Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Down By Law & Variety by John Lurie, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Down By Law & Variety

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

This release complies two John Lurie film scores from the mid-'80s; the first for the Jim Jarmusch indie classic Down By Law and the second for Bette Gordon's lesser-known Variety. Listeners familiar with Lurie's flagship project, the Lounge Lizards, or other groups from the downtown New York scene of the day should find the seedy, avant-noir vibe of Down By Law immediately familiar. This should come as no surprise as a number of musicians from that project (guitarists Marc Ribot and Arto Lindsay, percussionist E.J. Rodriguez, etc.) are also represented here. That said, what makes this recording unique and ultimately very refreshing is the noticeable lack of over the top irony one typically associates with downtown releases. Of the many enjoyable songs on this session, the polyphonic alto sax exercise "Are You Warm Enough?" is particularly interesting. On this number, Lurie employs an early example of the rhythmic and tonal patterns that would later become his signature sound. It is worth noting that this fluttering technique — inspired, it seems, more by Southeast Asian horn patterns than the blues — is actually quite unique and sets Lurie aside, jazz or otherwise, as an original reed improviser with a logic all his own. Also included are snippets of dialogue featuring the then-unknown Roberto Benigni. The music from Variety, on the other hand, is much more subdued and sparse. When divorced from the narrative and visuals of the film, the Variety score doesn't hold up as well as the score for Down By Law as a "naked" listen. Perhaps for this reason, it seems more typical of the background music one associates with film scores. Originally a Made to Measure release, this disc was reissued by Lurie's imprint, Strange and Beautiful, in 1999. The DVD of Down By Law, which features a soundtrack-only feature, was reissued by the Criterion Collection in October of 2002.


Born: 14 December 1952 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Musician, actor, painter, and hipster icon John Lurie was born in Minneapolis but raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. As a teen he played the harmonica, even bluffing his way on-stage to back the likes of Canned Heat and John Lee Hooker; later he adopted the alto saxophone, and upon moving to New York City, he and pianist brother Evan formed the fake-jazz combo the Lounge Lizards in 1978. Emerging from the downtown no wave scene, the group channeled numerous influences -- punk, funk, film music,...
Full Bio

Listeners Also Bought

Down By Law & Variety, John Lurie
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.