The Star Trek Album

Conductor: Nic Raine
Performers: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Silva Screen
RRP £14.79
Available now

Nic Raine and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the people who brought us
The James Bond Album and The Indiana Jones Trilogy, have now turned their attention towards the music of Star Trek. But how do you encapsulate nearly forty years' worth of Trek music on two CDs...?

Well, the brutally frank answer is that you can't. As a result, there are some glaring omissions from this compilation, which spends more time covering the movies than it does the various incarnations of the television series.

From the original show we have a version of the main theme and a suite from The Menagerie; one track ("Tasha's Farewell") from The Next Generation; the theme plus two other moving tracks from Deep Space Nine; the Voyager theme... and that's it for the TV series. I knew this compendium would have to be selective, but if you're only going to cover one "Classic" Trek episode, then why not the fantastic music from The Doomsday Machine? And if you're only going to include one TNG episode, then why not the riveting Best of Both Worlds? On the other hand, I can understand the lack of incidental music from Voyager and Enterprise, because on the whole their scores have been relatively bland.

Despite the lack of television music, it's curious that Silva Screen has found room to include the opening theme to a computer game, Starfleet Academy. However, this is composed by the excellent Ron Jones, who scored The Best of Both Worlds, so it kind of makes up for the absence of any of his TNG music.

The movie music is dominated by end title medleys. This allows for many of the themes from each film to be brought together in a single track. One disadvantage of this approach, though, is that all the Jerry Goldsmith end titles include several minutes of his Motion Picture/Next Generation theme alongside the other signatures. This means that you have to sit through five versions of his theme, most of which are virtually identical to each other.

The two CDs also include rather inaccurate "re-creations" of sound effects, such as "Warp Drive", "Dogfight in Space" and "Crash Landing". I could quite easily have lived without these.

But I'm accentuating the negative and eliminating the positive. For the most part, the music makes good listening. There are a few sour notes (the worst being an off-key Voyager theme) but for the most part, and in common with Nic Raine's previous Bond and Indy albums, this collection offers stunningly accurate renditions of some of our favourite tunes. I could list all the tracks that are worth listening to, but it would be a very long and tedious list, because most of the album is, in fact, excellent. It's just a pity that it was restricted to two CDs.

One last whinge before I go. The front cover is a bit '70s, isn't it? But if you're not too embarrassed to be seen buying it, then it's well worth making it so and setting a course for the nearest record store - warp factor 7.

Richard McGinlay


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