Audio: On the Score with “Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection”
ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records
There was something undeniably daring about television music in the 1960s, especially when it came to the sound of sci-fi. From anthologies to space-wrecked families and alien invaders, networks were intent on bringing both intensely melodic, and eerily unfamiliar strains to their ambitious shows, where limited orchestras could convey a imagination worthy of their theatrical competitors.
But among all the remarkable cues produced for the likes of “The Outer Limits,” “Lost in Space” or “The Invaders,” no body of television music continues to live on like the iconic theme and adventurous tunes encountered by the Enterprise during its three seasons spent on NBC. Though Captain Kirk and crew wouldn’t fulfill their five-year mission (at least on the small screen), they’d encounter a myriad of styles while visiting strange new worlds over 79 episodes. Percussively barbaric combat, symphonic space battles, Irish jigs, electronic eeriness and the orchestral nobility of creator Gene Roddenberry’s utopian vision for the future were just some of the tones conjured by composers Alexander Courage, George Dunning, Jerry Fielding, Gerald Fried, Sol Kaplan, Samuel Matlovsky, Joseph Mullendore and Fred Steiner.
While these men often scored specific episodes, their output was “tracked” to compose an expertly edited music library, creating a remarkably thematic consistency to the show. Indeed, only a few notes of Fried’s music for “Amock Time,” Steiner’s spinning “Space Cube” or the pulsating percussion and eerie voices of Fred Steiner’s “The Cage” will instantly flash Trekkies back to any number of favorite episodes, let alone the imaginative wonder of childhoods where continuous “Trek” reruns opened up new worlds well beyond the boob tube. “Star Trek’s” music has of course continued its ever-changing voyage through the spin-off’s to arrive after the success of the franchise’s movie voyages. Yet, there continues to be no match for the robustly melodic power of “Classic Trek’s” music. And while some of its most popular episodic selections have seen release through the decades from vinyl to CD, a dilithium mine’s worth of long sought-after material has remained tantalizingly out of reach for diehard fans.
Now at long last, Trekkie wishes the planet over have been fulfilled, and then some, by La La Land Record’s “Star Trek: The Original Soundtrack Collection.” Collecting every re-mastered note of the show onto 15 discs that comprise 636 tracks, the box set also offers a wealth of unheard music to make for over 17 hours of listening pleasure to make any Trekkie’s heart sing. Chronicling this treasure trove are four booklets, written by “Star Trek” musical expect Jeff Bond, all making for a truly historical release that goes where no soundtrack holy grail has gone before.
Now on a special episode of “On the Score,” La La Land label heads Michael Gerhard and Matt Verboys are joined by album producers Lukas Kendall, Neil S. Bulk and Jeff Bond to talk about the formidable task of assembling a “Star Trek” box set that would live up to the expectations of sci-fi’s most diehard followers, let alone for their own love for what just might be television’s most seminal, and eternal TV series- the musical birth of which remains unmatched in its bold power.
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“Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection” will be available for purchase on Wednesday, December 3rd at Lalalandrecords.com. Or buy it one day earlier if you already have a ticket for for La La Land’s sold out Star Trek event at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater on Tuesday, December 2nd
Watch a video on the making of “Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection”