NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Legacy Recordings will release West of Memphis: Voices For Justice , an album of music and songs inspired by the new Sony Pictures Classics film, "West of Memphis," which chronicles the case of the West Memphis Three. The album serves to raise awareness for the continuing fight for exoneration of the West Memphis Three.
"West of Memphis" is a new documentary film produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (the Lord of the Rings trilogy), Amy Berg (Best Documentary Oscar nominee Deliver Us From Evil), with first-time producers Damien Echols (of the West Memphis Three) and Lorri Davis. Directed by Amy Berg, the film reveals the untold story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light; a fight to stop the State of Arkansas from killing an innocent man.
Starting with a searing examination of the police investigation into the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, the film goes on to uncover new evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the other three victims of this shocking crime-- Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley. All three were teenagers when they became the target of the police investigation for crimes they did not commit. Each of the West Memphis Three spent more than 18 years in prison while outside the gates, mounting evidenceand testimony pointing to their innocence led to an outpouring of support, particularly from the music community and artists featured on this album such as Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, Natalie Maines, Marilyn Manson, Dave Navarro, and Patti Smith. "Music has always played a huge role in my life. In my early years, it allowed me to escape the crushing poverty I was born into. Music took me out of myself and into a thousand other worlds. Then, when I was put on trial, it was music they used against me. My love of heavy metal was considered 'proof' that I was evil and a satanic murderer. And then, ultimately, it was music that helped to free me when friends and supporters came together to put on the Voices for Justice concert in Little Rock," said Damien Echols. "West of Memphis" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2012 and was an official selection at the Deauville American Film Festival 2012 and the Toronto International Film Festival 2012. Much of the music heard in "West of Memphis" comes from an original score written and performed for the film by the Australian compositional team of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (The Dirty Three, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds). "It was an honor to have made a contribution to the film and to have played a part in raising awareness of the case of the West Memphis Three," said Cave. Strains of the Cave-Ellis film score may be heard in the Henry Rollins track, "Damien Death Row Letter (Year 9)" in which Rollins reads a letter Damien has written him in 2003. One of the WM3's most vocal proponents over the years, Rollins was the producer and prime creative force behind the 2002 compilation album Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three.