Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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"Game over, man! Game over!"



33 Tracks • 83:00



  1. Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope® Extension 0:22
    Composed by Alfred Newman, Arranged by Elliot Goldenthal (from Alien³)


  2. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Alien (1979)

  3. The Nostromo 3:59

  4. Hyper Sleep 2:39

  5. The Landing 4:21

  6. Acheron 2:01

  7. Kane's Fate 1:37

  8. Attack On Brett 1:29

  9. The Shaft 3:11

  10. The Droid 2:57

  11. Parker's Death 1:37

  12. The Narcissus 3:26

  13. The Door 2:58

  14. Performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra of London Conducted by Lionel Newman
    Orchestrated by Arthur Morton
    Produced by Jerry Goldsmith
    Engineered by Eric Tomlinson


    JAMES HORNER: Aliens (1986)

  15. Hadley's Hope 2:22

  16. Face Huggers 3:17

  17. Futile Escape 6:54

  18. Newt Is Taken 1:16

  19. Going After Newt 3:30

  20. Bishop's Countdown 2:43

  21. Resolution 0:55

  22. Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by James Horner
    Ian Underwood, Robert Garret, Randall Frakes, Synthesizers
    Orchestrated by Grieg McRitchie
    Produced by James Horner
    Engineered by Eric Tomlinson


    ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL: Alien³ (1992)

  23. Fiorina 161 1:44

  24. Wreckage 1:04

  25. Lento 4:54
    Nick Nackley, Boy Soprano

  26. Lullabye Elegy 1:12

  27. The Beast Within 2:05

  28. The Foundry 3:34

  29. Adagio 4:10

  30. Orchestra Conducted by Jonathan Sheffer
    Orchestrated by Elliot Goldenthal and Robert Elhai
    Produced by Matthias Gohl
    Engineered by Tim Boyle and Richard Martinez


    JOHN FRIZZELL: Alien Resurrection (1997)

  31. Post-Op 1:10

  32. Docking the Betty 1:10

  33. The Aliens Escape 1:16

  34. Ripley Meets Her Clones 2:00

  35. They Swim… 3:39

  36. Earth 1:51

  37. Ripley Reborn 1:20
    Composed by Jerry Goldsmith, Arranged by John Frizzell

  38. Orchestra Conducted by Artie Kane
    Orchestrations by Pete Anthony, Jeff Atmajian, Frank Bennett, Brad Dechter, Robert Elhai and Don Nemitz
    Produced by John Frizzell and Mark Cross
    Engineered by Dennis Sands Assisted by Sue MacLean




I have had an Alien compilation in my possession in one form or another since the early 90s and on various formats, including tape cassette and minidisc before I graduated to CDs, but it really wasn't until the release of Alien on DVD in 1999 with the isolated score tracks that I was able to put together something that truly satisfied me (the subsequent Quadrillogy version, while superior in image and sound quality, drops this feature). Nevertheless, the truth is that save for one notable exception, my Alien mixes have tended to be pretty similar to one another through the years, which meant that I made a suite out of each score and they play successively. I once tried mixing up the tracks, but the scores are so wildly different in tone that while they didn't really blend together very well.

A few days ago, spurred by my acquisition of Adobe Audition, I began a new revision on my Alien Quartet compilation. I had intended to redo this disc since the Intrada release of the complete score with alternates of Jerry Goldsmith's masterful Alien. The new presentation of the score is much superior in sound quality to either the Silva Screen CD or the isolated score track on the 1999 DVD (which was also hampered by low bit rate Dolby Digital encoding, 192 kb/s on one track, 128 kb/s on the other), both of which featured the music buried under a layer of hiss. I did not expect to completely re-think how I approached the presentation of the music from that film.

It would be one thing if it stopped there, but it didn't. The versatility of the new program allowed me not only to do things I couldn't before, but also that which I could already do but much more easily. As a result, I started giving a good, hard listen to the component scores with an ear towards taking the suite concept a step further. I made some hard decisions, dropping a single favorite cue from each Aliens ("Ripley's Rescue") and Alien³ ("Visit To the Wreckage") because they were similar enough to other cues that I was including ("Futile Escape" and "The Beast Within," respectively) in favor of other material that explores different aspects of those scores. The new disc takes the "Symphonic Suite" concept much more to as its core, and so each one has its own shape and flavor, roughly following the contours of the related film but not strictly chronological.

