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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

( 59 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Set in Mississippi in the 1930s and inspired by Homer's The Odyssey, Joel and Ethan Coen's new film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? features a first-rate soundtrack of period music performed largely by contemporary artists. In this context, the Alan Lomax-recorded field holler by James Carter & the Prisoners, "Po Lazarus," and Harry McClintock's original 1928 recording of his poignant hobo classic "Big Rock Candy Mountain" are of a piece with Delta blues great Skip James's "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues," interpreted authoritatively by Chris Thomas King. The pristine beauty of revered standards such as "I'll Fly Away" with Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch harmonizing over...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Set in Mississippi in the 1930s and inspired by Homer's The Odyssey, Joel and Ethan Coen's new film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? features a first-rate soundtrack of period music performed largely by contemporary artists. In this context, the Alan Lomax-recorded field holler by James Carter & the Prisoners, "Po Lazarus," and Harry McClintock's original 1928 recording of his poignant hobo classic "Big Rock Candy Mountain" are of a piece with Delta blues great Skip James's "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues," interpreted authoritatively by Chris Thomas King. The pristine beauty of revered standards such as "I'll Fly Away" with Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch harmonizing over a spare acoustic arrangement and "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby," featuring Krauss, Welch, and Emmylou Harris in close, heart-tugging harmony, will bring tears to all but the hard-core heathens among us. And check out the sub-teen Peasall Sisters, who are simply fabulous on a feisty interpretation of Maybelle Carter's "In the Highways."
All Music Guide - Evan Cater
The critical consensus at the end of 2000 was that it had been one of the weakest film years in recent memory. Which may have been true, despite O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coen brothers' delightfully warm and weird Depression-era re-telling of Homer's Odyssey. But for music lovers, 2000 was an amazing year at the movies, and it produced several excellent soundtrack compilations including Almost Famous, Dancer in the Dark, Wonder Boys, and High Fidelity. Even with such steep competition, the soundtrack album for O Brother, Where Art Thou? may be the best of the year. In order to capture the sound of Mississippi circa 1932, the Coens commissioned T-Bone Burnett, a masterful producer whose work with artists like Elvis Costello, Sam Phillips, Joseph Arthur, and Counting Crows has earned him a special place in the folk-rock hall of fame, to research and re-create the country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, and blues of the era. The Coens were so taken with Burnett's discoveries that the film became a unique sort of musical revue. There are no original compositions here though Burnett is given a "music by" credit usually reserved for composers, and the characters do not generally break into stylized song and dance numbers as they do in, say, Everyone Says I Love You. But nearly every scene in O Brother is set to a period song, and the music frequently drives and defines the action. With two exceptions -- a stunning 1955 Alan Lomax recording of a black prison chain gang singing "Po Lazarus," and Harry McClintock's "Big Rock Candy Mountain" -- every song was recorded for the film by an impressive assembly of old-time country veterans Fairfield Four, Ralph Stanley, the Whites and talented newcomers Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris. These recordings, which were made without the meddling clarity of digital technology, give the film much of its power and authenticity. A significant segment of the plot hinges on the utterly plausible notion that Dan Tyminksi's ebullient rendition of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" could be a runaway hit. A memorable sequence involving three riverside sirens centers around an eerie version of "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby." And Stanley's a cappella performance of "O Death" sets a chilling tone for a climactic struggle at a Ku Klux Klan rally. Throughout, Burnett's steady guiding hand is evident. This soundtrack is a powerful tribute not only to the time-honored but commercially ignored genres of bluegrass and mountain music but also to Burnett's remarkable skills as a producer.
Rolling Stone - Barry Walters
...the Coen brothers, together with producer T Bone Burnett, have assembled a collection of folk, bluegrass, gospel and hobo country so true to the music's down-home, egalitarian roots that it's hard to distinguish the old tracks from the new and the folk heroes from screen actors.

