Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross detail their score to Ken Burns’ new Vietnam War documentary

Duo's latest film composition will be accompanied by a two CD collection featuring The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, and more

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross score soundtrack Waves musical film
Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor

    Nine Inch Nails figurehead Trent Reznor and collaborator Atticus Ross have scored Ken Burns’ new PBS docu-series, The Vietnam War. With the first episode set to premiere on September 17th, the duo has unveiled more details about their latest composition project. Both their original score and a corresponding soundtrack will be released two days prior on September 15th.

    As reported previously, Reznor and Ross drew from field recordings of mortars, helicopters, and people talking as “rhythmic starting points” for the score. They were also provided with a blueprint of moods to evoke: rage, courage, sadness, fear, chaos, loss, love, sacrifice, aggression, loneliness, and anxiety.

    “We are incredibly honored to be a part of this project,” Reznor and Ross shared through a joint statement. “With The Vietnam War, Ken [Burns], [co-director] Lynn [Novick], and [senior producer] Sarah [Botstein] have created something of vital importance. To bear witness to their process was immensely inspiring. The sheer scale of the project combined with the magnitude of the subject matter was initially daunting for us, but the commitment, care, and reverence they displayed made the experience deeply satisfying on many levels.”


    Spread out across two CDs and three LPs, Reznor and Ross’ score also includes reworked bits from Nine Inch Nails songs and their award-winning scores for The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

    The soundtrack, meanwhile, collects 38 tracks from the era, including music from The Beatles, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones as well as Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Otis Redding, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

    Check out the original score and curated soundtrack tracklists below.

    The Vietnam War – Original Score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Artwork:

    The Vietnam War – Original Score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Tracklist:
    CD 1
    01. Less Likely
    02. Four Enclosed Walls
    03. The Forever Rain
    04. Remnants
    05. Other Ways to Get to the Same Place
    06. Torn Polaroid
    07. Before Dawn
    08. What Comes Back
    09. Justified Response
    10. Counting Ticks


    CD 2
    01. A World Away
    02. The Right Things
    03. Passing the Point
    04. Strangers In Lockstep
    05. Before and After Faith
    06. The Same Dream
    07. Haunted

    The Vietnam War – The Soundtrack Tracklist:
    CD 1
    01. Bob Dylan – “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”
    02. Johnnie Wright – “Hello Vietnam”
    03. The Animals – “It’s My Life”
    04. Barry McGuire – “Eve of Destruction”
    05. The Byrds – “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)”
    06. The Staple Singers – “Masters of War”
    07. Wilson Pickett – “Mustang Sally”
    08. Howlin’ Wolf – “Smokestack Lightnin'”
    09. Nina Simone – “Backlash Blues”
    10. Simon & Garfunkel – “The Sound of Silence”
    11. Bob Dylan – “One Too Many Mornings”
    12. The Temptations – “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”
    13. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Are You Experienced?”
    14. The Spencer Davis Group – “I’m a Man”
    15. Booker T & The MG’s – “Green Onions”
    16. Cream – “Strange Brew”
    17. Pete Seeger – “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy (Live)”
    18. Procol Harum – “A Whiter Shade of Pale”
    19. Fairport Convention – “The Lord Is In This Place”
    20. Buffalo Springfield – “For What It’s Worth”

    CD 2
    01. Bob Dylan – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
    02. Big Brother & The Holding Company – “Piece of My Heart”
    03. Steppenwolf – “Magic Carpet Ride”
    04. The Box Tops – “The Letter”
    05. Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Bad Moon Rising”
    06. Santana – “Soul Sacrifice”
    07. Otis Redding – “Tell The Truth”
    08. Merle Haggard & The Strangers – “Okie From Muskogee”
    09. B.B. King – “The Thrill Is Gone”
    10. The Temptations – “Psychedelic Shack”
    11. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Ohio”
    12. The Youngbloods – “Get Together”
    13. The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”
    14. Link Wray – “Tail Dragger”
    15. Ray Charles – “America the Beautiful”
    16. Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going On”
    17. Simon & Garfunkel – “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
    18. The Beatles – “Let It Be”


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