reveals the untold story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light; a fight to stop the State of Arkansas from killing an innocent man. Musicians and artists like Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks and Henry Rollins were part of past benefit soundtracks, so it’s no suprise to see them included in this one as well.
Much of the music heard in “West of Memphis” comes from an original score written and performed for the film by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (The Dirty Three, many John Hillcoat films and “The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford“). Included in the soundtrack is Natalie Maines’ cover of Pink Floyd‘s “Mother” featuring Ben Harper on lap steel guitar, Lucinda Williams re-recorded her 2006 song “Joy” exclusively for this soundtrack, the supergroup cover-band Camp Freddy — led by Dave Navarro, recorded a version of David Bowie‘s “The Jean Genie,” Tonto’s Giant Nuts featuring Johnny Depp and Bruce Witkin offer a cover of Mumford & Sons‘ “Little Lion Man,” and Marilyn Manson contributed his cover of Carly Simon‘s “You’re So Vain,” featuring Johnny Depp on guitar. It’s a big class of musicians involved. Check out the soundtrack below.
West of Memphis: Voices For Justice – track listing
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)
DIGITAL ONLY BONUS TRACK
16. Bill Carter – Road to Nowhere