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Star Trek: The Motion Picture (20th Anniversary Collectors' Edition)

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Album Review

Issued in 1999 after some considerable delay (and heavily available as a promo before that), this double-CD set corrects a lot of the mistakes that were made on the original LP and CD releases. For starters, there are about 20 more minutes of music from the film here — Columbia Records obviously wanted to hold the original LP release to one disc, but they still could have gotten most, if not all, of the extra material on. The additional music isn't anything profound, because all of the major thematic material was represented on the original LP and its CD equivalent — it's mostly just more of the Vejur oscillations over dark orchestral chords, but anything that gets more Jerry Goldsmith music into print is intrinsically OK. Indeed, listening to the full score here, it is more apparent than ever just how important Goldsmith's score was to the lethargically paced, deeply troubled film — almost all of the majesty, excitement, and mystery that the screen was supposed to present actually resides in the music, and Goldsmith probably deserved an Academy Award, not just a nomination, for his contribution to this movie. Additionally, one of the new tracks, "Spock's Arrival," may be the closest that Goldsmith has ever come to writing serious music in a pure Romantic idiom; this could have been the work of Rimsky-Korsakov or Stravinsky — it's that good. And all of the music has been remastered in state-of-the-art 20-bit sound, so the previously available parts of the score sound deeper and brighter — one also gets echoes of his score for Alien amid the sweeping orchestral passages. The second disc is given over to the reissue of the mid-'70s Inside Star Trek LP, which was a Columbia release — it's mostly talk by creator/producer Gene Roddenberry with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and Nichelle Nichols, with some comments by Isaac Asimov, some theme music, and some sound effects. It won't tell you much that the interviews accompanying the Sci-Fi Channel's rebroadcast of the uncut original series didn't, but it's handy to have as an improbable CD re-release.

Customer Reviews

The finest of the Trek soundtracks

I'm amazed no Trekkies have boldly gone here before with their own review of this two-CD release. Jerry Goldsmith really left his mark on Paramount's Star Trek franchise. This soundtrack, commissioned for the first Trek motion picture in 1979, remains the most memorable music associated with the program. Goldsmith's Main Title for the film was recycled for use in Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as in subsequent Trek features, and the overall style he applied to this soundtrack wormed its way into virtually all subsequent Trek music. This edition of the soundtrack has been expanded - it now includes cues not present on the original 1979 soundtrack LP - and remastered. As one of the first films to feature a digitally-recorded soundtrack the original Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack CD sounded quite good, if a bit shrill in spots. That shrillness has been somewhat corrected here and the fidelity seems noticeably superior, perhaps in part because the overall levels have apparently been boosted. Highlights include the stirring main titles, the evocative Klingon battle music (Goldsmith's Klingon theme would be quoted for the next 25 years by subsequent Trek productions), his passionate theme for the Enterprise herself, and his nautical "Leaving Drydock" piece, written to accompany one of the most lengthy and impressive special effects sequences since 2001 A Space Odyssey a decade before. Indeed, Goldsmith's soundtrack was the only aspect of this film which won universal praise upon its release, and it remained one of the if not the biggest-selling disc of his career. Many of the lengthy, tedious effects sequences in the movie succeed only thanks to Goldsmith's inspiring music. His work here is all the more impressive when you realize that Goldsmith was frequently working off of prints still wet from the developers, as Paramount raced to have the film completed in time for Christmas, 1979. The Main Title and Klingon Battle sequence which opens the film was recorded literally hours before the film's Los Angeles debut. This two disc release also includes an expanded, remastered version of the venerable spoken-word disc Inside Star Trek, hosted by Trek creator Gene Roddenberry himself. The album, originally recorded in the mid-'70s, features interviews with William Shatner and the late DeForest Kelley, along with Roddenberry's recollections of the series itself and his own autobiographical musings. Nichelle Nichols has recorded a brief new intro to the work. It's all certain to prompt a wave of nostalgia from any old school Trekkie who cares to give it a listen.

One of the BEST movie scores EVER!!

This is one of Jerry Goldsmith's crowning achievments. Not only THE best Star Trek music ever written, but one of the best movie scores ever written. Right up there with John Williams' "Star Wars" and "Superman" scores. Even non-Trekkies will thrill to this majestic score.

Only A Single Track

Right now, there is only a single track on here, and I don't think it's even from this CD. iTunes, please correct this. Thank you.

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture (20th Anniversary Collectors' Edition), Gene Roddenberry
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music, Original Score
  • Released: 1979

Customer Ratings