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Midnight Cowboy: Original Motion Picture Score
Harry Nilsson
Midnight Cowboy: Original Motion Picture Score
Genres: Folk, Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Though perhaps overshadowed by the pop success of Harry Nilsson's rendition of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" (and overwhelmed on the album by songs from B.J. Thomas, Elephant's Memory, and even early Warren Zevon), Joh...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Harry Nilsson
Title: Midnight Cowboy: Original Motion Picture Score
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Folk, Pop, Soundtracks
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Oldies, Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 077774840927, 077774840941, 643346015019, 762185149928, 762185177440, 766488545920

Synopsis essential recording
Though perhaps overshadowed by the pop success of Harry Nilsson's rendition of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" (and overwhelmed on the album by songs from B.J. Thomas, Elephant's Memory, and even early Warren Zevon), John Barry's elegant title track and handful of cues here still rate as some of his best. Their melodies frequently carried by a mournful solo harmonica, Barry's coolly detached music ironically undercuts the grit and grime of John Schlesinger's Oscar-winning classic. Melodically irresistible, Barry's Midnight Cowboy music further cemented Barry's reputation as one of modern film's greatest composers. --Jerry McCulley

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CD Reviews

Classic and Enduring Mix of Original Score and Rock Tunes
L. S. Slaughter | Chapel Hill, NC | 05/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Barry worked as "Musical Supervisor" on this classic gem of a movie to integrate found pop with his original themes.Many of the "pop tunes" were culled from fledgling United Artists acts of the late sixties such as The Groop ("Tears and Joys" and the Mamas and Papas-sounding "A Famous Myth" are included herein), and someone had the great sense to steer him to the avant garde New York group Elephant's Memory (whose influential work - see Stereolab and Komeda - on Buddah records remains sadly out of print)to patch together a soundscape for the film's psychedelic Warholesque party scene where Joe Buck gets high and Ratso steals all the salami. Of course, it was the inclusion and reorchestration of Fred Neil's folk tune, "Everybody's Talkin'", as sung by Nilsson, that made the soundtrack a hit in 69 and has kept it in print all these decades.The lasting impression that this time capsule of a soundtrack leaves is the abundance of vocal energy and inventive harmonizing that proliferated in the late sixties, and how styles were changing from cool lounge and orchestral scoring to topical pop music placement to reflect the moment. Modern day soundtrack producers would do well to study this package and the film from which it was borne.Barry's themes - "Midnight Cowboy", "Fun City" "Science Fiction" "Joe Buck Rides Again" and "Florida Fantasy" reflect and refract pieces of the pop tunes while draping pivotal scenes in a lovely sadness. Outstanding is Toots Theilman's wailing harmonica on the Main Theme; the piece is a wee bit overproduced for the soundtrack edition and I wish the version used in the film - just harmonica and stummed guitar - had been included here."
Toots Thielemans Correction
Fredrick W. Armstrong | Victor, NY | 07/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Though I agree with most of the previous reviews, I was disappointed to see (hear) that Toots Thielemans is not to be found on this recording. He is also not mentioned anywhere on the albums credits.
He was used in the original score for the film, but according to his manager "Toots" was not included on this album.
I would not have purchased this CD if I had known this in advance."
A great slice of history
Chas Devlin | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw the movie on TV about fifteen years ago, having no idea what it was about. I fell in love with it and its been a part of me ever since. I rushed out the next day and bought the soundtrack (on vinyl no less) - primarily for the lovely harmonica theme and 'Everybody's Talkin''. After listening to the whole album a few times, I realized it contained a few gems - notably 'Old Man Willow' by New York's vastly underrated, Elephant's Memory. It plays during the party scene and has to be one of the weirdest, most beautiful and epic slices of psychedelia I've heard! The same band supply 'Jungle Gym at the Zoo' - another great track. Other vocal tracks include the very cool 'He Quit Me', sung by Leslie Miller - whoever she is. I say that, because I'd never heard of her before, or since for that matter, but her voice is terrific. The incidental music that rounds out the soundtrack is great too and supplies the perfect companion to the movie."