Here’s the Soundtrack to Ken Burns’ ‘The Vietnam War’ Documentary

“This is without a doubt the most ambitious project we have every undertaken.  PBS was the only place it could have been done.”

— Ken Burns, speaking on his latest documentary, ‘The Vietnam War’.

The Vietnam War was was fought on many fronts: foreign, domestic, ideological, emotional.  Documentarists Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tried to approach it from every one of those, with a fact-heavy approach and insightful narrative.  Already, the 18-hour documentary is winning praise for achieving that mission, or at least coming close.

The documentary itself first begins airing on September 17th.  But if Burns’ earlier documentaries on The Civil War and World War II are any indicator, this close-up examination will remain important for decades to come.

Now, we’re learning more about the music that will complement this ambitious project.  The soundtrack score itself was written by Trent Rentnor and Atticus Ross.  But prominent artists of the era will also be featured in a companion soundtrack compiled by Burns and Novick.

Here’s that double-CD tracklisting:

The Vietnam War – The Soundtrack

Cd 1

  1. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan
  2. Hello Vietnam – Johnnie Wright
  3. It’s My Life – The Animals
  4. Eve Of Destruction – Barry Mcguire
  5. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) – The Byrds
  6. Masters Of War – The Staple Singers
  7. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
  8. Smokestack Lightnin’ – Howlin’ Wolf
  9. Backlash Blues – Nina Simone
  10. The Sound Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
  11. One Too Many Mornings – Bob Dylan
  12. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg – The Temptations
  13. Are You Experienced? – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  14. I’m A Man – The Spencer Davis Group
  15. Green Onions – Booker T And The Mg’s
  16. Strange Brew – Cream
  17. Waist Deep In The Big Muddy (Live) – Pete Seeger
  18. A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Procol Harum
  19. The Lord Is In This Place – Fairport Convention
  20. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield

Cd 2

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


11 Responses

    • Bill Downey

      San Francisco by Scott McKenzie? We gotta get out of this place by Eric Burden? Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater?

  1. Josue

    The epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film.

  2. M Davey

    Maybe for some reason the Doors wouldn’t allow their music to be used, even though it was a favorite of troops then in country, and is perhaps singularly suited for such a soundtrack. The surviving members plus the Morrison estate are famous for saying “No thanks” to most requests.

  3. Dennis L

    Aquarius – The Fifth Dimension. Every “show” band mostly Korean or Filipino ended the show with EVERYONE singing.