Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, of the internationally celebrated bands Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The Dirty Three and Grinderman, have composed, played and produced a compelling and intense soundtrack for director Andrew Dominik's savage tale of the true West, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. Mute releases the original soundtrack on 5th November 2007. The download will be available on 22nd October.
Dominik, who previously directed the 2000 cult classic Chopper, the biography of the notorious Australian criminal Mark 'Chopper' Read, has brought his distinctive vision to bear upon the story of the slaying of one of the most infamous outlaws of the American West, Jesse Woodson James (1847-1882). The film, based upon Ron Hansen's novel and adapted for the screen by Dominik, charts how Robert Ford (Casey Affleck) joined Jesse James' (Brad Pitt) cutthroat gang of bandits, train-robbers and bank-robbers, only to become resentful of James' nationwide notoriety, he then formed a plan to kill the deadly gunslinger. The film also stars Sam Shepard, Robert Duvall, Sam Rockwell and Mary-Louise Parker.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have previously collaborated on a film score, for John Hillcoat's critically acclaimed 2005 Australian 'Western', The Proposition, starring Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce and Danny Huston. Cave (who provided the script for The Proposition) and Ellis' haunting semi-acoustic score, featuring plaintive violin, eerie sound loops and mournful piano, received universal praise.
Cave, of course, is no stranger to film scoring and has established a renowned reputation for his work in this field. Together with fellow Bad Seeds Mick Harvey and Blixa Bargeld, Cave wrote the indelible soundtracks for two other motion pictures directed by John Hillcoat: the harrowing 1989 prison drama Ghosts... Of The Civil Dead and the 1996 emotionally charged jungle melodrama, To Have And To Hold. Nick Cave has also been commissioned by various directors to compose specific songs for their motion pictures; including Wim Wenders, for his pictures Until The End Of The World (1991) and Faraway, So Close! (the 1993 sequel his Wings Of Desire, in which Cave And The Bad Seeds performed), and Jez Butterworth for Mojo (1997).
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' thrilling new score for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford captures perfectly the charismatic and unpredictable nature of its central protagonist. Like the film, Cave and Ellis' music cuts through the mythic figure of Jesse James to reveal the complex, contradictory man beneath. Daring and passionately delivered, Cave and Ellis' beautiful soundtrack retains its captivating power even without the benefit of Dominik's images.