Crossroads (1986 soundtrack)

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Crossroads OST
Crossroads 1986 OST.jpeg
Soundtrack album by Ry Cooder, Steve Vai, Arlen Roth
Released 1986
Recorded Ocean Way Studios, Nashville, TN
Genre Rock
Length 37:06
Label Warner Bros. Records
Producer Tom Whalley
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Crossroads is the soundtrack to the 1986 film starring Ralph Macchio, Joe Seneca and Jami Gertz, inspired by the legend of blues musician Robert Johnson.

The film was written by John Fusco and directed by Walter Hill and featured an original score featuring Ry Cooder, Arlen Roth and Steve Vai on the soundtrack's guitar, and harmonica by Sonny Terry. Vai also appears in the film as the devil's guitar player in the climactic guitar duel.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Crossroads"   Ahmad Jamal, Robert Johnson, Traditional 4:24
2. "Down in Mississippi"   J. B. Lenoir 4:25
3. "Cotton Needs Pickin'"   Frank Frost, Richard "Shubby" Holmes, John Price, Otis Taylor 2:58
4. "Viola Lee Blues"   Noah Lewis 3:11
5. "See You in Hell, Blind Boy"   Ry Cooder 2:10
6. "Nitty Gritty Mississippi" (not in the movie) Fred Burch, Don Hill 2:57
7. "He Made a Woman Out of Me"   Fred Burch, Don Hill 4:12
8. "Feelin' Bad Blues"   Ry Cooder 4:16
9. "Somebody's Callin' My Name"   Traditional 1:45
10. "Willie Brown Blues"   Ry Cooder, Joe Seneca 3:45
11. "Walkin' Away Blues"   Ry Cooder, Sonny Terry 3:37

Film's music chronology[edit]

