Woody Jackson returns from Red Dead Redemption 1 to compose the second game’s soundtrack, with further production and arrangement work by Jeff Silverman, who previously worked with Aloe Black. Colin Stetson, who previously worked with Bon Iver, did additional work on the score and orchestration, as did David Ferguson (Johnny Cash’s engineer), David Ralicke (Beck, Sons of Anarchy), Gabe Witcher (Punch Brothers, True Detective), Luke O’Malley, Mario Batkovic (of Geoff Barrow’s Invada), Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Superwolf, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Prince Billy), Rabih Beaini, and Senyawa.
If you’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption 2, you’re no doubt aware of the open-world game’s lovely music and overall sound design. But you might not have known or noticed that the soundtrack also features some massive names in music who performed songs for it.
More than 110 other musicians also contributed to the soundtrack, including Kanye West collaborator Arca, as well as Queens of the Stone Age drummer Jon Theodore.
As you might have noticed already, Red Dead Redemption 2 also features a number of vocal moments over music, and all of them were produced by Grammy-winner Daniel Lanois. He previously worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson.
Speaking of Willie Nelson, he did vocal work on the game alongside Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme, rapper Nas, singer-songwriter D’Angelo, and musician Rhiannon Giddens. Ferguson, who was Johnny Cash’s engineer, also produced and performed an original song for Red Dead Redemption 2.
In a blog post, Rockstar Games said it will share more details about Red Dead Redemption 2’s music and availability in the time to come. Here’s to hoping Rockstar releases the music everywhere, while a special edition vinyl version would be a treat as well.
Red Dead Redemption 1 featured Bill Elm as a co-composer alongside Woody Jackson. However, Elm is apparently not involved at all with Red Dead Redemption 2, for reasons that have yet to be explained. We’ve contacted Rockstar for comment, and we’ll update this post with anything we hear back.