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Alien vs. Aliens


Which score do you personally like better?   

35 members have voted

  1. 1. Alien vs. Aliens

    • Jerry Goldsmith's ALIEN
    • James Horner's ALIENS


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And why? Also, which tracks are the highlights of each score for you? 

 

I've had both scores for a long time, but I'm only now trying to really get into them... 

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First time I heard the Aliens score I was so impressed and excited about it. But unfortunately since I heard almost everything, themes and motives, from that score in various other scores of James Horner there is not much left, that makes the score special to me. Very different for Alien. Even though there is also some Alien in Star Trek, if I remember correctly.

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Alien for Ridley Scott's attention to detail and eye for composition, but also, I'll take suspense over action any day. I think it requires more craft, and is therefore more fun to watch. Not that Cameron isn't a good filmmaker, they're just very different movies. Aliens is a great action film, it is a less great sequel to Alien.

 

As for the scores, I'm not as familiar with Alien as I would like to be, but I just appreciate the space, for lack of a better term, Goldsmith gives in this score. Not as in "outer space" but in musical terms. He doesn't bash you over the head with the music all the time. 

 

I don't know if Aliens is the first score to feature Horner's signature repeated-snare-drum-pattern-as-suspense, but I think it's done better in Apollo 13.

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1 hour ago, Holko said:

Aliens is good, but it's Alien AINEC

 

You're talking about the score, right? 

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10 minutes ago, Josh500 said:

 

You're talking about the score, right? 

...yes, that's what the thread is about.

 

 

But it applies to the movies too.

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48 minutes ago, Holko said:

...yes, that's what the thread is about.

 

Well, I know what I asked, but many people who respond apparently don't... 

34 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

In terms of the movies, its a trickier comparison because they're so different: one is a horror film, the other - an action flick. Cameron had (rather ingeniously) kind of covered his bases by making his sequel so different as to eschew comparisons.

 

Exactly. Apple and orange. 

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48 minutes ago, Holko said:

Alien's much more outstanding in its field than Aliens is in its one.

 

Perhaps, but Cameron made the perfect sequel to Scott's film, while Scott made a lacklustre prequel to his own film.

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2 minutes ago, Nick1066 said:

But Cameron made the perfect sequel to Scott's film

...nah

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Um, yes. Even if it's not a perfect film, Aliens is arguably the perfect sequel. It took an intriguing concept and did something completely different with it, and in its own way was just as effective. Cameron wisely didn't tread the same ground Ridley Scott did. He made his own story and moved the mythology forward in a compelling way.  That's the most you can ask for in any sequel.

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It kinda completely ruins the aliens by moving their strength to mostly just their numbers.

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Not really. Part of the reason a single Alien was so terrifyingly effective is that the crew of the Nostromo wasn't trained to deal with that kind of threat, and lacked the weapons to do so. They were completely unprepared. That wasn't the case with the Colonial Marines, who would have eliminated a single Alien rather handily. So you had to increase their numbers.

 

I agree that Alien is the better film. But that shouldn't detract from Aliens, and I don't find much utility in comparing them. Cameron chose to tell a different story. A more apt comparison to Alien is Alien 3...a film which demonstrates that there's only so many ways you can tell the same story (e.g. every Jurassic Park sequel or every Terminator sequel after T2)

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49 minutes ago, Holko said:

It kinda completely ruins the aliens by moving their strength to mostly just their numbers.

 

 I have a friend who hates Aliens (ever since it came out) precisely because of this. You perfectly captured the reason for his displeasing with the sequel. 

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1 hour ago, Nick1066 said:

Aliens is arguably the perfect sequel.

 

Oh, that's a tough one.

 

Because I think Terminator 2 is greater in the sense that it is (1) in the same mode as the first film (an action film) and (2) represents a much greater quantum leap upon the previous entry.

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Aliens: Fun Horner score.

Alien: Jerry Goldsmith masterpiece.

 

Unpopular opinions for "perfect" sequels: BTTF2 and possibly Gremlins 2.

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10 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Aliens: Fun Horner score.

Alien: Jerry Goldsmith masterpiece.

 

Unpopular opinions for "perfect" sequels: BTTF2 and possibly Gremlins 2.

 

You have good taste

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23 minutes ago, Tom said:

Perfect sequel talk and no one has mentioned "the" perfect one? 

The Godfather 2?

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5 hours ago, Chen G. said:

 

Oh, that's a tough one.

