Alien Anthology Wiki
Aliens score
Aliens Deluxe Edition score

The score to the James Cameron film Aliens was composed by James Horner. Released in 1986, it was one of his first major Hollywood scores. The score itself includes musical references to Gayane's Adagio from Aram Khachaturian's Gayane Ballet Suite, which had been used in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The score also uses musical motifs, sound treatments and excerpts from Jerry Goldsmith's original soundtrack to Alien (1979). Additional cues taken from Jerry Goldsmith's Alien score were used in the climax of the film when Horner was unable to finish some cues to Cameron's satisfaction.

The score had a troubled production. Horner expected to have six weeks to complete it but arrived in London to find that filming and editing were still ongoing, and he was thus unable to view the movie, meaning the score had to be rushed through. The final cue for Ripley's battle with the Queen was written overnight. It was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and completed in four days. The film's editors reportedly altered the score's chronological flow, sometimes looping, truncating or removing the music and placing it in fragmented form in the film out of context. Horner was unhappy with the final product and thought it reached only 80% of its potential. It was nevertheless nominated for an Academy Award in 1986. The soundtrack album was released in 1987.

Track listing[]

Original track listing[]

  1. Main Title (5:10)
  2. Going After Newt (3:08)
  3. Sub-Level 3 (6:11)
  4. Ripley's Rescue (3:13)
  5. Atmosphere Station (3:05)
  6. Futile Escape (8:13)
  7. Dark Discovery (2:00)
  8. Bishop's Countdown (2:47)
  9. Resolution and Hyperspace (6:10)

Deluxe edition track listing[]

  1. Main Title (5:13)
  2. Bad Dreams (1:22)
  3. Dark Discovery/Newt's Horror (2:07)
  4. LV-426 (2:03)
  5. Combat Drop (3:29)
  6. The Complex (1:34)
  7. Atmosphere Station (3:11)
  8. Med.Lab. (2:04)
  9. Newt (1:14)
  10. Sub-Level 3 (6:36)
  11. Ripley's Rescue (3:19)
  12. FaceHuggers (4:24)
  13. Futile Escape (8:29)
  14. Newt is Taken (2:04)
  15. Going After Newt (3:18)
  16. The Queen (1:45)
  17. Bishop's Countdown (2:50)
  18. Queen To Bishop (2:31)
  19. Resolution and Hyperspace (6:27)
Bonus Tracks
  1. Bad Dreams (alternate) (1:23)
  2. Ripley's Rescue (percussion only) (3:20)
  3. LV-426 (alternate edit – film version) (1:13)
  4. Combat Drop (percussion only) (3:24)
  5. Hyperspace (alternate ending) (2:08)