Book of Eli Soundtrack

For my birthday last year, I picked up a copy of Fallout 3, a first-person role playing game set in a post-apocalyptic American wasteland. Quickly growing tired of the original soundtrack, I replaced the music with tracks from Ghosts I-IV, and I found it complemented the stark landscapes in the game nicely.

Atticus Ross

So when I went to see The Book Of Eli in the theater last weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to see a similar combination played out on a big screen - and through a huge sound system. In fact, the whole reason I dragged myself to the cinema to see the movie was because I had listened to the sweeping score, composed by Atticus Ross with his brother Leopold Ross and wife Claudia Sarne. I've been a fan of Atticus Ross' work since first hearing 12 Rounds, and my enthusiasm was bolstered with the release of electro-hardcore EP Error, which saw Atticus and his brother working with Bad Reglion's Brett Gurewitz and Greg Puciato (who at that time had just joined The Dillinger Escape Plan).

The score to The Book of Eli is collection of electronic/orchestral atmospheric pieces which evoke the bleak future depicted in the film. With some direction from Allan Hughes, the writing was a collaboration between Atticus, Leopold and Claudia, with perhaps the overall direction being led by Atticus. Though writing primarily took place at the Ross home studio, later Ross went on to complete the score at Abbey Road Studio with an 80-piece orchestra playing arrangements orchestrated by Dana Niu. There are some nice (if small) pictures from this process up on the soundtrack's website - where you can also watch interviews with Atticus Ross and Allen Hughes on the topic of the score.

ImageAn interesting element of this score is that much of it was written before the film was shot - the music was given to various people involved with the film, including the actors. While some of the pieces might not have ended up in the film, they helped with establishing a vibe on the set.

I feel that writing reviews of music in this era is kind of a silly notion, when you can very easily just listen to the music yourself, be it through official channels or not. That I'm making a post of this depth about the soundtrack should express well enough that I liked what I heard - enough that I actually left my house and saw the movie so that I might hear the soundtrack on a system louder than any I could pull off at home while maintaining good relations with my neighbors. Check it out - if you like what you hear, spend a couple bucks and buy a legit copy.

These days I buy my music from the Amazon MP3 store, but the iTunes version has a remix by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio. If you're still into discs, Amazon's selling the soundtrack on CD, but the CD version only has 17 tracks. If you like really big black discs, you'll be pleased to know that the soundtrack is being released on 2x12" vinyl LP, which you can pre-order directly from Warner Bros.

From now through February 1, 2010, you have a chance to be one of three people to win one a promo pack for The Book of Eli through us, courtesy Warner Bros/Reprise and Atticus Ross. Email with "Denzel" in the subject, and in your message, briefly tell me why you like or don't like CDs as a medium. Or tell me what you think about instrumental soundtracks. Or tell me what I should do with my site while NIN goes into hibernation. Whatever. In the first week of February, we'll draw three winners from the pack, who shall each recieve a copy of the CD, a Book of Eli tshirt, and a Book of Eli dogtag. We don't sell your email addresses or add them to any mailing lists - we only use the email addresses to randomly draw three winners.