West of Memphis: Voices for Justice (Soundtrack)

Various Artists
West of Memphis: Voices for Justice (Soundtrack)

In 1993, three teenagers were arrested and convicted for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in the Arkansas town of West Memphis. DNA and other new evidence cleared the three accused men after 18 years of incarceration, inspiring the documentary film West of Memphis; its soundtrack featured many songs contributed specifically for this project. The travails of the West Memphis Three, as they are known, have long appealed to musicians' sense of justice, partly because the prosecution presented heavy metal music as a motivation for the crimes. Here, Henry Rollins reads a letter that Damien Echols (one of the West Memphis Three) wrote while on death row. Lucinda Williams re-records her classic "Joy." Eddie Vedder grabs a ukulele for the touching tribute "Satellite." Bob Dylan's "Ring Them Bells," from his underrated 1989 LP Oh Mercy, illustrates the universal truths at the heart of his music. Austin-based Americana musician Bill Carter is joined by Johnny Depp on guitar for "Anything Made of Paper" and Ozzy Osbourne's "Road to Nowhere." The music is inspired by a sense of injustice throughout.

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