The Star Trek: TNG music of Ron Jones

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    Ron Jones was, to put it simply, an awesome composer who did kick-ass music for the first four seasons of Star Trek: TNG before the powers that be (namely, Berman) decided that he wanted the music to be “less prominent” and less overtly dramatic. The other resident TNG composer, Dennis McCarthy, toned it down accordingly because he still wanted to be working; Jones stuck to his guns and was dismissed in the middle of the fourth season. Until then, he was responsible for some of the most dynamic music TNG had up to that point, including Best Of Both Worlds.

    There are persistent rumors – which haven’t noticeably been denied by anyone involved – that there’s going to be a 12-15 CD box set of Jones’ TNG music released later this year (smart money says to expect an official announcement at Comic Con). The rumor was started by Jones himself tweeting that the project was in the works, and then hurriedly taking down the aforementioned twitterpation. Oops!

    Until the thing is actually acknowledged to be in the works and released, here’s a page from Jones’ own web site to tide you over; many of the selections you can listen to here haven’t been released in any form before.


    Ron Jones TNG box set finally confirmed by Lukas Kendall at Film Score Monthly [LINK]:

    Then probably in the first week or two of September—we hope—is FSM Box 05. This is the long-rumored Ron Jones box set of Star Trek: The Next Generation music. 14 discs, $149.95, limited to 5000 copies—40 complete episode scores, plus some previously unreleased “Best of Both Worlds” cues and Ron’s two Interplay computer game scores. All in immaculate stereo. The packaging is in the style of the Rózsa box: the booklet has an introductory essay and track listings (and lots of ST:TNG art), with comprehensive liner notes to be posted online. Did you guys know this was my dream project? I fantasized about putting this together ever since I fell in love with the scores twenty years ago. In fact it was twenty years ago almost exactly that “The Best of Both Worlds” aired.

    So… new Royksopp, new Doctor Who music, and a metric buttload of ST:TNG music in September. So there it is… I’ve got exactly five weeks to win the lottery. :boom:

    It’s interesting that reading between the lines seems to hint that Best Of Both Worlds, in its entirety, will NOT appear on the box set – if that’s the case, you’ll still need the old GNP Crescendo CD from 1991, mastered to 1991 specs. Not sure how I feel about that.

    As long as Q Who?, Where No One Has Gone Before, Brothers, 11001001 and Skin Of Evil are on there, I won’t be too unhappy. Assuming I can afford it in the first place.


    And in a thread on the FSM forums, again from Mr. Kendall himself:

    We could only use 5 minutes of “Best of Both Worlds” due to the existing GNP Crescendo CD. Sorry but there was nothing I could do. We grabbed the best 5 min. of unreleased cues, like the Borg approaching Saturn.

    So, confirmed: NO Best Of Both Worlds. In a box set that’s all about Ron Jones’ TNG soundtracks. That’s like trying to have a conversation about John Williams and yet dancing around any mention of The Empire Strikes Back.

    If it’s any consolation, and really, it should be: 40 complete episode scores is what’s left of Jones’ entire body of TNG work if you leave BOBW off. So if you do have the old BOBW CD, plus this box set, it’s just about every note of music the man recorded for this series.


    Another interesting tidbit from the FSM forums, from someone who attended a weekend screening of Star Trek: Generations with Dennis McCarthy as the guest speaker: apparently the wheels are turning on some releases of more of McCarthy’s Star Trek music, with an expanded version of Generations specifically mentioned as being in the pipeline. I doubt this is a Film Score Monthly project, as McCarthy has been releasing stuff on his own for quite a while now (Star Trek: Borg, Sliders). I wouldn’t be surprised to see him releasing his own Trek music if he can either pay for the license from Paramount or, as with the Borg game soundtrack, release in small enough numbers that the studio just quietly looks the other way.

    Jones and McCarthy had a lot to do with me going from being a casual fan of film/TV music to a rabid fan and collector in my late teens, so I say… bring on the classic pre-Voyager Trek music by the truckload! Just space it out so I can afford it.


    The insanely detailed liner notes and working audio samples have been posted ahead of the release, HERE.

    The official name of the set is “Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Ron Jones Project”.


    So, a quick question for those of you who peruse the soundtrack section. This is entirely theoretical, because I’m not sure when I’m gonna come up with the dough for this box set – it ain’t gonna be real soon (but it’s still in the pre-order phase). But I have taken the liberty of setting up a blank page for the eventual review, complete with tracklist. The whole mammoth 14 disc track list.

    Should I break up the review by season (season 1 = discs 1-4, season 2 = discs 5-7, season 3 = discs 8-10, season 4 = discs 11-12, extra stuff = discs 13-14), or get the whole thing over with in one great big (and probably rather lengthy) review? Smaller reviews might be able to be more detailed, and I could milk the one box set for several weeks’ worth of material. 😆 On the other hand, milking one box set for several reviews might get on everyone’s nerves when they’d rather have one review they can skip over conveniently if they’re not interested. 😛

    Steve W
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    I think there’s an argument for either one giant review or a bunch of mini-reviews. I’m not a big soundtrack fan or a TNG fan (by any stretch) so one jumbo review would be easier to bypass to read other updates to the site. But the fact is, you have done reviews of soundtracks for a good long time and I’m sure that a number of your site’s readers were probably drawn in by those reviews. So not jumbling up all the discs into one review but giving each portion the due it deserves would be appreciated by the (non forum posting) soundtrack collectors. And like you said, stretch it out over time and that means you won’t have to write any more reviews of crappy K-9 episodes that you can’t force yourself to watch. 😆


    I wonder if K-9 would be any better with Ron Jones accompaniment? 😆

    The shipping date is apparently next week, so this is another one pushed back into October. Maybe I’ll do gangbusters business at OVGE and all 5,000 copies won’t be sold out by then…


    Just an update on this – a review of this box set will finally appear, next week, on the site, covering all 14 CDs in one big review. It’s probably the longest review the music section has ever seen. It’s also the first one with a “jump” in it (i.e. ‘click here to read more’), just to preserve everyone’s sanity. 😆 Be on the lookout!

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