Review of Wrath of Khan Extended Soundtrack + Producer Interview |
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Review of Wrath of Khan Extended Soundtrack + Producer Interview July 28, 2009

by John Tenuto , Filed under: Feature Films (TMP-NEM),Music,Review , trackback

Last week, TrekMovie reported that Film Score Monthly and Screen Archives Entertainment was releasing an expanded version of the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan soundtrack by James Horner. Today we have a review, focusing on the new material, plus an interview with the producer of the new expanded soundtrack, providing some behind the scene details. 


Thoughts on the expanded ST: II Wrath of Khan soundtrack

Like many fellow fans, I have been wishing for an expanded TWOK soundtrack for decades. The FSM version doesn’t disappoint. I will admit that I became emotional listening to some of the music in its pure form, devoid of the imagery and sound effects that obscure on the DVD. The best of the new material is:

"Kirk Takes Command/He Tasks Me": This is truly heroic music, and hearing it without the other sounds really shows what a master Horner is at establish character with his maritime music. This is about as close to a "Theme for James Kirk" as any of the original film soundtracks allow.

"Genesis Project": What is interesting listening to the soundtrack is how many sound elements I assumed were sound effects are actually musical notes or effects. This is especially true of Craig Huxley’s "Genesis Project" which is postmodern music that has some real texture to it.

"The Genesis Cave": This is wonderfully beautiful and sad at the same time

"Spock (Dies)": I dare you not to cry

"Amazing Grace": I dare you not cry again

Bonus Track: "Epilogue (original version without Genesis/Spock casket interlude)/End Title": This is a cool bonus track that allows fans to hear what the soundtrack would have been to end of TWOK had the filmmakers not added the "Spock’s casket on Genesis" sequence. This contains a very beautiful rendition of the Alexander Courage music that is not as clear in the version included in the film. In fact, one of the amazing things about the expanded soundtrack is it reveals that Alexander Courage’s music was utilized more than many originally thought. 7 of the 23 tracks include some version of the original TV theme.

Fans of TWOK and Star Trek soundtracks will not be disappointed by this expanded score. It includes every available track and is in the proper sequence. While the original soundtrack was 44:50, this new version is 76:58. The music sounds much better than the previous CD re-release of the music and is really a work of art. It is enjoyable music in its own right, and the newly expanded music is wonderful.

New Star Trek II Expanded Soundtrack

Beyond the music, there is a fantastic28-page program booklet with liner notes written by Jeff Bond, Lukas Kendall and Alexander Kaplan. The provides in-depth information on the making of the original and expanded Soundtrack and also includes some rare artwork.

Sample page from booklet

Producer talks treknology of the TWOK Extended Edition
Lukas Kendall of Film Score Monthly is the Katra behind the Star Trek II expanded soundtrack. In an interview with TrekMovie, the producer explained some of the challenges bringing back (and expanding) the music of Star Trek II:

Fans may remember that the LP to Star Trek II had “Digital Recording” plastered on the front of the jacket. The score was recorded using the first multitrack digital recording machine, which was a 1-inch, 32-track tape format made by 3M. A little bit of an interesting anecdote: this format is now completely obsolete and to our knowledge only one machine survives capable of playing it, which fortunately is at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale. (They keep a working machine because a lot of their 1980s sound recordings are archived on the format.) We had a project a few months earlier where Imagineering kindly transferred a tape for us, that being Twilight Zone: The Movie, so we knew how to reach them—they were terrific. Although we did not do a new mix from the 32-track there were some mixdowns and elements (like Spock’s voiceover) we needed that were stored on the format.

Star Trek II was also recorded on a 2” 24-track analogue backup and the three-track (left-center-right) film mixes were stored on ½” analogue tape (easy to play) and a ½” digital 3M tape (impossible to play even for Imagineering!). We were asked by Paramount not to remix the score because, among other things, the engineer, Dan Wallin, is one of the best ever to work in Hollywood—he recently recorded the 2009 Star Trek for Michael Giacchino, talk about longevity. So we used his three-track film mixes although in one spot (I won’t say where) there was a defect on the tape so we had to go back to the multitrack (thank you, Imagineering).

Original ‘Digital Recording’ Star Trek II LP

For fans with Vulcan-like listening abilities, there is an Easter egg of sorts on the CD. Kendall explains "There was an article in Starlog in 1982 in which James Horner playfully claimed he used a “perverted” version of what he called “the Star Trek love theme” from the TV series for the moment after Chekov and Terrell get the eels put in them (“now, why are you here…?”). I had strained to hear this forever in the finished film but could not tell what theme he might have been referencing. I had hoped that hearing the cue on CD I might finally be able to make the connection—but alas, it’s still unclear. Maybe “Vina’s Theme” from “The Cage”?" The first fan to find it gets bragging rights!

