Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage – Music from the 50th Anniversary Concert Tour

Star Trek: The Ultimate VoyageA 2-CD collection commemorating the touring concert experience paying homage to 50 years – give or take a few years off here and there – of Star Trek music, The Ultimate Voyage is basically a cover album for Trek fans. Every facet of the franchise is touched upon, with both the primary themes and individual episode scores from nearly every series and movie revisited. The only main themes not covered here are the ever-controversial choice of theme song for Enterprise, a series represented by only a single score cue from one of its final episodes, and the criminally underrated theme music from the animated series (a corner of Trek that is left completely by the wayside in this collection).

If there’s anything that holds this back from being a crowd-pleaser instead of merely a concert souvenir, it is, quite simply and sadly, the performances. For a professional studio recording, the number of fluffed notes is a little uncomfortably high. The fact that they made it into the finished product would seem to indicate that this was a rush job to get the discs pressed in time to be in the gift shop after every concert – one take and only one take.

Where the performances are on-the-money, they’re a wonderful representative cross-sample of Star Trek’s musical history, performed well and arranged nicely for live concerts. Some of the best bits are hidden in the pieces of individual episode scores: Jay Chattaway’s pennywhistle theme from The Inner Light, Ron Jones’ apocalyptic cliffhanger from The Best Of Both Worlds, the almost-patriotic-sounding swell 2 out of 4of hope under Kirk’s speech from The Omega Glory‘s “courage, the order of the day” scene, the aforementioned music from Archer’s address to the nascent Federation council from Enterprise…we’ve all heard the themes about thousand times by now. Hearing the episodic music in a concert setting is a nice change of pace.

Order this CD

    Disc One

  1. Main Title from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1:30)
  2. Main Title from Star Trek: Generations (1:59)
  3. The Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (6:02)
  4. Klingon Battle from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (5:20)
  5. Ancient Combat / 2nd Kroykah from Star Trek (5:12)
  6. Ba’Ku Theme from Star Trek: Insurrection (2:53)
  7. Starship / Kirk’s Philosophy from Star Trek (1:28)
  8. Kirk Does It Again from Star Trek (3:48)
  9. Main Title from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (2:06)
  10. Ilia’s Theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (3:06)
  11. Revealed / Reaching Out from Star Trek: TNG (4:50)
  12. Courage / Saved Again from Star Trek: TNG (1:54)
  13. Main Title from Star Trek: Voyager (1:50)
  14. Main Title from Star Trek IV (2:41)
  15. Red Alert from Star Trek: First Contact / Captain Borg from Star Trek: TNG (3:15)
    Disc Two

  1. Opening from Star Trek: Starfleet Academy (4:07)
  2. Epilogue / End Titles from Star Trek II (7:33)
  3. First Contact from Star Trek: First Contact (2:45)
  4. Defiant Ending from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (3:12)
  5. I Can Live With It from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (2:09)
  6. The Inner Light from Star Trek: TNG (6:41)
  7. Set Course For Home from Star Trek: Voyager (2:03)
  8. Enterprising Young Men from Star Trek (2009) (2:41)
  9. The Captain from Star Trek: Voyager (2:43)
  10. End Credits Suite from Star Trek VI (4:18)
  11. Up Your Alley from Star Trek: Enterprise (3:33)
  12. Archer’s Speech from Star Trek: Enterprise (1:52)
  13. Overture from Star Trek: Generations (4:18)
  14. To Live Forever from Star Trek: Generations (2:47)
  15. Main Theme from Star Trek (3:44)

Released by: CineConcerts
Release date: 2016
Disc one total running time: 48:54
Disc two total running time: 54:26

Star Trek: The 50th Anniversary Collection

Star Trek: The 50th Anniversary CollectionIn the early ’90s, I was positively obsessed with Star Trek music – every new movie score released, any new television soundtracks that came along, anything was a cause for celebration, because I was in “maximum Trekkie” mode, and there never seemed to be enough of it.

Fast-forward a bit to the 21st century, in an era where we’re starving for the seemingly perpetually-delayed first new Star Trek TV series in a decade…and yet we’re positively drowning in music from the franchise’s glory days. I’ve gone from “not being to get enough Star Trek music” to “how in the hell do I organize this huge glut of music when I rip the latest box set worth of CDs to my hard drive straight out of the mail?”

Not that I’m complaining. The 50th Anniversary Collection from La-La Land Records is a fine buffet line adding to the embarrassment of riches we’ve gotten since 2009, a year during which the first J.J. Abrams movie (and yes, its soundtrack) came along, revitalized Trek as a media juggernaut, and convinced new Paramount music executive Randy Spendlove that maybe, just maybe, he should license some of the gems from the Trek music vaults to these specialty soundtrack labels that are clamoring to release it.