I hadn't really intended for this disc to be as big of a project as it ended up being; not necessarily rote, but pretty routine. However, the reason why it became so involved was because not only was I discovering what I could do with Adobe Audition, but I was also rediscovering these scores as I was working on figuring out how best to represent them in context, thus giving me a new appreciation of very familiar music, which is a great gift. If there has been three versions of the Alien score so far, Goldsmith's intended score, his LP assembly and what appears in the film, my suite is yet a fourth iteration with its own structure and concept, which then extended to how I presented Aliens and Alien³, both of which have some big differences from my previous configurations, and improvements to the sound quality and stereo image on the additional tracks from Alien Resurrection so that they match those from the RCA Victor CD. I am very pleased with how much fun I've had working on this disc, and I Audition allows me more control over the sonic properties and dynamic range than I had previously, making it much easier to keep uniform levels throughout.

  1. Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope® Extension 0:22
    Composed by Alfred Newman, Arranged by Elliot Goldenthal (from Alien³)

    The album starts out with a monaural rendition of the rousing Fox Fanfare (the 1933 version opened Alien), but a note freezes during resolution for the CinemaScope extension and angry orchestral sounds blare out, filling out the stereo soundfield. This perversion of something comfortably familiar was the best way to open this disc, and has opened every Alien compilation I've ever made. I used to sample it from the film soundtrack itself, but thankfully this track was included on Varèse Sarabande's CD of Predator.



  2. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Alien (1979)

  3. The Nostromo 3:59
    Jerry Goldsmith's original cue presented his Romantically styled main theme, but Ridley Scott felt that the theme was too broad for the film and requested that he revise the cue. The re-write instead concentrates on the scratching strings and flute as heard in the cue "The Passage" (see "Acheron," track 5). While I do like Goldsmith's main theme and used it extensively throughout the suite, the quieter, more ominous opening was much better suited to both the film and my album. As the camera enters the Nostromo, Goldsmith's ticking "time" motif (which would be referenced in both Aliens) is introduced, here with the flutes echoplexed. This portion of the cue would be reprised by John Frizzell in Alien Resurrection ("Ripley Reborn," track 33).

  4. Hyper Sleep 2:39
    The very same time motif leads up to a crescendo as the Nostromo begins to awaken the crew, in one of the film's two primary "birth"images. This cue was revised to remove the trumpet statement of the main Romantic theme, but I chose the original version of the cue to introduce that theme in a less formal presentation than the original main title as featured on the soundtrack album.

  5. The Landing 4:21
    That controversial Romantic theme, however, was the basis for one of the main set-pieces from Alien, appearing twice (albeit in truncated form both times), first when the Nostromo lands and then again when it takes off. This track is one of those that benefits the most from the improved sound quality on the Intrada edition of the complete score, although minor overloading can be heard during the final crescendo, an anomaly that appears to be an aspect of the original recording. The time motif is never far from the forefront in the first act of Alien, and it is given a much more forceful setting here than previously heard as the ship buckles during re-entry, leading to a bold fanfare for the conclusion that was dialed out of the film.

  6. Acheron 2:01
    This was the first area where this suite radically departs from previous versions. The score as Goldsmith wrote it was reversed in the film, moving from softer to louder as Kane (John Hurt), Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) and Dallas (Tom Skerritt) walk on the surface of the alien planet and into the giant derelict. The modified method works fantastically in the film, so I combined elements of "The Passage" (the screeching aleatory strings and flute that Scott became so enamored of that he requested Goldsmith base his new main title on, see track 1) "The Terrain" (a figure for brass and steel drums, heard in the film as Kane lowers himself into the egg chamber) and "The Skeleton" (the 'stinger' heard as the Space Jockey is revealed) to summarize this material.

  7. Kane's Fate 1:37
    Opening with the thunderous cue that Goldsmith wrote for the face hugger's acidic blood eating through several decks of the Nostromo (replaced in the film with the main title from Goldsmith's own score for the 1962 film Freud), the remainder of this track is "Nothing To Say," the solemn rendition of the main theme heard during Kane's funeral; a portion of this cue would be reprised for the scene in which Dallas talks to Mother (Helen Horton). The concluding time motif in pensive mode was added to the piece the next day.

  8. Attack On Brett 1:29
    This track is a combination of "Cat Nip" and "Here Kitty," opening with a fluttering flutes motif and opening out into an expansive passage as Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) enters the landing leg room. Tension builds the alien itself (Bolaji Badejo) is announced by a darker turn in the strings and statements of the serpent (a duckbill platypus kind of instrument that can't decide if it's brass or woodwind) and Indian conch making decidedly profane sounds to illustrate its slimy, slavering jaws of death as the creature, now larger than a human, assaults a shocked Brett.

