Watchmen (Music From The HBO Series) was composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for season one of the show. The score was released digitally and on vinyl in three separate volumes, each with different cover art. The three volumes collectively bear the number Null 10, in keeping with The Null Corporation's numbering system. The release dates were as follows:
- Volume 01: November 4, 2019 (vinyl), November 6, 2019 (digital)
- Volume 02: November 25, 2019 (vinyl), November 27, 2019 (digital)
- Volume 03: December 16, 2019 (vinyl), December 18, 2019 (digital)
- 1 Tracklistings
- 2 About
- 3 Vinyl presentation
- 4 Credits
- 5 External Links
- "How The West Was Really Won" - 3:45
- "Orphans Of Krypton" - 1:57
- "Garryowen" - 1:18
- "Nun With A Motherf*&*ing Gun" - 3:17
- "Objects In Mirror (Are Closer Than They Appear)" - 1:38
- "Kattle Battle" - 1:43
- "American Promo Story" - 0:48
- "I'll Wait" - 3:25
- "Trigger Warning" - 0:55
- "The Brick" - 4:02
- "Never Surrender" - 2:09
- "Müller Time" - 2:25
- "Owl Hunts Rat" - 2:37
- "Absent Friends And Old Ghosts" - 3:29
- "Watch Over This Boy" - 3:38
A1 "How The West Was Really Won"
A2 "Orphans Of Krypton"
A4 "Nun With A Motherf*&*ing Gun"
A5 "Objects In Mirror (Are Closer Than They Appear)"
A6 "Kattle Battle"
A7 "American Promo Story"
A8 "I'll Wait"
B1 "Trigger Warning"
B2 "The Brick"
B3 "Never Surrender"
B4 "Müller Time"
B5 "Owl Hunts Rat"
B6 "Absent Friends And Old Ghosts"
B7 "Watch Over This Boy"
- "Trust In The Law" - 2:03
- "He Was Never Here" - 3:54
- "Kicked In The Balls Again" - 3:24
- "A Traveller From An Antique Land" - 4:22
- "Losing Face" - 1:22
- "Squid Pro Quo" - 3:27
- "Your Name Is Angela Abar" - 0:57
- "Nostalgia Blues" - 3:28
- "Pay No Attention To The Cactus" - 4:09
- "Seven Years Of Bad Luck" - 2:19
- "The Dark Knut Returns" - 2:48
- "Ghraib Me A Terrorist" - 2:48
- "Dreamland Jazz" - 3:17
A1 "Trust In The Law"
A2 "He Was Never Here"
A3 "Kicked In The Balls Again"
A4 "A Traveller From An Antique Land"
A5 "Losing Face"
A6 "Squid Pro Quo"
B1 "Your Name Is Angela Abar"
B2 "Nostalgia Blues"
B3 "Pay No Attention To The Cactus"
B4 "Seven Years Of Bad Luck"
B5 "The Dark Knut Returns"
B6 "Ghraib Me A Terrorist"
B7 "Dreamland Jazz"
- "Doomsday Prepper" - 4:47
- "Clockmaker" - 3:49
- "A Man Walks Into An Intrinsic Field" - 1:34
- "Splice Of Life" - 0:36
- "No Rhythm" - 1:06
- "The Waiting Sky" - 3:56
- "The Way It Used To Be" - 3:41
- "The Elephant In The Room" - 1:08
- "Worthy Of The Badge" - 2:05
- "Which Came First" - 2:18
- "Stupid Panties" - 3:45
- "A Stronger, Loving World" - 3:55
- "Nothing Ever Ends" - 7:23
- "Lincoln Tunnel" - 4:04
- "Life On Mars?" - 2:53
A1 "Doomsday Prepper"
A3 "Splice Of Life"
A4 "The Waiting Sky"
A5 "Let Him Ride" (exclusive to vinyl)
B1 "The Way It Used To Be"
B2 "The Elephant In The Room"
B3 "No Rhythm"
B4 "Worthy Of The Badge"
B5 "A Stronger, Loving World"
B6 "Nothing Ever Ends"
The vinyl of Volume 03 does not include tracks 3, 10, 11, 14, and 15. It does, however, include a track not on the digital release, "Let Him Ride". Trent Reznor explained this with the following on nin.com: "You will notice there are a few tracks on the digital release that are not included on the vinyl. The simple truth of the matter is vinyl has a long lead time to manufacture and we weren't completely finished scoring the later episodes when the deadline came (and… Damon kept throwing things at us last minute!)." Those who had ordered the vinyl through nin.com were given the ability to download the digital-only tracks.
