E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Music from the Original Soundtrack

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Music from the Original Soundtrack is the film score to the 1982 film of the same name composed and conducted by John Williams. The score was released by MCA Records on June 11, 1982. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. The album was remastered and reissued by La-La Land Records on September 26, 2017.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Music from the Original Soundtrack
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (soundtrack).jpg
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJune 11, 1982
RecordedMarch–April 1982
StudioMGM Scoring Stage
John Williams chronology
Raiders of the Lost Ark
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Music from the Original Soundtrack
Return of the Jedi


The soundtrack for the film has actually been issued numerous times. The original issue was a recording of concert arrangements based on the film's music. Later issues contain the actual soundtrack cues as heard in the film, although most cues are alternates originally recorded for the film, but replaced by new cues.

The score was recorded at the MGM Scoring Stage in Culver City, California.

On the track "The Magic of Halloween," when E.T. sees a child wearing a Yoda costume, Williams includes a reference to "Yoda's Theme", which he had composed for The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. George Lucas made the final link when he included three E.T.s as a member of the senate in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (also composed by John Williams) and thereby semiconneting the two movies.

The musicEdit

There are almost 80 minutes of music excluding alternates and album arrangements recorded just for the film. In paper the total number of full score excluding instrument parts excess well over 500 pages. The music was first written on a sketch to later be handed to orchestrator Herbert W. Spencer, who penciled out the full score from December 1981 to January 1982.

The orchestra consist of that of a usual standard orchestra with variations, e.g. the end credits consist of 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horn in f, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, percussion section, 1 harp, 1 piano and string section. Other parts of the movie required additional instruments such as celeste and organ. During the recording several of the woodwind players also play doubles between their own instrument and piccolo flute, English horn, and a clarinet, and contra bassoon.

Several revisions to the music were made before the final film score was ready. Some of the original versions of the music would end up on the original soundtrack album along with new recordings while others would end up on either the 1996 or 2002 releases before La La Land Records finally released the original film score including all alternate versions of the cues were presented as bonus material.

One of the known anecdotes from the recording is that John Williams had problems with timing of the music during the recording of the finale chase which made Steven Spielberg shut the projector and asked John Williams to record the music as he wanted it. Spielberg later edited the scenes around the recorded

Track listingEdit

1."Three Million Light Years from Home"2:57
2."Abandoned and Pursued"2:58
3."E.T. and Me"4:49
4."E.T.'s Halloween"4:07
6."E.T. Phone Home"4:18
7."Over the Moon"2:06
8."Adventure on Earth"15:06
Total length:39:41
1996 re-issue
1."Far from Home / E.T. Alone"6:49
2."Bait for E.T."1:43
3."The Beginning of a Friendship"2:50
5."I'm Keeping Him"2:19
6."E.T.'s Powers"2:42
7."E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"2:53
9."At Home"5:37
10."The Magic of Halloween"2:53
11."Sending the Signal"3:57
12."Searching for E.T."4:16
13."Invading Elliott's House"2:22
14."E.T. Is Dying"2:17
15."Losing E.T."2:00
16."E.T. Is Alive!"4:18
17."Escape / Chase / Saying Goodbye"15:04
18."End Credits"3:51
Total length:71:13
2002 re-issue
1."Main Title"1:07
2."Far from Home / E.T. Alone"6:47
3."Bait for E.T."1:44
4."Meeting E.T."2:06
5."E.T.'s New Home"1:39
6."The Beginning of a Friendship"3:03
8."I'm Keeping Him"2:18
9."E.T.'s Powers"2:43
10."E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"2:54
12."At Home"5:38
13."The Magic of Halloween"2:52
14."Sending the Signal"3:56
15."Searching for E.T."4:16
16."Invading Elliott's House"2:22
17."E.T. Is Dying"2:20
18."Losing E.T."2:03
19."E.T. Is Alive!"4:06
20."Escape / Chase / Saying Goodbye"15:02
21."End Credits"3:49
Total length:75:33
2017 re-issue; Disc 1
1."Main Title"1:14
2."Far From Home / E.T. Alone"6:57
3."Bait for E.T."1:45
4."Meeting E.T."2:08
5."E.T.'s New Home"1:28
6."The Beginning of a Friendship"2:53
8."I'm Keeping Him"2:20
9."E.T's Powers"2:44
10."The Closet" (Previously unreleased)0:53
11."E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"2:57
13."At Home"5:38
14."The Magic of Halloween"2:55
15."Sending the Signal"3:58
16."Searching for E.T."4:18
17."Invading Elliott's House"2:24
18."Stay With Me" (Previously unreleased)2:24
19."Losing E.T."2:04
20."E.T. Is Alive"4:22
21."The Rescue and Bike Chase"8:07
22."The Departure"7:07
23."End Credits"3:55
Total length:77:57
2017 reissue; Disc 2
1."Three Million Light Years From Home"3:01
2."Abandoned and Pursued"3:02
3."E.T. and Me"4:54
4."E.T.'s Halloween"4:11
6."E.T. Phone Home"4:21
7."Over the Moon"2:12
8."Adventure on Earth"15:10
9."The E.T. Adventure" (Previously unreleased)4:12
10."Far From Home / E.T. Alone" (Alternate; contains previously unreleased music)7:00
11."The Encounter" (Previously unreleased)1:49
12."Meeting E.T." (Alternate; previously unreleased)2:20
13."E.T.'s New Home" (Alternate)1:27
14."The Kiss" (Previously unreleased)0:49
15."Levitation" (Previously unreleased)0:41
16."Searching for E.T." (Alternate)4:19
17."Invading Elliott's House" (Alternate; contains previously unreleased music)2:24
18."E.T. Is Dying" (Alternate)2:24
19."The Departure" (Alternate)7:06
20."End Credits" (Alternate)3:55
Total length:78:42


The score was the fourth in history to accomplish the feat of winning the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Grammy, and BAFTA. (The previous two, Star Wars and Jaws, were also composed by Williams, who remains the only person to have won all awards for the same score more than once.)[1] To date, a total of only six scores have won all four awards.[1]



  • Lawson, Matt; MacDonald, Laurence (2018), 100 Greatest Film Scores, U.S.A.: Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 9781538103685