...the Coen brothers, together with producer T Bone Burnett, have assembled a collection of folk, bluegrass, gospel and hobo country so true to the music's down-home, egalitarian roots that it's hard to distinguish the old tracks from the new and the folk heroes from screen actors.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/5/2000
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • UPC: 008817006925
  • Catalog Number: 170069
  • Sales rank: 3,479

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 You Are My Sunshine - Norman Blake (4:26)
  2. 2 Po' Lazarus - James Carter And The Prisoners (4:31)
  3. 3 Big Rock Candy Mountain - Harry McClintock (2:16)
  4. 4 Down to the River to Pray - Alison Krauss (2:55)
  5. 5 Man of Constant Sorrow - Soggy Bottom Boys (4:16)
  6. 6 Man of Constant Sorrow - Norman Blake (4:28)
  7. 7 Keep on the Sunny Side - The Whites (3:33)
  8. 8 Hard Time Killing Floor Blues - Chris Thomas King (2:42)
  9. 9 I'll Fly Away - Gillian Welch (3:57)
  10. 10 Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby - Gillian Welch (1:57)
  11. 11 Man of Constant Sorrow - John Hartford (2:34)
  12. 12 In the Highways - The Peasall Sisters (1:35)
  13. 13 O Death - Ralph Stanley (3:19)
  14. 14 Man of Constant Sorrow - Soggy Bottom Boys (4:16)
  15. 15 I Am Weary, Let Me Rest - The Cox Family (3:13)
  16. 16 Indian War Whoop - John Hartford (1:30)
  17. 17 In the Jailhouse Now - Tim Blake Nelson (3:34)
  18. 18 Lonesome Valley - The Fairfield Four (4:07)
  19. 19 Angel Band - The Stanley Brothers (2:15)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ralph Stanley Vocals
Jerry Douglas Dobro
Sam Bush Mandolin
Alison Krauss Vocals
John Hartford Fiddle, Vocals
Buck White Mandolin, Vocals
Mike Compton Mandolin
Barry Bales Bass
Ron Block Banjo
Curtis Burch Dobro
Evelyn Cox Guitar
Sidney Cox Banjo, Vocals
Suzanne Cox Mandolin, Vocals
Willard Cox Vocals
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Pat Enright Vocals, yodeling
Isaac Freeman Bass, Vocals
James Hill Vocals
Maura O'Connell Vocals
Dan Tyminski Guitar, Vocals
Wilson Waters Vocals
Cheryl White Bass, Vocals
Sharon White Guitar, Vocals
Gillian Welch Vocals
Dub Cornett Vocals
Chris Thomas Guitar, Vocals
David Rawlings Vocals
Chris Sharp Guitar
Robert Hamlett Vocals
Joseph Rice Vocals
Sarah Peasall Vocals
Hannah Peasall Vocals
Leah Peasall Vocals
Sam Phillips Vocals
Norman Blake Guitar, Vocals
First Baptist Church of Norfolk Choir Vocals
Soggy Bottom Boys Track Performer
Tim Blake Nelson Track Performer
James Carter And The Prisoners Track Performer
Technical Credits
Alan Lomax Arranger
T Bone Burnett Arranger, Producer
Carter Stanley Arranger
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    beware it is enhanced

    I did not notice that it was an enhanced cd when I ordered it. In truth I did not know what "enhanced" meant until I bought this cd. It means that you cannot copy it. Which prevents loading it on your computer, so no playlists, no copy to mp3 player etc. The music is great, but you must have the cd in your possesion to listen to it. I travel a lot so this "enhancement" prevents me from fully enjoying the music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    O Brother Where Art Thou - a fun listen!

    This double album set is a fun listen. If you've seen the movie and found yourself singing along - you'll love the album. "I'm a Man of Constant Sorry" was the 'catch' song for me - but found myself enjoying the rest of the music also. Lots of old-time blue-grass fun music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful!!

    This soundtrack is so beautiful! The voices of these singers ring into your ears and ooze down to your soul... I LOVE IT, when i heard this soundtrack I almost teared! have the movie and i love this soundtrack! I RECOMMENDED it for anyone that is ready to hear the graceful melodies of folk and soft country...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A serious slice of Americana!

    Though the subject of most of the songs is grim and could be depressing - the music and the melodies have such a way of lifting your spirit. Listening takes me back to my earliest memories of the music from my childhood. Authentic arangements, great harmonies, good times!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great

    This is a really great story, and the title fits it perfectly. The soundtrack is great, too! If you haven't seen the movie yet, you're missing out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Overrated

    This album is by far the most overrated album ever made

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Pretty Good introduction to Bluegrass

    If you've never heard the original Lomax recordings you would probably think this was pretty good. I think, however, if you want really, really god stuff like this get "The Bristol Sessions", which are the original recordings or "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. That is the stuff. This is a tad too polished for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Downhome Excellence!!!

