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Alien 3 (soundtrack)

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Alien 3 Score
Composed by Elliot Goldenthal
Label MCA
Release date(s) June 9, 1992
Length 47:58
Preceded by Aliens
Followed by Alien Resurrection
Alternate cover
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Alien3 is the soundtrack album to the 1992 motion picture Alien3, composed by Elliot Goldenthal.


Goldenthal was hired as a result of director David Fincher's interest in his work.[1] Alien3 was the composer's first soundtrack for a major motion picture, and he spent a year constructing the score. From the outset, he intentionally viewed his soundtrack as a "separate entity" to the earlier scores in the series, and sought to distance his music from the themes, motifs and styles they contained.[1] He worked closely with Fincher to create disturbing music that reflected the surroundings and atmosphere of the film itself. According to Goldenthal, "Fincher wanted the feeling that you were completely fucked as soon as you were, like, into five minutes of the movie, that there was gonna be no hope."[1] To this end, the traditional 20th Century Fox fanfare at the start of the film was altered such that it freezes on its penultimate note before sliding ominously into the opening titles with a loud crash. The use of "Agnus Dei" ("Lamb of God") during the opening montage, performed by boy soprano Nick Nackley, was included as a reference to the film's religious overtones, insinuating that the prisoners are lambs being led to the slaughter.

Despite the desire for disturbing music, Goldenthal also included more comforting melodies at appropriate points. For example, the scene between Ripley and the deceased Newt in the mortuary is underscored with a moving piano theme, designed to remind viewers of Earth and the safety of home.[1] The soundtrack was recorded during the Los Angeles riots of 1992, which Goldenthal later suggested contributed to its unsettling nature.[1]

At several points, Goldenthal's score blurred the line between music and sound effects, containing strong elements of both. This led to some conflict between the composer and the sound editors, who would normally have a free reign over the latter. Goldenthal also cited the final chase sequence in the lead foundry as a particular challenge, stating that its sheer length made it difficult for him to write accompanying music that remained fresh and did not become boring.[1] The ending of the film was also changed late in production, forcing Goldenthal to rewrite his score for the scene.[1]

Track ListingEdit

  1. "Agnus Dei" — 4:29
  2. "Bait and Chase" — 4:42
  3. "The Beast Within" — 3:09
  4. "Lento" — 5:48
  5. "Candles in the Wind" — 3:20
  6. "Wreckage and Rape" — 2:43
  7. "The First Attack" — 4:19
  8. "Lullaby Elegy" — 3:41
  9. "Death Dance" — 2:18
  10. "Visit to the Wreckage" — 2:04
  11. "Explosion and Aftermath" — 2:21
  12. "The Dragon" — 3:08
  13. "The Entrapment" — 3:42
  14. "Adagio" — 4:14


  • While Alien3 continues to receive mixed reviews, its score is almost universally praised and is considered by many to be the best in the Alien film series.
  • The Alien3 soundtrack is the only one in the Alien series not to incorporate elements of Jerry Goldsmith's soundtrack from Alien.
  • It is also the only score from the Alien series that has yet to receive an expanded, remastered release.
  • The comprehensive Alien3 making-of documentary, Wreckage and Rage, was originally going to be named Wreckage and Rape, after the track on the soundtrack album. However, 20th Century Fox complained that the title was inappropriate (possibly because it had connotations of likening Fox's extensive interference during the film's production, which the documentary covers, to rape). As a result, the title was changed.
  • The unique version of the 20th Century Fox fanfare composed for Alien3 later appeared on the soundtrack album for Predator, despite not appearing in the film. Exactly why this version was included is not clear.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 David Giler, Walter Hill, H. R. GigerWreckage and Rage: The Making of 'Alien3' (2010), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray].

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