One of my favorite cds, twenty years after I first heard it, remains the soundtrack to a film called Promised Land. Released in 1988 (gads, it really has been twenty years!), the film starred Kiefer Sutherland and Meg Ryan, and their performances in it endeared me to them right away. I haven't seen the movie since then and I don't have a lot of memories of it, though a few key, powerful scenes have stayed with me. But when I left the theater, I walked across the street to a record store and immediately bought the soundtrack. On cassette. I later replaced it with a cd.
James Newton Howard composed the score, one of his first. He's since gone on to the big time (he's currently up for an Oscar for the movie Michael Clayton) but this little gem remains my favorite of his, and one of my favorites period. It's a little new age-y, but it can immediately help get me more calm and centered. Here's a snippet.
The cd is long out-of-print and sells for a premium, which makes me thankful that I upgraded from cassette a long time ago. I'm not sure why the music speaks to me so much, but it's a testament to the power of music to affect my mood. It's a great accompaniment to sitting in a comfy chair and staring out the window.