Various Artists
Watchmen Soundtrack

Release Date: March 03, 2009
Produced by: Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin
Format: CD



Matt Rowe


I’ve always been amazed that a collection of popular songs, old or new, could generate such a frenzy of sales on a soundtrack.  In essence, they are little more than a playlist or mixtape of appropriate songs used to enhance a visual segment of film.  And yes, those songs are very effective for film.  However, these collections do well because they refresh the memory of the film, particularly so if the segment is memorable, as is the opening sequence of Watchmen.

The opening sequence of Watchmen delivers wonderfully filmed pieces with two attached, well-known songs (“The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Unforgettable”).  That blend of film and music replays in my head so vividly that I’m happy just watching that.  But, the film is more than 2.5 hours in length and contains more well placed songs within that span.  There is the hauntingly beautiful “The Sound of Silence” that centers around the burial of a central character (The Comedian); the funny inclusion of “I’m Your Boogie Man,” with its disco beats during a rioting scene; as well as an ill-placed Leonard Cohen song, “Hallelujah” during a sex scene (I don’t understand the correlation and I’m serious about this kind of thing).  Sadly, the other Leonard Cohen song (“First We Take Manhattan”) is not included here, perhaps because it ran through the ending credits. 

This soundtrack also contains a selection of great old tunes like “Me and Bobby McGee” (Janis Joplin); “You’re My Thrill” (Billie Holiday); a song used in another Watchmen film, “Pirate Jenny” (Nina Simone); and “All Along the Watchtower” (Jimi Hendrix).  In addition, there are two orchestral pieces, “Pruit Igoe & Prophecies,” previously used for the Koyaanisqatsi film by The Philip Glass Ensemble, and a performance of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” by Budapest Symphony Orchestra.  Finally, there is a passable new song, a cover of “Desolation Row” (Bob Dylan), by My Chemical Romance (who are likely feeling out audience reaction after the tough to follow The Black Parade album but are also reputed to be huge Watchmen fans).

The fold-out, 12-page booklet includes a panel shot of each character.  There is a page of notes by Zack Snyder along with the obligatory credits.  The music sounds great sonically, especially “The Sound of Silence.”  This Various Artists collection of tunes from Watchmen is a mixed collection and thus makes for a diverse playlist but it still sounds fantastic, flowing together smoothly.  While the film may not be extraordinary, the songs that make up the soundtrack of Watchmen are nothing short of extraordinary.









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