Planet of the Apes Wiki

In late 1966, soundtrack composer Jerry Goldsmith was asked to write the score for a new movie being developed by APJAC Productions through 20th Century Fox. The movie, based on a French novel, concerned an astronaut stranded on a planet where a native human species was unintelligent, and was dominated by a species of articulate apes. In adapting the novel for film, screenwriter Rod Serling had added a twist ending which revealed that the alien planet was in fact an unrecognisable Earth of the distant future. Thus, Goldsmith's task was to help create the illusion of a completely unfamiliar alien culture through his soundtrack. Although already well-established thanks to more conventional scores like A Patch of Blue (1965), The Blue Max (1966) and The Sand Pebbles (1966), Goldsmith chose to write the Planet of the Apes project entirely in an avant garde style, using such innovative techniques as looping drums into an echoplex, using the orchestra to imitate the grunting sounds of apes, having horns blown without mouthpieces, and instructing the woodwind players to finger their keys without using any air. He also used steel mixing bowls, among other objects, to create unique percussive sounds. Legend has it that Goldsmith even wore an ape mask when conducting the score for Planet of The Apes.[1] A few years later he said that he had felt that "it should not be an electronic score, not gimmicky, and [I] wanted to do it with a normal orchestra. I did not want to do the obvious on this... I was thrilled with it." "It was done with a great deal of love. In fact, the Austrian Ballet is using it in their production of 'Othello'."[2]

In April 1968 - as the movie was becoming a major hit in cinemas - Billboard magazine reported, "International Tape Cartridge Corp. has acquired world rights for two 20th Century-Fox soundtracks. The agreement marks the first time in which a tape cartridge duplicator has been given the rights for both the album and tape cartridge. Fox's record label, 20th Century-Fox Records, who had first rights on the tracks, approved the agreement. The two film scores are 'Planet of the Apes' and the upcoming 'Bandelero', starring Dean Martin and Jimmy Stewart. Both films were scored by Jerry Goldstein (sic). The agreement was made by ITCC president Larry Finley and Lionel Newman, music director for 20th Century-Fox. Finley has, in turn, assigned the album to Enoch Light's Project 3."[3] Over subsequent weeks, the same publication added, "This outstanding original soundtrack, composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith, is available for worldwide distribution by ITCC on its own 'ITCO' label. The album is destined to be a sure 'chart-buster'. ITCC has the world-wide rights for release in all mechanical forms, and both 4-track and 8-track cartridges are now being shipped to ITCC distributors."[4] "The disk version of the high-grossing film will be released in two weeks on Project 3."[5]

In June, a list titled "New Tape CARtridge Releases" included the Planet of the Apes soundtrack under the heading of 'ITCO',[6] but while the ITCO label certainly released 8-track cartridge titles by the likes of Red Skelton and Danny Thomas, and an ITCO Records label issued at least two vinyl LPs in 1969,[7] the rare examples of Planet of the Apes 8-track cartridges which are still in existence today have the ITCO logo only on the reverse side, with the front bearing the standard artwork of the aforementioned Project 3 label. Project 3 was set up by sonic innovator Enoch Light around 1966, so named because it was his third record label, having sold his ground-breaking 'Grand Award' and 'Command' labels to ABC in 1965. Light produced many big orchestra arrangements on Project 3 over the next few years until his retirement, initially continuing his experimental use of 35mm film for audio recording, but never quite matched his pioneering output on Command. The Project 3 library is now owned by Essex Entertainment.[8][9] Light's Command album covers had often featured abstract, minimalist artwork, and lengthy prose describing each song led to their development of the gatefold sleeve which became widely popular in the late 1960s. Project 3's Planet of the Apes LP was likewise housed in a gatefold sleeve, with the stark image of the film's human cage on the front cover and a commentary by Charlton Heston beginning on the back and continuing on the inside.[10]

Original LP Tracklist:

  • A1 Main Title (2:09)
  • A2 The Revelation (1:33)
  • A3 The Clothes Snatchers (2:36)
  • A4 New Identity (2:04)
  • A5 The Forbidden Zone (2:50)
  • B1 The Search (4:51)
  • B2 The Cave (1:17)
  • B3 A Bid For Freedom (1:16)
  • B4 A New Mate (1:04)
  • B5 No Escape (5:14)


