Star Trek: The Next Generation Volume 3

Star Trek: The Next Generation soundtrackYou might not believe that the same composer created the Farpoint soundtrack and this collection of scores from the third and fifth seasons of Star Trek: TNG, but it’s true. You know, there’s a reason why there are so few soundtrack releases from the Star Trek TV shows that have been such hits for the past decade or so. If there were more soundtracks, you know as well as I do that loyal fans and music lovers like myself would have snatched all of them up. But the sad truth is that, due to some ridiculously strict guidelines that Star Trek executive producer Rick Berman has maintained from early in his reign, most of the Star Trek TV scores are forced into a corner. The music is to be unobtrusive, is forbidden to interfere with certain frequencies which are occupied by background sound effects, and is to avoid thematic material which could be too distinctive. In those restrictions, the entire point of a dramatic musical underscore has been vampirically sucked right out of the music. On the flipside, Star Trek has been blessed with amazingly inventive composers like Dennis McCarthy, who – contrary to the beliefs of some fans who sometimes don’t know of what they speak musically – can score his way out of a wet paper bag, and on Star Trek, that’s exactly what he has to do. From the Korngoldish, heraldic cues from Hollow Pursuits to the eerie and threatening Yesterday’s Enterprise, McCarthy neatly sidesteps the producers’ musical strictures, and in the latter score even manages to showcase his theme for Captain Picard (see the Farpoint review elsewhere) one more time. However, it is in the music from the two-part special Unification that things get both better and worse. The cue “Sarek Drifts Away” is probably what won McCarthy the 1992 Best Dramatic Underscore Emmy award in and of itself, but other cues 3 out of 4from the same show smack of random noise and seem to drone on forever without ever reaching a resolution. But, even with Star Trek’s producers’ silly hangups about distinctive music still in place, fans of the show will probably love this album.

Order this CD

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation main title (1:48)
  2. Duality / Enterprise C (2:55)
  3. Averted / Richard / Guinan / Back to Battle / Cmdr. Garrett (3:30)
  4. First Kiss / Not To Be / Empty Death / Reporting For Duty (3:45)
  5. Klingons / Skin of Teeth (5:02)
  6. In Case You Forgot (1:36)
  7. Sarek (1:46)
  8. Sarek Drifts Away (2:34)
  9. Another Captain / Food Fight (0:58)
  10. Victims of Holography (3:44)
  11. Sacrificed / Mind Meld (2:40)
  12. Barclay Mitty (2:24)
  13. Tissue Samples / Sad Sack / Staff Confab / Hololust (3:01)
  14. Lady Gates / Swordplay (2:13)
  15. Madame Troi / Blissful / Out of Control / Warp Nine (1:54)
  16. Warposity (3:21)
  17. Plan 9 (0:19)
  18. Star Trek: The Next Generation end credit (0:48)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1992
Total running time: 44:18

Star Trek: Shore Leave / The Naked Time

Star Trek soundtrackThe most recent collection of original Trek music from Crescendo (not counting the Trouble With Tribbles suite on the 1996 Best Of Star Trek CD) features slightly less well-known scores from less obvious episodes than popular favorites such as Amok Time and The Cage, and in that respect the choices are more interesting. Gerald Fried’s music from Shore Leave careens around recklessly from Finnegan’s Irish-themed signature tune to gentler, more classical-sounding passages for Kirk’s old flame, and appropriately heraldic fanfares for McCoy winding up on the wrong side of a joust with an imaginary knight. The Naked Time‘s similarly fantasy-4 out of 4themed music has some more mysterious themes dealing with the vague time-travel subplot introduced toward the end of the show. Both are very interesting listening, and the mastering is again outstanding, considering that this music was recorded over thirty years ago.