  9. The Shaft 3:11
    A new brass motif for the alien is essayed in this tense cue which was intended to be heard for Dallas' attempt to herd the alien through the air shafts of the Nostromo. Of all the cues dropped from Alien, this piece, which was replaced by more music from Freud ("Main Title," "Desperate Case" and "Charcot's Show," see track 6), is one of the most perplexing, as what is in the film isn't terribly different in tone but what is here is quite gripping. Once again, the serpent is heard when the alien makes itself apparent in one of the film's best shocks.

  10. The Droid 2:57
    Ripley finds that Ash (Ian Holm) has been working with Weyland-Yutani specifically to capture an alien for a specimen and that he has no intention of allowing it to be killed. This is one of the best examples of Goldsmith's talent for creating aural accompaniment to image. While the cue was dialed down in the film, which instead emphasizes Jimmy Shields' eerie sound design, the scoring can be heard synched up to the scene on the isolated score track of the 1999 DVD, and shows how every tailored the track is to every move, every image, from the drops of milky substance trickling down Ash's forehead like sweat to Parker (Yaphet Kotto) taking his head off (one of the film's other major shocks). The orchestral fury eventually settles down, and as with the original LP, I eliminated the brief flare-up at the very end of the cue.

  11. Parker's Death 1:37
    This brutal piece incorporating the disturbing sounds of the serpent, dijeridu and conch scores the attack on two of the last survivors of the Nostromo as they prepare to the shuttle to evacuate the ship. I mimicked the LP edit of the cue, although using the complete score version for a clean opening. This cue was also tracked into the climax of Aliens. The thunderous finale of this piece allows me to reference the "false finale" that would become a staple of this film series.

  12. The Narcissus 3:26
    This track opens with "To Sleep" (the only cue in the film that is used in its entirety and where Goldsmith intended it), a quotation of Goldsmith's Romantic theme is heard as Ripley thinks she has destroyed the alien along with the Nostromo. I then segued to the original version of "The Cupboard" for the revelation that the alien has, in fact, stowed away on the shuttle, the creature itself announced by basses and the serpent. A repeating brass figure forms the basis for the original version of "Out the Door" a spectacular action sequence that was written for the shuttle scene. We then switch back to a segment from the revised version of "The Cupboard" features a playful variation on the alien motif heard in "The Shaft" on serpent, brass and marimba.

  13. The Door 2:58
    Surging strings and brass fanfares, periodically joined by the ever-present serpent announce the revised version of the "Out the Door," which leads to the same alien motif heard here with dijeridu and chimes. We then segue the original version of "Out the Door" (a transition the cue was originally written for; the analogous portion of the revised cue was added later) for a brief and subdued iteration of the main Romantic theme is then heard leading back into the ticking time motif that would have been heard as Ripley dictated her final log entry as she prepares herself for hyper sleep, bringing this suite to a close.



  14. JAMES HORNER: Aliens (1986)

  15. Hadley's Hope 2:22
    Each time I made an Aliens suite, I opened it with "Dark Discovery." For this disc, I decided that while I would include that cue, I would bridge on the new suite with a segment of the film edit of "LV-426," which features the strings intoning a motif based upon the "Adagio" Aram Khachaturian's Gayaneh ballet suite (featured in the Discovery segment of 2001) and leads up to a martial motif for the Colonial Marines featuring brass and snare drums. "Dark Discovery," despite appearing on the original 1986 LP, was written for the scene in the extended version to reflect Newt's (Carrie Henn) ambivalence as her parents (Holly De Jong and Jay Benedict) discover the derelict from the first film, and features a descending motif not too dissimilar from the ticking time motif from Goldsmith's score.

  16. Face Huggers 3:17
    All of my previous versions of an Alien compilation featured the pulse-pounding "Futile Escape" at this point. My decision to replace this stalwart standby for trailers was that the material was very similar to what appears in "Futile Escape," the following track, and I wanted the suite to be a bit more rounded in terms of being a representation of the score. It worked quite well; if "Futile Escape" is a bit more exciting, this this cue, abridged slightly, is more interesting, and does a great job of amping up tension and presents more facets of the score such the solo trumpet statement of the adagio giving it a new flavor and a skittering effect created by strings and electronics to represent the multi-legged threat. The original cue opened with a passage for aleatory strings that was the same effect Goldsmith had produced for the original film's score; this has been moved to the conclusion of the piece, where it serves as an overdub.

