GERALD BUSBY – “3 Women” soundtrack (1977)

“Gerald Busby’s music for ’3 Women’ is so perfect I don’t know how to talk about it.” — Robert Altman

I’ve been waiting for years for an official soundtrack release to Gerald Busby’s overwhelmingly creepy score to Robert Altman’s “3 Women”, page a film that after several viewings, sales still leaves me with a sense of wonder. And dread. Wonderful dread. DVD Beaver sez:

In a dusty, under-populated California resort town, Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek), a naïve and impressionable Southern waif begins her life as a nursing home attendant. There, Pinky finds her role model in fellow nurse “Thoroughly Modern” Millie Lammoreaux (Shelley Duvall), a misguided would-be sophisticate and hopeless devotee of Cosmopolitan and Woman’s Day magazines. When Millie accepts Pinky into her home at the Purple Sage singles complex, Pinky’s hero-worship evolves into something far stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated. Featuring brilliant performances from Spacek and Duvall, Robert Altman’s dreamlike masterpiece, 3 Women, careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal, resulting in one of the most unusual and compelling films of the 1970s.

It’s one of Altman’s very best, and Duvall gives perhaps her greatest screen performance as Millie, a sharply realized and truly original character who radiates both pathos and cock-eyed charisma.

Busby’s score is the perfect complement to the hazy, mysterious mood Altman sets up, as the score is, full of mournful woodwinds, piercing flute and pulsating low rumbles of bass strings. The film tanked miserably at the box office (due in part, no doubt, to its difficult-to-parse marketing campaign, or lack thereof), and in fact an unexpected film from the lower rungs of the Fox ’77 release schedule completely overshadowed it and many others: Star Wars.

This download is an audio rip from the Criterion Collection DVD of “3 Women”, and since there was no isolated score track, this “soundtrack” features all of the music cues as they appear in the film, in addition to some dialogue and sound effects.

Gerald Busby – “3 Women” soundtrack (ZIP file)

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868 Responses to 3 WOMEN

  1. once again, you’ve piqued my interest. downloading…and netflixing.

  2. Trevor says:

    Oh man… how is it possible that every single Egg City Radio post is treasure-trove quality? I just saw this film a few months ago and it blew my mind. Definitely a new Altman favorite. The soundtrack is equally baffling. “The Dream” is a piece of ambient terror. Thank you!

  3. Thank you sooo much. I’ve been looking for these tracks for a really long time now.. can’t wait to finally hear them.

  4. caleb says:

    I just watched 3 Women for the first time last night and was blown away. I wasn’t really expecting this kind of a film. So now I’m on the warpath to see as many Altman films as I can. He’s got a lot, can you recommend a few?

  5. Gerald Busby says:

    Many thanks for all your comments. We’re working to produce a clean sound track CD of the score as originally recorded in Burbank Studios by an orchestra whose members were recommended to me by John Williams. With one exception: the brilliant flute soloist, Michael Parloff, principal with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, came to Hollywood from New York for the recording session, December, 1976. Everyone in the ensemble is excellent, and I’m honored to have had such musicians record the score for 3 Women. — Gerald Busby, composer

  6. Scott Weaber says:

    Thank you for this music. We were just watching Altman’s “A Wedding” for the millionth time and Googled Gerald Busby and saw a recent interview with him at his home. What a gentleman he is and a true talent!