Monday, June 13, 2011

O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack revisited

It has been a decade since one of the most unlikely successes in music history was released. O Brother, Where Art Thou? is one of the 10 top-selling soundtracks of all time (according to the RIAA), the No. 1-selling soundtrack and the 17th biggest album of the 21st Century, with more than nine million albums sold.

On Aug. 16, UMe will celebrate this 10th anniversary with a deluxe two-CD set, with original producer T Bone Burnett personally involved in all aspects of this release.

The album that rocketed bluegrass, roots and even Americana music from the 20th Century into the new millennium features a 17-track bonus disc. Thirteen of these newly-released songs were recorded during original sessions for the film, and all except “Cow Road” and “I’ll Fly Away” went unheard on-screen. This release marks the first time these tracks have been made available in any format.

Produced by 12-time GRAMMY® Award-and Academy Award-winner Burnett, the original soundtrack from the 2000 film—written, directed and produced by the Coen Brothers and starring George Clooney—hit No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 and Country charts and became a music phenomenon, despite scant radio airplay.

Along with ALBUM OF THE YEAR honors, the album won GRAMMYs® for “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow” performed by Dan Tyminski, Harley Allen and Pat Enright, and “O Death” by Dr. Ralph Stanley. 

The second disc of the deluxe edition features artists who appeared on the original album (John Hartford, Norman Blake, the Fairfield Four, the Cox Family and the Peasall Sisters) plus some who did not (Colin Linden, Alan O’Bryant, Ed Lewis and Van Dyke Parks). The disc’s previously recorded tracks are a pair from Duke Ellington, “Tom Devil” by Ed Lewis and the Prisoners, and “I’ll Fly Away” by the Kossoy Sisters.

The music from O Brother originally spawned an award-winning hit album and a groundbreaking Nashville concert.  The resulting documentary film of that show, Down From The Mountain, led to another GRAMMY®-winning album and a sold-out U.S. tour.


Netherland said...

I think this soundtrack is terrific. When I grew up in the sixties, I remember being addicted to old time music and listening to it on our tube mono upright phonograph. Of course I didn't realize it was old time music as a little kid. I just knew it was easy to latch onto. This CD reminds me how much the world and popular music as changed.

newwavegeo said...

It does take you back to a different time and the soundtrack spotlights a lot of lesser known acts.