  17. Futile Escape 6:54
    A seven note motif (similar to one composed by Goldsmith for the 1978 Peter Hyams film Capricorn One) is heard as Ripley and the Colonial Marines track what appears to be an alien incursion into their stronghold. Brass and string surges accompany the attack of the creatures which leads to a pulse-pounding thrill ride featuring the alien's clarion call and an insistent snare drum pattern. This lengthy cue is one of the main action set-pieces of Aliens, although as with most of the music in the film, it is cut up and shuffled around heavily in the film mix.

  18. Newt Is Taken 1:16
    Another addition for this edition features a reprise of the seven note motif buffetted by percussion hits as Newt, knocked loose by an explosion, finds herself separated from Ripley and Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn). A frantic passage essays the efforts of Ripley and Hicks to cut through a grate to get to her to no avail; the final crescendo was meant to accompany their scramble to meet Bishop (Lance Henriksen) at the shuttle. This piece adds a much-needed sense of pathos which is a good dramatic beat before proceeding to…

  19. Going After Newt 3:30
    …the explosive entrance of this cue, which accompanies Bishop's flight towards the power station. Despite the thunderous opening, most of this cue is a minimalist piece built around a stern snare drum as various parts of the orchestra build up the tension with the accompaniment. After the final crescendo, a brief section of synthesize throbbing by Robert Allen Garrett for "The Queen" has been incorporated into this track to lead more smoothly into the next.

  20. Bishop's Countdown 2:43
    The hammer and anvil effectiveness of "Escape," the first part of this track, was evidenced by the fact that it had been cannibalized for countless trailers for years after the release of this film. The second portion ("False End" on the cue sheet) is a quiet piece reflective of the dust settling after the blood and thunder of "Escape."

  21. Resolution 0:55
    Of course, it isn't over yet, and the alien queen has stowed away on board the shuttle; Ripley's expulsion of the beast was replaced in the film by a re-use of "Bishop's Countdown" (track 18), but it was tracked by John McTiernan into the climax of Die Hard. It was written for the scene in which Ripley blows the Queen out of the airlock, bringing this suite to a triumphant conclusion. I had debated dropping this cue, but decided that the upsurge was a better finale for the suite.



  22. ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL: Alien³ (1992)

  23. Fiorina 161 1:44
    I wanted to immediately announce to the listener that the rousing heroics of the previous suite was over, and so I chose the first portion of "The Entrapment," which plays in the film under a meeting of the prisoners under warden Andrews (Brian Glover) and features one of Goldenthal's main themes for the film. As this does serve as an introduction to the planet and its denizens, I felt it fitting that I should title it after the world. The remainder of "The Entrapment" was incorporated into "The Foundry" (track 25).

  24. Wreckage 1:04
    Oscillating strings lead to a full orchestral setting for the "agnus dei" theme as Ripley journeys to the Sulaco's escape pod to be certain that there is no evidence of alien activity. This is an intense, operatic cue featuring an ascending section; Goldenthal's forbidding soundscape for Alien³ reflects Ripley's isolation, both in terms of her experiences and the fact that she is the only woman on the planet. Earlier versions of this compilation utilized the full-length track with the harsh heavy metal stylings for the attempted rape of Ripley, but while I like that piece I felt it would have interrupted the flow of this version of the suite.

  25. Lento 4:54
    A solo boy soprano intones the "agnus dei" prayer, eventually given quiet accompaniment; while this portion of this track does not appear in the film, it was probably written for Newt's autopsy. All former versions of an Alien³ suite opened with this piece, but I chose to go a different route this time, leading up to this statement. Goldenthal would revisit this idea again, adapting "Libera Me" for use in Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. Newt and Hicks' funerals take place above a reactor. As Dillon (Charles S. Dutton) takes over the service, elsewhere in the prison compound a perversion of a birth occurs as a chestburster erupts from a dog (in the workprint version seen on the Quadrillogy DVD set, it is an ox). The music is both ominous and wrenching with great intimacy, as befits both situations, featuring a tragic statement of Goldenthal's main theme. Part of this cue was used in the end credits as well.
    Latin

    Agnus dei
    Qui tollis peccata mundi
    Agnus dei
    Qui tollis peccata mundi

    Dona nobis pacem
    Dona nobis pacem
    Dona nobis pacem
    English

    Lamb of God
    You who take away the sins of the world
    Lamb of God
    You who take away the sins of the world

    Give Us Peace
    Give Us Peace
    Give Us Peace.

  26. Lullabye Elegy 1:12
    Ripley convinces Clemens (Charles Dance) to perform an autopsy on Newt to verify whether or not she had been impregnated before her death. This is one of the most quiet and painful moments in Alien³ as Ripley realizes that she has per force lost another daughter, and the music reflects this with a plaintive solo piano playing a broken tune. While this has appeared on a previous iteration of this project, it is nevertheless a relatively recent addition to the program.

