The Wire, the gritty HBO series that returns for its fifth and final season in January, has been renowned for its unflinching portrayal of Baltimore. Now, that faithfulness to its setting is expanding to a soundtrack stuffed with music from the show's five years — including several tracks from underground Baltimore hip hop and club artists.
The soundtrack, ...And All the Pieces Matter, will be released Jan. 8, two days after the show's season premiere. So far, it sounds like a great selection of songs, with the Baltimore tracks joining "The Body of an American" by the Pogues, "I Feel Alright" by Steve Earle, and "Fast Train" by Solomon Burke. The album will include a booklet of essays by hip-hop journalists and author (and Wire writer) George Pelecanos.
I might be most excited about getting to hear all the versions of the show's theme song ("Way Down in the Hole" by Tom Waits) together. Each season has had a different rendition of the song, including a group of Baltimore teens who recorded the theme for the education-focused fourth season. In fact, their take on the song might be my favorite; you can check it out over here.