The Planet of the Apes score proved an immediate and enduring classic and Jerry Goldsmith was nominated for an 'Original Score' Academy Award for 1968 - his fourth nomination - but lost to The Lion In Winter by John Barry. Goldsmith was scheduled to compose for the sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), but abandoned work on it to complete another Oscar-nominated soundtrack, Patton (1970). He would return to score the third installment, Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), though all of the Apes soundtracks were to some extent based on his compositions for the original film. Project 3 went on to issue the soundtrack on other formats, including 8-track cartridge, cassette and CD. All featured the original cover artwork, all used the same recordings and all followed the same running order, with the exception of the 8-track cartridge which, due to it's design, was divided thus: Program 1 - Main Title / The Forbidden Zone / A Bid For Freedom; Program 2 - The Search / The Cave; Program 3 - The Clothes Snatchers / The Revelation / New Identity; Program 4 - A New Mate / No Escape.[10] The cassette release (Cat# PRC 5023) is sometimes dated 1968, but this probably refers to the copyright date rather than the date of issue (most likely in the 1980s). The CD was apparently first issued in Japan - in collaboration with Soundtrack Listeners Co. (Cat# SLCS-7019) - in November 1990, before a 1992 US release (Cat# PRD 5023).

8-track cartridge 8-track cartridge 8-track cartridgecassette Japanese CD

The same year - 1992 - that Project 3 released their last version of the soundtrack, the Intrada label also issued their own CD version (Cat# FMT 8006D). This featured remasters of the same recordings Project 3 had used and followed the same running order, with new five-minute track The Hunt added.

Intrada CD Tracklist:

Intrada CD
  • 01 Main Title (02:13)
  • 02 The Revelation (01:34)
  • 03 The Clothes Snatchers (02:38)
  • 04 The Hunt (05:10) *
  • 05 New Identity (02:04)
  • 06 The Forbidden Zone (03:06)
  • 07 The Search (04:56)
  • 08 The Cave (01:19)
  • 09 A Bid for Freedom (01:21)
  • 10 A New Mate (01:05)
  • 11 No Escape (05:17)

Total time: 30:43 (* previously unreleased)

Varese Sarabande released the entire score on CD in August 1997 (VSD-5848). This version completely overhauled the earlier releases by expanding most of the tracks to their full length as well as adding five previously unreleased pieces from the soundtrack. It also sequenced them in the order in which they were used in the film, unlike previous releases. Included as a bonus was a 16-minute medley 'suite' of Jerry Goldsmith's music from the then-still-unreleased score to Escape from the Planet of the Apes. This has become generally regarded as the definitive edition of the first Apes movie soundtrack.

The same disc was re-issued by the Colosseum VSD label in Germany in 1997 (Cat# CVS 5848), by Volcano Records in Japan in 1997 (Cat# CPC8-1006) and by the Geneon label in Japan in 2007 (Cat# GNCE-4020).

Varese Sarabande CD Tracklist:

Varese Sarabande CD
Volcano Records CD
  • 01 Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare (00:13) *
  • 02 Main Title (02:13)
  • 03 Crash Landing (06:40) *
  • 04 The Searchers (02:25) *
  • 05 The Search Continues (04:55)
  • 06 The Clothes Snatchers (03:09) **
  • 07 The Hunt (05:10)
  • 08 A New Mate (01:04)
  • 09 The Revelation (03:20) **
  • 10 No Escape (05:39) **
  • 11 The Trial (01:45) *
  • 12 New Identity (02:24) **
  • 13 A Bid for Freedom (02:36) **
  • 14 The Forbidden Zone (03:23) **
  • 15 The Intruders (01:09) *
  • 16 The Cave (01:20)
  • 17 The Revelation, Part 2 (03:15) *
  • 18 Suite from "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" (16:27) *

Total time: 67:07 (* previously unreleased; ** previously released but expanded)


Japan's Volcano Records, having already issued the expanded soundtrack on CD, released a new vinyl LP edition of the score in February 1999 in collaboration with Culture Publishers Inc. (Cat# CPJ8 1006). The vinyl format limited the running time and thus reduced the number of tracks, but this version differed from the original Project 3 LP in that it used the newly expanded edits of each track. It also omitted A New Mate, added four pieces which were unreleased until the 1990s, and sequenced the album in the on-screen running order.

Volcano/Culture Publishers LP Tracklist:

Volcano/Culture Publishers LP
  • A1 Main Title (2:13)
  • A2 Crash Landing (6:40)
  • A3 The Search Continues (4:55)
  • A4 The Clothes Snatchers (3:09)
  • A5 The Hunt (5:10)
  • B1 The Revelation (3:20)
  • B2 No Escape (5:39)
  • B3 The Trial (1:45)
  • B4 New Identity (2:24)
  • B5 A Bid For Freedom (2:36)
  • B6 The Forbidden Zone (3:26)
  • B7 The Intruders (1:09)
  • B8 The Cave (1:20)

In July 2001 Masters Film Music released a kind of hybrid CD (Cat# 1249) which featured the same eleven tracks used on the 1992 Intrada CD, but used the newly expanded versions of each track and sequenced them in the order in which they were used in the film.

