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Battlestar Galactica: Season 3 (Original Soundtrack from the TV Series)

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Album Review

Starting in 2004, composer Bear McCreary broke the mold with his background music for the Sci Fi cable-TV channel's series Battlestar Galactica (not to be confused with the original series of the same name that ran on network television from 1978 to 1980, or the 2003 mini-series also called Battlestar Galactica). For McCreary, space was not to be the musical setting for sweeping symphonic themes, as it had been for his many predecessors. McCreary's space music was akin to world music, full of various contemporary ethnic styles and, more than anything else, drums. That's the sound heard especially on the soundtrack album for the first season and, to a lesser extent, the second season's CD as well. This time around, however, McCreary clearly states in his liner notes that he was making a virtue of necessity; if he didn't write symphonic pieces, it was because the producers "didn't want an orchestral score cluttering up their series," and, presumably, because they didn't want to pay the freight: "My approach bordering on minimalism, I set out scoring the first season with a small ensemble of ethnic percussion and woodwinds." Everything is different now. This third-season soundtrack credits 46 string players, along with nine other musicians. McCreary still loves drums, and he has a noticeable affinity for Indian music that is apparent immediately in the leadoff track, "A Distant Sadness" (which also features Raya Yarbrough singing lyrics in Armenian), as well as a taste for Celtic sounds that leads him to use uilleann pipes on several cues. But for the first time, music from the TV series takes a more conventional orchestral approach, and McCreary even plays a solo piano piece, "Battlestar Sonatica." Executive producer Ronald D. Moore contributes an extensive justification in his liner notes for the use of the Bob Dylan song "All Along the Watchtower" (with a sort of hard rock/Indian arrangement and vocals by BT4), a selection apparently not in keeping with the show's science-fiction setting. But it's hard to see why anyone would object; suspended disbelief has been a part of a musical appreciation of the series from the start.

Customer Reviews

bear mccreary is pure genius

I can't get enough of Bear's work. He has such a distinctive style and take. It's simply pure genius.

This album is frakkin' outstanding.

Okay, so you've listened to the two previous season's soundtracks, and watched all the episodes up until now. You're ready for more BSG awesomeness! Now, many fans of the show have declared that this is there least favorite season. "It's not as exciting." "The story goes hardly anywhere." To a certain extent, these people are correct. With a few exceptions (Crossroads, anyone?), the story does not escalade that much. So what is this season all about? The characters. This season delves into the characters of the show like it never has before. It explores where they are coming from, why they are the way they are, and answers the question, "What drives this character's decisions?" Alright, now to the music. Personally, this is my favorite BSG soundtrack. It is just so... fitting. It fits flawlessly into the show, and illustrates the anxiety, emotion, and raw humanness that the third season is all about. It has some fantastic action cues (Precipice, Storming New Caprica, Mandala In the Clouds, etc.), as well as some beautifully written character themes that have a classic sound of the old soundtracks, plus a new twist to accompany the changes that the characters go through, like the heart-wrenching Adama theme (Admiral and Commander), a beautifully written theme for Baltar (Battlestar Sonatica), and the sorrowful rendition of Kara's theme (Deathbed and Maelstrom). There are also some wonderful new gems, such as Wayward Soldier, Fight Night, and Dirty Hands. And then of course, everyone's favorite, All Along the Watchtower! This epic soundtrack closes off, yet gets things rolling, with the haunting Heeding the Call, and then kaboom! All Along the Watchtower is in your face, all out, and rockin' hard! And once again, by the end of the third season, it fits the tone of the show perfectly. I can't begin to explain how phenomenal Bear McCreary's work on the BSG soundtracks have been. In the third season, he creates a refreshing atmosphere filled with the anger, sadness, excitement, and jaw-dropping moments of Battlestar Galactica. He explores the characters and sheds a light on them that we have never seen before. The show is driven by this powerful music. If you're an avid BSG fan like myself, this soundtrack is a no-brainer, along with all the rest of the albums. Buy and enjoy.

All Along The Watchtower

For years I've known of BSG's presence on television but I never really gave the show a chance until last January 2013. Omg, how could I have missed this show?! I love it! So many elements from drama, politics, religion, military, sci-fi. The soundtrack definitely pushed the stories forward. All Along The Watchtower made my hair stand when I heard it. 4 of the final 5 finding out who they really are, Apollo investigating something weird on Dradis only to find out the Starbuck has returned. Great end to Season 3!

Biography

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '00s

Score composer Bear McCreary was born in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on February 17, 1979, the son of the writer Laura Kalpakian. He obtained degrees in Composition and Recording Arts from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and became a protégé of the film composer Elmer Bernstein, for whom he reconstructed and re-orchestrated the score for the 1963 film Kings of the Sun, resulting in the recording of a new album of the music. After scoring a number of short films in the...
Full Bio

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Battlestar Galactica: Season 3 (Original Soundtrack from the TV Series), Bear McCreary
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: Oct 23, 2007

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