Reznor and Ross became involved by reaching out to the show's creator:
We reached out to Damon and the HBO camp when I first heard about it, because I’ve been a fan of Damon since Lost. I was completely blown away by The Leftovers. Also, as a big fan of Watchmen [in other incarnations], I appreciated the fearlessness that taking on that property and that IP would require. I thought, if anybody was to do it at any place, HBO and Damon sounds exciting to me. I’ve never done TV, but needless to say, it’s been a great several years for television, and long-form storytelling is exciting. So I told our agent, “Hey, let him know that we’d be definitely interested in working on that.” The next thing I know, we’re in a meeting with Damon, and we were all-in.
The nin.com statement about the release reads:
Three unique LPs specifically timed to be released throughout the first season of HBO's Watchmen. Created in collaboration with the show's writers, each LP features the score from Academy Award winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as well as artwork and packaging exclusive to this vinyl release that explores the culture of Watchmen America and provides revealing insights into the saga's mythology and mysteries.
About the decision to release the score in three volumes, Reznor stated the following:
Well, we had quite a bit of music. And we decided to do something fun with the way it’s released. I think that putting out an hour and a half of music today is like throwing it out the window -- it’s asking too much of a kind of short attention span audience that we’ve all become. So breaking it up into chunks felt like something we wanted to do. And I don’t mean to be too cheeky about it, but I think that when the first record comes out, it’ll make more sense why we split it up into three pieces. It’s just something that feels very Watchmen to us. It’s fun, and a cool way to get music out and be part of the story. I don’t mean to be oblique here, but it’ll make more sense when you hear it.
Reznor and Ross also created the theme for the end credits of the show, which is a mashup of three tracks from Volume 01: "Nun With A Motherf*&*ing Gun", "Never Surrender", and "Owl Hunts Rat". An extended version of this composition was posted to the official Nine Inch Nails YouTube channel.
The vinyl versions of each volume are referential to in-world content from the series, and each one is detailed with faux artwork, artists, tracklistings, and credits. The music actually contained on them is the same as above. Volume 03 does not contain any NIN songs, only references.
There are references to Twin Peaks/David Lynch, David Bowie, and Coil in the artwork. Twin Peaks and Lynch are referenced with "The Nine Inch Nails" (mentioned in/on all three volumes), which is the name given to NIN when they appeared on Twin Peaks: The Return, "Owl Cave Music" (in the faux credits of Volume 02), and "Crazy Klown Time". Bowie is referenced with "We Can Be Heroes" (title of side one of Volume 02), "Plastic Soul", and the instrumental cover of "Life On Mars?" that appears on the factual, digital version of Volume 03. Coil is referenced with "Last One Out Turn Off The Lights" which is a message etched in the deadwax on the vinyl version of the Coil album Musick To Play In The Dark Vol. 2.
The entire presentation of Volume 03 also lays out an alternate history for NIN, including the following fictional details: The Manhattan Project was recorded in 2001, with Danny Hyde of Coil assisting in production and mixing; Trent Reznor had gone missing or into seclusion after storming offstage in Saigon on April 28, 1995; Peter Murphy and Peter Christopherson were members, along with Atticus Ross.
