Star Trek (Newly Expanded Edition) – music by Michael Giacchino

Star Trek (Newly Expanded Edition)Released to a combination of applause from Trek music completists and complaints of double-dipping from other observers, Varese Sarabande – not to be outdone by Film Score Monthly’s recent definitive editions of the music from Star Trek II and III – has now made the complete Michael Giacchino score from 2009’s Star Trek available as a swanky, limited-edition double-CD package (in, curiously, packaging normally used for two-disc Blu-Ray releases).

Is it worth going back to the well for every single note from the movie? Put simply and unequivocally: yes. Some of the best moments of the music from Star Trek were omitted from the single-CD soundtrack album that Varese issued at the time of the movie’s theatrical release. Those moments are restored in more or less chronological order here. I thought that both of the shuttlecraft rides to the Narada (Captain Robau’s and, later, Captain Pike’s) were awesomely menacing stuff, with enough harp to give the average John Williams score a run for its money, and those sequences can be found here. The thrilling orbital skydive to Nero’s drilling platform – a major action setpiece that was curiously left off of the original soundtrack album – is a piece of music likely to keep the fans happy.

Some of the best tracks, however, are those which musically signify Spock’s Vulcan heritage, frequently taking the form of a wistful solo ehru. These cues were mixed down in the movie, and left off of the original soundtrack altogether, and yet they’re some of the film’s best music, as well as one of the most interesting and memorable themes Giacchino has composed to date (and I’m counting his work on Alias, Lost, The Incredibles, Fringe and Ratatouille there too).

I’m going to go on the record as saying that I love Giacchino’s self-penned, punishingly punny track/cue titles, but they require a little bit of lateral thinking and a sense of humor: “Dad’s Route To School” (i.e. the “evicted” Kirk trudging through snow, uphill, both ways) and “Galaxy’s Worst Sushi Bar” (Captain Pike having a poor man’s Ceti eel shoved down his throat) are a couple of my favorite titles. The packaging, while it is indeed awkward to slot into a CD shelf, is gorgeous; the discs themselves are top-down renderings of the saucer sections of the Enterprise (disc one) and the ill-fated U.S.S. Kelvin (disc two). My one complaint is that Varese’s sales pitch made a big deal out of new liner notes by founding Starlog editor Kerry O’ Quinn, a man whose columns and writings in the heyday of (tragically now-defunct) Starlog Magazine are largely responsible for inspiring me to be here writing this now; it’s actually more like one page.

The Star Trek soundtrack is a much 4 out of 4more cohesive listen in this form than it was as the first release’s “edited highlights,” in some places making it very clear that Giacchino’s music wasn’t as uninteresting as some listeners found it from the single CD release. It’s just a pity that it wasn’t released in this form from the beginning – the real good stuff is, once again, relegated to the collectors’ market. Well worth seeking out, though at the time of this writing, the 3,000-copy print run of this edition was very close to being sold out.

Order this CD

    Disc One

  1. Star Trek (2:28)
  2. Narada Boom (2:48)
  3. Hack To The Future (1:25)
  4. Nailin’ The Kelvin (2:09)
  5. Labor Of Love (2:44)
  6. Main Title (0:46)
  7. Head To Heart Conversation (1:10)
  8. One Proud Mother (1:37)
  9. Hella Bar Talk (1:56)
  10. The Flask At Hand (0:28)
  11. Welcome Back, Spock (1:09)
  12. Vulcan Gets A Good Drilling (1:30)
  13. Hangar Management (2:47)
  14. Enterprising Young Men (3:05)
  15. Flying Into A Trphlthdl (3:23)
  16. Nero Sighted (3:23)
  17. Matter? I Barely Know Her! (2:07)
  18. Jehosafats (3:02)
  19. Chutes And Matter (3:29)
  20. A Whole In My Hearth (0:56)
  21. I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Beam Up! (1:51)
  22. Spock Goes Spelunking (1:30)
  23. An Endangered Species (3:09)
  24. Galaxy’s Worst Sushi Bar (2:16)
  25. Mandatory Leave Of Absence (1:18)
  26. Dad’s Route To School (0:35)
  27. Frozen Dinner (1:30)
  28. You Snowin’ Me? (0:49)
    Disc Two

  1. Nice To Meld You (3:13)
  2. Hail To The Chief (0:51)
  3. I Gotta Beam Me (2:02)
  4. Scotty’s Tanked (1:39)
  5. What’s With You? (2:12)
  6. Either Way, Someone’s Going Down (2:43)
  7. Trekking Down The Narada (2:32)
  8. Run And Shoot Offense (2:02)
  9. Does It Still McFly? (2:02)
  10. Nero Death Experience (5:38)
  11. Nero Fiddles, Narada Burns (2:29)
  12. Black Holes Have A Lot Of Pull (0:56)
  13. Back From Black (0:58)
  14. That New Car Smell (4:45)
  15. To Boldly Go (0:26)
  16. End Credits (9:11)

Released by: Varese Sarabande
Release date: 2010
Disc one total running time: 55:20
Disc two total running time: 43:39