Rather than a laser-like focus on any one series, this four-disc set tries to patch some holes, right some wrongs, and answer some fannish prayers. The first disc consists, mostly, of remastered selections from the original series, piece of music of which better copies have been found since La-La Land’s monumental 2012 box set release of every note of music recorded for classic Trek. There are a few new 1960s gems as well: Wilbur Hatch’s “bumper” music, played over still slides of the Enterprise and the Star Trek logo as the show went to commercial during its broadcast premieres, is something I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. An alternate take of a cue from Star Trek: The Motion Picture also appears, but the big takeaway from disc one is the dialogue-free version of the end credits from Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, a track which had previously only appeared on CD with the late Leonard Nimoy’s ethereal narration. Fans have been demanding this since Film Score Monthly released an otherwise complete Star Trek II score on CD in 2009, and at last, here it is.

The second disc, however, contains the box set’s biggest knock-me-over-with-a-feather surprises: virtually the entire music library from the 1973-74 Filmation animated Star Trek series, a segment of the franchise that’s often overlooked for no readily justifiable reason. These selections come courtesy not of a miraculous session tape find (stories have circulated for years about how the original tapes no longer exist), but from the box set’s restoration experts and producers painstakingly editing together all of the cues from the audio of the episodes themselves, meticulously splicing together dialogue-and-FX-free sections of music until they had the entire piece of music reconstructed. Fans have been trying to do this since the days of cassette tapes with moderate success, so to hear an expert reconstruction of this music is nothing short of amazing. (Sharp-eared Filmation fans will also recognize a lot of this music from its later reuse in the live-action series Jason Of Star Command.)

As the animated series’ music consists primarily of fairly short cues, the second disc is rounded out with Dennis McCarthy’s all-synth score from the PC game Star Trek: Borg (previously heard on a private-release CD sold by McCarthy himself) and something that I never would’ve anticipated hearing: new Ron Jones Star Trek music. Let me repeat, for emphasis: new Ron Jones Star Trek music. In 1991, Jones was effectively “let go” by the TNG producers for consistently pushing the bounds of both the show’s creative parameters and its music budget, and aside from scoring a couple of late ’90s computer games, Star Trek has been a thing that’s in Jones’ past…until he composed an original three-part concert suite that, free of having to match the timing or editing of film, simply conveys the spirit of Trek as Jones interpreted it. That music makes its debut as a recorded piece here, tacking a new coda onto Jones’ musical legacy with the franchise.

Discs three and four stay with TNG, offering highlights or nearly-complete scores from such episodes as Coming Of Age, Symbiosis, Contagion, The Bonding, The Hunted, Qpid, Tapestry, Parallels, and even the McCarthy-arranged cutdowns of Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture theme. There’s a nice slice of unreleased tracks from Jay Chattaway’s sophomore TNG effort, Tin Man (a score which, in many ways, he never topped); combined with the tracks released on CD by GNP Crescendo in the 1990s, you now have the entire score from Tin Man. The original synth demos for the Deep Space Nine and Voyager themes are heard for the first time, as well as the premiere of Jay Chattaway’s music from the “Klingon Encounter” ride at the much-missed Star Trek: The Experience attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton. A variety of source music is also made available – Q’s mariachi band from Deja Q, the Brahms string quartet piece from Sarek, and oddball source music from Voyager and Enterprise.

4 out of 4If nothing else on this box set has convinced you what a delightful dive into Trek’s musical deep cuts it is, the last track of the last disc should do it: it’s “Comminique (C)”, the piece of 1988 library techno music that graced TNG’s “next week” trailers in the early 1990s. Were thousands of Trek fans clamoring for this? Probably not, but La-La Land identified and licensed it for this set anyway.

The Star Trek 50th Anniversary Collection probably isn’t for the casual fan of Star Trek soundtracks. It’s for the obsessives, the diehards – the people who are still in “maximum Trekkie” mode and still can’t get enough of it.

