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The Alien Trilogy (1996 Studio Recording) Soundtrack

11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, October 22, 1996
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1. ALIEN: Main Title
2. ALIEN: Hyper Sleep
3. ALIEN: The Landing
4. ALIEN: Breakaway
5. ALIEN: The Droid
6. ALIEN: The Door
7. ALIEN: End Title
8. ALIENS: Main Title
9. ALIENS: Futile Escape
10. ALIENS: Bishop's Countdown
11. ALIEN3: Lento
12. ALIEN3: Candles In the Wind
13. ALIEN3: Adagio

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: October 15, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B0000014ZQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,009 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Teed on December 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a good CD to buy especially if you don't want to buy all 3 soundtracks. As far as the original ALIEN, the original soundtrack is hard to come by, however the DVD has the complete score with great sound. This CD favors the first movie's score, with 7 tracks including "Main Title" and "Hypersleep" which were not included on the original soundtrack. Jerry Goldsmith's score is atmospheric and avante-garde and Cliff Eidelman(a great composer himself), does a superb job of recapturing this classic score. In my opinion, this recording exceeds the original. It is well performed by the RSO and mixed perfectly by Bruce Botnick. The original wasn't mixed properly, especially the End Title(which is not in the film)where the trumpet solo wasn't loud enough. Here, all the instruments are in perfect unison and at the right volumes. ALIENS(tracks 8-10) is by James Horner(TITANIC)and is influenced by the first ALIEN with a the main title mimicking parts of the original movie's opening. Part of "Bishop's countdown" sounds like Horner's own Klingon theme from STAR TREK 3. Horner does have a tendency to quote the work of others and himself often in his scores. ALIENS is not one of his best efforts(partly due to time restrictions James Cameron imposed on him). The film itself was great especially for a sequel. ALIEN 3 by Elliot Goldenthal is probably one of the best and underrated scores of the 90's. It deserves a better presentation here(only 3 tracks)but Eidelman handles the material capably. It's not exactly uplifting music but serves the film well and is approprietely atmospheric and dramatic at times. Unfourtunately, as with almost all RSO recordings, the sound quality is distant. You have to turn your volume way up to really hear the music fully. Otherwise, this is a great recording and sampling of the 3 scores and helps you relive the first 3 ALIEN movies.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Spencer on February 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If you have watched and enjoyed (at all) any of the films in the Alien Trilogy, you will love this soundtrack. Though a re-recording, which alot of times are too self-induldgent to as good as the originals, this one is as good if not better. It makes available Jerry Goldsmiths Great score and re-visits James Horner and Eliot Goldenthals excellent scores. The conducting of Cliff Eidleman is not only unintrusive but quite good (BUY STAR TREK 6 if you like this recording) My only gripe is that it only has three tracks from Aliens and Three tracks from Alien 3, both worthy of better treatment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hob Hayward on July 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD
ALIEN is my favorite of the film trilogy. The soundtrack plays a large part in Ridley Scott's horrific depiction of first contact with the alien species. The representative choices for this compilation made by composer Cliff Eidelman convey the heart of each film's message. I bought the soundtrack on compact disk.

The CD booklet cover shot of the three explorers discovering the fossilized alien pilot sets the tone nicely. Inside, there are technical notes and comments on each track and a few photographs from each film. Additionally, brief sketches of Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner and Elliot Goldenthal, (composers of ALIEN, ALIENS and ALIEN3, respectively) are provided. The CD is divided into three sections:


1. Main Title (3:16) Very atmospheric. Faithful reproduction of the film's opening sequence, unfortunately without the spooky moan heard in the film as the shot of the planet dissolves into the shot of the space refinery. This track is my favorite because of the eerie use of woodwinds.

2. Hyper Sleep (2:45) Shimmering woodwinds announce the crew's reawakening and subsequent recovery from their long sleep. Horns play lightly like a distant rooster's crow. The horror awaiting the crew is foreshadowed by the use of gentle understated strings.

3. The Landing (4:33) Lumbering, heart-pounding sequence depicting the crew's systematic landing procedure, relentlessly building to a shattering climax as the Nostromo lands on the planet.

4. Breakaway (3:11) Not included in the film but an excellent action/suspense piece. Includes a romantic sequence at the end.

5. The Droid (3:46) Goldsmith's use of strings and percussion convey the surrealism of the crew's discovery that Ash is not human.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By affabre on January 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Like Jeffrey Arnold, I also had the Alien Original Soundtrack on vinyl and feel this recording doesn't quite match up to it. The music and recording technicalities are not necessarily bad--it's just very different from the original. Most interested in this genre of music likely have the ears to immediately sense that something's not quite the same: The pacing is a touch slower in some passages, and a touch faster in others. The recording balance between orchestral sections is also different. Again, in itself these issues aren't problems that are necessarily bad; but a big disappointment to me was that in 'The Landing' and 'End Title', the all-important solo trumpet just doesn't have the same deep resonance as the original recording. Perhaps they are using a trumpet when they should have used a flugelhorn?? If you understand what I mean, you probably have the ears to be disappointed with this recording.

HOWEVER, I never had the soundtracks for Aliens or Alien3. Without them for reference, this CD offers convenience and recording consistency. Too bad that the music from these two movies make up a much smaller portion of the CD, though. On a positive note, the CD liner notes are *excellent* and very insightful.

In the end, some may want to opt for the DVD alternate audio tracks as Mr. Arnold suggests. In addition to the well-recorded music on audio tracks five and six, you can also see how Ridley Scott and Jerry Goldsmith had two different musical visions for the film. (I found Scott's discretion better...) More relevant to some, it is worth mentioning again that the Alien DVD also contains a good recording of the Howard Hanson passage that was actually used in Alien's end titles, rather than Goldsmith's piece.
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