The Legacy of James Horner: No. 3 “In Training”
[This article is part of a 10 part short retrospective of the career of the late film composer James Horner. Be sure to check below for a link to the introduction, and a link to the next item in the Top 10 list.]
Now granted, I could have featured the “Building the Secret Weapon” sequence from the first American Tail. But that particular track seems to be left out of the official soundtrack to that film.
I could have also featured either “The Girl You Left Behind,” or “The Future,” which is the ending track that leads into the credits for Fievel Goes West. But I decided to talk about “In Training” for two reasons.
One, it is the most uplifting song in the entire film, and the most powerful in its composition. And Two, it not only references “The Girl You Left Behind” (as that is the film’s main theme), but it also is heavily inspired by what is perhaps the root of all other Western Movie soundtracks before the introduction of the Spaghetti Western: Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown,” from his famous Rodeo opera.
In fact, this song is so similar to “Hoedown,” that you can literally stitch the two songs together at just the right spot, and no one will be able to tell the difference. They both have the exact same tempo, the same beat, similar motifs and riffs, and nearly all of the same instruments. Basically it’s perhaps the most directly inspired Western orchestral theme I’ve ever heard, as while many other Western movie themes sound “similar” to “Hoedown,” none have ever sounded this close, or could actually match alongside it.