Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Music By Ry Cooder
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
Ostensibly a collection of Cooder's film music, the two-CD Music by Ry Cooder delivers the cinematic quality of a good soundtrack album but packs the kind of ferocious jams--featuring crack players such as John Hiatt, Jim ... more »
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Ostensibly a collection of Cooder's film music, the two-CD Music by Ry Cooder delivers the cinematic quality of a good soundtrack album but packs the kind of ferocious jams--featuring crack players such as John Hiatt, Jim Keltner, David Lindley, and Jim Dickinson--that you'll never hear on a John Williams score. Cooder's melancholy acoustic and electric-slide moans are a constant, though the material shifts from the plaintive piano tune "I Like Your Eyes" (from Johnny Handsome) to the border-town ballad "Across the Borderline" (featuring Freddy Fender) to the grit-and-spit stomp of "Bomber Bash" (from Streets of Fire). From cowboy serenades to contemporary exotica, from Paris, Texas to Alamo Bay, Cooder's soundtrack legacy is a strangely unified cross section of an American master's finest and most varied work. --James Rotondi
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Really great background music, which is the problem
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 02/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think some of the reviewers here miss the point: this is background music, which means that unlike some of Cooder's other, greater albums like PARADISE AND LUNCH, CHICKEN SKIN MUSIC, or INTO THE PURPLE VALLEY. Unlike these albums, the music here isn't supposed to call direct attention to itself. It is supposed to create mood and generate atmosphere. You can't listen to individual cuts with the same kind of attention that you would to his recording of Woody Guthrie's "Vigilante Man." I don't mean to denigrate the album by representing this as background music. That is simply what it is, and you have to judge it by different standards than music that is meant to perform a different function. I derive enormous enjoyment from this album by employing it for the same purposes that it served in the various movies for which it was recorded. Reading, taking a bath, working, writing a friend to a letter: this is great music for any of those and a multitude of other activities. We sometimes want every piece of music to conform to a single use, but that simply isn't realistic.I do want to make two general comments about this album. One is that the highpoint for me is the absolutely stunning song from the Jack Nicholson film THE BORDER (one of his greatest performances) entitled "The Borderline," written by Jim Dickinson and sung by Freddy Fender. It is simply a great song, and unlike the rest of the album, in no sense background music. The other remark is that a complaint that I have is that so little music from THE LONG RIDERS soundtrack was included. The best music that Cooder ever did for a movie was for that one, and I could have stood to have a great deal more included here. We get three cuts, but I would have enjoyed 4 or 5 more. Anyone enjoying those, however, should search out the entire soundtrack."
If you're a Ry Cooder Fan, and you like Instrumental Music..
fetish_2000 | U.K. | 08/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those of you that are fans of 'Ry Cooders' work, collecting his music is something of a daunting proposition. With a collection of regular Studio albums totalling some 25+ albums (with 2005 utterly sublime "Chavez Ravine", being the most recent). If you are (like I am) a relatively newbie to his music, picking which albums to start with is an slightly tricky option.
For someone that has handled a multitude of genres: Rock, Blues-Rock, Ethnic Fusion, Slide Guitar Blues, Cuban, Film Music, Roots Rock, Latin, Worldbeat, & Blues, finding an album that encapsulates all his influences is going to be a compilers nightmare. Unfortunately...this isn't it!!, but before you head off to view the reviews for: "Why Don't You Try Me Tonight?: The Best of Ry Cooder" (Tremendous, overall 1 Cd Summary of his work), or "River Rescue: The Very Best of Ry Cooder", as compilations of his work. You should be really give this reasonably expensive 2-Cd compilation, your attention. Why??....well, this isn't as mentioned before, an 'Overall Summary' of his work, and instead is a compilation of the great many compositions for film soundtracks, that he has either composed or performed over the years.
