Trevor Jones

" An American album that has eight reasons to not buy it!, an expanded foreign release that fixes everything "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

This movie is nothing like the recent Eight Legged Freaks which was simply an amusing B-flick with giant spiders. Because here it didn't seem that size mattered if you really wanted a scare. Arachnophobia was and is still considered immensely frightening because who doesn't scream when he or she spots a tiny little spider in the bedroom or on the wall. So you obviously needed to get the score when in fact it was just through coincidence I stumbled upon a used copy of Arachnophobia. Of course only to hear Trevor Jones' score mixed after all the songs. That was in fact the idea, but once more we have seen the ultimate stupidity of soundtrack producers who have no idea of what they are doing in their professional life.

Easily put, Arachnophobia is one of the most lousy produced albums I have ever come across in my entire life. The only reason why this score gets its quotation is because of the quality of Trevor Jones' music, and of course through the fact that I only give the quote based on the movie music of the actual film. So not rating the songs which are chosen for one fact and one fact only. Because they carry a word that has got something to do with spiders.

Yes almost 75% has got something of vocabulary connected to spiders. If it is the appropriate "Arachnophobia", "Spider", "Web" or "Bug", it's here on the album. The biggest stupidity is, they place songs that aren't heard in the film and forget to place the ones that actually are featured in the film. This because they of course didn't carry the word Spider in it. "Arachnophobia" isn't heard in the film and it doesn't fit whatsoever with the tone of the film, the same for "Spiders and Snakes" and "Caught in your Web".

Yet this isn't even the least of my problems. Almost any track carries dialogue and even if it's short it stinks. The dialogue is in mono while you directly hear the stereo song or score after it, and it is chosen simply for being there. Meaning you could hear dialogue that is heard in the film 30 minutes before or after the track it accompanies. The best example of this absolute ignorance is "Caught in your Web". While the begin of the instrumental love ballad tries to take solid ground, there is Jeff Daniels saying "There are spiders in my house" while John Goodman responds to that during a goddamn song that absolutely doesn't fit with it.

Oh it gets better! They even mix the dialogue with the actual score. Sad but true, "The Casket Arrives" begins with dialogue of Goodman saying something against the new neighbors in the town while the actual lovely main theme is played, giving us a scene showed 20 minutes before that actual said dialogue! How f..king stupid is that?

Now a little word about the music of Jones, since that is the only decent thing on this score to digest. While not stated on the back cover of the album, there are short pieces of Jones' score between the songs. Almost all of them covering dialogue and this means you hear dialogue in even a 30 second track, making no goddamn sense whatsoever. "Miller's Demise" states briefly the spider theme while "Delbert Squishes the Spider" uses the quite funny theme for the comic sidekick played by John Goodman (heard more prominently yet sadly with dialogue in begin and end of "Delbert's Theme"). It's performed on sax, harmonica and piano in a really joyful mix of wit and style.

"Main Title" captures for 5 minutes the ethnic beauty of scores like Last of the Mohicans, repeating itself gently in "The Casket Arrives". The longest track is sadly also the least revealing of them all. "Canaima Nightmare" covers some dark music with several dissonant moments while the end of that track is enlightened by the good main theme version (despite it ends darkly and with goddamn dialogue).

"Along Came a Spider" is what I call a short lullaby with some dark tones while some good action horror music blesses us only for 1.15 in "Cellar Theme". And luckily we have a grand finish of Jones' main theme in "End Title", and I mean GRAND! But once again, there is that dialogue making a mockery of Jones' music with again its unnecessary inclusion.

Luckily there's a foreign expanded release of the score. Containing 40 minutes of score, and having the wonderful fact of actually presenting the 3 songs that do feature in the film, the biggest blessing comes however from the fact it has no dialogue whatsoever. So if you hesitate about paying a few quids more, think about the fact you'll actually enjoy the album even more. That expanded release doesn't include the absolute knock out music of the fight in the cellar at the end of the film, but at least it presents its music with respect.

It is an awful shame that Trevor Jones is presented so ridiculously. Dialogue flowing from right to left, the front cover doesn't even state one name of the artists to be found on the score (you could've easily bought the game if their would haven been one), the back cover easily deletes the short score clips in the begin (probably for not showing their stupid ridiculous length), and the CD goes down in history for presenting us a soundtrack with music not featured in the soundtrack of the film. If soundtrack labels think they can keep doing this then go right ahead. It is their choice. Yet here is my choice, if you want "crapophobia", go piss your money away on the American release. If you want music the way it's supposed to be heard, go foreign and don't look back!

Arachnophobia (US): *
Arachnophobia (Foreign): ***


1. Blue Eyes Are Sensitive to the Light: Sara Hickman * (5.12)
2. Atherton's Terrarium (0.17)
3. Arachnophobia: Brent Hutchins * (4.52)
4. Miller's Demise * (0.38)
5. Spiders and Snakes: The Party * (3.41)
6. Offspring * (0.40)
7. Boris the Spider: Pleasure Thieves * (3.00)
8. Delbert Squishes the Spider * (0.48)
9. The Spider and the Fly: The Poorboys * (2.56)
10. Web Photo (0.23)
11. Caught in Your Web: Russell Hitchcock * (4.54)
12. Main Title * (5.36)
13. Don't Bug Me: Jimmy Buffett (3.27)
14. The Casket Arrives * (1.55)
15. Delbert's Theme * (2.05)
16. Canaima Nightmare * (6.21)
17. Along Came a Spider * (2.29)
18. Cellar Theme * (1.15)
19. End Title * (3.55)
20. I Left My Heart In San Francisco: Tony Bennett * (3.03)

* Contains solo dialogue

Total Length: 57.58

Arachnophobia "Foreign"
1. Main Title (5.38)
2. Photus Manli (2.23)
3. Bob Hitches a Ride (4.18)
4. The Casket Arrives (1.53)
5. Blue Eyes Are Sensitive to the Light: Sara Hickman * (5.12)
6. Molly's Web (3.28)
7. Spider Lamp Shade (1.54)
8. Delbert's Theme (2.31)
9. Under the Bleachers (2.05)
10. Along Came a Spider (2.26)
11. Bugs-B-Gone (3.04)
12. Canainma Nightmare (3.45)
13. Life in the Country (0.56)
14. The Cellar (1.16)
15. End Title (3.52)
16. Don't Bug Me: Jimmy Buffett (3.27)
17. Arachnophobia: Brent Hutchins * (4.52)

Total Length: 52.23
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 10 votes - average 3.2/5)

Released by

Hollywood Records HWD 467991-2 (regular release 1991)

Conducted by

Shirley Walker

Orchestrations by

Lawrence Ashmore, Shirley Walker & Guy Dagul