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