Order this CDDisc 1 – Star Trek: The Original Series

  1. Third Season Theme Music – Main Title/End Title (soprano version, stereo) (1:14)
  2. Love Scene (1:15)
  3. Ship in Orbit (Big) (0:40)
  4. Sad and Thoughtful on Captain’s Theme (2:30)
  5. Captain Playoff No. 1 (Heavy) (0:08)
  6. Smooth Neutral Ship Theme (0:41)
  7. Playoff on M.T. Theme (0:23)
  8. Fight on Captain’s Theme (1:50)
  9. Captain Playoff No. 2 (Neutral—Slightly Ominous) (0:12)
  10. Stingers (0:51)
  11. New Sexy Exotic (2:17)
  12. Captain Playoff No. 3 (Sad and Alone) (0:20)
  13. Prime Specimen (“The Cage”) (3:13)
  14. Monster Illusion (“The Cage”) (2:34)
  15. Mr. Spock (“Captain’s Wig” From “The Naked Time”) (3:27)
  16. The Big Go (“The Naked Time”) (2:30)
  17. Mudd’s Perfidy (0:33)
  18. Zap the Cap (1:34)
  19. Zap the Cap take 1 (0:08)
  20. Zap the Cap take 2 (0:06)
  21. Zap the Spaceship (1:28)
  22. Zap the Spaceship (0:34)
  23. Zap the Spaceship (0:08)
  24. Ruk Attacks (1:41)
  25. 2nd Ruth (2:35)
  26. No Mind / Tense Meeting / Tracking the Alien / The Question (2:31)
  27. Survivors (1:42)
  28. Bottled (1:52)
  29. Monster Illusion (2:46)
  30. Monster Illusion (tag) (0:10)
  31. The Kibitzers (0:41)
  32. Vina’s Punishment (1:54)
  33. Vina’s Dance (1:53)
  34. Wrong Think (0:43)
  35. Act 1 Card (0:38)
  36. Crippled Ship (0:55)
  37. Speedy Reader (1:06)
  38. End Title (0:24)
  39. First Goner take 3 (0:48)
  40. First Goner take 4 (0:49)
  41. Dressing Down (0:08)
  42. Monitor Gizzard (0:14)
  43. Monitor Gizzard (0:09)
  44. Lazer Dazer (2:44)
  45. Dodo Girl (0:09)
  46. Drugged (1:23)
  47. Mace Fight (0:59)
  48. Mace Fight (0:18)
  49. Down the Throat (1:13)
  50. Arrows (1:25)
  51. Bumper (broadcast edit) (0:06)
  52. Bumpers (alternates) (0:25)
  53. Paramount Television I.D. (0:05)
  54. Paramount Television I.D. (alternate) (0:04)
  55. Inner Workings (alternate mix) (4:03)
  56. Star Trek II Epilogue / End Title (sans narration) (8:41)

Disc 2 – Star Trek: The Animated Series

  1. Title Theme (1:01)
  2. Captain’s Log (1:19)
  3. Something Ahead (0:54)
  4. Evasive Maneuvers (1:07)
  5. Sensor Data (1:07)
  6. Intercept Course (0:14)
  7. Fire Phasers (0:50)
  8. Enterprise Attacked (1:32)
  9. Illogical (0:13)
  10. Briefing (0:43)
  11. On the Viewscreen (1:02)
  12. New Heading (0:19)
  13. Scanning (0:54)
  14. Deflector Shields (0:19)
  15. Red Alert (0:33)
  16. Battle Stations (0:41)
  17. Surprise (0:07)
  18. Supplemental Log (0:49)
  19. Kirk’s Command (1:11)
  20. Sickbay (0:28)
  21. Library Computer (0:44)
  22. Full Power (0:28)
  23. Approaching Coordinates (0:08)
  24. The Bigger Meaning (1:15)
  25. Trouble in Engineering (0:29)
  26. Spock’s Analysis (0:42)
  27. Enterprise Wins the Space Race (0:43)
  28. McCoy’s Summary (0:16)
  29. Just Another Stardate (0:39)
  30. Ongoing Mission (0:18)
  31. Title Theme (alternate mix) (1:01)
  32. Sensor Data (alternate mix) (1:02)
  33. Enterprise Attacked (alternate opening) (1:42)
  34. Scanning (alternate mix) (0:54)
  35. Turbolift Music (0:29)
  36. Mr. Arex Lends an Extra Hand (0:38)
  37. Fascinating (0:17)
  38. Don’t Mess With M’Ress (0:22)
  39. Oh My (0:17)
  40. Spock’s Quick Analysis (0:22)
  41. Yellow Alert (0:26)
  42. Off Duty (0:15)
  43. Suite: Stingers and Act-Out Music (2:03)
    Music inspired by Star Trek – Ron Jones
  44. The Ascent (7:43)
  45. Meaning (2:27)
  46. Pathway to the Stars (3:17)
    Star Trek: Borg – Dennis McCarthy
  47. Main Theme (1:02)
  48. The Legend of the Borg (1:24)
  49. Battle at Wolf 359 (2:58)
  50. The Battle Rages (0:58)
  51. Club Q (0:55)
  52. I Am Berman of Borg (1:36)
  53. Goldsmith Has Been Assimilated! (1:37)
  54. Welcome to the Collective Cadet (2:22)
  55. Searching the Borg Ship (2:20)
  56. Time Is Running Out (1:17)
  57. Escape From the Borg Collective (1:42)
  58. Borg Hell (2:03)
  59. You Will Be Assimilated, Have a Nice Day (2:21)
  60. “Resistance Is Futile, My Ass!” / Finale (7:25)
  61. End Titles (1:03)

