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Section Header
In Country
1996 Bootleg

2013 Intrada

Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:
James Horner

Co-Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie

Labels and Dates:
Vivo Music (bootleg)
(November, 1996)

Intrada Records
(February 18th, 2013)

Also See:
Class Action
Field of Dreams

Audio Clips:
1996 Bootleg:

2. Testament: Riding the Bike (0:27):
WMA (177K)  MP3 (218K)
Real Audio (136K)

10. Testament: Recollection (0:36):
WMA (231K)  MP3 (290K)
Real Audio (181K)

12. In Country: Main Title (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (243K)
Real Audio (151K)

19. In Country: Finale and End (0:36):
WMA (231K)  MP3 (290K)
Real Audio (180K)

The 1996 Vivo Music bootleg is a professional pressing from Romania, complete with barcode, and sold for about $30 through soundtrack specialty outlets for several months before selling out. Original copies escalated to over $100 in value not long after. The same content from In Country and a 9-minute suite from Testament also appear on a 1999 Natty Gann Records bootleg that primarily features Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. The 2013 Intrada album is a limited product of unspecified quantities, originally available through soundtrack specialty outlets for $20.


In Country

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Sales Rank: 159976

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Buy it... on the 2013 Intrada Records album if you desire one of James Horner's most poignant single career cues, a long, orchestral powerhouse of solemn but beautiful melodrama for this film's memorable final scene.

Avoid it... if you cannot tolerate Horner's rather stereotypical application of trumpet versus shakuhachi flute for an American veteran dealing with the Vietnam War, the solo elements of the score somewhat uninspired without the full ensemble's gravity.

In Country: (James Horner) An emotional tale about a family's discovery of inner-strength, In Country was meant as a vehicle of healing for a country seemingly obsessed with exploring closure for the Vietnam War in the 1980's. The 1989 adaptation of Bobbie Ann Mason's novel to the big screen by respected director Norman Jewison follows the growing-up experiences of a 17-year-old girl and her investigation into the person who was her father, a man who married her mother at the age of 19 and was promptly killed in Vietnam four weeks later. With that mother admitting that she barely even remembers her father, the girl relies on rehabilitating her detached couch-potato uncle (a superior role for Bruce Willis shortly after Die Hard's debut), who is also a veteran of the same war. The gravity of In Country is created through the faithful telling of a series of little stories involving the girl and the way that the overarching narrative builds up to its monumentally gripping climax as the family visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately for Jewison and the production, America had been oversaturated with such Vietnam stories in that decade, culminating in a year in 1989 that saw several similar movies (led by Born on the Fourth of July) attempting the same resolution, and In Country suffered a quick death at the box office and remains a footnote in the careers of Willis and composer James Horner. The latter was in the late stages of a triumphant period of ascendance at the time, during which the challenging topics of war were common for him. While the subject matters are different, Horner adapts some of the same solemn attitude from his obscure 1983 music for Testament and his concurrent popular work for Glory into In Country, breaking no new ground stylistically in what could be identified as a purely Horner work at every moment. While some movie critics lamented what they perceived as a distracting role of the music in the movie at its release, much of the story was left unscored, with only roughly 45 minutes of material placed in the picture. In that music, Horner alternates between very subtle explorations of his multiple themes for the various characters and troubling dissonance for some of the harrowing flashback sequences, requiring significant patience from the listener to appreciate the payoff at the end.

