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Star Trek - Soundtrack

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Genre: Soundtrack / Artist: Various / Audio CD released 1999-02-01 at Legacy

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      27.10.2007 22:20
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      Warp Factor 1, lets take her out.

      When Star Wars exploded into the Hollywood scene in 1977, it sparked off a great interest in sci-fi and fantasy films. Many attempted to make another "Star Wars" success by making large scale sci-fi movies and TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Moonraker and The Last Starfighter. When it was decided to make a feature length film out of the cult-series of the late-1960's, Star Trek - The Motion Picture of 1979 was hoped to spark off the same kind of interest and fan-response of Star Wars. After all Star Trek had been growing in popularity through syndicated re-runs and the audience was certainly there. The budget given to the film was enormous, the special effects were first class at the time, the film was helmed by the legendary director Robert Wise, and the music was provided by one of the leading composers in Hollywood, Jerry Goldsmith who had just won an Oscar in 1976 for The Omen. So everything seemed to be well and the film was expected to become a huge success. There was only one flaw: the story. Like the TV pilot for the original series in 1964 was originally labeled "too good for television," the story for the motion picture followed a more thoughtful pattern. There were many stretches in the film that had no dialogue in it for minutes on end, the story dragged very badly and most people found the film to be exceedingly dull and leaving many of the actors feeling like puppets on a string with little emotional connection to the viewer to care if they succeeded or not. It was not until Nicholas Meyer took the helm in 1982 with Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan that the francise picked up pace into the more action oriented adventure genre.

      When Jerry Goldsmith was taken on board to score the film, it was hoped that he would compose something in the heroic Star Wars vein (although one must admit that the film is far from the heroic nature of the main theme Goldsmith came up with). Goldsmith was originally afforded with six months to compose and record the music, but the film cut running late caused some of the recordings to be done as late as a few days before the film's premiere (most notably the main title and Klingon battle segments). Still, the resulting effort was to become one of his greatest classics ever and it is definitely one of his best. Goldsmith began by writing the cue "The Enterprise" where the main theme is developed to its fullest extent over the course of six minutes, making a great highlight of the score and from there on the music developed into many different directions. The main fanfare was exactly what was required. It was instantly memorable, pompous and, like its Star Wars counterpart, has become part of pop culture with all the curses of over-exposure connected to it. The performance is a little more simple than in later Goldsmith Trek's, but for a first appearance is well-enough presented. This fanfare is particularly prominent in the beginning of the film in the cues "Total Logic", "The Enterprise", "Leaving Drydock" and "A Good Start", as well as of course in the "Main Title" and the "End Title". Apart from this famous showpiece, there is the music for the mysterious alien cloud V'Ger, characterised by the use of the "Blaster Beam," a kind of big, 18-foot long metallic bass guitar you strike or pluck to create a wonderfully other-worldly "twang" sound (and which apparently causes women to have orgasms). This instrument works as the musical embodiment of V'Ger which, whenever it appears, has something to do with the entity, most notably in the cue "Total Logic" when Spock feels the entitys presence in the middle of his ritual to purge all remaining human emotions. James Horner also made use of the instrument in his two following Trek scores, but unfortunately the Blaster Beam disappeared after Trek III and has not been heard of since (at least to my knowledge).

      The other big theme is the one for Ilia, that translates directly into the love theme for Ilia and Decker. This is Goldsmith at his most traditionally romantic with emphasis on piano and strings, the theme also serving as a kind of overture in the form of "llia's Theme." Also making its debut is the famous Klingon theme that would later figure prominently in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. This theme became the source from which all subsequent Klingon themes were derived from with its barbarically noble sound and the opening sequence ("Klingon Battle") is one of the most exciting action sequences in all of Star Trek's history. Due to the long dialogue-free stretches of the film, the importance of the music became even greater. This allowed Goldsmith to freely paint his music in long strokes for considerable time periods, while always keeping in mind the overall architecture of his scoring. The long cues inside the V'Ger cloud were scored with many electronic effects that when combined with the orchestra make for some great self-sustaining and aural music, eerie and mysterious, like in the cues "The Cloud", "Vejur Flyover", "The Force Field" and "Spock Walk", the last of these being particularly exciting. Also included are some truly atmospheric space cues where the music just seems to float around the room weightless, these mostly being found during the cues "Klingon Battle", "Floating Office" and "Spock's Arrival" (this also containing one of the very few moments of clear humour in the music). In fact, such is the importance of the music that it literally does drive the film forward when the special effects people are trying to impress you with all the bravura visual marvels they are coming up with, and thus it is not surprising that the music often is presented front and centre in front of your face to give some thrust to the rather stay-in-your-seat film. It is as someone else once noted that the first Star Trek movie is more like a very long music video, an interpretation I could easily subscribe to.

