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The Natural (1984 Film) Soundtrack

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Randy Newman's score for director Barry Levinson's 1984 adaptation of writer Bernard Malamud's baseball fable remains, like star Robert Redford's turn as the film's Roy Hobbs, somewhat mystic and decidedly larger than life. Newman's music flawlessly fuses overwrought Wagnerian grandeur with the more plaintive strains of Aaron Copland, arguably forming one of the film's most crucial narrative elements in the bargain. Perhaps because it's a score with a scale so broad and bold--the antithesis of Newman-the-songwriter's often terse, internalized musical monologues--the composer himself has since expressed reservations about the potent cues he's since dubbed "heromusik." Nonetheless, The Natural remains an impressive tribute to Newman's musical professionalism, even if his masterful craftsmanship produced something he's always seemed a bit wary of: a bona fide crowd pleaser. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: May 11, 1984
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002L6A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,704 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Catherine S. Vodrey on May 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Randy Newman is known to the non-cinematically-obsessed public as the sourpuss composer and gravelly-voiced singer of the tart novelty hit "Short People," but here is the work for which he should have won his well-deserved Oscar (instead of for the trifle he composed for 2001's "Monsters, Inc.").
With "The Natural," which he not only composed but conducted, Newman manages the pretty neat trick of stepping into the enormous shoes left by Aaron Copland. Newman takes the perfectly American pasttime of baseball and melds it perfectly with the American penchant for youth, sunshine, nostalgia, and happy endings--all without a single instance of treacle or falsity. He sounds Coplandian here without sounding slavish. He soars on wings of his own making and utterly enriches the film "The Natural" with his music.
"Prologue 1915 - 1923" opens the soundtrack and deftly sketches the career Robert Redford's Roy Hobbs character had in the minors and then briefly in the majors, limning the energetic youth of the new baseball player followed by the slower, more minor-key weariness Hobbs experiences as he seems to lose his touch. With "Knock the Cover Off the Ball," Newman somehow captures a sparkly, sunstruck afternoon out in the middle of a baseball field, the fierce concentration needed to do the deed demanded in the title, and the gathering speed of the ball itself. In "Winning," the big band, swinging tune says it all. You need brass balls to survive this ball game, son, and the music handily underscores that rule without the aid of a single lyric.
Had Randy Newman never written another film score beyond 1984's "The Natural," he could easily and justly have rested on these fine laurels. We are lucky that he didn't.
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Format: Audio CD
This the most magical soundtrack I have every purchased! I personally think it is Randy Newman's best work and as far as soundtracks go I put it up there with anything by Nino Rota. The way Newman uses the strings and paces the songs one would swear he was the prodigal son of Aaron Copeland. Of course he isn't but like Copeland's operas he definitely knows how to compose music which feels Americana. You can almost see wheat fields blowing and you'll certainly want t a piece of Apple Pie after hearing the title song, "The Natural." A must for any lover of soundtracks.
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Format: Audio CD
Great movie music! The main theme is sweetly nostalgic of a simpler time, and the "Majors" theme is swingy and jazzy. The slower parts are relaxing to listen to, and the faster parts are great to dance to. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
The music on this soundtrack is great. It is inspirational and moving, may take some time to grow on you. If you like the movie and have a taste for nostalgia and great instrumentals this is a great album. I listen to it all of the time.
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The soundtracks I really like have bookmarks of dialogue from the movie as reference points. My favorite is the soundtrack from the movie classic "The Ipcress File." The Natural was a let down as it had no dialogue. Hence 4 stars. That movie had numerous opportunities for dialogue enhancement. (Somebody needs to redo that soundtrack and add those landmarks of dialogue it deserves.) The Hero fanfare idea was great. Unfortunately, Randy Newman seemed to feel something akin to embarrassment for having written that type of song. (Randy, you can hear the critics, but listen to the fans...) In the times we live in I remembered the uplifting Hero fanfares and wanted to have it to boost my spirits. We need more heroes. "The Natural" soundtrack bridges the gap between our dark days and brighter tomorrows. Track 8 is ringing in my ears...
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This is a wonderful movie; one of the few movies made that are better than the book. It is a cautionary tale about a young man who has the ambition to be the greatest baseball player there ever was. His career is ambushed by a madwoman with a gun. After many years he gets a second chance, and, through a tumultuous season, he learns that happiness need not depend on being the best. This film is full of wonderful characters. The cinematography is wonderful. The settings are great. My only knock is that the actors don't play ball well enough.
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Format: Audio CD
Randy Newman? Wrote and performed "Short People" Part of Bachman Turner Overdrive if I recall..

However when put to the task of a soundtrack for a movie about a baseball "Natural" Mr. Newman pulled out all the stops. You'll hear the famous clips from this CD during a "best of" sports feature or maybe a biography of a great hero. It's a must have for a cinematic classical collector. The composition includes soft and pleasant textures like walking in a magnificient wheat field on a sunny day - some rinky dink 20's style jazz...a caliope rendition of "Take me out to the Ballgame".

Grab your favorite beverage or herbal remedy, get in your favorite easy chair, load the CD and crank it up.

You'll love it.
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WIth an all star cast, and a classic tale of romance, greed, regrets, and the basic battle between good and bad.
Mr. Redford's, as well as that of Ms. Close, Wilfred Brimley, etc. were spot on. Well filmed and beautifully scored, this should be in everyones collection.
Other movies I'd include for the classic baseball movies would be; A League of Their Own, Field of Dreams, The Rookie, Mr. Baseball, and Major League. I may have missed some others, but these are the ones I could think of off of the top of my head.
Enjoy!
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