Disc 3 – Star Trek: The Next Generation

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title (1st season, alternate take) (1:48)
    Coming Of Age
  2. Physics / Shuttle Fuss (3:35)
  3. Air Bounce (2:04)
  4. Competition (2:14)
  5. Decisions (2:04)
  6. Flares (3:04)
  7. Precious Cargo (2:10)
  8. Four Out of Six (1:03)
    Unnatural Selection
  9. Searchin’ (1:10)
    The Measure Of A Man
  10. Memories (1:19)
  11. U.S.S. Yamato / Vaporized (1:22)
  12. Floral Tea / Otis’ Revenge (2:07)
  13. Romulan Misfire / Phasers / Escape / Goodbye Iconia (2:27)
    The Survivors
  14. Diversion (2:16)
    The Bonding
  15. Dad / Mom’s Double (2:04)
  16. Release / Ceremonial Worf / Off Into Space (4:01)
    The Enemy
  17. Into the Pit (3:01)
    The Hunted
  18. Escape Artist / Melee (3:28)
  19. Breakout (0:32)
  20. Phased / Geordi (4:14)
  21. Confronted / To the Stars (3:30)
    Sins Of The Father
  22. Condemned (1:22)
  23. Lookin’ Fine (1:44)
  24. Lazarus (3:48)
  25. Choke Hold / Explanatory / El Ascencio (5:11)
    Future Imperfect
  26. Delusionary (4:08)
  27. Saint Q (2:05)
  28. It’s a Wonderful Life / Deja Vuosity / War Stories (3:18)
  29. Instant Family (2:42)
  30. Wolfman Riker (3:09)
    Trailer music
  31. Theme From Star Trek: The Motion Picture (30-second version) (0:33)

Disc 4

    Theme From Star Trek (“Gene Roddenberry 1921–1991” unused alternate) (0:10)
    Tin Man

  1. Soft / Student (1:04)
  2. Unique / Welcome / Data (0:48)
  3. Problems / Land of Living (1:41)
  4. Scared (broadcast version) (0:47)
  5. One Way Trip (1:08)
  6. All of It (0:57)
    Deja Q
  7. Tractor Moon / Hoisted (2:58)
  8. La Paloma (traditional) (1:13)
  9. Coffin Spike (0:45)
    Captain’s Holiday
  10. Planet Vegas (1:12)
  11. Hat Trick / Sir Guy / Nottingham Castle / Maid Marian (unused) / Betrayed (3:21)
  12. To the Block / Swordplay / Game’s Over (4:16)
  13. Adieu (1:04)
  14. Plucking Three (0:13)
    Elementary, Dear Data
  15. Sherlock Tones (0:55)
  16. Dead End / Turtleback (2:36)
  17. Short Goodbye (1:21)
    Ship In A Bottle
  18. Holo Tolodo! (4:02)
  19. Peace Dividends / Gloria / Blown Away (1:39)
  20. Juke Boxer (3:29)
  21. How High the Moon (3:36)
    Star Trek: First Contact
  22. Moonlight Becomes You (2:55)
    Unification II
  23. Andorian Blues (0:37)
  24. Aktuh and Maylota (0:49)
  25. Melor Famigal (0:58)
  26. Picard and Nella, Date #1 (Picard’s Cabin) (2:43)
  27. Picard and Nella, Date #2 (Jefferies Tube) (2:22)
  28. Sextet #1 in B-flat Major, Op. 18 (II, Andante) (1:53)
    Star Trek: The Experience
  29. Klingon Encounter (4:24)
  30. Borg Invasion 4D (7:22)
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  31. Main Title Demo (1:59)
  32. Single Bridge Demo (2:24)
    Star Trek: Voyager
  33. Main Title Demo (1:51)
  34. Lookover / Maiden Voyager (1:34)
  35. Opera Alla Alienosity (1:11)
    Star Trek: Enterprise
  36. Dance-O-Matic (2:28)
    Trailer music
  37. Communique (C) (2:33)

Released by: La-La Land Record
Release date: November 25, 2016
Disc one total running time: 1:16:13
Disc two total running time: 1:17:23
Disc three total running time: 1:18:57
Disc four total running time: 1:18:57
Box set total running time: 5:16:50

Rediscovering Lost Scores, Volume 2 – music by Wendy Carlos

Film composer and synth innovator Wendy Carlos’ second disc of restored original score recordings focuses on her attempts to meld synthesizers and orchestral music in the 1970s and early 80s.

The second in a series of releases of “recovered” movie scores from Wendy/Walter Carlos’ library, this disc focuses on collaborations (and sometimes, collisions) between synthesizer and orchestra. Carlos provides her own liner notes both on the music itself and on the painstaking process of recovering it from the damaged master tapes upon which it had originally been recorded, which involved literally baking each reel of tape (quite literally in an oven) at a precise temperature for a precise amount of time; it wasn’t a process where you could put something back in the oven, either – there was one shot at getitng it right and preserving the original material. That same procedure allowed the composer to recover her original master tapes in time for the 20th anniversary release of the Tron score, and so it’s somehow appropriate that more music from Tron – both previously released and previously unreleased – can be heard here, along with music from equally iconic films.

