Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP, later replaced by a CD.
Because I liked the group's First Circle album, I bought this soundtrack immediately upon release in early 1985. While moody and atmospheric, it remains very melodic and sounds very much like the music from First Circle, augmented by string arrangements. The highlight of the set is the single This Is Not America, sung by David Bowie. An odd-pairing for sure and I have no idea how it works, but it does. It peaked at #32 on the pop chart, which seems low to me as it got heavy airplay on my stereos. To be fair, like many Bowie performances, it transcends labels instead of falling neatly into them. The tracks that made up side one (tracks 1-4) are the rare soundtrack cuts that stand up to active listening. I only recently obtained a CD copy of the album and that fact has me scratching my head as this is my second favorite Metheny album after the aforementioned First Circle.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #54
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #27
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #65
Tracks: In addition to This Is Not America, my favorites are Psalm 121/Flight Of The Falcon (which I actually performed live in the summer of 1985. It was not well-received, unfortunately.), Daulton Lee, and Chris. The only tracks that sounds like typical soundtrack music is Extent Of The Lie and The Level Of Deception, so I'll usually skip those.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I only recently watched this Sean Penn/Timothy Hutton movie for the first time and recognizing the music, I thought, "I must have listened to that album quite a bit back in '85; time to order the CD." And I did.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Steve Reich - Different Trains, Electric Counterpoint (1989)
First Circle (1984)