What Songs Appear on the 'Watchmen' Movie Soundtrack?

My Chemical Romance, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Other Artists

Watchmen Soundtrack cover

Warner Sunset/Reprise Records

The 2009 film Watchmen, directed by Zack Snyder, adapted the landmark 1986-1987 graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It was one of the most anticipated science-fiction/superhero movies ever made. Various failed attempts had been made at adapting the complex work for over a decade, and some came to see it as unfilmable. Snyder’s version had some critics agreeing that it wasn't possible to do it justice on film, but others praised Snyder's Watchmen for its loyalty to the source and its distinctive visual style.

A Worthy Soundtrack

One of the ways that Snyder's Watchmen film did adhere closely to the graphic novel is the film's soundtrack. Despite first appearing in print, Watchmen is strongly grounded in the music world. Moore began his career working for music magazines. In fact, several of the chapter titles of the graphic novel are direct quotations from classic songs, some of which are included on the soundtrack. For example, the title of the first chapter of the Watchmen comic, "At Midnight All the Agents," is taken from the Bob Dylan song "Desolation Row." The comic book loving alternative rock band My Chemical Romance covered "Desolation Row" for the soundtrack. The My Chemical Romance version of "Desolation Row" was released as a single and peaked at #30 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs Chart. However, the song reached #1 on the UK Rock Chart, #52 on the UK Singles Chart, and #18 on the Scottish Singles Chart. Snyder also directed the music video for the song.

Other songs that are mentioned in the graphic novel and appear in the film are Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin'", Jimi Hendrix's cover of "All Along the Watchtower", Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sounds of Silence", and Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable." Several of the tracks figure prominently in memorable scenes from the movie, especially the use of Dylan’s track for the critically praised title sequence. On the other side of the spectrum, the film drew some criticism for its use of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah” in the movie’s key sex scene.

The Watchmen: Music from the Motion Picture soundtrack album was released on March 3, 2009, three days before the release of the film. The soundtrack peaked at #30 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 and #3 on the U.S. Billboard Soundtracks Chart.

Watchmen: Music from the Motion Picture Track List

1) Desolation Row - My Chemical Romance
2) Unforgettable - Nat King Cole
3) The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan
4) The Sound Of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel
5) Me & Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
6) I'm Your Boogie Man - KC & The Sunshine Band
7) You're My Thrill - Billie Holiday
8) Pruit Igoe & Prophecies – The Philip Glass Ensemble
9) Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
10) All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
11) Ride of the Valkyries - Budapest Symphony Orchestra
12) Pirate Jenny (Live) - Nina Simone (used in the end credits of the Tales From The Black Freighter DVD)

Also on March 3, Warner Bros. released Watchmen: Original Motion Picture Score, which was written by composer Tyler Bates (300, Guardians of the Galaxy). This soundtrack album contained the score from the movie. Bates later was awarded a BMI Film Music Award for his work on the soundtrack.

1) "Rescue Mission"
2) "Don't Get Too Misty Eyed"
3) "Tonight the Comedian Died"
4) "Silk Spectre"
5) "We'll Live Longer"
6) "You Quit!"
7) "Only Two Names Remain"
8) "The American Dream"
9) "Edward Blake – The Comedian"
10) "The Last Laugh"
11) "Prison Fight"
12) "Just Look Around You"
13) "Dan's Apocalyptic Dream"
14) "Who Murdered Hollis Mason?"
15) "What About Janey Slater?"
16) "I'll Tell You About Rorschach"
17) "Countdown"
18) "It Was Me"
19) "All That Is Good"
20) "Requiem" (Excerpted from Mozart's "Requiem")
21) "I Love You"

Edited by Christopher McKittrick