Various Artists - O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2CD)


By Anderson Merchandisers

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Description & Features+

When the soundtrack to Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's film O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released in 2001, it ended up being a left-wing entry on the Billboard charts, going on to sell nearly eight million copies and garnering a Grammy on its way to introducing the public to the gospel, string band, blues, and folk music of the previous century, single-handedly making what had come to be known as Americana music commercially viable. Not bad for a facsimile, for that is exactly what T-Bone Burnett's productions were, smoothed-out and polished facsimiles of songs that were much more wild, ragged, and immediate in their original '20s and '30s incarnations. It's hard to argue with the soundtrack's success -- any album that can turn the sad, timeless and beautifully resigned "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" into a hit is obviously doing something right. Burnett's productions were full, warm, and reverent. All of the music was recorded before actual work on the movie even began, and the music became somewhat of a shooting script, with each scene defined and informed by the music behind it, making O Brother, Where Art Thou? a sort of massive video for the songs of another century, and songs like "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" (there were four versions of this song on the CD, two sung by Dan Tyminski, and one each by Norman Blake and John Hartford), "You Are My Sunshine" (sung by Norman Blake), "I'll Fly Away" (sung by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch), and "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" (sung by Chris Thomas King, who also acted in the movie) took on new life and fame in the digital realms of the 21st century. Burnett and the Coen Brothers pulled off quite a feat by making all this old-time music viable again, and they did it with an obvious love and reverence for it, plugging into a national yearning for simpler times, as if there ever truly was such a time. Life has always been infinitely complex, a fact that nostalgia is adept at sweeping away. This soundtrack remains a facsimile of another era, albeit a fascinating one, and while it doesn't diminish the original songs, it does take a little of the wildness out of them. The tenth anniversary deluxe edition of the soundtrack adds a bonus disc of 14 songs that were also recorded at the original sessions (some were used on the film soundtrack but didn't appear on the soundtrack album), including John Hartford's delightfully scratchy fiddle workout on "Tishomingo Blues," an eerie and definitive version of "I'll Fly Away" by the Kossoy Sisters (with accompaniment from a young Erik Darling), a sturdy take on the Appalachian murder ballad "Little Sadie" by Norman Blake, and an oddly haunting instrumental version of "Big Rock Candy Mountain" from Van Dyke Parks. The additional tracks expand the facsimile without shattering the illusion that there was a particular time in history when music was made by everyday people and not by marketed and manufactured stars. There was such a time, and the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? replicates it. Facsimile or no, it's reassuring. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi


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Various Artists
Number of discs
Track list
1, Po Lazarus - James Carter And The Prisoners, Big Rock Candy Mountain - Harry McClintock, You Are My Sunshine - Norman Blake, Down To The River To Pray - Alison Krauss, I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow (Radio Edit) - The Soggy Bottom Boys, Hard Time Killing Floor Blues - Chris Thomas King, I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow - Norman Blake, Keep On The Sunny Side - The Whites, I'll Fly Away - Alison Krauss / Gillian Welch, Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby - Alison Krauss / Gillian Welch / Emmylou Harris, In The Highways - The Peasall Sisters, I Am Weary (Let Me Rest) - The Cox Family, I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow - John Hartford, O Death - Ralph Stanley, In The Jailhouse Now - The Soggy Bottom Boys, I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow - The Soggy Bottom Boys, Indian War Whoop - John Hartford, Lonesome Valley - Fairfield Four, Angel Band - The Clinch Mountain Boys / The Stanley Brothers, 2, Hard Time Killing Floor Blues - Colin Linden, You Are My Sunshine - Alan O'Bryant, Tishomingo Blues - John Hartford, I'll Fly Away - Erik Darling / The Kossoy Sisters, Big Rock Candy Mountain - Van Dyke Parks, Tom Devil - Ed Lewis / The Prisoners, Keep On The Sunny Side - The Cox Family, Angel Band - Leah Peasall / Hannah Peasall / Robert Hamlett / Sarah Peasall, Big Rock Candy Mountain - Norman Blake, Little Sadie - Norman Blake, In The Highways - The Cox Family, Hogfoot - John Hartford, The Lord Will Make A Way - Fairfield Four, In The Jailhouse Now - Harley Allen
Anderson Merchandisers
Product Identifiers
Walmart Item #
30638219, 30199942, 30048986

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Ratings & Reviews+

Various Artists - O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2CD) is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oh Brother Wherefor Art Thou I bought this for a friend who loves the music so much. he is extremely happy to have it and was very thankful - great entertainment.
Date published: 2013-11-19
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