This is predominately an album that although focusing on soundtracks, shows an incredible level of diversity and proficiency on his chosen instrument....(The Guitar), and seeing as Ry is one of the most gifted guitar Multi-instrumentalists of his generation, his excellence of his many uses of guitar are perfectly captured here. Although a lot of the work here, showcases his unprecedented work with the 'Slide Guitar', and manages to be some of the most organically expressive and Lush sophisticated guitar work, committed to CD.
The various arrangements here, are an incredibly diverse bunch. Moving from, stark, acoustic slide pieces that are self-consciously introspection in tone, to both loose and sophisticated thoughtful tracks, powerful Electric guitar for the more traditional numbers, fragile and laid-back Cuban numbers, intimate and elegant Rhythm & Blues, Romantic and mellow Latin-tinged Jazz guitar, upbeat surf guitar melodies that float over altering rhythms, southern-styled U.S. roots numbers, mixed with bittersweet & gloomy country blues, or dusty North American folk songs that touch upon the more rustic side and earthy side of his playing. Some tracks even touch upon a uniquely modest sounding country & Western-tinged feel, and Cooders excellence in merging tracks that have a distinctly Mariachi feel, work across a magnificent cross-breeding of genres that truly highlight that the man is arguably deserving to be classed amongst some of the worlds greatest guitarist.
But what impresses most is the sense of mood and atmosphere that Ry is so superbly able to convey in what largely consists of the majority of the work here, which is Instrumental. (Although several tracks do feature vocals, there are more performed as vocal accompaniments to the instrumentals, rather than tracks with Lyrics, searching for instruments). And such is the proficiency of Ry performances, that it isn't hard to imagine what sort of film these quite stunning instrumentals are likely to be soundtracking. Although personally I didn't recognise any of the soundtracks on this two CD from any particular film, you get the impression that even if the film itself, might have been mediocre, the accompanying soundtrack music is tremendous.
Although this is a absolutely exceptional compilation and amongst some of Ry's greatest works, if you are new to the wonderful world of Ry Cooder, then I would have to suggest that unless you are a huge fan of instrumental tracks (which admittedly, I am...) you should first get yourself acquainted with his more largely recognised works/Studio albums, even if it's just a studio album or two (I very strongly suggest): "Into The Purple Valley", "Paradise and Lunch", "The Long Riders", "A Meeting by the River", "Chavez Ravine"....or a compilation, to bring yourself up to speed with the great mans work, as It leads perfectly into this album, which is a beautifully compiled work of his virtuosity with the guitar. And for those that already are familiar with the great mans work, (or merely want an album of intricately performed, and expressive guitar music), should add this to their Cooder collections immediately. I have around 5 Ry Cooder albums (and growing), and this is arguably one of the albums that has the most plays, due to the sheer volume of material contained, the accessibility of the tracks and more importantly an album that doesn't necessarily require you to be in a particular mood to enjoy. (I use this album to occasionally Chill-out to, have as background music when I'm working, or indeed just fancy listening to something different), a absolute 'Must have' if your a fan of Ry Cooders work."
jasemana | Los Angeles, Ca. United States | 10/24/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The collection of Ry Cooder's motion picture contributions I find to be essential for just that reason. There is a substantial amount of quality material here which, first off, is perfect for the person who doesn't know much about his music and would like to taste his stylings from different sources of inspiration ~ (Crossroads, Streets of Fire, Alamo Bay, Trespass, Paris, Texas, Johnny Handsome, e.g.) Secondly, and more importantly for me, there are also selections here that are otherwise unavailable (music from the soundtrack to Southern Comfort), which I think is a necessary element to complete any Cooder collection. Much of the music on this CD is ambient, but at the same time paints a very definite picture of landscapes and scenes through roots guitar playing. There are also a good number of tunes which feature the Leslie amplifier (a guitar amp with a rotating tremolo speaker which produces a drone effect), the mastering of which is an art in and of itself. The inner sleeve, although short, has some information regarding the logistics of each track, with a blurb by Cooder himself.There are definitely other Ry Cooder releases which I would choose as my personal favorites (hence only three stars), however I think that none is as diverse as this double CD. A bit pricey, but overall, a nice compilation."