Free the West Memphis 3

Free the West Memphis 3

     
 
In 1993, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Miskelley Jr. were convicted of the ritualistic murders of three eight-year-olds in West Memphis, Arkansas. Since then, two HBO documentaries (Paradise Lost and Revelations) have convinced many, including the artists on this legal defense benefit compilation, that the three teens were guilty of nothing

Overview

In 1993, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Miskelley Jr. were convicted of the ritualistic murders of three eight-year-olds in West Memphis, Arkansas. Since then, two HBO documentaries (Paradise Lost and Revelations) have convinced many, including the artists on this legal defense benefit compilation, that the three teens were guilty of nothing more than wearing black, reading Anne Rice, and listening to heavy metal. Joe Strummer's reading of Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" (with backing from the Long Beach Dub All-Stars) and 1.7's rap-rock "Boys in Black" are the tracks most obviously inspired by the defendants' plight. Nashville Pussy, Zeke, and the Murder City Devils -- bands rarely associated with social consciousness -- contribute solid covers of punk/metal classics by AC/DC, Iron Maiden, and the Misfits, while ex-Breeder Kelley Deal offers a fun-house rendition of Pantera's "Fucking Hostile." The most powerful cuts are new originals by Steve Earle and Tom Waits, both in a twisted blues style similar to the latter's recent work. This isn't the most stylistically consistent compilation you'll ever hear, but the cause it supports can hardly be faulted by anyone with a sense of justice.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jeremy Salmon
A fine collection of mainly punk rock covers, with some extra variety sprinkled in. The album is a benefit for, as you might expect, the West Memphis Three. These are three guys incarcerated in the late '90s, either with life sentences or on death row. The details of their conviction are quite problematic, as both the liner notes and Jello Biafra spell out at the end of "Wrong and Important." The Killing Joke contribution adds some more information on capital punishment during their song. Tom Waits growls out a tune with his trusty spronky guitar, which is a highlight among the other interesting tracks. Most of the tracks are on the subject of capital punishment, but some of the cover choices (see Zeke's version of "Wrathchild" by Iron Maiden) seem to be positive support for the prisoners coming in a singular form.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/10/2000
Label:
Koch Records
UPC:
0099923815020
catalogNumber:
8150

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jello Biafra   Spoken Word
Steve Earle   Track Performer
Killing Joke   Track Performer
Mark Lanegan   Track Performer
Joe Strummer   Track Performer
Tom Waits   Track Performer
Rocket from the Crypt   Track Performer
Tippa Irie   Track Performer
Duff McKagan   Track Performer
Bill Rieflin   Track Performer
Ben Shepherd   Track Performer
Eddie Vedder   Track Performer
Mike Johnson   Track Performer
Kelley Deal   Track Performer
Zeke   Track Performer
Franz Stahl   Track Performer
Murder City Devils   Track Performer
Tony Scalzo   Track Performer
Nashville Pussy   Track Performer
Long Beach Dub All-Stars   Track Performer
John Doe Thing   Track Performer
Joey Schuffied   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Killing Joke   Composer
L7   Producer
Supersuckers   Producer
Kurt Bloch   Producer
Gerald Collier   Producer
Dave Fisher   Engineer
Tom Herbers   Engineer
Randall Hage Jamail   Producer,Engineer
Bill Kennedy   Producer
Scott Parker   Executive Producer
Billy Zoom   Producer
Eddie Spaghetti   Executive Producer
Brian Haught   Producer
Twangtrust   Producer
Zavo Henks   Art Direction
Burk Sauls   Liner Notes

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