I absolutely love this film and this soundtrack.The film is about a gang called the Warriors (natch) who get framed for killing another gangleader called Cyrus from rival gang the Gramercy Riffs. You see, Cyrus had a plan to unite all the gangs and stop all the fighting in New York but after Cyrus is assassinated all the bad ass gangs scurry to their respective hovels/boroughs and the Warriors are left to get back to Coney Island (their home turf) while they are behind enemy lines. And every other gang in the city wants them dead. Standard plot-driven fair, yet this film is much more than that,......its A balls-out-neon-lit-comic-book-retelling-of-a-fucking-greek myth!!!! What more could you want? Fuck 300!!! This is where the real shit is at.
Based on the Greek legend of Anabasis, which is the account of an army whom after siding with Cyrus the Younger (another Cyrus. See? See? It's getting all meta and shit) find themselves isolated within enemy territory after the battle of Cunaxa and have to fight, kill, eat and survive while they trek 1000 miles back to Trabzon at the shores of the Black Sea.
When released in 1979 it seemed to be just a lock stock violent exploitation film with its own unique near future look at inner city violence but it wasn't until the Directors Cut DVD (released in 2005) that director Walter Hill was able to reveal how his love for comic books and this particular myth have influenced his making of the film. Yet even without the Special Edition embellishments the film has a distinct visual style (I mean just look at all those gangs!!!), which gives a very comic book look to the cinematography and framing of every scene.
This soundtrack is a strange mix of soul and r & b with a few choice tracks from the score by Barry De Vorzon and of course some great bits of dialogue from the film including Cyrus' "Can You Dig It?" speech (many boffins of the 1990s might recognise it sampled from the Pop Will Eat Itself song) and the sexy badass voice of Lynne Thigpen as the omniscient Radio DJ.
It's a very cool soundtrack for a great cult film. A lot of the R & B tracks leave a lot to be desired (I'm not really a big fan of the genre) but the inclusion of the iconic Warriors Theme and the disco cover version of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas "Nowhere to Run" (which sets up the one great musical gag of the film- see above!) make it a nice piece of platter. Besides the cover art is the bomb.