Order this CD

  1. Star Trek main title (0:51)

    Shore Leave music by Gerald Fried

  2. New Planet / Rabbit / School Chum (4:07)
  3. Old English (2:09)
  4. Ruth (2:37)
  5. Knight / Joust (1:28)
  6. Clue / Finnigan / Tricks / Tiger Thoughts / 2nd Samurai (4:36)
  7. Caretaker / Lazarus (2:01)
  8. 2nd Ruth (0:49)

    The Naked Time music by Alexander Courage

  9. Trailer (1:02)
  10. Brass Monkeys (1:28)
  11. Joe Berserk (3:03)
  12. Sulu Finks Out (0:43)
  13. D’artagnan / Banana Farm (3:18)
  14. Out of Control / Lurch Time / Punchy Kid (1:48)
  15. Party Time (1:34)
  16. Medicine Girl (4:29)
  17. Hot Sun / Off the Cloud (1:05)
  18. Captain’s Wig (6:43)
  19. The Big Go (1:43)
  20. Time Reverse / Future Risk (0:46)
  21. Star Trek end credit (0:48)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1992
Total running time: 47:08

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Encounter At Farpoint

Star Trek: The Next Generation soundtrackThis soundtrack from the first episode of the first of the onslaught of “new” Star Trek shows is vastly different from the flavor of music that the series later employed. This score is in an unusually lush, Star Wars-ish style which really sounds out of place compared to the later abstract dronings that were insisted upon by the producers. Some of the best cues on here include “Admiral”, a nice little piano piece underscoring DeForest Kelley’s cameo guest appearance as an extremely elderly Dr. McCoy, escorted by Data, and the suite of music that accompanied the early scenes in which Q pursues the Enterprise despite Picard’s best attempts to shake him. Also included are some unused cues, including a rejected but very nice piece for the Enterprise’s saucer separation (which was replaced by a boring reprise of Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture theme). But by far, the true gem of this album is McCarthy’s rejected “Alternate Theme” for the series, which opens with the familiar Alexander Courage theme and then flows smoothly into McCarthy’s own original theme for 4 out of 4Captain Picard, which I dearly love and I think could have ranked as an instant fan favorite along with the movie and earlier TV themes. By opting to go with the familiar Goldsmith theme, the producers buried this wonderful piece of music, and thank goodness they got at least one performance on tape and included it on this soundtrack.

Order this CD

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation main title (1:45)
  2. Stardate (1:44)
  3. Troi Senses (1:42)
  4. Picard’s Plan / First Chase / First Chase part 2 (4:31)
  5. Detaching* / Separation* (2:41)
  6. Shaken / Court Time / There Goes Da Judge (2:29)
  7. U.S.S. Hood / On Manual (3:19)
  8. Star Trek: The Next Generation end credit (1:04)
  9. Personal Log / Admiral / Old Lovers (2:25)
  10. Caverns (1:27)
  11. Splashing* / The Woods / Memories (2:46)
  12. Scanned / Big Guns / Unknown (3:04)
  13. Revealed / Reaching Out (4:39)
  14. Departure (1:08)
  15. Alternate main title (Picard’s theme)* (1:44)< * music not used in broadcast version of show.

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1988
Total running time: 36:28

Star Trek: Symphonic Suites from the Original Series

Star Trek soundtrackStar Trek soundtrackReleased around the 20th anniversary of Star Trek, these two CDs contained new recordings of the original Trek’s music, this time in the form of long suites in which the entirety of particular episode’s score is performed in the form of a long, interconnected orchestral piece. The arrangements are faithful, but you have to have a stomach for 15 or more minutes of music in the classic Trek vein; remember, compared to the almost atonal sophisticated stuff that passes for music on the current Star Trek shows, the old Trek’s scores were pretty wildly bombastic. Both discs were performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Tony Bremner. Volume 1 features the music of the third-season episodes Is There In Truth No Beauty? and The Paradise Syndrome, composed by, respectively, George Duning and Gerald Fried, while Volume 2’s more diverse selection includes Joseph Mullendore’s The Conscience Of The King and Sol Kaplan’s The Enemy Within from the first season, the whimsical I, Mudd score by Samuel Matlovsky from the second year, and the third year’s Spectre Of The Gun, composed by Jerry Fielding. The shortcomings of these discs are some very irritating synthesized approximations of the organ tones used in the very 1960s original 3 out of 4renditions. On the other hand, these are the only available copies of these specific episodes’ music, and a lot of it is very good indeed, particularly since, unlike the GNP Crescendo releases, much of the music comes from the third season, and therefore was not reused over and over again as often as the earlier music from the first and second seasons.

