Is this, I wonder, the greatest filmscore ever made? Well, if it isn't, it must come close.
It is impossible to imagine Wim Wenders' film without the sparse, haunting, melancholy wail of Ry Cooder's guitar, the soundtrack being an integral part of the action (if the film can really be considered to have much in the way of action). It is as difficult to imagine "Paris, Texas" without Cooder's music as it is to imagine the shower scene in "Psycho" without Bernard Herrman's staccato strings but, whereas Herrman's score works only with the film, the music on "Paris, Texas" makes for a raw and wonderful listening experience on its own.
Listen to this album with your eyes closed and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end with the power of the plaintive sounds. The extract of dialogue, "I Knew These People", is Harry Dean Stanton narrating the tale of young love gone sour: it fits so well with the rest of the album but still comes as a surprise, increasing the emotional weight of the record. All of which makes it sound like a bit of a miserable endeavour but, melancholy though it is, it is, somehow, far from miserable. Just beautiful.