Feel free to call me predictable, but of course what drew me to this volume (not having bought the first CD) was, naturally, the promise of new music from Tron. Fair warning: if that’s the only reason you’re thinking about getting this disc, maybe you should think twice. There isn’t a huge amount of new material presented here for the Tron fanatic, and a goodly chunk of it has been heard before: “Lightcycle Battle” was made available on the 20th anniversary edition DVD, and “Trinitron” – a.k.a. that part of the end credits that was covered up by Journey’s “Only Solutions” – has always been available as part of the end credit suite on the soundtrack releases, going all the way back to the 1982 LP release. (In the liner notes, Carlos makes it sound like this is the first time anyone’s ever heard it. Nope. It’s been my favorite piece of Tron music for 28 years running now!) The various other short tracks, which didn’t even make it into the movie, are interesting to hear…but they’re so short. It’s nice to have track-by-track liner notes for them though.

The material from The Shining, I barely remember, having seen that movie very few times (as opposed to having seen Tron about a zillion times); what I can tell you is that it sounds as sharp as the remastered Tron material, apparently baked to perfection. There’s also a healthy sampling of material from Carlos’ soundtrack to a movie I’ve never heard of, called Woundings.

Included as a couple of bonus tracks are two test tracks Carlos assembled for Dolby Laboratories, and they’re vintage Carlos material – 3 out of 4making use of very Bach-like counterpoint in the synth realm, and throwing in just one or two small musical in-jokes (i.e. “That’s all folks!”).

The second volume of Rediscovering Lost Scores is a nice cross-section of Carlos’ movie material, but it’s really not an entry-level album – this one is definitely for listeners who are either already fans of Carlos’ work, or of the movies whose music is included.

Order this CD

    The Shining

  1. Shining Title Music (3:54)
  2. Paraphrase For ‘Cello (3:26)
  3. Where’s Jack? (5:24)
  4. The Overlook (3:57)
  5. Psychic Scream (1:29)
  6. Day Of Wrath (1:07)
  7. Paraphrase For Brass (1:37)
  8. Title Music ‘Dies’ (3:46)
  9. Clockworks ‘Dies’ (2:23)
  10. Tron

  11. Creation Of Tron Vol. I (0:36)
  12. Creation Of Tron Vol. II (0:36)
  13. Lightcycle Games (2:06)
  14. Anthem (Studio Version) (1:24)
  15. Little Interludes (0:56)
  16. Trinitron (2:19)
  17. Split Second

  18. Visit To A Morgue (1:24)
  19. Return To The Morgue (2:50)
  20. Woundings

  21. Woundings Title Music (3:12)
  22. Angela’s Walk (1:05)
  23. Jimmy (1:38)
  24. Louise (0:56)
  25. Doug Does Angela (1:37)
  26. Scattering Ashes (1:33)
  27. Angela’s Aftermath (3:47)
  28. Jimmy Kills Louise (2:33)
  29. In A Cemetery (0:57)
  30. Fly Away And End (1:40)
  31. Two Dolby Demos

  32. Jiffy Test: Bee Dee Bei Mir (1:25)
  33. Listen: Tannhauser (2:18)

Released by: East Side Digital
Release date: 2005
Total running time: 61:55

Christopher Franke – New Music For Films, Volume 2

New Music For Films, Volume 2In 1994, after Babylon 5’s first season premiered in syndication and I was firmly hooked on all aspects of it, I went looking to see if anything had previously been released by Christopher Franke, and promptly found the then-fairly-recent New Music For Films Volume 1. A pretty good chunk of that compilation of cuts from various Franke film scores sounded authentically Babylon 5-ish, so I was more than happy with it. When actual Babylon 5 music finally appeared, I snatched it up eagerly, though I’ll admit to having balked numerous times when the “episodic CDs” appeared with frequently-reused music and an almost trading-card approach to the soundtrack market.

I passed on New Music For Films Volume 2 when it came out – a year after the last of the Babylon 5 episodic CDs – because I was, frankly, Franke’d out. Having now gotten it and listened to it, I wonder if the problem wasn’t that I was Babylon 5’ed out – or maybe Franke was too, resulting in a fatigued composer and a fatigued audience who both needed a break. This second volume of New Music shows that not Franke was stretching his wings further than the B5 signature style already, with much of this music being contemporary with the show’s final season. In other words, there’s stuff on here that doesn’t sound like Babylon 5.

One area where Franke will never be able to escape the similarity is with action music. His signature low pulsing string arrangements give him away like snare-drum Americana gives John Williams away. His action cues tend to sound the same from project to project, and given that there are few such pieces on this compilation, it’s hard not to wonder if he knows that too.

Where this second volume of New Music excels is in this places where it sounds like nothing Franke has done before. There are a couple of tracks with choral sections, but they sound completely different from the operatic choral elements Franke used frequently on Babylon 5. As his label, Sonic Images, had just opened sublabels for world music and electronica at the time, here Franke seems to be trying those styles on for size to see if they fit the project he’s working on. The result is, in places, something that sounds much more up-to-date than a 2000 release. Middle Eastern influences, processed percussion, and more piano than I’m used to from Franke all make appearances.

