REVIEW: Star Trek: The Motion Picture Complete Score

“There is no comparison!” was the tagline for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, presumably a reference to 1977’s Star Wars. While certainly debatable whether true, the tagline is arguably applicable to the treatment given to Jerry Goldsmith’s soundtrack with the new LaLa Land Records’ Star Trek: The Motion Picture Limited Edition 3CD set. TrekMovie details the release in this new review.

 

REVIEW: STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE SCORE (3-CD SET)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Publisher: La La Land
Price: $34.98 (limited edition avaialble at www.lalalandrecords.com )

The Music:

Clocking in at slightly more than 3 hours and 40 minutes, the set certainly expands on previous editions of Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic music for the first motion picture. The original 1979 soundtrack release is included in its entirety for those wishing to experience the arrangements and presentation of the LP and cassette tape era. Most exciting, however, are the tracks that are included that have never been available before, and especially the music of Disc 3 which is filled with bonus features. The main theme sounds wonderful and the new transfer allows for an appreciation of how complex and dense with layers of music Goldsmith’s music for the movie was. Listening to the alterative tracks, and even the raw recording audio that features the actual recording session for the main theme, are delights. And the inclusion of Shaun Cassidy’s reworking of Ilia’s Theme with lyrics and the disco/jazz version by Bob James (the composer of the theme to TV’s Taxi) are pure 1970s musical nirvana. It is these kind of surprises and completeness that make the CDs such a very enjoyable listening experience.

The Liner Notes and Packaging:

Jeff Bond (author of "The Music of Star Trek," and a TrekMovie contributor), and set producer Mike Matessino’s liner notes are detailed and full of trivia that even the most ardent Goldsmith aficionado may find surprising. For example, we learn about the roles played by famed original Star Trek composers Fred Steiner and Alexander Courage. Included are archival Goldsmith interviews and discussions with Craig Huxley, the creator and performer of the Blaster Beam instrument that was the voice of V’Ger (and Huxley was a Star Trek child actor who played Peter Kirk, Captain Kirk’s nephew in “Operation: Annihilate!” and Tommy Starnes in “And the Children Shall Lead”). There is plenty of behind the scenes information and commentary on individual tracks. There some nice (and for such a generally drab colored film, surprisingly colorful) pictures in the liner notes, although one my complaints with all of the Star Trek complete or expanded soundtrack releases is that there is too much use of standard and ubiquitous advertising photos when I think it would be better to have more rare behind the scenes photos. That being said, the liner notes are a nice companion to the disc and great for keeping with you as listen to music to learn more about each track.

V’Ger would be proud of the carbon units at LaLa Land for the packaging and design. The cover preserves the iconic art of TMP while the discs have bright and colorful pictures of Kirk, Spock, and Ilia featured on each.

For those who are keeping track, expanded or complete scores are now available for Star Treks I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, and XI. We are waiting for Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis, two of which are Goldsmith contributions. Oh, and we could hope for an expanded offering for Michael Giacchino’s 2013 Star Trek sequel, too. But that is the future. For now, there is contentment traveling back to the 1970s when V’Ger required information and McCoy wore a beard and enjoying the music of Jerry Goldsmith from TMP.

 

LaLa Land provided TrekMovie a review copy for this article.

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