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Alien Soundtrack

4.8 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One of the most requested soundtrack restorations released at last. Earlier this year, Intrada issued the premiere release of Alex North's original recording of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, a score legendary for being replaced entirely from the film with preexisting music. The treatment of Jerry Goldsmith's score to Ridley Scott's ALIEN is legendary in its own right, and for very similar reasons. For this monster film set in deep space, Goldsmith composed one of his most complex scores, relying on acoustic instruments to deliver the chilling, otherworldly atmosphere of the alien ship and its monstrous occupants. It was akin to his approach to PLANET OF THE APES, where Goldsmith eschewed electronics in favor of unique acoustic instruments to illustrate the foreboding landscape and upside down society. To achieve this effect in ALIEN, Goldsmith augmented the National Philharmonic Orchestra with didjeridu, serpent, and conch shell, with additional eerie effects courtesy of the echoplex, a process Goldsmith deployed previously to great effect in his score to PATTON. The result -- a masterful sci-fi/horror score that would influence genre movie scores for years to come. Despite Goldsmith's artistic genius in creating a striking sci-fi score, the filmmakers severely tampered with his music. Much of the music was removed from the film or employed in scenes for which it was not intended. Several cues from Goldsmith's early score to FREUD were tracked in. Worse yet, his sublime main title, emphasizing the mystery and vastness of space, went unused. Under duress, Goldsmith, rescored the main title for a starker, more minimalist piece which is heard in the film. While Goldsmith wrote an end title featuring the same main theme in all its glory, it too was removed from the film in favor of a selection from Howard Hanson's Symphony Number 2. What is heard in the film is not Goldsmith's musical vision for ALIEN. A soundtrack LP released at the time of the film featured 35-minutes of highlights from Goldsmith's score, presenting it more as he intended, with the original main and end titles in tact. Sound quality of this release was dry and compressed, and there was still much music both used and unused that did not make it to the album. Now, nearly thirty years after the film's release in 1979, with the generous cooperation of Universal Music Group and 20th Century Fox, Intrada presents the complete original score as Goldsmith intended, rounded out with all the alternates and rewrites, providing everything Goldsmith recorded for ALIEN. The album was remixed from the recently discovered 1" multi-track masters, bringing a new depth, detail, and crispness not heard in previous releases. Michael Matessino spent many painstaking weeks to deliver the striking results here, and also penning some of the most comprehensive liner notes written for a soundtrack, chronicling the saga of the genesis of the ALIEN score and its final results. This release is the final word on the complete ALIEN score, giving it the exposure and attention it has always deserved and giving admirers the album they have been craving for years.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Main Title (04:12)
  2. Hyper Sleep (02:46)
  3. The Landing (04:31)
  4. The Terrain (02:21)
  5. The Craft (01:00)
  6. The Passage (01:49)
  7. The Skeleton (02:31)
  8. A New Face (02:34)
  9. Hanging On (03:39)
  10. The Lab (01:05)
  11. Drop Out (00:57)
  12. Nothing To Say (01:51)
  13. Cat Nip (01:01)
  14. Here Kitty (02:08)
  15. The Shaft (04:30)
  16. It's A Droid (03:28)
  17. Parker's Death (01:52)
  18. The Eggs (02:23)
  19. Sleepy Alien (01:04)
  20. To Sleep (01:56)
  21. The Cupboard (03:05)
  22. Out The Door (03:13)
  23. End Title (03:09)
  24. Main Title (04:11)
  25. Hyper Sleep (02:46)
  26. The Terrain (00:58)
  27. The Skeleton (02:30)
  28. Hanging On (03:08)
  29. The Cupboard (03:13)
  30. Out The Door (03:02)

Disc: 2

  1. Main Title (03:37)
  2. The Face Hugger (02:36)
  3. Breakaway (03:03)
  4. Acid Test (04:40)
  5. The Landing (04:31)
  6. The Droid (04:44)
  7. The Recovery (02:50)
  8. The Alien Planet (02:31)
  9. The Shaft (04:01)
  10. End Title (03:08)
  11. Main Title (film version) (03:44)
  12. The Skeleton (alternate take) (02:35)
  13. The Passage (demonstration excerpt) (01:54)
  14. Hanging On (demonstration excerpt) (01:08)
  15. Parker's Death (demonstration excerpt) (01:08)
  16. It's A Droid (unused inserts) (01:27)
  17. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (source) (01:49)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 20, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Intrada
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • ASIN: B0010OWLI4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,792 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Rockhill on January 13, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The original vinyl recording was not all that great, but the sound was decent despite the pops and clicks. Silva Screen's digital remastering had very little presence to it all. Finally, this new set from Intrada offers the music in excellent sound, with extensive annotations.

The first disc contains the entire original score, with alternative versions requested by the director and studio. The second disc reproduces the version prepared for the original soundtrack album with a few more alternative tracks.
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Format: Audio CD
Finally, after years of waiting for an expanded release of Jerry Goldsmith's classic soundtrack, this two disc presentation has been graced upon us. And what an awesome release this is. Alot of soundtrack and Goldsmith fans have been put off by this particular score due to the fact that this is a harder listen than most of his other works and is not near accessible as say his Star Trek work. Yet, underneath the strange, dissonant passages contained here lies what is easily his most memorable and well crafted piece of work. I say memorable not because it is "catchy" by any means, but because it leaves a sense of melancholy and sheer wonder driven up from the powerful dark soundscapes. With that said, Alien might just be my favorite horror film score of all time. And it is by no stretch of imagination to call this soundtrack unlike anything else ever written for a film. It truly does sound alien.

Contained in the 2-disc set are the complete 1979 recordings, re-mastered from newly found 1-inch master tapes and a detailed look into the scoring process, including notes on each individual cue, in what is probably the most extensive set of linear notes I have ever seen on a soundtrack release. In audio fidelity, this is a huge step above the original 1979 Silva LP and the subsequent bootlegs released. The difference is almost night and day. The hiss and muffled sound of the LP and bootlegs is replaced by a vibrant and bright sound, which fully encompasses what is probably Goldsmith's most complex score.

Disc 1:

It is known fact that much of Goldsmith's original score had been tampered and re-mixed, yet I never fully realized the extent of the changes made by Ridley Scott (director of Alien) for the final cut.
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Format: Audio CD
I love this score. I love this movie. I nearly passed out when I heard this was being released.

This 2 CD set has everything. The first disc is the complete 57 minute score, followed by 7 rescored alternate cues that are about 20 minutes long. The second disc is the original 1979 album recreated using the new remastered elements. This is about 35 minutes long. This is followed by 13 minutes of bonus tracks comprising the film version of the Main Title, 1 alternate take, 3 demo excerpts, 1 track of unused inserts and a piece of Mozart source music from the film.

So all together there is over 2 hours of music here! I have to say here that the 20th Anniversary Edition of the Alien movie had the complete isolated score...although a few of the songs are out of order and I suspect a few are missing. So buy the movie if you are also interested in seeing the images with the music.

So if you are a Goldsmith fan you have no doubt heard about this already. If not, buy it immediately!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am able to acquire the score to what I consider the greatest monster movie that has ever been made, as well as the scariest movie I've ever seen (and yes, I've seen The Exorcist).

I've lost count of the number of times I've watched Alien. I first saw it in theaters as a 12-year-old (thanks, Dad, I really needed all of those nightmares). I saved money to purchase the original vinyl LP back in 1980 or so, but once I was able to get the movie on video and watch it repeatedly, I became aware that the score on the LP was not nearly what was in the movie, and much of what was on the LP simply was not in the movie.

So when I was browsing Amazon recently, I found this title and bought it on the spot. I listened to it for the first time this week after arriving at work, where I usually get there before anyone else and have the office mostly to myself. This music brought back a lot of the uneasy feelings I associate with the movie, but I was happy to be listening to the score that Goldsmith wrote and a lot of which does appear in the movie.

For any fan of Alien, I highly recommend this release.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Huge Goldsmith fan, "Planet of the Apes," "Logan's Run," wow amazing music then and now.
"Alien" is another amazing Goldsmith movie score.
But understand that Scott and Goldsmith got into a bit of pissing match on this movie score (and others as well, e.g."Legend") and the result is a little strange. In fact the pamphlet contained with the CD (which has a lot of great information), where Goldsmith is quoted as saying "I told Ridley working on 'Alien' was one of the most miserable experiences I've ever had in this profession ... ."

This CD release is brilliant, but the actual "Main Title (film version)" is actually a "bonus track" on the second CD!

Thus this CD contains: Disc 1: "The Complete Original Score," with bonus tracks; and Disc 2: "The Original 1979 Soundtrack Album," which as I have said, did NOT include the original "Main Title" to the actual film, with bonus tracks (including the actual "Main Title (film version)."

What does all this mean? Nothing! Goldsmiths' Alien "scores" are brilliant, just understand what you are buying here. Enjoy!
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