Songs, vids keep 'Heroes' alive
Empty"Heroes" might be on hiatus, but fans can get their fix of NBC's superhero drama with the release next month of its first original soundtrack and accompanying music videos.
The NBC Universal Television, DVD, Music & Consumer Products Group has set a March 18 release for the album, which will feature exclusive new singles from artists including Wilco ("Glad It's Over"), Panic! at the Disco ("Nine in the Afternoon"), Imogen Heap ("Not Now But Soon") and Brighton Port Authority featuring Iggy Pop ("He's Frank") as well as classic tracks from Bob Dylan ("Man in the Long Black Coat") and David Bowie ("Heroes," as one might have guessed).
It also will include the "Heroes" theme and three other songs by former Prince collaborators Wendy & Lisa as well as Jesus and Mary Chain's first new studio recording ("All Things Must Pass") in a decade.
In addition, "Heroes" executive producer/director Allan Arkush has crafted five music video montage podcasts — featuring "Heroes" footage set to select tracks from the album — that will be exclusively available for free download on the Zune Marketplace online store and for streaming at MSN. Nada Surf's "Weightless" will be the first available, starting Friday.
The soundtrack, being released through NBC Records, will be available in CD format at Best Buy stores and digitally at Zune and other digital service providers. It is executive produced by music industry veteran Errol Kolosine in collaboration with "Heroes" creator/executive producer Tim Kring and Arkush.
"The producers of 'Heroes' view music as something that helps inspire them and define the show, and 'Heroes' fans are such avid fans that they are constantly looking for more," said Shelli Hill, a vp in the NBC Uni group. "Plus, we wanted to give them something right now in the time frame while they are waiting for the next new episodes."
"Heroes," which wrapped its second "volume" in December, returns for a third season in the fall.
Arkush said he and Kring are big music fans and worked with Kolosine to get some of their favorites on the album. They also sought songs that would fit with the show's story lines, characters and sensibility, working especially closely with a few artists, like Heap, to come up with appropriate songs.
"We started talking about including music that inspired us — not just music that had been on the show but that really connected with the 'Heroes' head space," Arkush said.
As for Dylan, Arkush said that "in general, his people are very choosy" in terms of licensing rights to his songs. But Arkush and Kring had a relationship with the singer through their use of some of his songs on their previous series, "Crossing Jordan."
Arkush said that somewhere between a third and half of the soundtrack's 18 songs have already been featured on the show.
Meanwhile, the five videos will be centered around various themes pertinent to each song. For example, "Weightless" will feature footage of the characters who can fly as well as those experiencing the "weightlessness of real emotions," while Dylan's "Man" will center on the evil Sylar (Zachary Quinto).
The soundtrack's complete track listings can be found at THR.com.