Order this CD

    Volume One

  1. Is There In Truth No Beauty? by George Duning:
    Enter Miranda / Ambassador Arrival / McCoy’s Toast / Quite a Woman / Marvick Pleads / Marvick Mad / Marvick Berserk / Marvick Dies / Sentimental Jim /Blind Miranda / No Chane / Miranda Mad / Miranda’s Farewell
  2. The Paradise Syndrome by Gerald Fried:
    Pine Trees / The Amerinds / Tahiti Syndrome / The Brain Wash / Miramanee / Breath of Life / The New God / Dilithium Problem / Wash Day / Salish Fluffed / Potter Kirk / Naming the God / Joining Day / Challenge / The Ceremony / Birth Announcement / False God / Death of Miramanee (19:54)
    Volume Two

  1. The Conscience Of The King by Joseph Mullendore:
    Spaceship Titles / Lenore / Lenore’s Kiss / Everything Is Later / Ophelia Mania / Last Cue
  2. Spectre Of The Gun by Jerry Fielding:
    Melkot’s Warning / Tomstone / Teeth Pulling / My Name: Doc Holliday / Love Scene in the Old West / Chekov Gets Killed / Ten Minutes / We’re Trapped / Final Curtain
  3. The Enemy Within by Sol Kaplan:
    The Rock Slide / The Tired Captain / Bruised Knuckles / An Imposter / Undecisive / Alter Ego / Another Brandy / Double Dog Death / Help Me / Thank You, Yeoman
  4. I, Mudd by Samuel Matlovsky:
    Alice In Wonderland / Mudd’s Series / Tired of Happiness / Stella / The Last Straw / Stella 500

Released by: Label X
Release date: 1986
Volume One total running time: 39:52
Volume Two total running time: 45:53

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – music by Jerry Goldsmith

Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrackThis Oscar-nominated score redefined the musical mindset of Star Trek and set a standard by which all future music for the Star Trek entity, whether in the theater or on TV, would be judged. (Need proof? What music did Star Trek: The Next Generation use for its theme?) This definitive Trek movie score has yet to be surpassed or even so much as equalled – not even by Goldsmith himself, who scored the fifth, eighth, ninth and tenth movies in the Trek saga as well as coining the theme music for the Voyager spinoff series. The unique combination of contemporary, ancient and futuristic sounds for the first Star Trek movie is indicative of the enormous scope of the story, and makes for some excellent listening away from the sound effects and dialogue. The traditional orchestral complement combines with the distinctive sound of something (!?) called the Blaster Beam (the signature sound of this movie, it sounds not unlike the combination of a distorted electric guitar and a chainsaw) and the gothic tones of the organ to produce a sweeping, awe-inspiring atmosphere. Countering that effect, this was the only Trek movie to date which required a genuine, sweeping, romantic love theme – which really says more about the nature of the later Star 4 out of 4Trek films than their successive composers. Due to the length of the movie and the length of the overbudgeted special effects sequences, Goldsmith’s score is prominent throughout the film, and there’s a lot of it. This is easily the best score ever to have graced any of the Star Trek movies.

Order this CD

  1. Main Title / Klingon Battle (6:50)
  2. Leaving Drydock (3:29)
  3. The Cloud (5:00)
  4. The Enterprise (5:58)
  5. Ilia’s Theme (3:01)
  6. V’ger Flyover (4:56)
  7. The Meld (3:15)
  8. Spock Walk (4:17)
  9. End Title (3:16)

Released by: CBS
Release date: 1979
Total running time: 40:02

Star Trek: The Doomsday Machine / Amok Time

Star Trek soundtrackThis is more like it. And the choice of episodes couldn’t be better – the two acclaimed second-season episodes featured some of the most memorable music to be heard from this point on in the series. The late Sol Kaplan’s familiar, belligerent Doomsday Machine action cues often underscored tense situations for the rest of the series, and Gerald Fried’s exotic bass guitar from Amok Time became the signature theme for all things Spockish or otherwise Vulcan. The mastering on the 4 out of 4album is outstanding, and the liner notes on the composers are interesting. Highly recommended for any fans of the original Trek.

