Eric D. Johnson

Ceremony [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Ten of the 16 tracks on the soundtrack album for Max Winkler's romantic comedy Ceremony are cues from the score by Eric D. Johnson, but the disc is billed as a various-artists collection of music from the movie. Johnson, leader of the Fruit Bats, provides background music that includes traditional-sounding Mexican themes ("Dos Gauchos en El Camino") and early guitar jazz à la Django Reinhardt ("Uncle Teddy"), as if he had learned scoring by listening to a collection of Ry Cooder's film music. The other six tracks are pop tunes of different sorts that seem to fit in with some of Johnson's music (Van Dyke Parks' brief instrumental "Plots and Entrees") or address the plot of the film (Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy"). There are familiar songs done in unfamiliar ways, such as the Who song "La La La Lies" as recorded in its original demo by Pete Townshend and a cover of Paul Simon's "Papa Hobo" by Ezra Koenig "of the band Vampire Weekend" (as he is billed). And one of Eric Burdon & the Animals' better if less well-known songs, the B-side "Good Times," is given an airing after decades of neglect. It all adds up to a playful, even mischievous mood for a story of love and deception.

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