The majority of underscore for In Country is constructed with the piano solos that inhabit scores like Field of Dreams and Class Action, with notable solo brass performances also playing towards a careful level of sensitivity. Horner doesn't try to mask the fact that he utilizes noble French horns to personify American heroism and the shakuhachi flute (Horner's staple of exotic elements at the time) for the location of Vietnam. Out of this sonic battle come several poignant solo trumpet performances for Willis' lead character that are as crisp as they are stereotypical. Horner previews his themes early and often in the score, the orchestra swelling in "Distant Memories" for a major introduction. But, like the film, the emotional punch is saved for the final scene in D.C., and Horner reacts with appropriately overflowing melodrama for the full ensemble. While the main theme for the film had been barely audible since the opening cue, he unleashes it in grand style in the "Fallen Friends" finale with a blast of the shakuhachi flute and follows a noble brass tribute to the fallen with a lush, striking performance of the score's more solemn secondary theme, first with strings as powerful as they were in The Land Before Time and then in a heartbreaking duet with the shakuhachi. This is the only time in the work when the flute and trumpet are in perfect harmonic synchrony, and Horner allows the Apollo 13-like trumpet to replace the flute at the very end of this stellar performance (which begins at 7:50 into that cue) to suggest that the closure is complete for an American purging Vietnam from his system. Despite the average components of the score's main body of underscore, as well as some thematic phrases that will recall Glory, Legends of the Fall, and The Rocketeer for some listeners, the quality of this final cue raises the value of the In Country score to one of solid recommendation. A half hour of the score was appended to a 1996 Romanian "Vivo" label release (essentially a bootleg) of Horner's Testament and later available on a 1999 Natty Gann Records bootleg with a 9-minute suite from Testament and Horner's Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. While sound quality on these bootlegs was commendable, the products were difficult to obtain and were missing a third of the score. A 2013 Intrada Records album finally gave In Country full treatment on a legitimate, limited CD, and the quality of the final cue will justify the price of this product for any devoted Horner collector. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: ****
    Music as Heard on the 1996 Vivo Music Bootleg: ***
    Music as Heard on the 2013 Intrada Album: ****
    Overall: ****

Bias Check:For James Horner reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.13 (in 98 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.19 (in 187,986 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3 Stars
Smart Average: 3.05 Stars*
***** 29 
**** 39 
*** 37 
** 28 
* 34 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.

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 Track Listings (1996 Vivo Music Bootleg): Total Time: 55:56

Actual Track Listings: (translations in color)

• 1. Testament (1:41)
• 2. O Plimbare Cu Bicicleta (Riding the Bike) (1:17)
• 3. Picnic-Ul (The Picnic) (2:19)
• 4. Carol Isi Alina Copiii (Carol Comforts Her Children) (5:55)
• 5. Asta-I Casa Noastra (This is Our Home) (0:48)
• 6. Amantirile Dragostei (Love Memories) (1:28)
• 7. Boala Lui Scottie (Scottie's Illness) (2:34)
• 8. Pregatiri De Start (Ready to Start) (1:06)
• 9. Noaptea Focului (Night of the Fire) (2:17)
• 10. Reamintire (Recollection) (3:04)
• 11. Ultimul Testament (The Last Testament) (2:39)
• 12 - 19. Suita din In Country (Suite from In Country) (30:14)

Expansion of In Country Tracks:

• 12. Main Title (4:59)
• 13. Letters From Vietnam (2:31)
• 14. A Night With Tom (3:52)
• 15. Dwayne's Wishes (2:51)
• 16. Listen Sam (2:35)
• 17. Night Camp (1:32)
• 18. The Road to D.C. (2:07)
• 19. Dwayne E. Hughes/At the Vietnam Memorial/Finale and End (9:55)

 Track Listings (2013 Intrada Album): Total Time: 51:20

The Album: (39:19)
• 1. Distant Memories (5:04)
• 2. Dwayne's Letters (2:45)
• 3. Faraway Thoughts (3:59)
• 4. Three Generations (Piano Solo) (2:49)
• 5. The Letter Home (2:37)
• 6. In Country (6:52)
• 7. Emmett (2:30)
• 8. The Vietnam Memorial (2:11)
• 9. Fallen Friends (10:04)
The Extras: (12:01)
• 10. First Flashback (0:54)
• 11. Finding Photo (0:46)
• 12. Just a Country Boy (1:12)
• 13. The Vietnam Memorial (1:03)
• 14. Three Generations (Piano With Orchestra) (2:48)
• 15. Family Supper (1:14)
• 16. Family Supper (1:15)
• 17. The Storm (2:33)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert of the 1996 Vivo Music bootleg is not in English, but contains a note about the film Testament. The 2013 Intrada album's insert includes information about both that film and its score.

  All artwork and sound clips from In Country are Copyright © 1996, 2013, Vivo Music (bootleg), Intrada Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/2/96 and last updated 3/3/13. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1996-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.