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O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,156 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, December 5, 2000
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Product Description

Bluegrass became pop music for a while when the soundtrack to this 2000 Coen Brothers film became one of the 10 top-selling soundtracks ever. Here's the complete T-Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack plus a CD with 14 more tracks, 12 of which are unissued re

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The best soundtracks are like movies for the ears, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? joins the likes of Saturday Night Fever and The Harder They Come as cinematic pinnacles of song. The music from the Coen brothers' Depression-era film taps into the source from which the purest strains of country, blues, bluegrass, folk, and gospel music flow. Producer T Bone Burnett enlists the voices of Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, and kindred spirits for performances of traditional material, in arrangements that are either a cappella or feature bare-bones accompaniment. Highlights range from the aching purity of Krauss's "Down to the River to Pray" to the plainspoken faith of the Whites' "Keep on the Sunny Side" to Stanley's chillingly plaintive "O Death." The album's spiritual centerpiece finds Krauss, Welch, and Harris harmonizing on "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby," a gospel lullaby that sounds like a chorus of Appalachian angels. --Don McLeese
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 5, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: December 5, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Mercury / Lost Highway
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004XQ83
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Coen brothers have worked their magic again with their excellent film "O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?" The unique vision and perspective of the film is rivaled only by the excellence of its soundtrack, which might just be the best movie soundtrack I've heard.
Quite simply, there is not one weak track on this CD, period. Not one. There are highlights, to be sure, but the greatest aspect of this soundtrack might be that the diverse array of recordings and styles presents the listener with something new to appreciate every time they play the CD.
Some tracks deserve special mention, however. Ralph Stanley's "O Death" is a haunting, passionate song , especially if one recalls the scene in which it appears during the movie. "Down In The River To Pray" by Alison Krauss is another excellent track; when my friend heard the the harmonies of this song, so wonderfully ethereal and poignant, she simply said: "that's beautiful." And the Peasall Sisters are outstanding on "In The Highways," singing with the innocence of children but harmonizing like adults as well.
In my opinion, however, the true gems of this soundtrack are the recordings by the Soggy Bottom Boys, featuring Tim Blake Nelson and Dan Tyminski. "In The Jailhouse Now" is just fun to listen to, and knowing that Tim Blake Nelson and John Tuturro actually sang their parts for the movie rather than lip-synching adds an authenticity that is hard to get from Hollywood these days.
"I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow" is, however, the spiritual center of the movie and the most outstanding part of the soundtrack. In the movie, George Clooney did such an excellent job lip-synching that moviegoers swore he was really singing the tune.
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By A Customer on December 31, 2000
Format: Audio CD
At first I was thinking: why even review this? I suspected that most people wouldn't need the help of a review when deciding whether to buy this particular CD--they probably saw the movie and realized at about thirty seconds in to "Man of Constant Sorrow" that they had to have the soundtrack. But then I thought, people might be taking a look over the track list because of one or two favorite artists, trying to decide if they really want to take the plunge. If that description fits you: don't hesitate. Buy it. This is perhaps the most sublime compilation ever arranged of Americana: a mix of folk, blues, bluegrass, and gospel music, the full effect of which transcends period or genres. After getting this, I have about three or four new artists on my wish list for buying new CDs.
Outstanding tracks are both vocal versions of "Man of Constant Sorrow," "Down In The River To Pray," "O Death," "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues," and "I'll Fly Away," but you can listen to this from beginning to end, over and over, and not easily tire. As someone else pointed out, this is not like other soundtrack CDs--there are no weak links or unevenness here, no filler. Every cut is grade-A choice. Some, in fact, are dangerously addictive. I've owned the CD less than a day and played "Man of Constant Sorrow" about twenty times now. I feel like a rat pushing its lever again and again to get a buzz of sheer bliss.
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Format: Audio CD
When an album of old-time music goes platinum and hits #1 on the country chart with no significant radio airplay, one may rightly wonder what the hell is going on. The star power of George Clooney in this depression-era Coen Brothers film may have drawn attention, but the soundtrack stands on its own as a remarkable achievement. The 19 rustic tracks here are mountain music, primitive gospel, and the hobo vein of folk, the ancestors of bluegrass and country. You can feel the desperation, simplicity, and reverence of another era through performances by Ralph Stanley, Gillian Welch, Norman Blake, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, John Hartford, Chris Thomas King, the Fairfield Four, the Whites, the Cox Family, and others, along with a field recording of a chain gang ("Po Lazarus" by James Carter & the Prisoners), Harry McClintock`s 1928 hobo fantasy "Big Rock Candy Mountain," and the Stanley Brothers classic "Angel Band." Union Station takes on the musical identity of the three star characters onscreen, known as the Soggy Bottom Boys, and their stark, unvarnished renditions of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" and "In the Jailhouse Now" are arresting. Ditto for Ralph Stanley, who raises the hairs on the back of the neck with his acapella mountain singing on "O Death," and the Fairfield Four on "Lonesome Valley." The emotional purity and grit of this soundtrack will take the buildup of the plaque of modern living and peel it right off.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't take the word "soundtrack" too seriously with this album: it absolutely stands on its own as a lovely collection of old-timey/bluegrass/folk from the Depression era and doesn't come across as a pre-packaged film promotion. Indeed, the liner notes suggest that the soundtrack was created before the film was actually made, with the music intended to add color to the film. I am eagerly awaiting this movie, and after having listened to the entire CD twice in a row upon receiving it, I am looking forward even more to seeing it to see how well the music fits into the overall experience.
Featuring well-known artists like Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, and the Cox Family, the album also showcases some other performers that I'm not familiar with (and therefore won't comment on their reputations and show my ignorance). There are also some original recordings (such as Harry McClintock's "Big Rock Candy Mountain", for one).
The liner notes contain a lot of information about the genesis of the album and the part the music plays in the movie. It's clear that those involved in the making of this album put a lot of care into it and respect for the music.
Standout tracks for me: The Whites' "Keep on the Sunny Side" and Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch's cover of "I'll Fly Away".
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o brother music
? would you ask such an inane question?
Sep 5, 2011 by icecube |  See all 2 posts
no all the origanal singers on soundstack that sang in the movie Be the first to reply
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