Ry Cooder – Blue City (OST) (1986)

FrontCover1Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, record producer, and writer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his slide guitar work, his interest in traditional music, and his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.

Cooder’s solo work draws upon many genres. He has played with John Lee Hooker, Captain Beefheart, Taj Mahal, Gordon Lightfoot, Ali Farka Touré, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, Linda Ronstadt, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, David Lindley, The Chieftains, The Doobie Brothers, and Carla Olson and The Textones (on record and film). He formed the band Little Village, and produced the album Buena Vista Social Club (1997), which became a worldwide hit; Wim Wenders directed the documentary film of the same name (1999), which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.

Cooder was ranked at No. 8 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, while a 2010 list by Gibson Guitar Corporation placed him at No. 32. In 2011, he published a collection of short stories called Los Angeles Stories. (wikipedia)

Ry Cooder

Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder’s chameleon-like guitar virtuosity, songwriting, and choice of cover material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles from rock & roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville. Cooder is also an unofficial American cultural ambassador who was partially responsible for bringing together the Cuban musicians known globally as the Buena Vista Social Club. (by Steve Huey)

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And here´s his soundtrack to the movie “Blue City”:

Blue City is a 1986 American action thriller film directed by Michelle Manning and starring Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and David Caruso. It is based on Ross Macdonald’s 1947 novel of the same name about a young man who returns to a corrupt small town in Florida to avenge the death of his father.

Movie Poster

A young man, Billy Turner, returns to his hometown of Blue City, Florida, after five years away. He gets into a bar fight and is thrown in jail. Then, he learns that his father Jim, the town’s mayor, was killed while he was gone. The chief of police, Luther Reynolds, tells Billy that the police did not find the killer but that Perry Kerch, Jim’s widow’s business partner, was a suspect. Billy decides to start his own investigation. He meets with his old friend, Joey Rayford, who refuses to help him.

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Billy then meets with Kerch. Kerch says that he did not kill Jim and then has his thugs beat up Billy. Billy talks to Joey again, and Joey agrees to help him take down Kerch. Billy blows up Kerch’s car and robs Kerch’s thugs of money. Joey’s sister, Annie, does not approve of what Billy and Joey are doing, but they refuse to stop. Billy gives Annie a ride home, and they have sex. Afterwards, they start a relationship with each other. Annie, who works at the police station, starts to help Billy with investigating Jim’s murder. Billy and Joey go to a club that Kerch owns, beat up the workers, and wreck the club. Kerch and Reynolds both continue trying to get Billy to leave town, without success.

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Billy, Joey, and Annie get lured to a motel. Kerch’s thugs arrive, a gunfight ensues, and Kerch’s thugs are killed. Reynolds forces Billy to leave. After he leaves, he learns that Joey was shot and killed. Billy returns and goes to confront Kerch at Kerch’s house. Reynolds shows up, as well, and kills Kerch and his thugs. Then, Reynolds shoots Billy and reveals that he killed Jim. Billy fights and kills Reynolds. The police arrive, everything is sorted out, and Billy and Annie leave town on Billy’s motorcycle. (wikipedia)

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A very enjoyable soundtrack to a rather mediocre film. Cooder’s take on Johnny Cash’s “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” alone is worth the price of admission. “Tell Me Something Slick” features the fabulous vocal stylings of Terry Evans and Bobby King. Other standout tracks are the irresistably funky “Blue City Down” and the quietly infectious closer “Not Even Key West”. Recorded at Ocean Way by Mark Ettel (who had previously also recorded Cooder’s soundtrack to “Paris, Texas”) and mastered by Bernie Grundman. Recommended! (Maria B.)


Jorge Calderon (bass)
Ry Cooder (guitar, slide guitar, vocals on 01. + 09., wind, piano on 05., background vocals on 01.)
Miguel Cruz (percussion)
Jim Dickinson (keyboards)
Jim Keltner (drums, wind. piano on 05.)
Jorge Calderon (piano on 05.)
Bill Cuomo (synthesizer on 02.)
Nathan East (bass on 01., 02. + 07.)
Alejandro Escovedo (guitar on 03.)
Javier Escovedo (guitar, vocals on 03.)
Terry Evans (vocals on 07.)
Kevin Foley (drums on 03.)
Denny DeGorio (bass on 03.)
Jon Dee Graham (lead guitar on 03.)
Robert Greenidge (steel drums on 02. + 10.)
Bobby King (vocals on 07.)
Gayle Levant (harp on 10.)
Michelle Manning (wind, piano on 05.)
Benmont Tench (organ on 02. + 10.)
background vocals on 01.):
Bobby King – Terry Evans

01. Blue City Down (Dickinson) 3.28
02. Elevation 13 Ft. (Cooder) 3.18
03. True Believers (Marianne) (J.Escovedo) 3.00
04. Nice Bike (Cooder) 1.36
05. Greenhouse (Cooder) 4.19
06. Billy And Annie (Cooder) 2.44
07. Pops And ‘Timer (Tell Me Something Slick) (Dickinson) 2.50
08. Blue City (Cooder) 4.21
09. Don’t Take Your Guns To Town (Cash) 3.49
10. A Leader Of Men (Cooder) 1.25
11. Not Even Key West (Cooder) 4.32




More from Ry Cooder:

The official website:

2 thoughts on “Ry Cooder – Blue City (OST) (1986)

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