Jaws 3-D Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Jaws 3-D by Alan Parker.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 88.1
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 29.9
Album Excellence: 48.3%
Jaws was awesome, Jaws 2 less so, but it still made them do a third one with an all new director, cast and composer. The nerve! Well, this time the gimmick was 3D, the new craze in the early 80s. The audience could actually wear those silly cardboard 3D glasses to see the movie in actual 3D. What an amazing time! 3D was only for cinemas at the time so when it was time for television or VHS, the movie was simply called Jaws III and without it’s gimmick, well.. In this all new adventure, Joe Alves directed some prominent stars to be fair in Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr. Quaid played the role of Mike Brody which in fairness had been acted by two different actors before him. Sharks in SeaWorld is the premise where an attack happens on a group of unsuspecting water skiers while doing a live show. Some maniac decides to trap a baby shark for attraction money and when it dies, the momma is not too happy about it. I mentioned a new composer and Alan Parker which was frankly a big risk after employing John Williams in the two previous films. Parker had done some British television shows, but this was his first big feature. The album situation on this is unknown. Intrada Records released a straight LP-to-CD release in 2007, but at only 36 minutes you wonder if there is any more music for it.
It starts with ‘Jaws 3-D Main Title’ that makes use the famous John Williams theme from Jaws. For the first minute it sounds like it could have been from an alternative Alien score, but then it opens up a bit, going full-on action, but the real interesting bit is from 1:55 where there is a new theme, played on woodwinds while the brass underscore and a fanfare-like flutter fills the top. Very interesting and quite good. ‘Kay And Mike’s Love Theme’ is exactly that, a love theme, but why does it feel so sad? Well back to the shark stuff and ‘Panic At Seaworld’ surely delivers. The Williams two-note bass is used, but Parker’s added some interesting music on top. ‘Underwater Kingdom and Shark Chase’ starts with a nice little ballad, lovely French horn and the uplifting theme from 1:04 is just great. It gets scarier towards the end when the shark is lurking. ‘Shark Chase and Dolphin Rescue’ starts with a harrowing string and horn sequence as the music gets more and more tense. ‘Saved By The Dolphins’ use Williams’ theme again, but Parker adds some depths to it by using truly dark strings and bursts of horns. This is really tense and exciting music. The dark strings really gets their turn in ‘The Shark Gonna Hit Us!’, and I am really enjoying it. I don’t think I have heard something like this before. It’s quite exciting. ‘It’s Alive / SeaWorld Opening Day / Silver Bullet’ is just a lot of fun with it’s heroic sounding motif, particularly on the SeaWorld opening day part. The ending ‘Jaws 3-D End Titles’ is a lot of fun as well, mixing the dark with a victorious like fanfare, with a good theme.
Jaws 3-D is remarkably fun and yes, even without John Williams. The theme is used, although sparsely. There’s new material to excite and most of all, I like what Parker did with the underscoring. He made it even darker than Williams, and it creates a really interesting soundscape. I’m enjoying this score very much and I can’t wait to listen to number 4 by Michael Small.
UPDATE: Updated the highlights list and final score after listening to the newly expanded edition by Intrada Records.
1. Jaws 3-D Main Title (Film Version)
4. Kay Rides The Whale
5. Sean Arrives
6. Overman’s Last Drive
10. Underwater Kingdom and Shark Chase
11. Dolphin Chase (Revised)
16. It’s Alive / Seaworld Opening Day / Silver Bullet
18. Tunnels And Tentacles
22. Shark Attacks Skiers
23. Shark Attacks Kelly
24. Shark Rams Tunnel (Revised)
25. Panic At Seaworld
28. Phillip’s Demise
29. Shark Breaks Loose
30. Pull The Pin (Revised)
31. Shark Wants Out
34. Shark Thru The Window