Rhino will issue a seven-CD collection of Ry Cooder's soundtracks for the films of Wim Wenders, Louis Malle, Walter Hill and other directors. Titled simply Soundtracks, the set will be released on September 30.
A virtuoso guitarist, Cooder has explored many genres over his more than one dozen solo albums. But it's his ability to conjure moods and atmospheres that has earned him acclaim as a soundtrack producer, with film credits that go back more than three decades.
After working on soundtracks for Watermelon Man and Performance (starring Mick Jagger) in 1970, Cooder began producing soundtracks on his own, beginning with The Long Riders in 1980. It was the first of many films that Cooder would score for the film's director, Walter Hill, many of which are compiled in this set, including Crossroads, Johnny Handsome, Trespass and the Hill-produced film Blue City.
Cooder enjoyed a prolific two-year period between 1985 and 1986 when he reeled off more than half of the soundtracks in this collection, including Alamo Bay,Blue City, Crossroads, and Paris, Texas, the Wim Wenders' film that won the prestigious Palme d'Or in 1984 at the Cannes Film Festival.
The soundtracks vary widely in terms of style, even as the group of musicians who performed on them remained remarkably consistent. In fact, some combination of drummer Jim Keltner, Memphis legend Jim Dickinson, guitarist David Lindley, and composer Van Dyke Parks can be heard on every soundtrack included in this set. In addition to those core musicians, the albums also boasts guest performances by Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos on Alamo Bay, keyboardist Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers on Blue City, and harmonica player Sonny Terry on Crossroads.