Masters Film Music CD Tracklist:

  • 01 Main Title (02:13)
  • 02 The Search (04:57)
  • 03 The Clothes Snatchers (03:09)
  • 04 The Hunt (05:10)
  • 05 A New Mate (01:05)
  • 06 The Revelation (03:22)
  • 07 No Escape (05:39)
  • 08 New Identity (02:26)
  • 09 A Bid for Freedom (02:38)
  • 10 The Forbidden Zone (03:24)
  • 11 The Cave (01:20)

Total time: 35:23

Simians & Serialism

Simians & Serialism

In 2015 Pithikos Entertainment published the 272 page illustrated paperback Simians & Serialism by John O'Callaghan, which analysed Jerry Goldsmith's film score, detailing the use of Arnold Schoenberg's serial technique and the influences of Béla Bartók, Maurice Ravel and Modest Mussorgsky.[11][12]

South Bank performance

The score was recreated by a live orchestra conducted by Robert Ziegler to accompany an adapted screening of the film at London's South Bank Centre in 2016.[13]


  • Musician Phil Teele played on both the 1968 & 2001 Planet of the Apes soundtracks.
Nigo - Ape Sounds
  • The 1998 single Ape Shall Never Kill Ape, by U.N.K.L.E. feat. Nigo & Scratch Perverts, was based around the cue New Identity and used countless samples from the Power Records' Planet of the Apes sets. Nigo (Japanese entrepreneur Tomoaki Nagao) would go on to release an entire album in 2000 which included the same track, re-titled March Of The General. (See also: Music Of The Planet Of The Apes)

External Links


  1. Jerry Goldsmith Biography & Tribute, by Christian Clemmensen -
  2. 'Cinefantastique Planet of the Apes Issue' (1972)
  3. ITTC Gets Rights To MGM Tracks - Billboard (27 April 1968)
  4. Tape Cartridge Tips, by Larry Finley - Billboard (4 May 1968)
  5. ITCC Releases 'Planet of the Apes' - Billboard (11 May 1968)
  6. New Tape CARtridge Releases - Billboard (22 June 1968)
  7. ITCO Records Discography at Discogs
  8. Enoch Light Label History, by Mark Koldys - Spaced Out: The Enoch Light Website
  9. Project 3 LP Discography - Spaced Out: The Enoch Light Website
  10. 10.0 10.1 Planet of the Apes Toys & Collectibles - Dr.Zaius0 Planet of the Apes Site
  11. Simians & Serialism - Pithikos Entertainment
  12. Knowing the Score: John O'Callaghan interview - 'Simian Scrolls' #19 (2017)
  13. Knowing the Score, with Robert Ziegler - 'Simian Scrolls' #20 (2018)
Planet of the Apes - The Original Pentalogy Series
Planet of the Apes (APJ) Movies
Planet of the Apes | Beneath the Planet of the Apes | Escape from the Planet of the Apes | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes | Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Main Ape Characters
Zira | Cornelius | Zaius | Ursus | Milo | Caesar | Lisa | Virgil | Aldo | Cornelius II | Lawgiver
Supporting Ape Characters
Hunt Leader | Julius | Marcus | Galen | Honorius | Maximus | President of the Assembly | Lucius | Minister | Minister | Frank | Mandemus
Main Human Characters
George Taylor | Nova | John Landon | Dodge | John Brent | Mendez XXVI | Caspay | Ongaro | Albina | Fat Man | Lewis Dixon | Stephanie Branton | Otto Hasslein | Armando | Breck | MacDonald (Conquest) | MacDonald (Battle) | Kolp | Mendez I
Supporting Human Characters
Stewart | Maddox | Verger | General Winthrop | General Faulkner | The President | Chairman of the President's Committee of Inquiry | E-1 | E-2 | Inspector Hoskyns | TV Newscaster | Mrs Riley | Mutant Captain | Jake | Jake's friend
Horse | Gorilla in Zoo
Items / Weapons
Sacred Scrolls | Human Doll | Alpha-Omega Bomb | Grape Juice Plus
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion
Bellatrix | Orion | Earth's Moon | Ape City | Forbidden Zone | Statue of Liberty | Queensboro Plaza | Radio City Music Hall | Grand Central Terminal | New York Stock Exchange | St. Patrick's Cathedral' | New York City | Jefferson Public School | Los Angeles | Los Angeles Zoo | Forbidden City | Ape City (Caesar's City) | Council
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes | Exile on the Planet of the Apes | Planet of the Apes: Ursus| Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern | Kong on the Planet of the Apes | Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes
Soundtrack Music
Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Beneath the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Escape from the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Battle for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Music Of The Planet Of The Apes