Kendall was able to secure the help of various artists to help with the CD. Craig Huxley (who played Peter Kirk (nephew to Captain Kirk in "Operation Annihilate!") and Tommy Starnes ("And the Children Shall Lead")) was the composer of the music played during Carol Marcus’ explanation of the Genesis Project. He was able to supply Kendall with first generation masters from his vault. Also, director Nicholas Meyer, who selected the then 28 year old James Horner as composer, also was available for questions and gave permission for use of photos from his archives. For trivia fans, Meyer’s sister Constance was in the violin section of the orchestra recording Star Trek II in 1982.

Available now
The Expanded Star Trek II Soundtrack costs $19.99 and is available now from Amazon and also from the FSM website.



1. Harry Ballz - July 28, 2009

I’ve never seen a studio milk a 27 year old film for more cash like this situation!

2. Wes W. - July 28, 2009

Great score!

3. Mr. Delicious - July 28, 2009

Contemporary Hollywood just can’t compete with the classic generation.

4. Mr. Delicious - July 28, 2009

It’s sad really….

5. Nick - July 28, 2009

I loved the movies with Mr Horner’s music. It’s funny now-a-days, as I can now spot his music a mile off in moviedom … Aliens, Titanic etc etc etc …

Must buy … off to Amazon …

6. passions and soapboxes - July 28, 2009

The music is great but there are still two points to this film that leave me wondering. 1: Shouldn’t the last thing Kahn see before he dies be the Enterprise escaping once again defeating him. Not in the film.

2: Kirk saying that Spocks soul was the most human he had ever known is an insult to the way Spock lived his life, how could they write that.

Over 27 years later and it still irks me, sorry.

7. Kevin from Akron - July 28, 2009

I for one applaud the efforts of the producer to bring back the original music as it was meant to be heard. It’s a very good score. I remember hearing the directors commentary on the DVD. He said, “James, don’t worry what Jerry Goldsmith did, just give it your best.” He did that and more in my opinion. He also kept Alexander Courage’ work in the end there to make sure Courage got the credit he deserved, not just in the end titles.

8. toddk - July 28, 2009

I want this…and I shall have it!!!

9. Steamblade - July 28, 2009

When you leave your cave, you may be interested to learn of a film called Star Wars.

10. Dom - July 28, 2009

I was getting very confused by the Craig Huxley name thing: I thought he was called Craig Hundley. Seems he changed his name!

Really looking forward to getting this CD. I know people go on about Jerry Goldsmith’s TMP score, but I feel Horner’s score still captures Star Trek for me better than any of the others.

11. Jakob - July 28, 2009

In my book, these are two of the greatest element of the movie:
1. Who says that Khan “should” see himself defeated once again? Why shouldn’t he die believing that he finally succeeded? To me, it makes the situation a more dramatic one and his character in a way more tragic. I don’t need to gloat over his defeat when watching the movie. In fact, one of the moments I didn’t like that much in Trek 09 was the stereotypical gloating over Nero’s defeat in the end. Khan has “paid” enough by dying in the end, give the man a rest!

2. I donät think Spock would have seen it as an insult. If he hadn’t been dead, he would certainly have said so in his wry, quipping way, but he would still have taken it is a compliment.

12. Steph - July 28, 2009

6. “Over 27 years later and it still irks me, sorry.”

Well one can only hope that a re-boot will deliver you the happiness you were denied those many years ago.

Feel the love ;)

13. cbspock - July 28, 2009

2: Kirk saying that Spocks soul was the most human he had ever known is an insult to the way Spock lived his life, how could they write that?

^^ How sad for you, that you miss the point of the comment.

14. swh1939 - July 28, 2009

[[… there were some mixdowns and elements (like Spock’s voiceover) we needed …]]

Oh, so we still have that, do we? I was hoping for a version of the OST without the Spock voiceover. Oh well, I’m still jazzed about getting this.

15. ST Junkie - July 28, 2009

“Over 27 years later and it still irks me, sorry.”

Well one can only hope that a re-boot will deliver you the happiness you were denied those many years ago.

Amen, Brother! I agree…Some people it seems just didn’t get the meaning……Watch ST2 again “Soapboxes”……

16. Jeyl - July 28, 2009

@14. “I was hoping for a version of the OST without the Spock voiceover.”

I hear that. It’s in the movie and the original LP, so why not do something different? I own three of the original series soundtracks, all the movies and two of TNG episode soundtracks and none of them feature the voice over. While it’s by no means a deal killer, the alternative epilogue which does not include the voice over does provide a nice alternative even if it does sound slightly different.

If the Star Trek III soundtrack is ever released by FSM, I hope Lukas doesn’t put the voice over during the opening sequence.

17. Driver - July 28, 2009

Got mine in. It’s a beautiful recording. There are so many more instruments to be heard in the score here than what I can hear in the film. The music in the film now sounds muted somewhat. Bring on STIII!

18. lawmanjcl - July 28, 2009

Bragging rights? I had always thought that the eerie, descending notes underscoring Khan’s “now, why are you here …” referenced the underscore of Kirk’s initial “reunion” with “Ruth” in “Shore Leave” (a motive tracked in many later episodes of the original series).

19. 16309A - July 28, 2009

Just got mine yesterday, can’t wait to listen to it!

20. frederick von fronkensteen - July 28, 2009

#1… ? huh?

With an item like this waiting years to be released, all I can say is, “milk it, baby, milk it!”

21. Pork And Beans - July 28, 2009


22. New Horizon - July 28, 2009

6. passions and soapboxes – July 28, 2009

2: Kirk saying that Spocks soul was the most human he had ever known is an insult to the way Spock lived his life, how could they write that.
Over 27 years later and it still irks me, sorry.

I think you completely missed the point.

2. Kirk saying that Spock’s soul was the most ‘human’ is a beautiful thing to say and is more of an insult to humanity than anything else. It means that despite our self congratulatory attitudes about our ‘humanity’ and our ’emotions’, Spock exceeded us all.

23. Largent - July 28, 2009

My memory was that Horner claimed to have put in a bit of Uhura’s song, “Beyond Antares.”

I don’t know if I’d be able to recognize it, though.

I received my copy in the mail yesterday and have been very impressed with it.

24. rogue_alice - July 28, 2009

The Star Trek Love Theme?


25. Andy Patterson - July 28, 2009

I know Harry,…

but I got my last night. Will listen this week. I’ll see if I can catch this hidden easter egg

26. Robert Gillis - July 28, 2009

Best… Soundtrack… Ever.

Got it last night. LONG overdue. hey, BTW, if you remember the movie “Cocoon,” in the scene where the boat is escaping, James Horner re-used an entire selection of ST2:TWOK soundtrack. I noticed it years ago :)

27. Logan - July 28, 2009

Anyone may do know the europe-release of it?

Live lond and prosper,

28. Good News but Hardly Trektacular - July 28, 2009

Like the 20th anniversary release of TMP’s expanded soundtrack, I will buy this release as well but I still have some issues with Horner’s score.

To me, it was a step down coming from Jerry Goldsmith’s Academy Award nominated score. TMP pretty much set the standard thematically as far as I am concerned. You had the theme as traditional fanfare during opening credits, when the Enterprise was shown and even in a somber piece such as right after the Transporter accident.
A good theme brings a movie together and should accentuate the scene shown while not drawing attention to itself.

I wonder if there is commentary as to why the decision was made to go with Horner. My guess is money. They went for the cheap and Horner is what they got. This was repeated, again, for ST6 in the hiring of another young, relatively unknown but energetic composer.

A lot of this score sounds like his previous work on Battle Beyond the Stars. Going forward, you can here a lot of this score in his future work in Brainstorm, Cocoon, Aliens, Willow, etc.

29. Starship Conductor - July 28, 2009

Just got it in the mail from Amazon…………..IT”S GRRRRRRRRREAT!

30. Aeolis14Unbra - July 28, 2009

Easter egg-I always thought it was derived for the Vina theme used throughout the series – sorry I dont know the exact title.

31. Spock - July 28, 2009

I really hope they release an expanded edition of 3 next. Out of all the scores I think 4 had the weakest. I never really liked the score for that movie.

32. I'm dead Jim - July 28, 2009

#1 – I don’t see this as “milking” anything. It’s a release of something that was previously unavailable. Something long overdue that many fans were apparently eager to have. Now seemingly endless re-packaging of the movies for home viewing, that’s serious “milking”.

33. Dom - July 28, 2009

31. Spock: TVH’s score goes very nicely with the movie, but doesn’t necessarily stand on its own. Arguably, nor should it have to!

34. anti-Matter - July 28, 2009

Someone make (a good) expanded ST V score available. I really love that score!

35. Capt. of the USS Anduril - July 28, 2009

#32 *cough*LUCAS*cough*

Moving on, I’m really gonna have to get a hold of this. I love the STII soundtrack, but regretfully had to sell my copy when I was in serious financial straits. Lucky thing too, eh?

36. OneBuckFilms - July 28, 2009

30 – I think you’re right. Vina’s Theme was often tracked as a generic Love Theme in later episodes, and we hear it on the glass harp thingy in the background, just after the Ceti Eals have been buried.

37. Simon - July 28, 2009

Agreed #28 – This score is good but one wonders what it would hgave sounded like if Goldsmith had done the film. I really miss his majestic “Enterprise” theme when she re-launches from the drydock.

38. Tom - July 28, 2009

#14 – The original version of the epilogue and end titles doesn’t include the Spock voice over. So you hav eboth versions on this CD.

39. Ralph F - July 28, 2009

Just got mine from FSM yesterday; have listened to it a couple of times. Having heard the other soundtrack for a couple dozen years, it was strange not hearing certain musical cues moving into others.

#28 is right; one of the reasons they went with Horner was money. The other was that Meyer was looking for a different feeling — something more “swashbuckling” (as Meyer put it) than grandeur. Meyer — himself a classical music buff — worked closely with Horner on the sound and feel he wanted, according to interviews I read at the time (and on the web a dozen times since).

What I’d really, really like to see is this done to the rest of the film series, more or less. And, honestly, I’d love to see a “TOS Remastered” take on both music from the original series and, as a bonus, some of the themes used in the animated series. (Did I just type that?)

One of my favorite old soundtracks is the music from THE CAGE but the sound is quite bad; I keep hoping someone’ll fund a project to re-record it.

40. John Gill - July 28, 2009

Just got mine yesterday. I had forgotten how beautiful and motivating this score is. The tear-jerker cuts are just that, after all this time, they still bring a tear to my eye but with different meaning in my life now.

41. Norm - July 28, 2009

Got mine yesterday, listened to most of it…I love being able to relive the movie, so to speak, without actually watching it. Makes the emotions and feelings so much more real…

42. John Gill - July 28, 2009

AMEN to that, I’d pay real money for a CD of The Cage soundtrack COMPLETELY remastered or re-done effectively. I have the LP and CD, but the quality is so poor it lessens the desire to have repeated listens.

43. stealing the enterprise - July 28, 2009

i am still hoping that we have another star trek symphony performance some time soon… i would love to hear all that great music live!!!!

44. Ralph F - July 28, 2009

Glad I’m not the only one.

I have the various Varese Sarabande and GNP Crescendo releases, which are all quite enjoyable. But a remastered/re-recorded soundtrack for THE CAGE is kind of a holy grail for me. I had really hoped that, with the new film and the TOSR project over the past few years, someone would do just such a project.

Closest I’ve ever gotten to a better recording is a track called “Star Trek: The Menagerie (Suite)”, which clocks in at about 7:40, on a Telarc release; “TIME WARP”. It’s music from the TOS ep “The Menagerie”, obviously, but it’s mostly music from THE CAGE. Worth a listen. (The whole album, and series of sci-fi theme CDs from Eric Kunzel & The Cincinnati Pops, are well worth a listen).

Note that Amazon mis-titles the track on that page as “The Menagerie Suite (original pilot for the TV show Star Trek)”.

The downloadable versions are great, of course (instant gratification!) but you can get the CDs used for under a buck.

45. Spockish - July 28, 2009

Only 27 years and Kirk yelling Khaaaaaan is still rigning in my ears.

And did ST:TWOK come out between Empire and Return, and did they not say Return or at the time the next Star Wars film. Better be good since it is the last Star Wars film and has to beet Star Treks latest.

So will the Wars movies wait 24 years before it gets rebooted for the last of the 9 Star Wars movies, or will it go down the Clone Wars road.

But by 2025 Star Trek will be venturing NASA from the Moon to Mars and we may be starting to step off this third rock from the Sun. At Least we’ll be sending ION/Plasma space ships to the Orit (sp?) Cloud and beyond and Companies will start looking at mining the Asteroid belt to build things in space. Figure the Moon will send things to be used on Earth. Things like microwave Energy from the silicon dust on the Moons surface melted into Solar Panels, but first skimmed for the Helium 3 for our Fusion Reactors.

Just think your grand kids could have a home on a crater rim on the Moon as they watch space ships in a traffic jam above you wanting to land on the few landing pads in or around the crater you bought for your families future.

Will we know enough about Genetics that we error and create mutant humans, or just be able to pick there gender, hair and eye color. May be by then we’ll start making Pre-Borg’s by placing computer chips in our heads that will let us play the Dow Jones and watch 3D TV with out a TV, and who will need hookers, you’ll have virtual sex with anyone you want.

That all sounds great but remember not all will be peace, there are those that want only one (themselves) to have total rule over everything. Just as we have those demented people today, not just around the world but even elected ones in America.

The one grand thing about James T. Kirk is he is great at balancing power to a benign 50/50 perfection.

46. Magic_Al - July 28, 2009

It tasks me and I shall have it!

47. Hank Drake - July 28, 2009

Actually, the theme from the original series that Horner changed was not the love theme. it was the very beginning of ST TOS’s title sequence, a 5 note motif:

B-flat, F, A-flat, C, B-flat – all played in high octaves.

It’s changed slightly by Horner, becoming the beginning of Spock’s theme (Track 7 on the new CD).

I’ve listened to the soundtrack since the first LP was issued in 1982, but only figured it out a few years ago!

48. RayPecoskie - July 28, 2009

Horners soundtracks for Cocoon and Krull ( and STII ) are some of my favourites.

49. OneBuckFilms - July 28, 2009

46 – I hear you.

I listen to this score often.

I can tell you, I am emotionally compromized.

50. RD - July 28, 2009

#33. Dom wrote: #31. Spock: TVH’s score goes very nicely with the movie, but doesn’t necessarily stand on its own. Arguably, nor should it have to!

While I agree with your argument, I cannot agree with your assessment of TVH’s appropriateness for the film. Leonard Rosenman was just wrong for the movie and totally out of character for the level of composers otherwise engaged to score Trek. His overall body of work suffers from the same general unmemorable malaise that affects TVH. For me, certain cues just took me right out of the movie, totally inappropriate for Trek or for a any film. None of the music was cohesive, Rosenman seemingly just went from one style to another without any thought as to whether they belonged in the same movie. In fact I would argue that the film doesn’t even sound like it was scored by the same composer given its lack of uniform style and thematic motives. Whether a score should be able to stand on its own is far less important than whether the score works with the film and for me that means the score supports the dramatic elements without getting in the way. This score got in the way a lot and it wasn’t particularly well executed either.

51. VulcanNonibird - July 28, 2009

I might grab it….

It’s always shocking to read that we can’t even play media that is about 30 years old. Even more difficulties over at the Doctor Who Restoration Team dealing with nearly 50 year old analogue video tapes.

For that reason – even if time-consuming – I convert every video (downloads, DVDs – without CSS (-; ) to MPEG1/2. The quality might plummet, but at last any OS I know can play it.

I always wonder about my DVDs in 20-30 years. It’s not only the players – the DVD uses PAL or NTSC – plus most players here in europe use SCART connectors to connect to the monitor. I have now one DolbyDigital home-cinema player, one recorder and a panasonic player I grabbed for 30 euros last year to have a backup player…. Let’s see how long that will last…(-:

52. Thomas Jensen - July 28, 2009

After listing to my copy, I’m overjoyed! Now if someone would release more of the original series music beyond what’s out there now, it would be excellent.

53. SB - July 28, 2009

For John Tenuto —

The “perverted love theme” cut that James Horner talks about is at the very end of the track called “Khan’s Pets’ — the eerie, high-pitched sound that plays as Montalban asks “Now tell me… WHY are you here….?”

The track that this is based on can be heard very noticably at the end of “The Cage, during the sequence when Vina returns underground with the “illusory” Chris Pike. The music is also played at the end of “The Menagerie.”

54. Mr. Fanboy - July 28, 2009

I go back & forth over time as to which is a better soundtrack: Goldsmith’s ST:TMP, or Horner’s ST:TWOK. Clearly, the latter is a far superior movie (even considering TMP’s Director’s Cut). In that regard, Horner may have had a much easier time of it, and he certainly can’t escape the accusations of score/theme recycling as a number of his early scores sound very similar. But I can still remember the opening day in June of 1982 when I left the theatre after my first viewing. I han’t heard any of Horner’s other work to that point, so his score was completely original to me! And it was so amazing that I swear I wanted to get right back in line just so I could hear the new theme again! I had been wearing out my LP copy of TMP for months, but this new theme seemed to capture Star Trek in a way Goldsmith’s score did not. Maybe it was the incorporation of Alexander Courage’s original theme (which was nonexistent in TMP’s bombastic theme. But I just found the nautical tone of the score to be a perfect way to capture the sense of courageous adventure in the midst of the unknown. It really summed up Star Trek for me and tied so well into the movie. I recall it took weeks of waiting before Horner’s score was available on vinyl at the local record score. I was overjoyed wen it arrived and probably wore out my needle listening to it repeatedly in just the next few weeks afterwards. Then it went out of print and it took years to finally be re-released on CD (by GNP Crescendo godbless ’em!) Once available again, I recall how wonderful it was to finally listen to the score without all the nasty pops and skips from my vinyl dub to cassette.
But, now, this is the ultimate to be sure! And I’m still dumbfounded that this could have been released without forewarning and the endless waiting & delays. I just got my Expanded copy last night, and have listened to it at least three times already (including my commute to work today). While it does take a little to get used to the new track order, and all the instruments you can hear for the first time in this new (original) mix. All I can say is thanks. Thank you so much Lukas Kendall and Film Score Monthly!!! Your are the best! And I hope you enjoy this so much that you continue onto releasing ST:TSFS Expanded! Who doesn’t love the “Hijacking the Enterprise”?! And just to hear that one track alone (with the improved audio transfer) would be worth the price of the entire CD.

And someday, if we could get the rest of the original TOS episode scores (there are still a few unreleased and a number are incomplete) that would be the ultimate… since I’ve been waiting over 40 years for those!

55. frederick von fronkensteen - July 28, 2009

I wish that more little musical easter eggs had been put in the recent movie score, there was so much to draw upon, and we only heard the 4 opening “ding” notes, not so much as even the Enteprise fanfare. Keeping it till the end made it feel like an obligatory tack-on, as good as it sounded even then.

56. frederick von fronkensteen - July 28, 2009

#48, I felt the same way, since Leonard’s work all sounded so muich alike that hearing the same themes over again took me out of the movie and put me back in his old Biblical epics and LOTR. He really phoned it in on that one, I would have loved to have had Horner or somebody on that one.

If you want a good stand-alone one-off score, listen to “The Undiscovered Country.”

57. DonDonP1 - July 28, 2009

To Spockish: “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” was released two years after “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” and the international release of “Superman II”. “The Wrath of Khan” was released one year between the North American release of “Superman II” and the worldwide release of “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”.

58. DonDonP1 - July 28, 2009

And “The Wrath of Khan” was also released one year before “Superman III”.

59. RM10019 - July 28, 2009

Got mine yesterday. brilliant.

60. Cafe 5 - July 28, 2009

This release by FSM is nothing short of extraordinary. The clarity of this disc is breath taking. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan is one of James Horner’s best scores. Get this soundtrack…find some time not to be interrupted and allow yourself to engulfed by this music. It is a fantastic listening experience. Horner’s music is the emotional underpinning that supports the visual aspects of ST:II , its a must have as part of any fans collection.

61. Canadianknight - July 28, 2009

#6 – Couldn’t disagree more.

As 22 said, it was Kirk’s way of saying that despite Spock NOT being human, he managed to exceed us all. Beautiful.

As for Khan (for cryin’ out loud people … it’s kHan. Not kaHn.)… not seeing the escape.. he shouldn’t have. Let him believe he won. One of the most powerful things I learned as a drama student and actor is that the villain usually doesn’t KNOW they are the villain. They are the hero of their own story. Khan, mad and revenge-driven as he was, certainly didn’t see himself as evil, or in-the-wrong.

Just my 2 pennies worth… :)

62. James Heaney - Wowbagger - July 28, 2009

Sweet awesome mccool pants.

And the sad thing is, I’m saying that in all seriousness. MUST BUY!

63. Mark - July 28, 2009

I would hand it to poster #47, “Hank Drake” for pointing out that the STII Spock theme was probably derived by playing with the 5 note chime motif that are the very first notes of Courage’s theme.

I’ve always thought Horner was throwing the Starlog reporter a bone on that “Khans Pets” love theme deal.

Does anyone remeber a similar Horner interview in one of those “Best of Trek” Paperback compilations? Andy Patterson, I’m looking at you!


64. RD - July 28, 2009

#54 –– I was always a bit dismayed that they used the Goldsmith theme for TNG, since I thought it was a bit misplaced in TMP and even more so in TNG (it felt like a cop-out too). As you point out, Horner’s theme seemed to capture much more of the spirit of Trek, and one can thank Nicolas Meyer for that, for seeing what Roddenberry was too blind or proud to admit. But Goldsmith’s theme has its place in the same way Courage’s theme has its place – themes which don’t really work as underscore. You hear them and instantly know what they are, but are otherwise so out of character with the stories and concept that they make poor score and indeed pull you right out of the film. Goldsmith’s score for TMP as well as later films in the franchise offer some of the best themes and motives ever created for the franchise, so in that I would consider Horner and Goldsmith equals. If I have to chose between TMP & TWOK, there’s no question: TWOK wins.

65. Thorny - July 28, 2009

I got my copy in the mail yesterday as well. Absolutely spectacular. Worth buying simply for “Amazing Grace”. “Kirk Takes Command / He Tasks Me” is terrifric, too. Didn’t care much for the weird “Genesis Project” so-called music, though. Without the Genesis Demo visuals, its just too out-there.

The liner notes are very well done, especially the passages about “Amazing Grace” and how the bagpipes drew giggles from test audiences and how Horner hated it, but reworked into an orchestral transition. Also interesting history of the “Spock’s casket on Genesis” coda.

66. John Kirk - July 28, 2009

I have already received this soundtrack from FSM, and it’s awesome. You realize how much was missing from the original release when you listen to this one. Should have been done this way from the start!

67. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - July 28, 2009

He Task Me!!! HE Task me!!!! and I shall have it. Ill Chase him to the Moons of Amazon Around the credit Card and round Purditions cash before i give it up. I shall have the Music.

68. James "Tiberieus" Pewterschmidt - July 28, 2009

“I’ve never seen a studio milk a 27 year old film for more cash like this situation!”

It bears repeating..

69. Andy Patterson - July 28, 2009


No Mark,

I don’t recall that interview, but the proverbial “bone” that we speak of, I always thought was a very clear homage to some TOS music Alexander Courage wrote for “The Cage” (that was re-used a lot throughout the old show -think “Man Trap” – on the planet surface when the Professor reveals Nancy’s been dead for a long while) – in the form of the horn falls that happens during the Khan scene – in kind of a downward chromatic order. “As you left her…buried alive….buried alive”

I remember very clearly hearing and noting that the first time I saw the movie, thinking “Cool! He’s borrowing and adding a little flavor from the series.”

Something I felt was sorely lacking from this latest film.

70. Andy Patterson - July 28, 2009

and 64

“–– I was always a bit dismayed that they used the Goldsmith theme for TNG, since I thought it was a bit misplaced in TMP and even more so in TNG (it felt like a cop-out too).”

I always thought that.

71. Simon - July 28, 2009

#68 – “themes which don’t really work as underscore. You hear them and instantly know what they are, but are otherwise so out of character with the stories and concept that they make poor score”

You’re kidding right?

Watch TMP again when KIrk tours the Enterprise, or when it leaves drydock and tell me it “doesn’t work”.

And Goldsmith’s Klingon theme is vastly superior to Horner’s reworked “Wolfen” theme he used in ST:III

Goldsmith worked in the TOS score when he could like in V, and for the Captain’s Log sequences for TMP he even had Courage orchestrate it.

72. RD - July 28, 2009

#71 –– I was talking about the theme, the “march”, and only the theme. Not Goldsmith’s underscore. And I never said a word about the Klingon theme which is probably the best ever written for the Klingons. His score for TFF is undoubtedly the best thing about that movie.

However, I did forget it had been adapted and works much better slowed-down during the Enterprise reveal than it does up-tempo for the Main Title to set the tone for the film or TNG series, in much the same way Courage’s trumpet fanfare makes very effective underscore. The wailing woman theme … not so much.

73. Thorny - July 28, 2009

1. Harry Ballz… “I’ve never seen a studio milk a 27 year old film for more cash like this situation!”

Disney does it all the time. In fact, Disney is the undisputed king of milking a movie for all its worth. Paramount’s gouging for Trek is peanuts in comparison.

74. Charlie - July 28, 2009

#6 question 1.

A. Yeah, huh!

75. CarlG - July 28, 2009

@1: If milking produces products like this, then milk away, baby!

76. Rembrandt Q Einstein - July 28, 2009

#5 I finally need to tell someone this story. One lazy Sunday I’m sitting around my house and watching Die Hard. At the very end of the movie I notice something I’ve never noticed before. The music is different from the rest of the film when the “Family Matters” cop shoots the white headed German guy. I pushed the back button on my DVR and listened again and knew immediately (well, immediately once I was listening to just the music) that it was James Horner. The credits said the movie was scored by Michael Kamen (I believe…and who also has a distinctive sound). But I KNEW I was right. After a few clicks on Google I found an article about how they had to use part of a score by Horner (uncredited) from a different movie for that few seconds. I felt so smart…LOL.

77. Simon - July 28, 2009

#76 – You’re speaking about the cue from “Aliens”.

78. Logan - July 28, 2009

Does anyone know the europe-release of this soundtrack?

Live long and prosper


79. Andy - July 29, 2009

Just ordered! Can’t wait… especially for the Star Trek:III expanded score! PLEASE!

80. Anoying Doorchime - July 29, 2009

Still waiting for mine as I ordered a couple of older cd’s at the excellent Screen Archives. The original lp got me into fil music in ’83 so I’m really looking foreward

@78 Right: the cue ‘Resolution’ on the soundtrack is used at the end of Die Hard. Actually, it wasn’t used in Aliens but bumped by Cameron for the music from Bishop’s Countdown. But then a again, that wasn’t the only edit Cameron made without Horner involved.