Rating: 3 out of 4If you watch The Lost Tales and find yourself yearning for more of the Christopher Franke sound than can be found on the somewhat brief Lost Tales CD, this is certainly an album that can deliver, and maybe it’ll introduce you to a whole new Christopher Franke sound as well.

    Order this CD in the Store

  1. Opening (3:17)
  2. Morning Ride (2:23)
  3. Attack On The Village (2:40)
  4. Damaged Goods (1:49)
  5. Jane’s Arrival (5:10)
  6. The Dam Breaks (1:05)
  7. Broken Dreams (2:55)
  8. Escape (2:05)
  9. A New Friendship (1:40)
  10. The Chase (2:13)
  11. Deadly Flight (6:31)
  12. Near Death (1:38)
  13. Dance Lesson (1:17)
  14. The Race (4:05)
  15. Fight For Opar (5:10)
  16. Finale (3:32)

Released by: Sonic Images
Release date: 2000
Total running time: 47:31

Coming Soon!: The John Beal Trailer Project

Coming Soon!: The John Beal Trailer ProjectSo there’s this guy, and it seems like he writes the music for half the trailers that unspool in the theaters before a movie starts. And all he has to do is sorta emulate someone else’s music, only not enough that you can really tell (or sue over), and make it a couple of minutes long. This guy must have the easiest job in the world, right?

Ha! No, actually, he doesn’t, but he’s damn good at it, and this is where we get this double CD devoted entirely to music from movie trailers and TV spots. As incongruous as it may sound – to mainstream listeners, this would be as unfathomable a listen as picking something out of a production music library at a TV station – it’s well worth a listen, and you’re almost guaranteed to hear something that you found catchy under the coming attractions. John Beal’s been at it for over 25 years, and bless the internet, the man whose job it is to score the movie trailers has his own honest-to-goodness fan following. If you’re ever gone hunting for a specific piece of movie trailer music, and it didn’t wind up being Enigma or some recycled Jerry Goldsmith, it may well have been John Beal.

Each of the two CDs is filled to the rim with very short cues. If anyone has a complaint about Coming Soon, it’s not going to be a lack of variety. Everything from Black Beauty to Quiz Show to Judge Dredd to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie to The Mask to Basic Instinct is included here, and then some. Beal keeps the job he’s got by having a pretty good sense of what’s needed for the two-minute mini-movie that the marketing department has kindly carved out of two hours of actual movie. With this wide selection of cues, you’d be lost without some decent liner notes pointing out what was used where, and fortunately this is what the booklet accompanying the CD gives you, though in a few cases there seems to be some legalese getting in the way. In the cases of cues like “Broke Arrow” and “Unmarried White Woman”, you can probably make an easy guess of it, especially when the description of the latter, rather than naming the movie, says the cue is for an unspecified movie about “women seeking roommates” (am I the only one thinking this is probably also a Bridget Fonda movie?). In some cases, there’s even some interesting history to the trailers, as in the case of an early cue from the 70s which went over so well that it also became the movie’s end credit music.

Even more of a specialty item for film music buffs than most soundtracks are, Coming Soon can offer you at least one thing: if you don’t like what you’re hearing, it’ll probably be changing in about a minute and thirty. And if you think John Beal’s job is easy, consider that every piece heard on these two CDs all came 3 out of 4from the same guy, and as many tracks as there are is about how many changes in style there are. Beal is among the best in Hollywood at what he does, and enough producers and studios have thought so as well, keeping him busy enough that Coming Soon represents a tiny fraction of his portfolio – but it’s also some of his best, and quite a bit of it is certainly listenable in its own right.

Order this CD

    Disc one

  1. Black Beauty trailer (1:20)
  2. Angel – Almost (2:19)
  3. Beautician & The Beast (2:14)
  4. Alaska trailer (1:57)
  5. Black Rain trailer (1:32)
  6. Broke Arrow (2:21)
  7. Casualties Of War (2:06)
  8. For Sir Charlie (1:59)
  9. Beal’s Con Theory (2:21)
  10. Pseudo Cool World (1:44)
  11. Courage March (1:03)
  12. The Cutthroat (1:17)
  13. Dead Again (2:08)
  14. Blessed Dead (2:16)
  15. Nothing To Lose (1:40)
  16. Erased (1:34)
  17. Eye To Eye (2:00)
  18. Intruder (2:21)
  19. Ghost trail (2:04)
  20. Ham’s Prologue & Epilogue (3:01)
  21. Three Blind Elfmen (1:51)
  22. The Hunt (1:39)
  23. I Know What (0:34)
  24. In The Line (2:25)
  25. Independence 2 (1:06)
  26. Dead Solid Perfect (1:51)
  27. Sarah & Jack (2:15)
  28. Hollywood Latin (2:25)
  29. Jen 8 (1:02)
  30. Judge Dredd teaser (0:55)
  31. Last Man (1:02)
  32. Last Dogman (1:41)
  33. Tate Jazz (2:24)
  34. Deadly Sin (0:34)
    Disc two