Volume 01 (The Book of Rorschach by Sons of Pale Horse)
- "American Love (They Don't Make It Anymore)"
- "Good Men Like My Father"
- "My Violent New Continent"
- "No One Cares But Me"
- "Moloch (I Fought The Law)"
- "Dead Dogs And Pretty Little Butterflies"
- "Locked Up In Here With Me"
- "All My Friends Are So Very Soft"
- "The End Is Nigh (Suite)"
- "Never Compromise, Never Surrender"
Volume 02 (Soundtrack To The Original Series American Hero Story: Minutemen)
Side One: We Can Be Heroes
- "Mystery Man (Hooded Justice theme)"
- "Plastic Soul (Captain Metropolis theme)"
- "Novelty Act (Nite Owl theme)"
- "Kid Stuff (Silhouette theme)"
- "Razzle Dazzle! (Silk Spectre theme)"
- "Surrender Dorothy"
- "Reign of the Superduperman"
Side Two: Who Am I?
- "Crazy Klown Time (The Comedian theme)"
- "The Future is Crisis (Mothman theme)"
- "The Problem With Bank Doors (Dollar Bill theme)"
- "Sex Stuff"
- "Nostalgia Trap"
- "Meta Gala"
- "Reboot (Toward Less Obvious Forms of Heroism)"
Volume 03 (The Manhattan Project by The Nine Inch Nails)
- "Who Will Save Us Now?"
- "Just Do It" (an unreleased track by this name was recorded for The Downward Spiral)
- "The Actual Events" (most likely a play on Not The Actual Events)
- "The Way Out Is Through" (a track by this name was released on The Fragile)
- "Message Never Sent"
- "Not God"
- "She Bleeds Through" (possible reference to the working title of With Teeth)
- "The Eater Of Dreams" (a track by this name was released on Hesitation Marks)
- "Tek Başina"
- "Last One Out Turn Off The Lights"
- Mixed by Atticus Ross
- Mastering: Tom Baker at Baker Mastering
- Engineering: Kyle Hoffman, Tommy Simpson, Mat Mitchell, Chris Richardson
- Series Music Editor: Sally Boldt
- Additional Arrangements: Nick Chuba
- Writing and World Building: Jeff Jensen and Damon Lindelof
- Art Direction: John Crawford
- Design: Corey Holms
- Legal: Zia Modabber for Katten Munchin Rosenman LLP, Ross Rosen for Ross B. Rosen & Associates, LLC
- Management: Silva Artist Management
- Booking: Marc Geiger for WME
- Business Management: William Harper and Michael Walsh for Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman
- Published by Cloudcover (ASCAP)/Administered by Kobalt Songs Music
- Published by Songs in the Key of Mink (BMI)/Administered by Downtown DMP Songs
- ©2019 Null Corporation, under exclusive license to Capitol Records
Thank You: Steve Barnett, John Blair, Josh Cappannelli, Tiffany Chung, Erin Cooney, Pam Fitzgerald, Dana Flax, Ambrosia Healy, Jeff Jensen, Michelle Jubelirer, Damon Lindelof, Katherine Lo, Noelle Lyons, Teri Eastwood Molls, Ashley Newton, Arjun Pulijal, Josh Remsberg, Mariqueen Maandig Reznor, Claudia Sarne, Angela Tarantino, Adam Weiss, Yauny Wheaton
- "Trust In The Law": written by Mike Garson, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Performed by Mike Garson; Engineered by Austin Creek
- "Nostalgia Blues" and "Dreamland Jazz": written by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and John Beasley
Arranged by John Beasley; Performed by John Beasley, Keith Fiddmont, Peter Erskine and Chuck Berghofer; Engineered by Tommy Vicari
Thank You: Peter Rotter
- "The Way It Used To Be"
Music Producer: Dan Higgins, Engineering and Mixing: Rich Breen, Vocal: Laura Dickinson
- "Life On Mars?"
Written by David Bowie