    I don't know if I would have enjoyed this wonderful music as much if I hadn't enjoyed watching it performed on the video. It is an experience all of itself. But the music simply wraps around you like a home coming!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    unforgettable o brother.......

    This film gives me so much pleasure - every character is special and individual. It's one I'm going to watch again and again, and I'll enjoy it as thoroughly the twentieth time as I did the first. The genius of the Coen brothers is wonderful!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Far from Homer

    In an epic-less adventure towards the deeper south, the Cohen Brothers attempt to base a depression era road-trip of slapstick ironic mishaps to the timeless wisdom of Homer's Odyssey. Aside from flawless art direction and period sets, not to mention a fantastic soundtrack this film leaves much to be desired. At times the plot seems slapped together and loose despite it's entertaining qualities. Sadly, the fine artistic efforts and the plethora of well timed one liners do not save this film becoming recommended watching. In the end, the film would have had much more meaning and appeal had the director omitted the fact that the story was based on classic literature.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Thank God for Tim Blake Nelson

    I knew that this film was special within the first few scenes. Other than the obvious quality writing and directing, the ensemble cast worked as though they were really living out their individual lives as influenced by their surroundings and the larger than life characters they encountered throughout the story. Only when I read the comment here that Nicholas Cage should have played Tim Blake Nelson's part did I realize just how important Nelson was in this Three Stooges morality play. After watching Cage carry off his alcoholic suicide in Vegas role (in which he did quite well, thank you), I'm still waiting for his next portrayal of any consequence. The thought of him in "O Brother..." brings shivers (the wrong kind) to my spine. By the way, the soundtrack is a blessing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    mediocre

    I was really disappointed in this album, because I really liked the music in the movie. The best track was McClintock's original 1928 version of ''Big Rock Candy Mountain'', but I would have been much happier buying a Dr. Demento collection with that on it. The ''Nobody But the Baby'' track sung by the sirens had a much better job of mixing which made it more evocative in the movie, and that may have been the problem with ''Man of Constant Sorrow'' too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    And I don't even like country music!

    After watching the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? recently, I decided I had to have the sound track, and I don't even like country music. The songs are moving or exuberant or chilling or heartwrenching...and all honest and real! A wonderful sound track!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ignorance is bliss!

    The storyline is excellent and funny, very entertaining. The actors fit their rolls very well, except 'Everett'. George Clooney is a very good actor who plays serious characters better. 'Everett' should have been played by a more convincing actor like Nicholas Cage. Remember ''Raising Arizona''?!! The soundtrack is excellent. My husband can't get enough of it, (neither can I). Will there be a 'Part II'?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GREAT Harmonies!

    I am not into country music, but this CD is really something. The harmonies are great. And alot of the songs stay with you like''I'll fly away'', Down in the River'', You are my Sunshine''. Great old sound. highly recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best

    Not only is the movie excellent, but the soundtrack is too. Most of the time when you buy a soundtrack, it has every song except the one you like best. Not this one. It has every song from the movie. Listening to this cd makes you feel as though you're watching the movie right there. I love this soundtrack!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    New and Wonderful

    I am from India and this genre of music is new to me...but what a wonderful discovery. I was hooked when I saw the movie and bought the cd soon thereafter. For those who do not know what bluegrass, mountain music is all about (like me), I recommend you get this album. Some wonderful earthy songs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    O Brother, What a CD!

    The movie was great, to a large part thanks to the music. But the CD without the movie also manages to live on its own very well, which isn't always the case. Beautiful CD - a listening experience, definitely not just background music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BUY THIS CD NOW, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT A BLUEGRASS FAN!

    This is the BEST CD I've heard in I don't know how long! I don't consider myself a fan of country or bluegrass music, but listening to this soundtrack will definitely have me searching out more music by the artists who contributed to it! I love the harmonies, the acoustic guitar work, and the general spirit of the whole CD. Just try to listen to 'I am a Man of Constant Sorrow' while remaining still! It can't be done!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    cant grt any better then this...

    just hope they can make part 2.....one of the best tapes i have ever listen two. its great ... wa tched the movie the other day laughed so hard i thought i would have to change clothes.. great actors . cant get much better then that one. thanks from the hills of n.c....

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews