Ten Tracks Today – A Star Trek Special – 8th September 2011


According to startrek.com Star Trek officially debuted on September 8th, 1966, with the episode “The Man Trap” – the one where crew members begin dying from a sudden lack of salt in their bodies. In celebration of this, here’s a Ten Tracks Today Star Trek special:

01 – An Imposter / Indecisive – Star Trek: The Enemy WithinSol Kaplan

The music from the original series if full of reminders from my childhood. From this cue (in “An Imposter”) I particularly remember the rhythmic percussion. It seemed to be used quite frequently, particularly when the crew were in some sort of peril.

02 – Surprise Attack – Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanJames Horner

Loved this track from the moment I heard it back in 1982. This contains some of Horner’s greatest action scoring for film. It’s such a brutal cue full of blaring brass, relentless percussion elements and fits the movie like a glove and at the same time being very musical to listen to. Surprisingly, my favourite passage from this cue is a relatively quiet one: when Spock and Kirk are reviewing the Enterprise’s damage…at about 3:25 into the cue, that string passage is achingly beautiful.

03 – Brainwashed – Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanJames Horner

A cue from the expanded Film Score Monthly release. This expanded edition added another dimension to the soundtrack release. A lot of this suspenseful music was omitted from the original GNP Crescendo release.

04 – 2nd Ruth – Star Trek: Shore LeaveGerald Fried

Such a beautiful theme from the original TV series. I am sure that it must have been used many times in a lot of episodes.

05 – A Fighting Chance To Live – Star Trek III: The Search For SpockJames Horner

One of the key musical moments of this third movie incarnation of Star Trek, restored to the soundtrack in the recent expanded soundtrack release from Film Score Monthly. Horner skilfully blends the action with the emotional implications of what’s happening to the iconic Enterprise.

06 – Vulcan – Star Trek: Amok TimeGerald Fried

One of my favourite TV series scores this one. Portrays Vulcan as a brutal planet – quite a surprise considering what we knew of Spock’s character. The fight music on this soundtrack is a highlight of Star Trek‘s musical legacy.

07 – What Is Doomsday Machine / The Planet Killer” – Star Trek: The Doomsday MachineSol Kaplan

The first half of this cue is particularly well done: some excellent atmospheric effects (love the echoing piano). Some playing about with Courage’s main theme before we then hear the thematic material for the Doomsday Machine. Not one of my favourite scores but it does have a lot of iconic music.

08 – Red Alert – Star Trek: First ContactJerry Goldsmith

Not a score that I am that familiar with, but a good example of Goldsmith’s dramatic scoring – as well as a variation in the Klingon’s music first heard in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

09 – Main Title – Star Trek: The Doomsday MachineAlexander Courage/Sol Kaplan

The version of the title theme that I remember best: the prominent tam-tam, the lovely female vocals. A theme that is today almost instantly recognisable by a huge number of people.

10 – Thruster Suit – Star Trek: The Motion PictureJerry Goldsmith

Good to get a cue from this excellent score in the Ten. This is a track that’s awaiting release if and when someone releases a complete version of this soundtrack. Very much an atmospheric cue that features some of Goldsmith’s (and film music’s) greatest atmospheric music. Robert Wise’s film would sag badly if it did not have Jerry Goldsmith’s music.

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