Star Trek: Voyager – Caretaker

Star Trek: Voyager soundtrackIf listening to this disc does nothing else for you, it will give you some clue as to just how much of the music the producers of Star Trek mix down – or out altogether – so we can still hear their precious sound effects. Of course, this disc consists of three versions of Jerry Goldsmith’s opening theme music for Voyager and the score for the premiere episode by veteran Next Generation/Deep Space Nine composer Jay Chattaway. The Goldsmith piece’s praises have been sung many times, by no less than the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who awarded Goldsmith the best opening theme Emmy in 1995 for his opus.

Chattaway, on the other hand, has some serious limitations as an arranger. His music may in fact be fine…but unless he scores it for an orchestral complement bigger and more diverse than a military marching band, it’s all for nought. He spreads the music out thinly among a very few instruments, mainly brass, and it grates on the nerves. Dennis McCarthy can arrange for an orchestra just fine. Ron Jones – who was dismissed in Next Generation’s fourth season for consistently exceeding the show’s music budget – always seemed to be trying to arrange for the London Symphony Orchestra, resulting in a strained sound that wanted to be bigger at times. But Chattaway seriously needs to thicken his sound.

Where Chattaway does excel, however, is his use of exotic and electronic instrumentation and percussion. Cases in point on this CD: “70,000 Light Years From Home” and “Not Enough Time”. For other examples, I recommend you find the soundtrack from the 1992 PBS Space Age documentary series. It’s fully electronic Chattaway at full blast. If you like Caretaker, you’ll probably like Space Age. And if you like banjo music, this is the Star Trek soundtrack for you, buddy! Yee-haw! Two and a half minutes of solid solo banjo, 3 out of 4straight from the Caretaker himself! (Actually from guitarist George Doering, who played electric guitar on the rock version of the DS9 theme. Get down, George, make that banjo scream! He’s a regular Jimi Hendrix of Tin Pan Alley!) The Voyager soundtrack disc is actually pretty good. Goldsmith’s theme alone will probably sell this album more than anything. Sing with that banjo, George! You’re a star! Requests? “FREE BIRD!!!”

Order this CD

  1. Star Trek: Voyager main title (1:45)
  2. Prologue (3:11)
  3. 70,000 Light Years From Home (3:22)
  4. Beamed To The Farm (4:18)
  5. Life Signs in the Barn (6:04)
  6. Paris Takes The Helm (2:36)
  7. Star Trek: Voyager short title (0:18)
  8. Escape from the Ocampa Underground (8:06)
  9. Not Enough Time (2:02)
  10. The Battle for the Array (6:55)
  11. Set Course For Home (3:31)
  12. Star Trek: Voyager end credit (1:16)
  13. The Caretaker’s Hoedown (2:35)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1995
Total running time: 44:39