West Of Memphis: Voices For JusticeThree weeks after the release of West of Memphis, the Peter Jackson-produced, Amy Berg-directed documentary about the 18-years-in-the-making exoneration of the West Memphis Three, charged with three counts of capital murder, Legacy Recordings is about to drop its soundtrack counterpart, West of Memphis: Voices For Justice. The arch of the story not possible without the momentum of music, in both conviction – Arkansas prosecutors cited the three’s affinity for Metallica as evidence of cult affiliations – and vindication – a bevy of artists, from Eddie Vedder to Henry Rollins spearheaded project after project to bring attention to the case – Damien Echols, the supposed ringleader of the three and only one sentenced to death row took the homage a step further in a press release:

Music has always played a huge role in my life. In my early years, it allowed me to escape the crushing poverty I was born into. Music took me out of myself and into a thousand other worlds. Then, when I was put on trial, it was music they used against me. My love of heavy metal was considered ‘proof’ that I was evil and a satanic murderer. And then, ultimately, it was music that helped to free me when friends and supporters came together to put on the Voices for Justice concert in Little Rock.

Eddie Vedder has been a beacon for the cause, specifically, funding rallies and capping the three’s release with a performance of Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” While the soundtrack, complete with an original score from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, reflects all sorts of tie-ins, from Bob Dylan‘s “Ring Them Bells” donation on “behalf of others who can’t speak for themselves” to Marilyn Manson‘s Carly Simon cover of “You’re So Vain,” as the pinnacle of outsider commiseration, skewering a society’s lightening-quick finger at blame. In other words, if people won’t set you free, there’s always music:

Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
Oh, ring them bells for all of us who are left
Oh, ring them bells for the chosen few
Who will judge the many when the game is through?
Oh, ring them bells for the time that flies
For the child that cries when innocence dies


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

Bonus Track:
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