  27. The Beast Within 2:05
    A searching string line gradually masses the full forces of the orchestra, leading to another statement of the theme introduced in "Fiorina 161" (track 20) as Ripley, assisted by Aaron (Ralph Brown), uses the medical scanner on board the Sulaco escape pod to determine that she has, indeeed, been impregnated by an alien — a queen. This intense cue was one of two like it on the album; the other, "Visit To the Wreckage," was dropped from this version of the Alien³ suite because it was redundant with this one. This piece of music was re-recorded for Goldenthal's subsequent score for Cobb (which is highly recommended).

  28. The Foundry 3:34
    Another major addition was a segment of "Bait and Chase" which features some of Goldenthal's most experimental writing in the score, including an extensive passage that uses muted brass both for a call-and-answer statements as well as a huge, monolithic sound that he would use extensively in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and clanking percussion. Like the wily creature itself, Goldenthal's music skitters about, sometimes from speaker to speaker. The track then segues to the second portion of "The Entrapment" (see track 20), a mounting passage that leads to an section for cascading strings as the alien is doused with molten metal; a different version of this cue plays in the film.

  29. Adagio 4:10
    All of Goldenthal's thematic material comes together at the conclusion of Alien³ for Ripley's moment of self-sacrifice. This Bruckner-inspired cue contains some ideas that Goldenthal would revisit in Titus and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within; after a very moving rendition of the theme introduced in "Lento" (track 22), a solo trumpet accompanies Ripley's final transmission from Alien as her epitaph.



  30. JOHN FRIZZELL: Alien Resurrection (1997)

  31. Post-Op 1:10
    The suite for the fourth and to date final film in this series (not counting the disastrous Alien Vs. Predator features), this eerie cue displays the influence of Goldsmith's and Goldenthal's scores, and presents hints of John Frizzell's theme for Ripley, cloned two hundred years after her death in order to gain access to the alien queen gestating within her at the conclusion of Alien³ (no, this doesn't make any sense whatsoever). Heard here is also the bed of various electronic sounds Frizzell conceived to play under the orchestra.

  32. Docking the Betty 1:10
    This track features mysterioso textures and oscillating strings as the Betty docks on board the Auriga. Fragments of thematic material first hinted at in the previous track are developed slightly, but are still in mostly nascent form.

  33. The Aliens Escape 1:16
    A nine-note motif represents the xenomorphs in Alien Resurrection. This powerhouse section, heard as the crafty aliens, having conspired to sacrifice one of their own to use its acidic blood to burn through the floor of their cell so they can go about their regularly scheduled carnage, is the purest form of their theme heard in the film.

  34. Ripley Meets Her Clones 2:00
    Ripley's theme and harsh electronics return in this dramatic cue that illustrates not only the visual horror of the failed Ripley clones, but also her feeling of violation. Beginning quietly as Ripley finds the previous seven attempts to clone her, a freak-show of distorted fusions of human and alien bodies. The music takes on a more ominous tone as she finds "Ripley 7," a horrifying and miserable amalgam of the two species who begs Ripley 8 to kill her.

  35. They Swim… 3:39
    The crew of the Betty, along with Ripley and Call (Winona Ryder), find themselves having to travel a portion of their journey through the Auriga underwater. Frizzell exercises on his alien motif, which develops interestingly over the course of the cue (check out the variation heard from 1:01 to 1:12), alternating with various fanfares. This track bears the most amount of Horner's influence, there is a little bit of Goldenthal's texturing as well. There is also a direct reference to Goldsmith's original score; the fanfare at 2:35 is a dead ringer for the one at the beginning of the revision of "Out the Door" (heard in "The Door," track 12).

  36. Earth 1:51
    After a victorious passage in the vein of one of Frizzell's mentors, James Newton Howard, the Ripley theme is given a much more positive (one might almost say John Barry-esque) spin. This track, titled "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" on the cue sheets, is previously unreleased, and was the only case where I effected the stereo image of one of the included tracks, as the original source was much more centered than the cues as they appeared on the album. There were two versions of this cue; the one used in the film was much more bombastic than the relatively restrained version heard here.

  37. Ripley Reborn 1:20
    This is the actual "Resurrection" part of Alien Resurrection; Frizzell uses a piece directly from Goldsmith's Alien; the arrangement is identical to the second part of "The Nostromo" (track 2) albeit without the echoplexes, which allows me to give the album a certain amount of symmetry.

Tags: alien, elliot goldenthal, film music, james horner, jerry goldsmith, my mixes, science fiction
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