Timing Events Song Name or description Performers CD release
0:00:18 Opening Theme Harmonica solo theme Sonny Terry
0:03:20 Robert Johnson Studio session "Crossroads Blues" (Robert Johnson) Ry Cooder, Terry Evans Alt. Version on the "Crossroads OST"
0:06:07 Played by "Willie" while "Eugene" leaves the hospital Harmonica Solo Sonny Terry
0:07:24 Played by "Willie," while Ralph clean the floor & before the first meeting Harmonica Solo Sonny Terry
0:09:24 "Eugeune" Classical Guitar Juilliard Audition "Turkish March" (Mozart) / Blues Coda William Kanengiser
0:10:22 Other Student Girl Classical Guitar Juilliard Audition J.S.Bach - Gigue - Suite BWV 995 William Kanengiser
0:13:07 Eugene Classical Guitar Practice "Eugene's Trick Bag" (Classic Version) William Kanengiser
0:14:00 Eugene Acoustic Guitar Practice Guitar Solo Ry Cooder
0:15:02 "Willie" Photo memories "See you in Hell, Blind Boy" (extract) Alan Pasqua, Van Dyke Parks Crossroads OST
0:17:25 "Eugene" Guitar Demo for "Willie" Guitar Solo Arlen Roth, Ry Cooder
0:22:05 "Willie" Joy to leave the hospital Harmonica solo Sonny Terry
0:22:55 "Willie" Escape, part 1 Open Tuning Guitar Slide Solo Ry Cooder
0:23:46 "Willie" Escape, part 2 Harmonica & Open Tuning Guitar slide Ry Cooder, Sonny Terry
0:25:28 Bus Departure Blues Band (instrumental)
0:30:01 Bus Money Issues "Viola Lee Blues" (extract) Walt Sereth, Jim Dickinson, Jorge Calderon, Ry Cooder, George Bohannon, Jim Keltner Crossroads OST
0:31:48 "Eugene" play while is walkin' Guitar solo Ry Cooder
0:32:15 The Willie's Train Lesson Harmonica train solo, Guitar response Ry Cooder, Arlen Roth, Sonny Terry
0:33:15 Willie Memories "See you in Hell, Blind Boy" (extract) Alan Pasqua, Van Dyke Parks Crossroads OST
0:35:13 Eugene tryin' the Fender & the Pignose Electric Guitar Solo Ry Cooder, Arlen Roth
0:36:15 Eugene Fender's blues, Willie & Eugene Rain's Walk, Frances' meeting Electric Slide Guitar Solo Ry Cooder
0:40:02 Eugene, Willie & Frances take the road to far south Electric Slide Guitar Solo Ry Cooder
0:40:40 Eugene & Willie Street's Gig Electric Guitar & Harmonica Ry Cooder, Arlen Roth, Sonny Terry
0:42:12 Eugene Hobo's Practicing Electric Slide Guitar Solo Ry Cooder
0:42:52 Music From the pub, "Trio" and the owner affair "He Made a Woman Out of Me" Amy Madigan, Ry Cooder, Jim Dickinson, William "Smitty" Smith, Nathan East, Jim Keltner Crossroads OST
0:46:48 On the road to Jacksonville, Florida Electric Slide Guitar & Drums Ry Cooder, Drums Jim Keltner
0:49:02 Trio sunset's chat about the lost song Acoustic Slide Guitar Solo Ry Cooder
0:56:13 Willie play while Trio walk on the bridge Harmonica Solo Sonny Terry
0:57:20 Music from "Sonny Crup's Place" "Down in Mississippi" Jorge Calderon, Ry Cooder, Miguel Cruz, Bobby King, Terry Evans, Willie Green, Jim Keltner, Jim Dickinson Crossroads OST
0:59:20 First song in the "White's pub" "If I Lose" (Ralph Stanley) Amy Madigan (Vocal)
1:00:52 First song in Sonny Crup's Place "Cotton Needs Pickin'" Otis Taylor, Ry Cooder, Frank Frost, Jim Dickinson, Richard "Shubby" Holmes, John Price Crossroads OST
1:01:42 Second song in the "White's pub" Instrumental country music
1:03:42 Second song in Sonny Crup's Place "Maintenance Man" Otis Taylor, Ry Cooder, Frank Frost, Jim Dickinson, Richard "Shubby" Holmes, John Price
1:05:42 Willie & Eugeune Jam at Sonny Crup's Place "Willie Brown Blues" Nathan East, Frank Frost, John "Juke" Logan*, Ry Cooder, Joe Seneca, John Price, Jim Dickinson Crossroads OST
1:11:37 Frances Leavin' Keyboards & guitar
1:14:54 Eugene's Heartbreak "Feelin' Bad Blues" Ry Cooder Alt. Version on the "Crossroads OST"
1:20:23 Eugene & Willie Waiting at the crossroad, meeting with the devil Electric Slide Guitar Solo Ry Cooder, Arlen Roth
1:24:22 Introducing: "Jack Butler" !!! "Butler's Bag" Steve Vai, Ry Cooder, Jorge Calderon*, Jim Keltner Alt. Version on the "The Elusive Light and Sound, Vol. 1"
1:25:07 Second Song in the "Hell's Pub" "Somebody's Callin' My Name" Arnold McCuller, Bobby King, Sam King, Willie Green, Ry Cooder Alt. Version on the "Crossroads OST"
1:27:11 "The Duel" "Head Cuttin' Duel" Steve Vai, Ry Cooder (Slide Guitar), Jorge Calderon*, Sonny Terry, Jim Keltner on the "The Elusive Light and Sound, Vol. 1"
1:31:42 "The Duel," part.2 "Eugene's Trick Bag" Steve Vai on the "The Elusive Light and Sound, Vol. 1"
1:34:07 Eugene's Victory Harmonica & Slide Guitar with Blues Band Steve Vai, Ry Cooder (Slide Guitar), Jorge Calderon*, Sonny Terry, Jim Keltner
1:35:12 Return to the crossroads "See you in Hell, Blind Boy" (extract) Alan Pasqua, Van Dyke Parks Crossroads OST
1:36:20 End Credits "Walkin' Away Blues" Ry Cooder, Sonny Terry Alt. Version on the "Crossroads OST"

Miscellaneous Information[edit]

  • The "Eugene's Trick Bag" is based on the Caprice No. 5 by Nicolo Paganini.
  • The movie was filmed in some of the same Mississippi Delta locations where screenwriter Fusco once hitchhiked and hopped trains, searching for lost blues legends much like his characters.[citation needed]
  • Macchio's fingering on the guitar was a studied acting job in itself because he didn't know how to play guitar prior to taking on the part of a guitarist. He received intensive training from classical guitarist William Kanengiser of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and Blues and slide guitar Master Arlen Roth to approximate playing realistically enough to hide his inexperience.
  • The "train" riff that Jack Butler plays to intimidate Eugene at the beginning of their duel was later used in Bad Horsie, the opening track on Steve Vai's Alien Love Secrets.

Gear[edit]

  • The guitar used by Jack Butler (Steve Vai) is a Charvel San Dimas.
  • The guitar amplifier used by Jack Butler (Steve Vai) is a Carvin X100B.
  • The battery-powered guitar amplifier used by Macchio is Pignose Legendary 7-100.
  • The Fender Telecaster Ralph Macchio carries along his hobo trek in the second half of the film is a 1970s CBS Fender with block lettering on the headstock. Very realistic for the film because not only were they affordable and easy to acquire (in the 1980s, that is), their heavy polyurethane finish made them near impervious to the tests of the road, as seen when Macchio and Seneca are walking through the rain, sleeping in barns, abandoned shacks and the outdoors.

References[edit]