Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Star Trek III soundtrackI praise Horner for his Star Trek II soundtrack, but I have to take issue with how he managed to score the next movie. A lot of the music – indeed, starting with the opening titles – is simply lifted from Star Trek II. Now, to some degree, this is understandable, as Trek III picked up directly where its predecessor left off and quite a bit of continuity is to be expected, but there are places where you’d swear the film was being tracked with music from Star Trek II. There are exceptions to this rule – Horner created a different musical vision of the Klingons than Goldsmith’s popular theme, and there are some 3 out of 4interesting passages in the eight-and-a-half-minute “Stealing The Enterprise” cue. There’s another surprise in the form of a synth-pop rendition of the main theme, titled “The Search For Spock”, which is the first concession to a pop music audience that the Trek movie series made, but it wouldn’t be the last.

Order this CD

  1. Prologue and Main Title (6:27)
  2. Klingons (5:55)
  3. Stealing the Enterprise (8:33)
  4. The Mind Meld (2:30)
  5. Bird of Prey Decloaks (3:37)
  6. Returning to Vulcan (4:49)
  7. The Katra Ritual (4:29)
  8. End Title (6:12)
  9. The Search for Spock (3:43)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1984
Total running time: 46:15

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – music by James Horner

Star Trek II soundtrackThis, along with Goldsmith’s music for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, seem to have entrenched themselves in the minds of the public and Trek fans alike as the definitive Star Trek movie scores…by virtue, I suspect, of having been the first two. There are lovely passages – and a beautiful main and closing theme – in this action-packed score, but in a few places the sound is just too thick and too boisterous, and it’s hard to keep up with it all. Still, it’s one of everyone’s favorite soundtracks, and it is good. It’s a much better entry than Horner gave us for the Star Trek movie that followed 3 out of 4this one. Also noteworthy was the use of that instrument/sound/thing called the Blaster Beam – a distinctive tone that distinguished the first two Trek films and then seemed to disappear completely until the eighth movie – in some new and different ways than it had appeared in Goldsmith’s score.

Order this CD

  1. Main Title (3:03)
  2. Surprise Attack (5:06)
  3. Spock (1:10)
  4. Kirk’s Explosive Reply (4:02)
  5. Khan’s Pets (4:18)
  6. Enterprise Clears Moorings (3:32)
  7. Battle in the Mutara Nebula (8:08)
  8. Genesis Countdown (6:36)
  9. Epilogue / End Title (8:40)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1982
Total running time: 44:35