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Out of Africa
Album Cover Art
1986 MCA Records
1995 Gold MCA
Album 2 Cover Art
1997 Varèse
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Albert Woodbury
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MCA Records

MCA Masterdisc (Gold)
(August 29th, 1995)

Varèse Sarabande
(October 21st, 1997)
Availability Icon
The original pressing was an early commercial CD that has always remained in print, selling for $4 by the 2000's. The 1995 gold edition, also from MCA Records, debuted with a slightly higher retail price but eventually fetched prices of $50 or more once it fell out of print. The 1997 Varèse Sarabande re-recording is a regular commercial release with good availability.
Winner of an Academy Award and Golden Globe. Nominated for a BAFTA Award.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if broad John Barry romanticism of consistently dramatic tonality melts your heart, in which case Out of Africa is among three or four scores of absolute certainty for your collection.

Avoid it... if you expect this score to sound anywhere near as decent in its recording quality as some of Barry's equivalent works, or if you desire a plentitude of thunderously melodramatic performances in the ranks of Dances With Wolves.
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WRITTEN 1/7/10
Out of Africa: (John Barry) The dominant dramatic powerhouse of 1985, Sydney Pollack's Out of Africa was a force to be reckoned with from both the arthouse and technical perspectives. Featuring the story of real life Danish baroness Karen Blixen, the film conveys a sweeping but ultimately sorrowful personal tale while glorifying the setting of Kenya at the time of the first World War. Its epic visuals were well mated to the intimate character interactions and compelling commentary on lifestyles of the era, especially involving the disillusionment that many Europeans felt about the "civilized" culture of the continent when searching out new lives in Africa. When the baroness and her husband (through convenient arrangement) purchase and operate a farm in Kenya, she finds herself perpetually alone. When an English adventurer (a pilot and hunter) enters her life, so begins the charm between Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. While the ultimate fate of the characters is understandably heavy with sadness, the broad journey of their lives is, along with the atmosphere of Africa, the overwhelming attraction of Out of Africa. Between this film and Back to the Future, Universal Pictures enjoyed a stunning year. Out of Africa was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning seven of them across the spectrum of categories (from sound to overall picture). Among the most memorable aspects of the film that led to a predictable Oscar (and Golden Globe) was the score by John Barry, who was experiencing the height of the romantic renaissance in his career at the time. The grandiose melodies on strings that were pervasive in the composer's career then carried him as a mainstream favorite from Somewhere in Time to Dances With Wolves, the latter gaining him his final Academy Award. Although Dances With Wolves remains the best known of the three, Out of Africa is just as reflective of Barry's stereotypical romantic flavor, albeit in a shorter and less burdensome dosage. The underlying structures and instrumental techniques in these works are all pretty much the same (from the almost obnoxious repetition of phrases to the use strings to carry a primary melody while conservative brass tones offer buffer and occasional counterpoint). The use of descending cello and bass string figures will connect this score to Somewhere in Time more often for Barry collectors. Ultimately, the closest practice run for Out of Africa was High Road to China, which features many of the same plot elements that obviously inspired Barry in consistent ways.

Ratings Icon
Average: 4.09 Stars
***** 231 5 Stars
**** 51 4 Stars
*** 34 3 Stars
** 18 2 Stars
* 42 1 Stars
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'The Music of Goodbye' [EDITED]
Elbrody - April 7, 2019, at 11:38 a.m.
1 comment  (144 views)
MOWO - August 25, 2014, at 12:17 p.m.
1 comment  (1234 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1986 and 1995 Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 33:27
• 1. Main Title (I Had a Farm in Africa) (3:14)
• 2. I'm Better at Hello (Karen's Theme I) (1:18)
• 3. Have You Got a Story For Me (1:14)
• 4. Concerto For Clarinet and Orchestra in A (K. 622)* (2:49)
• 5. Safari (2:44)
• 6. Karen's Journey/Siyawe** (4:50)
• 7. Flying Over Africa (3:25)
• 8. I Had a Compass From Denys (Karen's Theme II) (2:31)
• 9. Alone in the Farm (1:56)
• 10. Let the Rest of the World Go By*** (3:17)
• 11. If I Know a Song For Africa (Karen's Theme III) (2:12)
• 12. End Title (You Are Karen) (4:01)
* Mozart excerpt performed by The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
** African traditional
*** composed by Ernest R.Ball and J. Keirn Brennan
1997 Varèse Sarabande Re-Recording Tracks   ▼Total Time: 38:42

Notes Icon
The insert of the MCA Records albums from 1986 and 1995 include no extra information about the score or film. The 1997 Varèse Sarabande album contains notes about both, as well as information about McNeely and the RSNO.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Out of Africa are Copyright © 1986, 1995, 1997, MCA Records, MCA Masterdisc (Gold), Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 1/7/10 (and not updated significantly since).
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