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Somewhere Out There (James Horner song)

"Somewhere Out There" is a 1986 song released by MCA Records and recorded by American singers Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram for the soundtrack of the animated film An American Tail (1986). The song was written by James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and produced by Peter Asher and Steve Tyrell. It reached number 8 in the UK, and number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

"Somewhere Out There"
Somewhere Out There.jpg
Single by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
from the album An American Tail: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
B-side"Somewhere Out There" (Instrumental)
LabelMCA Records



Steven Spielberg, the film's producer, invited songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to collaborate with James Horner on four songs for its soundtrack, to be completed in a four-week timeframe. The composers "felt no pressure to come up with a radio-friendly hit" and were surprised when Spielberg felt the song had Top 40 hit potential and recruited world-renowned recording artists, Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram, to record a pop version of it for the film's closing credits.[1] In the main body of the film, the song was performed by Phillip Glasser and Betsy Cathcart in the characters of the anthropomorphic mice Fievel and Tanya Mousekewitz.

Produced by Ronstadt's regular producer Peter Asher, the single release of the Ronstadt/Ingram track made its debut at number 31 on the Adult Contemporary chart in Billboard dated 15 November 1986, crossing over to the Billboard Hot 100 dated 20 December 1986 with a number 83 debut. In January 1987 the song returned Ronstadt to the Top 40 after a four-year absence to eventually peak at number 2 that March. The number 1 song at the time was "Jacob's Ladder" by Huey Lewis and the News.

Music videoEdit

The music video for the song was directed, produced and edited by Jeffrey Abelson. It was filmed in New York City and features Ronstadt and Ingram, in two separate rooms, sitting at their desks, drawing and coloring scenes from the film. They both look out the windows, in the same manner as Fievel and Tanya in it. Clips from it appear throughout the video.


The lyrics convey the love felt by two people separated by vast distances, but cheered by the belief that their love will eventually reunite them to be with each other once again. In the main body of the film, the fictional characters singing the song, Fievel and Tanya Mousekewitz, are brother and sister, and the love they share is described as general. However, in the end title pop version of it, the love is described as more romantic.


At the 30th Grammy Awards, the song won two awards, one for Song of the Year and the other for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. It also garnered Ronstadt and Ingram a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.[2]

It earned nominations for Best Original Song at the 44th Golden Globe Awards and the 59th Academy Awards,[3] but lost both to "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun. At the Academy Awards ceremony, Natalie Cole performed the song live with Ingram.[citation needed]



Chart (1986) Peak
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[4] 51
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[5] 15
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 8
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 2


The Jets included a version on Christmas With The Jets, also released in 1986 shortly after the original soundtrack.

In the spring of 1987, singer Liza Minnelli performed, in the words of music critic Stephen Holden of The New York Times, "a stunning rendition" of the song at Carnegie Hall for her three-week concert engagement at the historic music venue. The concert was recorded by Telarc Records and released in late 1987.

Dolly Parton sang two lines of the song at the end of the episode 14 of season 4 of Designing Women.

Barry Mann covered the song in his album Soul & Inspiration, released September 21, 1999, through Atlantic Record Corp.

Danny Pudi and Donald Glover sang the song during the first season of Community. Their cover appears on the official soundtrack release for the show.

On an episode of Mom, Bonnie (Allison Janney) sings a few lines of the song, but incorrectly identifies it as the theme from Titanic, which was not released until 1997; the actual theme to said film is My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion.


  1. ^ Benarde, Scott R. (2003). Stars of David: rock'n'roll's Jewish stories. Lebanon NH: Brandeis University Press. p. 49. ISBN 1-58465-303-5.
  2. ^ "Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal - The 30th Annual Grammy Awards (1987)". The Recording Academy. 1987. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "Best Original Song - 59th Academy Awards (1987)". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  4. ^ " – Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram – Somewhere Out There" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  5. ^ " – Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram – Somewhere Out There". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  6. ^ "Linda Ronstadt: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  7. ^ "Linda Ronstadt Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-02-23.