Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Newly Expanded Edition)

Star Trek V: The Final FrontierReleased with little advance warning or fanfare at the end of 2010, Jerry Goldsmith‘s soundtrack from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is the archetypal “soundtrack that’s ripe for an expanded re-release” – it’s better music than its parent movie deserved, only a certain amount of the music has been available before (namely, a 45-minute soundtrack album that dates back to the twilight of the vinyl LP), and it pleases followers of both the Star Trek franchise and the late, great composer himself. Seriously, what’s not to love about this release?

The previously unreleased slices of Goldsmith’s soundtrack are, partly because of obscurity and partly because of quality, much more interesting than the stuff we have heard before. What we’ve been missing out on for over 20 years is material that clarifies the development of many of the movie’s musical themes: the unstable-but-noble Sybok theme, material both uncertain and religious/epic for his quest to find God, and lots of interesting new uses of Goldsmith’s by-now well-worn Star Trek: The Motion Picture Enterprise and Klingon themes (remember that, when this movie was released, that material had also been quoted and/or rearranged extensively for two seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation). That Goldsmith reclaims his material and puts a fresh spin on it is impressive.

There’s also much more of an adventurous, emotional feel to those themes this time around, rather than the somewhat unemotional treatment of the same material in his score for the first Star Trek movie (though that movie’s colder, more intellectual nature demanded the musical treatment that it received). If there’s one area where the music from Star Trek V falters even slightly, it’s some of the electronic instrumentation, especially a recurring, off-kilter motif for Sybok and his movement. Goldsmith is often hailed for his innovative use of electronics and his ability to make them part of the orchestra rather than making them sound like an oddball overdub, but by this point synths and electronic keyboards were off-the-shelf instruments with a somewhat limited palette of preset sounds. There’s an interesting synthesized “drone” for Sybok’s repeated demonstration of an ability to probe other characters’ pain, but other than that, nothing stands out like, say, Goldsmith’s use of analog synths in Logan’s Run or the unearthly Blaster Beam sound of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Unlike every other ’80s Star Trek soundtrack released in the past couple of years, Star Trek V was released by La-La Land Records, but in a collaboration of soundtrack boutique label all-stars, still sports an incredibly informative booklet by Film Score Monthly’s Lukas Kendall and Jeff Bond (the latter of whom wrote an entire chapter on the Trek V soundtrack in his book “The Music Of Star Trek“), so it’s still very consistent with the packaging and presentation of FSM’s other Trek music releases from 2010. And as with Film Score Monthly’s previous reissues of music from Star Trek II and Star Trek III, the second disc of this soundtrack replicates the original 1989 soundtrack album (and there are actually some differences between the album versions and film versions of some pieces), and uses the remaining run time of the second disc for alternates, early takes and a track of electronic “experiments.”

Hearing the music afresh raised my opinion of the soundtrack from Star Trek V considerably, and I almost 4 out of 4found myself wondering if perhaps the movie itself hasn’t gotten a bit of a bum rap, what with its plotline about a madman in a desert trying to manipulate a more powerful body (the Federation, by way of the Enterprise) in his quest to appease his god. With music like this, it’s almost enough to make one consider a rematch with the movie itself.

Order this CD

    Disc 1 – The Complete Film Score

  1. Nimbus III (2:01)
  2. The Mind-Meld (2:43)
  3. The Mountain [Main Title] (4:53)
  4. The Big Drop (0:26)
  5. Raid on Paradise (2:43)
  6. Not Alone (1:11)
  7. Target Practice (1:52)
  8. A Tall Ship (1:43)
  9. Plot Course (1:46)
  10. No Harm (2:13)
  11. Approaching Nimbus III (2:59)
  12. Open the Gates (3:01)
  13. Well Done (1:16)
  14. Without Help (4:55)
  15. Pick It Up (2:31)
  16. No Authority (0:30)
  17. It Exists (1:47)
  18. Free Minds (3:18)
  19. The Birth (3:53)
  20. The Barrier (2:52)
  21. A Busy Man (4:41)
  22. An Angry God (6:57)
  23. Let’s Get Out of Here [part 1] (3:42)
  24. Let’s Get Out of Here [part 2] (3:07)
  25. Cosmic Thoughts (1:16)
  26. Life Is a Dream [End Credits] (3:57)
    Disc 2 – The 1989 Soundtrack Album

  1. The Mountain (3:50)
  2. The Barrier (2:51)
  3. Without Help (4:18)
  4. A Busy Man (4:40)
  5. Open the Gates (3:00)
  6. An Angry God (6:55)
  7. Let’s Get Out of Here (5:13)
  8. Free Minds (3:17)
  9. Life Is a Dream (3:57)
  10. The Moon’s a Window to Heaven – performed by Hiroshima (4:00)

    Additional Music

  11. The Mountain (alternate) (4:45)
  12. A Busy Man (alternate) (4:42)
  13. Paradise Saloon (source) (2:42)
  14. The Moon’s a Window to Heaven (film version) (1:10)
  15. Vulcan Song / Row, Row, Row Your Boat (instrumental source) (1:33)
  16. Synclavier Effects (1:54)

Released by: La-La Land Records
Release date: 2010
Disc one total running time: 73:07
Disc two total running time: 59:28