Dead Man Walking (soundtrack)

Dead Man Walking is a soundtrack album to the film of the same name, released in 1996 on Columbia Records. The album contains twelve tracks by major artists, including a title track by Bruce Springsteen which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to Colors of the Wind from the Walt Disney film Pocahontas.

Dead Man Walking
Dead Man Walking (soundtrack).jpg
Soundtrack album from the film Dead Man Walking by
Various Artists


The album is a collection of music thematically linked to the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. Although all the songs were inspired by the storyline, only four of them were featured in their entirety in the movie.[1] A separate album of the film's instrumental score, composed by David Robbins, was released by Columbia Records in April 1996.[2]

The film's executive producers, brothers Tim and David Robbins, personally solicited a number of their favorite musicians for contributions to the project. "We contacted artists we particularly admired," said David.[2] The contributors were provided with scripts, rough cuts, and other materials to help inspire their work.[2] Many of the resulting pieces have lyrical content based on particular characters – Suzanne Vega wrote her song from the perspective of the nun, Sister Helen Prejean; Steve Earle took the point of view of a prison guard; and Bruce Springsteen, in the film's title track, spoke as the convict himself.[2]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]
Robert Christgau [3]
Q     [4]
Rolling Stone     [citation needed]

Springsteen performed his song "Dead Man Walkin'" at the 68th Academy Awards, where it was nominated for Best Original Song.[2] In a review for the album's tenth anniversary, critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it "one of those rare soundtracks that is as compelling as the film itself".[1]

Track listingEdit

# Title Performer Length
1 "Dead Man Walkin'" Bruce Springsteen 2:43
2 "In Your Mind" Johnny Cash 4:14
3 "Woman on the Tier (I'll See You Through)" Suzanne Vega 2:25
4 "Promises" Lyle Lovett 3:03
5 "The Face of Love" Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with Eddie Vedder 5:39
6 "The Fall of Troy" Tom Waits 2:59
7 "Quality of Mercy" Michelle Shocked 3:38
8 "Dead Man Walking (A Dream Like This)" Mary Chapin Carpenter 3:34
9 "Walk Away" Tom Waits 2:43
10 "Ellis Unit One" Steve Earle 4:39
11 "Walkin Blind" Patti Smith 4:39
12 "The Long Road" Eddie Vedder with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan 5:31



Chart (1996) Position
US Billboard 200 61
Austria 28
Belgium 26
Switzerland 45[5]

Release historyEdit

Year Label Format Catalog
1996 Columbia Records CD
2006 Columbia Records CD 76660


  1. ^ a b c Dead Man Walking at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b c d e Shuster, Fred (March 13, 1996). "'Dead Man' album strikes a chord". The Indiana Gazette. Indiana, PA. Retrieved July 1, 2016 – via  
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Dead Man Walking". Robert Christgau.
  4. ^ Sutcliffe, Phil (March 1996). "Dead Man Walking". Q: 94.
  5. ^ Swiss Charts Archived 2006-05-29 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit