When an act called Sisters Love were offered a cameo in the blaxploitation film The Mack, their manager suggested that Willie Hutch do the soundtrack. It came to be one of the great '70s film scores, including a pair of classic funk tunes, "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" and the title cut. The results proved to be another soundtrack that far surpassed the quality of its film.
A little bit of everything can be found on this soundtrack to German director Wim Wenders's 1987 film: theme music, songs from the film, and even some dialogue. It's an eclectic mix, but it hangs together well, instantly evoking the moody, somber texture of Wenders's remarkable story of an angel's desire to once again become flesh and blood. Jürgen Knieper's solemn, meditative string compositions dominate the first half of the disc, interspersed with actor Bruno Ganz's reading of the Peter Handke poem "Lied Vom Kindsein (Song of Childhood)"; it's a dramatic effect that works here almost as well as it does onscreen over sweeping panoramas of a still-divided Berlin. And even if you haven't seen the film, several songs featured prominently in it make this soundtrack an essential listen–namely, Nick Cave's relentlessly spooky "The Carny" and Crime and the City Solution's brilliantly droopy "Six Bells Chime".
The 1981 Jean-Jacques Beineix film Diva is a dizzying cornucopia of delights, with a strong sense of urban cool and a cast of characters whose alternating detachments and obsessions hint at the legacy of pain and loneliness that helped form them. Its score, composed by Vladimir Cosma, is inseparable from the film, which, after all, is about music itself, and the ways that it links to desire and longing. From the beautiful arias of Wilhemina Wiggins Fernandez (who plays an opera singer in the film) to the eerie, achingly beautiful instrumental pieces composed by Cosma to set the mood for images of rain-slicked streets, Taiwanese music pirates, teenaged Vietnamese thieves, jaded middle-aged art sages, motorbikes and car chases, the score for Diva remains one of Cosma's masterpieces, a perfect companion to a film that became an international underground hit.