  1. Magic Of The Theater / Strawberry & Chocolate (2:20)
  2. Medicine Man trailer (1:49)
  3. Invisible Memoirs (1:54)
  4. Morph Men (1:47)
  5. Miracle trailer (2:50)
  6. Woody’s Manhattan (1:50)
  7. Manhattan Night (2:05)
  8. Noises Offstage (1:35)
  9. Nothing Much (1:27)
  10. I’ll Always Fall In Love With Love (1:57)
  11. Pagemaster trail (2:17)
  12. Passed (1:21)
  13. Academy March (2:20)
  14. Lyle / Ennio / I’m Not Hoffa (2:30)
  15. Stunt Person (0:31)
  16. Schooltie (2:11)
  17. Unmarried White Woman (2:21)
  18. Skatetown USA trailer / end title (3:45)
  19. Basic Instinct Theme (2:21)
  20. Solo’s Solo (1:57)
  21. Two Billion $ Off Switch (1:01)
  22. Species Too (2:10)
  23. Sweet Magnolia (1:25)
  24. Supercop promo (1:00)
  25. Karen’s Love Theme (1:04)
  26. The Grift (1:58)
  27. Somebody Stop Me (1:51)
  28. If They Come At You (3:00)
  29. Three Wishes teaser (2:41)
  30. Ocean Song (1:23)
  31. Starnever / True Lies overlay (1:37)
  32. Under Siege Too (1:41)
  33. It’s Warshawski! (1:39)
  34. Beal’s Volcanic (0:56)
  35. White Out (1:20)

Released by: Sonic Images
Release date: 1998
Disc one total running time: 62:04
Disc two total running time: 67:01

The Best of Star Trek, Volume Two

The Best Of Star Trek, Volume 2This new collection of previously unreleased suites from various episodes of all of Star Trek’s live-action incarnations includes some of the most requested music from all of the series – and a few extras as well.

The classic series is easily the show best represented by this CD, with music from The Corbomite Maneuver, Balance Of Terror, What Are Little Girls Made Of? and a “lounge” version of the show’s main theme which was used in a small number of episodes as background source music. Though the Corbomite and Balance scores have been re-recorded in part on past releases by Varese Sarabande, it’s always nice to hear the original recordings rolled out and remastered. They sound great.

Deep Space Nine is represented by a suite from the fourth season opener, The Way Of The Warrior, which introduced Worf as a permanent feature of the DS9 landscape. The music is big and bold…and, by and large, lifted directly from the music of Star Trek: Generations. Go ahead – listen to the “Final Fight” track on the Generations CD and then the Way Of The Warrior suite, back-to-back. The similarities are stunning. Not to say that it’s bad music…just that we’d heard it before. I would much rather have heard some music from season two’s three-part epic premiere.

Also included in the DS9 section is the televised mix of the main theme from seasons 4-7 (a previous version, heard on the original Best Of Star Trek CD in 1996, featured more percussion than the version actually used to open each episode), as well as Nana Visitor’s version of “Fever” from His Way (the first Vic Fontaine episode). The latter is quite nice – Nana’s no Shirley Bassey, but “Fever” is supposed to be moaned and growled more than it’s sung anyway. It’s a nice companion to Jimmy Darren’s album of tunes performed by Vic on DS9.

The DS9 suite is also plagued by another problem – an incorrect table of contents in the CD’s liner notes booklet which omits a track of Warrior score and adds one more track of music from the Voyager suite than actually appears on the CD. The track list below is the correct track list.

Voyager is also represented by an uncharacteristically bombastic score, David Bell’s music from The Bride Of Chaotica. Incredibly atypical of the most recent Trek spinoff’s usually somnolent scoring, Bell’s music is an over-the-top homage to Flash Gordon-style pulp sci-fi radio epics of yesteryear. Some of the most interesting moments in the Chaotica score occur when the music shifts gears abruptly between the retro-40’s music and Bell’s more frequently-used style. Sadly, in these few very brief “modern” passages, one hears – more or less – the entire gamut of Bell’s typical Voyager score, as he too has fallen victim to replicating his own work under the constraints of time and – in all likelihood – the limited inspiration provided by the average Voyager episode.

The album does at least pick a good note on which to close, however: several minutes of music from Dennis McCarthy’s score from the Next Generation finale, All Good Things. This score, though it too features some musical repetition, features some of the best moments from the last episode. The “Saved Again” cue accompanies the memorable scene of the refitted Enterprise saving the collective butts of the crew of Beverly Crusher’s doomed U.S.S. Pasteur, and the cryptically titled “I Have A Gun” is the wonderful final shot of the episode, in which the crew’s last poker game dissolves into the Enterprise’s flight into an alien sunset, set to the strains of Alexander Courage’s Star Trek fanfare, bringing things nicely full-circle. (Shouldn’t this track have been called “The Sky’s The Limit”?)

