Ron Jones is an inspired choice to score a space documentary, even if you’ve never heard of him. Mention his name in a room full of diehard Star Trek: The Next Generation fans and you’ll probably get a conversation started: during that show’s first four years, he kicked over numerous restrictive rules put in place by the producers, who wanted the music to be “wallpaper”, and did his own thing…until the showrunners responded in kind by simply ceasing to engage his services any further.
But the producers of that particular series seem to be the only ones who don’t remember him fondly. The makers of computer games such as Starfleet Academy and Starfleet Command availed themselves of his services, as did the backers of last year’s 50th anniversary concert tour, commissioning him to write new music in a Trek vein, which was also recorded for the recent 50th anniversary soundtrack album.
It’s those recent compositions that his music from Fight For Space most closely resemble: noble, yearning, vaguely nautical. But there are other flavors that aren’t exactly Trekkish: quiter, piano-led tracks, even a couple of somewhat comical pieces. Then there are the real surprises, a full-on rock ‘n’ roll track titled “Chaos Never Stopped Us”, whole other tracks such as “The Greatest Possibilities” and “The Letter That Killed Space” combine the sonic palettes of orchestra and rock band.
But it’s all recognizably Ron Jones – the sound that no sane showrunner ever would have jettisoned from the Star Trek franchise. Whether it’s for the 24th century, or the 21st century struggle of a chronically underfunded NASA to live up to its 20th century glories, that sound is a perfect fit. Those who have missed Jones’ odes to the final frontier will enjoy this one a lot.
- Space Calls Us (4:23)
- Cold War Fears (2:02)
- Moving a Nation (2:39)
- The Spin Offs (1:51)
- Earthrise (1:02)
- The Hope Killers (6:34)
- First Homes Off Earth (2:54)
- Messy Politics of Space (4:22)
- Rockets and Budgets to Nowhere (7:42)
- Chaos Never Stopped Us (5:34)
- The Letter That Killed Space (3:35)
- Why arn’t We There Yet? (4:41)
- Progress and Fear (2:16)
- The Greatest Possibilities (7:42)
- The Universe Awaits (6:44)
- First Sketches and Themes (3:45)
Released by: SkyMuse Records
Release date: March 29, 2017
Total running time: 1:07:46