Like all great music, the score to Red Dead Redemption is grounded in history but bold enough to reach beyond the limitations of style. An update on the classic Western soundtrack, and created specifically for the Rockstar game of the same name, Red Dead Redemption has expanded the palette founded by folks like Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai to include reggae beats, booming rock bass lines, and guitars that cut like a knife. The Wild West has never sounded so wild.
Composed by Bill Elm and Woody Jackson, who previously worked together in the band Friends of Dean Martinez, and produced by David Holmes (Out of Sight, the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy), Red Dead Redemption accompanies the exploits of one John Marston, a former outlaw on the trail of the same criminals he once ran with. The sounds of the early twentieth century American West are all in place-jaw harps, harmonicas, whistling, violins-but they’re enhanced by heavy, heavy drums, and Fender Rhodes piano. One thing’s for certain: this isn’t your father’s Western soundtrack.
It’s yours. And it’s brought to life by a crew of daring West Coast musicians. Besides Jackson on guitars and Elm on keyboards, violinist Petra Haden, Beck drummer Joey Waronker, and actor/musician Jason Schwartzman are all along for the ride, among many others-including harmonica legend Tommy Morgan, who recorded on the soundtracks to classic Westerns like Hang ‘Em High and High Plains Drifter. So Red Dead Redemption is a mix of timely and timeless. A marriage of the old and the new.
And a perfect match for your turntable. Out October 26 on two LPs packaged in a striking gatefold jacket, this set is something to hold onto, just like the music. “People don’t forget,” says Marston in Red Dead Redemption. And they won’t soon forget this soundtrack.