Dead Man Walking soundtrack

Last updated:  16 November 1997

An Interview with Sister Mary Prejean   by Alan Moroney
- or -  go right to the part where Sister talks about Steve Earle's Ellis Unit One

Steve Earle has a song on the Dead Man Walking soundtrack that was released 9 January 1996 on Columbia. Steve's song is Ellis Unit One.

Steve is credited on "Guitars, Harmonium, Vocals" on Ellis Unit One. There are no other musicians.

Steve also performs rhythm guitar duties on the Johnny Cash song, In Your Mind.

Tim Robbins' liner notes say, in part:

I sent the film in its rough form along with a file of newspaper articles my office had been collecting. I sent them to songwriters whose music tells stories, artists that do not write songs with hooks or tricks. All of these songwriters come from a base of honesty and have inspired me in my own work. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and Eddie Vedder have introduced me to concepts and characters in their songs that have found their way into my acting and have given life to characters I've written. Michelle Shocked, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Suzanne Vega, all have inspired me with their compassion and unique strength. And Johnny Cash... well, are there words? I'll try. Johnny Cash has been there. He knows the world of this film. In his music and in his life, he stands up-front for the dispossessed, the poor, the prisoner. Like all the great songwriters on this album, he reminds us that we have hearts, that we can have compassion even for those that have fallen, that have hit bottom.

(Artists who have contributed and perform their songs are Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Suzanne Vega, Lyle Lovett, Nusrat Fateh, Eddie Vedder, Tom Waits, Michelle Shocked, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Patti Smith also appears.)

The following excerpt is from a review by David Browne from the January 12, 1996 Entertainment Week/lyrics/ly magazine entitled "Mortal Thoughts"

"Steve Earle has become a better Bruce Springsteen that Bruce himself. His contribution to Dead Man, Ellis Unit One, is narrated by a numbed death-row prison guard, and Earle's parched delivery and eye for detail are more vivid than Springsteen's title song, which continues the resigned, bone-dry ambiance of The Ghost of Tom Joad."

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