Keyboardist Kevin Moore will be familiar to fans of modern progressive rock through his work as a former member of Dream Theater and from his solo work under the name Chroma Key; more recently, he has worked with several other prog luminaries in the experimental supergroup O.S.I. But Ghost Book is an almost purely solo endeavor, a soundtrack album consisting of work commissioned by Turkish novelist Dogu Yucal for use in the film adaptation of his novel Havalet Kitap (or "Ghost Book"). Yucel was a longstanding fan of Moore's work in Dream Theater and had quoted some of the band's lyrics in his novel, so the pairing was natural…
The follow-up to 1986's Something Grand finds pianist Hilton Ruiz using a similar group (including trumpeter Lew Soloff and Sam Rivers on tenor, soprano, and flute), but adding guitarist Rodney Jones and third percussionist Jerry Gonzalez. Ruiz contributed five of the six selections ("Come Dance With Me" is by trombonist Dick Griffin), and the music is advanced Afro-Cuban jazz that moves past bebop; in fact, the nearly 15-minute "Eastern Vibrations" is often quite free.
…Hans Zimmer's Oscar-nominated score is performed on the instrument du jour of the 1980s, the electronic keyboard. A dangerous move, considering the synthesizer's lack of cinematic sweep, and its high potential for cheesiness. But this is a great score. The lonely, atmospheric "End Title" track is evocative of the sort of wistful sadness that pervades the film. And "Las Vegas" is even better – it provides a major adrenaline rush, as driving drum machines mix with wildly emotive wordless vocals. It's a very original approach to scoring a cinematic moment.
The song "Storybook Love", written and sung by Willy DeVille, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 60th Academy Awards. The soundtrack was released by Warner Bros. Records in the USA and Vertigo Records internationally in November 1987. It was co-written and recorded by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, the only person who director Rob Reiner felt could create a soundtrack to capture the film's quirky yet romantic nature.