  1. Star Trek main title (1:00)

    The Doomsday Machine music by Sol Kaplan

  2. Approach of Enterprise / The Constellation (1:08)
  3. Going Aboard (1:38)
  4. Commander Matt Decker / The Crew That Was (1:56)
  5. What is Doomsday Machine / The Planet Killer (1:58)
  6. Strange Boom / Decker Takes Over (2:49)
  7. The New Commander / Light Beams / Tractor Beam (4:09)
  8. Violent Shakes (2:45)
  9. Spock Takes Command / Decker’s Foil / Sneaky Commodore (2:26)
  10. Goodbye Mr. Decker (3:10)
  11. Order this CD Condolences / Power Drain (1:09)
  12. Kirk Does It Again (3:45)
  13. One’s Enough (0:22)

    Amok Time music by Gerald Fried

  14. Vulcan Fanfare / Prying (0:46)
  15. Mr. Spock (1:22)
  16. Contrary Order (2:58)
  17. T’Pring (0:47)
  18. Marriage Council (1:51)
  19. Vulcan (1:03)
  20. The Processional (1:36)
  21. The Challenge (3:02)
  22. The Ritual / Ancient Battle / 2nd Kroykah (5:25)
  23. Remorse / Marriage Council II (1:12)
  24. Resignation / Lazarus Return / Pig’s Eye (0:42)
  25. Star Trek end title (0:47)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1991
Total running time: 41:04

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Best Of Both Worlds

Star Trek: The Next Generation soundtrackThis 1990 two-parter rewrote the books of Star Trek history as it proved that the struggling new show could be just as formidable as the original series, if not much more so. You might remember Best Of Both Worlds as the cliffhanging two-parter in which Captain Picard is abducted and transformed by the Borg, but one of the things I remembered these two shows for the most was the music, which is quite unusual for the producer-mandated subdued scoring that usually drenches the show. Ron Jones graced the epic story with music that recalls John Williams’ Star Wars soundtrack, with added twists in the form of the haunting choral interludes for the Borg and a very heavy, doom-laden treatment for the second part. Best tracks include “First Attack”, “Captain Borg” (that’s the cliffhanger from part one with that world-ending “bam bam bam!” to-be-continued, end-of-the-world climax), “Intervention” and “The Link”. Despite the fact that it was eagerly received by the fans and in music 4 out of 4stores, it was a few years before Star Trek’s top brass allowed their composers to get this brassy again. Ron Jones himself left the show a year later, around the time of this album’s release, sick of the extensive strictures placed on the show’s music, and who can blame him? All the same, I’ve always wondered what miracles Jones could have worked on the episodes that followed his departure, to say nothing of Deep Space Nine.

Order this CD

    The Best of Both Worlds Part I by Ron Jones

  1. Star Trek – The Next Generation main title (1:40)
  2. New Providence (1:19)
  3. Hansen’s Message (1:28)
  4. Borg Engaged (1:16)
  5. First Attack (4:56)
  6. Borg Take Picard (3:03)
  7. Death Is Irrelevant (1:35)
  8. Away Team Ready (1:15)
  9. On the Borg Ship* (1:27)
  10. Nodes (2:55)
  11. Captain Borg (3:51)

    The Best of Both Worlds Part II by Ron Jones

  12. Energy Weapon Fails (3:52)
  13. Humanity Taken (0:56)
  14. Contact Lost (0:34)
  15. Cemetery of Dead Ships (1:45)
  16. Intervention (4:21)
  17. The Link (2:58)
  18. Sleep Command (3:52)
  19. Destruct Mode / Picard is Back (1:36)
  20. Picard’s Nightmare (1:00)
  21. Star Trek: The Next Generation end credit (1:02)

* music not used in broadcast version of show.

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1991
Total running time: 46:41