@77 What do you mean with ‘Europe-release’? It’s an international release, I’m sure Screen Archives would love to send it to you wherever you are :-)

And as for the love-theme nod Horner did: it’s from The Cage. Courage wrote two theme’s that could be considered as a love theme (and were used so in numberous ‘tracked’ scores). The first one is heart first when Pike and the crew first meet the alleged survivors (played on clarinet), the second is a more exotic sounding cue when Vina appears, played on flutes. Horner used this last them, slightly changing the second bar.

81. Jeyl - July 29, 2009

^76 Rembrandt

It was Horner’s unused music from ALIENS. It was set to play right after the Queen loses her grip on Ripley and gets sucked out into Space. You can hear the entire piece on the official ALIENS soundtrack.

82. Frank - July 29, 2009

#78: There will be no European release for the complete Star Trek II soundtrack. So you need to buy it online.

83. dep1701 - July 29, 2009

To answer a question brought up above as to why Horner didn’t reuse cues from TMP:

It says in the liner notes that Horner was given specific instructions by Paramount NOT to reuse any of Goldsmith’s themes from the first movie, in order to distance this movie from the perceived disappointment of the the previous film. He was however asked to try and work in musical elements that would tie in with the original series.

Now, I pray for a remastered and expanded Trek V score, so i can have all three arrangements of “The Mountain” theme.

84. toddk - July 29, 2009

I agree that the score from STIV was weird but I bought the cd anyway,

The music from generations was quite excellent.

STVI was also weird, The title score was good, but the rest was pretty forgettable.

also hoping for complete film scores from all trek movies and TV shows…yes even enterprise.

85. Michael - July 29, 2009

#26 I know what you mean. The credits for Cocoon come at the end, so I spent most of the movie not knowing who the composer of this wonderful score was. Then when the scene of the boat escaping came up, and I heard ST:TWOK, I immediately turned to the friend I was with and said “Horner”. I love Horner’s work, but he does tend to repeat himself a lot. I remember a passage from the beginning of Aliens repeated verbatum in Patriot Games.

86. Michael - July 29, 2009

Among the reasons they didn’t reuse the TMP music in TWOK:
1. Cost – they would have to pay Goldsmith royalties for the score, and the movie was being produced by Paramount’s TV division on a shoe-string budget less than a fourth of what TMP cost.
2. Theme – I making TWOK, Meyer was inspired by the C.S. Forester novels about Captain Horatio Hornblower (Watch the 1950 movie with Gregory Peck; the similarities to TWOK are not coincidence). For the music, along with much of the production, Meyer wanted a nautical feel which the TMP score doesn’t provide.
3. Composers tend to like to write their own music, not reuse other people’s work, unless they are paying homage. Horner’s use of the TV theme at the beginning of the film was one of his best decisions. It said right away that this is “Star Trek”, not a film called Star Trek that really wants to be something profound like 2001.

87. RD - July 29, 2009

#86. –

1) Nope. No royalties were due Goldsmith. They owned the music outright. Only if they reused the recording would he be entitled to additional money out of Paramount’s pocket as an AFM musician. Any royalties due Goldsmith as a composer would have come out of Horner’s pocket.

3) The main reason composers don’t like to use other people’s material is because they earn no royalties on it which is the primary way composers earn their living, not from the initial creative fee.

88. toddk - July 30, 2009

You guys know anything about “Net Seer”? blocks the page I click on and I have to keep clicking back to see trekmovie stories and comments.. kind of irritating!

89. RichyG - July 31, 2009

My copy has just arrived here in the UK. Cant wait to get home and put it on the surround system, lie back on the sofa and immerse myself for 80 minutes!

90. swh1939 - July 31, 2009

[[38. Tom – The original version of the epilogue and end titles doesn’t include the Spock voice over. So you have both versions on this CD.]]

That’s mostly true. The music is ever-so-slightly arranged differently. I suspect most people won’t be able to tell the difference. But I’m glad to have any official version without the Nimoy voice over.

My favorite new track is #9, The Genesis Project. It’s a wonderful avante garde piece. In my opinion, if it weren’t in the movie, that scene would be less interesting.

And if anyone has any reservations about getting this CD, don’t wait. Get it now. You won’t be sorry.

91. StarTrekkie - August 1, 2009

Just got my copy in the mail. The little bit after Kahn puts the eels in is *definitely* Vina’s theme. I recognized it right away. The same theme is also heard on the planet with the spore projecting plants that makes everyone loopy.

92. Dr. Cheis - August 1, 2009

Not available through iTunes?


93. captain_neill - August 18, 2009

got mine its great

many of you should try the expanded Goldsmith scores for FC and Insurrection, the additional cues are great on there. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.