2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 11 PICK 7- SOUNDTRACKS- APHORISTICAL SELECTS DEAD MAN WALKING SOUNDTRACK

Dead Man Walking (soundtrack).jpg

2020 Album Draft Round 11 Pick 7- Soundtracks- Aphoristical selects Dead Man Walking soundtrack.

Dead Man Walking - Original Cinema Movie Poster From pastposters.com  British Quad Posters and US 1-Sheet Posters

Because I run an album review site, I’m pretty fixated on studio albums. I don’t own many soundtracks, and the the reason that I do own the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking is that my friend managed a CD Store and was giving away damaged stock. Dead Man Walking is the 1996 soundtrack to a 1995 Tim Robbins film. I’ve never seen it, but it’s about the relationship between a man on death row (played by Sean Penn) and a nun trying to help him find redemption (played by Susan Sarandon). It’s not a normal soundtrack album, as David Robbins, who wrote the score, explains:

What makes the record so unusual is that only a few of the songs on it will end up in the final cut of the movie. Those that won’t, he says, were ”inspired” by the script and can be heard only on the companion album. ”I sent a rough cut of the film last summer to several songwriters I admire and asked if they felt inspired to write something,” says Robbins. ”Almost everyone I talked to did.”

David Robbins, Entertainment Weekly

Sometimes I’m reactionary against what I think of as “NPR music” – mature and acoustic Americana songs. It’s the music that someone in my demographic (bearded, early 40s, Caucasian, university educated) is expected to like, but I don’t like to be pigeonholed. The Dead Man Walking soundtrack effectively defines this “NPR music” niche, but it’s the right fit – the weathered voices of artists like Patti Smith and Johnny Cash have the gravitas to sing songs about confronting death.

There’s a pleasing level of commitment to the project from all the artists involved. Bruce Springsteen received a Grammy nomination for his opening title track, although Mary Chapin Carpenter’s gorgeous title track (‘Dead Man Walking (A Dream Like This)’) surpasses it for my money. I find it difficult to take a full album of Johnny Cash’s baritone but he’s very effective in the one song burst of ‘In Your Mind’.

Suzanne Vega’s ‘Woman on the Tier (I’ll See You Through)’ reprises the clanging percussion of her 99.9F album, while Michelle Shocked stands out with the record’s most rock-oriented song ‘Quality of Mercy’. Tom Waits contributes two songs, while Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Pakistani vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sing backup on each other’s tracks.

More of a companion album than a soundtrack, Dead Man Walking gets some great new songs out of some musical legends.

15 responses to “2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 11 PICK 7- SOUNDTRACKS- APHORISTICAL SELECTS DEAD MAN WALKING SOUNDTRACK

  1. A nice pick, Aphoristical! I think I did see that movie back in the day, but can’t recall much about its music…but from your writeup, maybe even if I could, I wouldn’t necessarily remember these tunes. Good selection of talent on it though , that’s for sure.

  2. Not a shortage of artists on this soundtrack. I became a Mary Chapin Carpenter fan in the 90s. The one song I do remember well is the Springsteen title song. Great variety on this one Graham.

  3. Looks like a good one to seek out. It’s interesting that two of the tracks have Eddie Vedder on them, but Eddie’s song, “Dead Man Walking,” isn’t on it. I saw the movie a long time ago but watched it again recently. It’s a quality film. Good review, Graham, and great addition to the DiD.

  4. Pingback: 2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 11 PICK 7- SOUNDTRACKS- APHORISTICAL SELECTS “DEAD MAN WALKING” SOUNDTRACK – Dried Ocean Range·

  5. p.s. I was right. The note says:
    Originally from the “Off He Goes” single. Originally intended for the Dead Man Walking soundtrack, but passed over in favor of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dead Man Walkin'”.

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