My search for the music of The Wire is over: the show, entering its fifth and final season in January (for those lucky Americans with HBO — I’m still waiting for the season four DVD release) is getting its first soundtrack release by nonesuch records:
The Wire: ” … and all the pieces matter” will include several versions of the show’s opening theme song — Tom Waits’s “Way Down in the Hole” — as performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Neville Brothers, and DoMaJe, a group of Baltimore teenagers. To listen to DoMaJe’s take on the song, click here.
The disc will also feature a number of tracks from the Baltimore club and hip-hop scene that have never appeared on a major label release, including Rod Lee’s “Dance My Pain Away,” Tyree Colion’s “Projects,” Diablo’s “Jail Flick,” Mullyman’s “The Life, the Hood, the Streetz,” and “What You Know About Baltimore?” by Ogun featuring Phathead.
Other songs include “Oh My God” by Michael Franti, “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” by Paul Weller, “The Body of an American” by The Pogues, “I Feel Alright” by Steve Earle (who also has an acting role on the series), Solomon Burke’s “Fast Train,” and the show’s closing theme, “The Fall,” composed by The Wire music supervisor Blake Leyh.
Some of the most memorable dialog from the program’s five years will also be included on the record. The CD booklet will feature essays by the author and series writer George Pelecanos and the noted hip-hop journalist Jeff Chang.