There’s one cue I wish they’d included though: Picard’s first view of the Enterprise as Tasha ferries him to the ship for the first time via shuttle.

Overall, the second volume of The Best Of Star Trek will satisfy fans of nearly every one of the 4 out of 4show’s incarnations, particularly fans of the classic series that started it all. Here’s hoping that it won’t take four more years for volume three. There’s enough unreleased Trek music to merit a yearly release (hell, there’s enough unreleased music to fill a monthly CD magazine, but the economics of that kind of venture would be nightmarish for both label and consumer, so I’d settle for a yearly release).

Order this CD

  1. Theme from Star Trek – string arrangement (0:51)
  2. The Corbomite Maneuver (4:29)
  3. Balance Of Terror (3:42)
  4. What Are Little Girls Made Of? (4:39)
  5. In Chapel (1:18)
  6. Theme from Star Trek – lounge mix (1:39)

    Suite from The Way Of The Warrior

  7. Theme from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – season 4 (1:55)
  8. Dry Run (1:31)
  9. Medieval Harp source (2:57)
  10. Worf (1:35)
  11. “Yo!” (4:08)
  12. Worf II (1:47)
  13. Fever (2:01)

    Suite from The Bride Of Chaotica

  14. Theme from Star Trek: Voyager (1:47)
  15. Begin Chapter 18 (4:21)
  16. Presenting…Arachnia (3:07)
  17. Chaotica Is Defeated / Distortions (3:43)
  18. Chaotica’s Last Words / The End (1:05)

    Suite from All Good Things…

  19. Theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation – season 2 (1:40)
  20. Here Comes The Judge II / To The Rescue (5:59)
  21. Primalosity (2:29)
  22. Courage (3:31)
  23. Saved Again (2:26)
  24. I Have A Gun (0:52)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 2000
Total running time: 63:42

Alien Invasions: Space and Beyond II

Alien Invasions: Space and Beyond IIThis second two-disc volume of space-related movie and TV music from Silva Screen pales sadly in comparison to its predecessor. There are some interesting choices of music, and several selections are truly welcome and overdue on CD, namely Jack Nitzche’s finale from the movie Starman, the end credit montage from the Twilight Zone movie (composed by Jerry Goldsmith), and a new arrangement of Toto’s music from Dune. But other items included here mystified me. The suite from Space: Above and Beyond is repeated from its appearance on the second Silva Cult Files collection, and Holst’s “Mars: The Bringer of War” isn’t exactly – no, make that isn’t remotely – difficult to find. Surely these could have been omitted in favor of new material? Furthermore, the Klingon march from the first Star Trek film score comes across as a thin and less than exemplary performance of that music – and they forgot the Blaster Beam, that hollow, resonant metallic sound that characterized the first two Trek movies’ music! While I admire the attempt to replicate it, the synth patch used in its place is way off the mark. Still other selections are baffling because they’re already easy to find in their original forms, so why bother with a re-recording? (Prime examples here are the cues from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: First Contact, which were each released in late 1996, and the overplayed “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back, which exists on CD in more forms than I can count.) Other shows and movies have fine music which is begging to be made available to fans 2 out of 4everywhere, so these items had me mystified. Though I enjoyed the music from Starman, Contact and Independence Day, among others, I’m a little hesitant to give Alien Invasions my blessing for review purposes. In the end, it depends on whether or not you have anything better to do with twenty bucks.

Disc 1

    Order this CD in the Store

  1. Mars Attacks: introduction and main title (4:02)
  2. The Day The Earth Stood Still: outer space, radar, farewell (5:40)
  3. Dune (8:42)
  4. Star Trek – The Motion Picture: Klingon battle (5:38)
  5. Star Trek – Deep Space Nine: One Last Visit (from The Visitor) (3:10)
  6. Star Trek – First Contact: end title suite (5:10)
  7. When Worlds Collide (8:28)
  8. Battle Beyond The Stars (4:04)
  9. The Thing From Another World (7:34)
  10. Twilight Zone – The Movie: end title suite (6:29)
  11. Battlestar Galactica suite (11:07)
  12. Stargate: Giza 1928, going home (4:46)

Disc 2

  1. Forbidden Planet: prelude (3:15)
  2. Mars: Bringer of War (8:07)
  3. Contact: end title (8:49)
  4. Starship Troopers: bugs (2:07)
  5. Starship Troopers: fed net march, Klendathu drop (5:03)
  6. Predator (4:07)
  7. War of the Worlds (10:35)
  8. The Empire Strikes Back: imperial march (3:13)
  9. Invaders From Mars: end title (3:44)
  10. Space: Above and Beyond (7:32)
  11. V: original miniseries theme by Joe Harnell (1:50)
  12. Starman: end title (4:44)
  13. Independence Day: end title suite (9:01)
  14. The Thing From Another World: the thing lives! (2:12)

Released by: Silva
Release date: 1998
Total running time: 75:16 (disc 1) + 74:40 (disc 2)