Trevor Jones

" No maze can stop the ageless fun of this soundtrack "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

We are talking of the '80 and the things that were treasured. Puppetry was one of them. Master Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, the beasts in Return of the Jedi and the Muppets and creatures in all those Jim Henson creations. And Jim Henson created two magical movies, namely The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. While The Dark Crystal was full on puppetry, Labyrinth contained live action as well. After all it starred the hottie of that time Jennifer Connely with the weirdo of that time namely David Bowie. But together they were magical. The movie is now considered a rightful classic, being sweet, funny, devious and adventurous all alike.

Now, Trevor Jones also returned to compose the music, after his respected score for The Dark Crystal. However there is a significant change between the 2. With that score he had the backing of the London Symphony orchestra. Here, we have not the orchestral but the electronic score, bouncing and supporting the quest of young Sarah through the labyrinth. So people can rather dislike the sound of the whole score, but not the effort. Because you won't forget the charm of it all.

Basically, there are 2 reasons for liking the score. Trevor Jones and actor / songwriter David Bowie. David Bowie not only played Jareth so convincingly in the picture, he also wrote 5 new songs for the film. And they all make an impact inside the movie, whether you want it or not.

"Opening Titles Including Underground" starts the CD with a song, and it will be fleshed out more in a jazz arrangement with choir at the end. However, this piece also shows the main fanfare theme of the score, and it works very well. By then "Magic Dance" is a big blast, with the additional goblins performing their own act around an otherwise catchy tune. "As the World Falls Down" is actually to be appreciated alongside the mysterious sounding "Hallucination", which equally uses the dreamy tones of Sarah's theme. "Within You" is the same with an almost hypnotizing feel, and "Underground" at the end recapitulates the song even jazzier than ever before.

However, don't forget the supplement of Trevor Jones while at it, since he made the movie as memorable as Bowie with his songs and acting. Just listen to the fun and wicked adventure bouncy tones of "The Goblin Battle". There is of course more. "Into the Labyrinth" is moody but perfect sound design for the desolate, unending labyrinth while "Sarah" shows both the theme of Sarah as the main fanfare led theme.

"Thirteen O'Clock" shows several themes colliding, including the underscore of the song "Underground" with the fanfare main theme, and "Home at Last" is a nice piece showing guitar statements of Sarah's theme with a short but wonderful trumpet statement of the song "As the World Falls Down".

In the end it might not mean much, but these are statements that make a great puppet film to become alive. Labyrinth altogether can benefit from a terrific technical level and a wonderful musical level. It all brings the movie this unseen fantasy like environment, in a beautiful expression from a land where nothing is what it seems. Trevor Jones didn't compose an orchestral score, he didn't redo The Dark Crystal. They wanted something different and for me, the effect is equally pleasing. Labyrinth is a nice soundtrack, especially if you adore the film. Because then you find it a problem to revisit this magical dance of a world not far away.

Score: ***
Songs: ***1/2


1. Opening Titles Including Underground: David Bowie (3.21)
2. Into the Labyrinth * (2.12)
3. Magic Dance: David Bowie (5.13) Excellent track
4. Sarah * (3.13)
5. Chilly Down (3.46)
6. Hallucination * (3.02)
7. As the World Falls Down: David Bowie (4.51)
8. The Goblin Battle * (3.31)
9. Within You: David Bowie (3.31)
10. Thirteen O'Clock * (3.09)
11. Home at Last (1.49)
12. Underground: David Bowie (5.57) Excellent track

* Soundtrack composed by Trevor Jones

Total Length: 44.08
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 13 votes - average 3.04/5)

Released by

EMI America CDP 7 46312 2 (regular release 1986)