 

Because I think Terminator 2 is greater in the sense that it is (1) in the same mode as the first film (an action film) and (2) represents a much greater quantum leap upon the previous entry.

 

Meh. Aliens is a completely different film than Alien and T2 is more of the same.

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Film: Aliens

Score: Aliens

 

I like them both.  It would have been cool to have a Williams's Alien score, but such is life.  

For the unasked opinion: for those who think the sequel trilogy harms the original saga, how about the horrific way the third Alien film treats Aliens?  

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Alien is the better score.

Also the better movie.

I'm not a fan of Aliens, not until the third act at least.

  

 

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As much as I love Horner, Aliens was never one of my favorites of his. Not even one of my top 10 of his. I think it was said earlier (and I agree) that he took bits and pieces of ideas from this score and “adapted” them/cannibalized them better in future scores.

 

Goldsmith’s Alien on the other hand, I have come to really really dig. I love to throw cues from that one and Poltergeist on top of scenes from Stranger Things and just imagine what he could have done with that show:) 

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I have to be in the right mood to listen to Alien, but I've never even bothered with Aliens on album, so I suppose I should vote for Alien. As with many Horner scores, Aliens sounds like...many Horner scores. At least that has been my impression while watching the film. It's effective enough but I've never noticed anything distinctive enough to motivate me to seek out the album.

 

Of course, as Alien handily demonstrates, the music in a film isn't necessarily a good indicator of the whole score as it was recorded, so what do I know?

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When people ask me what my favourite film is, I tend to say it's JURASSIC PARK, ALIEN and ALIENS. But the sequence of them varies a bit. They're in, like, constant battle between first, second and third place. I've seen all of them about 70 times each.

 

Score-wise, I can't really answer the poll, because there's a difference between score-in-film and soundtrack album. For score-in-film, ALIEN wins. For soundtrack album, ALIENS wins.

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25 minutes ago, chrissiddall said:

I'm biased.  No this is not a shameless plug for my Aliens score book.  Yes it's still in stock.  ;)

 

ALIENS in Full Score (chrissiddallmusic.com)   :whistle:

 

Wow, didn't even know this existed.... 

 

Is this really the original orchestral score as written by James Horner and his orchestrators? Or was this transcribed by a third party? 

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I like the score for Aliens, but it is a bit too derivative for me - the Gayaneh Ballet Adagio, the danger motiv, the re-use of the Klingon music from Trek III) - but it works. Favorite tracks include "Going After Newt", "Bishop's Countdown" and the previously unrelased "Face-Huggers" and "Queen To Bishop"). 

Alien is much more "original", perfect on creating mood. Love the original main title theme, the alien planet music (the rescored main title), The Landing clue and all the "action" music for the finale of the film.

So I vote for Alien. 

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8 hours ago, chrissiddall said:

 

It really is (it matches up with the Varese Sarabande Deluxe OST).  I used scans of James's manuscript to make it (fully copyright licensed).  Next release (going to the printers imminently) is Michael Kamen's "The Iron Giant", then I'm doing "Independence Day".  Busy busy!!!

 

 Awesome! 

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About Aliens, the only part that stands out to me is something with woodwinds early on in the movie, I think. It sounds classical and it's probably stolen.

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Just now, AC1 said:

It sounds classical and it's probably stolen.

 

JAMES HORNER FANS: If I had a nickel...

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1 hour ago, AC1 said:

About Aliens, the only part that stands out to me is something with woodwinds early on in the movie, I think. It sounds classical and it's probably stolen.

 

I like the stringy part at the very beginning that sounds like the beginning of A.I.  

 

You know what I mean. 

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There is simply no comparison. Horner's score is a masterpiece. JG's score is a lesser affair. It's good but Jerry put his real energies that year in STTMP.

FTR If you listen to Matinee you hear Gremlins, if you listen to Gremlins you hear Twilight Zone, if you listen to Twilight Zone you hear Star Trek. If you listen to Star Trek you hear Alien.

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On 6/21/2021 at 1:21 PM, Josh500 said:

 

I like the stringy part at the very beginning that sounds like the beginning of A.I.  

 

You know what I mean. 

It is the Adagio from "Gayaneh Ballet" by Aram Khatchaturian (that was used by Kubrick in "2001")

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1 hour ago, danbeck said:

It is the Adagio from "Gayaneh Ballet" by Aram Khatchaturian (that was used by Kubrick in "2001")

 

It's inspired by ...

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