      The original album came out immediately in 1979 with 40 minutes of music included and was then reissued on CD in 1986 with identical content. in 1999, Columbia/Legacy then finally released an expanded and re-mastered presentation of the original Goldsmith score, called the "20th Anniversary Collector's Edition". Finally included are the tracks "Floating Office," "Spock's Arrival" and "A Good Start" so long missed by fans of the music, though it is still not complete. Compared to the more action-oriented sequel scores, this first effort by Goldsmith shines as a more refined and ambituous attempt to score Star Trek in a more introspective and intellectual way, something that the later sequels didn't allow. The music still sounds great and this release brings most of the musical material from the film in a very fine package, complete with in depth liner notes and cue descriptions by David Hirsch combined with Bob Peak's art deco cover art. Included in this set is also a second CD called "Inside Star Trek" which is mostly Gene Roddenberry talking about Star Trek with guest appearances from some of the cast members, originating mostly from 1976 with a few additions from 1998. It is an interesting listen, but nothing really special and not likely to yield much in the way of repeat listens. But the music is well worth all the praise it can get. If someone has the original soundtrack release then this expanded version might not be all that important. The music there contains most of the important material you'll likely need, but if you are among those completists like me that think the more the better, then this expanded release is a must have. Unfortunately the score is starting to be hard to find, the expanded release can still to be found used on Amazon.uk; the original album not so much. If you can find it, I strongly recommend any fans to catch it. All in all, Goldsmith's Star Trek - The Motion Picture is one of those classics that are a must in any basic film score collections and still stands well on its own without feeling dated.


      Original 1986 album

      1. Main Title/Klingon Battle (6:05)
      2. Leaving Drydock (3:29)
      3. The Cloud (4:58)
      4. The Enterprise (5:59)
      5. Ilia's Theme (3:01)
      6. Vejur Flyover (4:57)
      7. The Meld (3:09)
      8. Spock's Walk (4:19)
      9. End Title (3:16)


      20th Anniversary Collector's Edition

      1. Ilia's Theme (3:01)
      2. Main Title (1:23)
      3. Klingon Battle (5:27)
      4. Total Logic* (3:44)
      5. Floating Office* (1:03)
      6. The Enterprise (5:59)
      7. Leaving Drydock (3:29)
      8. Spock's Arrival* (1:58)
      9. The Cloud (4:58)
      10. Vejur Flyover (4:57)
      11. The Force Field* (5:03)
      12. Games* (3:41)
      13. Spock Walk (4:19)
      14. Inner Workings* (3:01)
      15. Vejur Speaks* (3:50)
      16. The Meld (3:09)
      17. A Good Start* (2:26)
      18. End Title (3:16)

      * Previously unreleased

      Music Composed and Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith
      Orchestrated by Arthur Morton, Alexander Courage & Fred Steiner
      Music Recorded and Mixed by John Neal
      Recorded at 20th Century Fox Music Scoring Stage
      Music Editor: by Ken Hall
      1979 / Columbia, 1986 (CK 36334)
      Columbia/Legacy, 1999 (489929-2)

      © berlioz, 2005 / 2007

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Llia's Theme
      2 Main Title
      3 Klingon Battle
      4 Total Logic
      5 Enterprise
      6 Leaving Drydock
      7 Spock's Arrival
      8 Cloud
      9 V'ger Flyover
      10 Force Field
      11 Games
      12 Spock's Space Walk
      13 Inner Working
      14 V'ger Speaks
      15 Meld
      16 Good Start
      17 End Credits
      18 Star Trek
      19 William Shatner Meets Captain Kirk
      20 Introduction To Live Show
      21 About Science Fiction
      22 Origin Of Spock
      23 Sarek's Son Spock
      24 Questor Affair
      25 Genesis II Pilot
      26 Cyborg Tools And ET Lifeforms
      27 McCoy's RX For Life
      28 Star Trek Philosophy
      29 Asimov's World Of Science Fiction
      30 Enterprise Runs Around
      31 Letter From A Network Censor
      32 Star Trek Dream
      33 Sign Off
      34 Michelle Nichols
      35 End Title