Let's Listen to Star Trek: Season Two!

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Tallguy, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Hello all! Last August I had the following idea: “Let's all listen to Star Trek TOS episode scores on the anniversaries of the days they were recorded!” Over at Film Score Monthly I started a thread and I posted my comments on the 47th anniversary of each scoring session for season one. (I don't want to wait three years for 50.)

    http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=98235&forumID=1&archive=0

    Well, here we are for Season Two.

    47 years ago (yesterday) Alexander Courage recorded a new (and probably definitive) version of the series opening and closing credits. I prefer the Fred Steiner season one arrangement, but this is the one that everyone knows with the soprano vocals.

    He also recorded a handful of library cues. Wow are these a treasure. Several of them are used for some of the most memorable moments of Star Trek. I can’t hear “Sad and Thoughtful on Captain’s Theme” without hearing Kirk recite the Constitution. Captain Playoff #3 (Sad and Alone) is the big downer finish to Private Little War.

    I love Ship in Orbit (Big). I’m not a big fan of New Sexy Exotic just because it sounds so much like Vina’s theme from The Cage. Smooth Neutral is lovely. Fight on Captain’s theme is a lot like Kirk and Mitchell’s fight from Where No Man but with a little more oomph. Watch out for that fake Andorian, Captain!

    These tracks are wonderful and a real selling point for the 15 disc set. They would never have been a part of any “episode” soundtrack.

    Then there are Courage’s re-recordings of various first season cues. It’s interesting to hear Courage conducting Steiner.

    Charlie X: It’s a keeper! (Interesting that both Steiner and Courage re-recorded different parts of this score on different days for the second season.)

    Chime in everybody! It’s Season Two!

    I’ll be back on 6/21 for Gerald Fried’s Catspaw.
     
  2. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Hmmm. What a tremendous response...

    Catspaw! Man, I just cannot get into this score. I’ve been trying for a week. When I got the Box I went through this pretty quick because I knew I had greater things ahead. But since this week is JUST about Catspaw, I’ve been concentrating on just it. And, well… Man, I just cannot get into this score.

    It is quite a change in mood moving into season 2. But I also know that anything that I like in Catspaw I’m going to get again in Friday’s Child.

    Fried’s action theme is terrific. It’s interesting that he ties it directly to Captain Kirk when it plays more as music for the show in general.

    He has this propulsive music in Orbiting Ship that sounds like squad car music a la Star Trek.

    Ok, I did the mysterious music in Fog Planet. But I don’t like the “sound FX-y” music in Witches.

    I guess Fried was really hit or miss with me. (Not a big Shore Leave fan either.) This isn’t a score I revisit on purpose very often.

    What does everyone else think?

    Next up on July 7, Friday's Child! (Maybe... I need to go look at the liner notes...)
     
  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Apart from the ship in orbit fanfares, I'm not big on "Catspaw" either. My big Fried episodes are "The Paradise Syndrome," "Shore Leave," and to an extent "Amok Time."

    It might look like I'm not a Fried fan, but my outsized love for "The Paradise Syndrome" and the mural theme from Roots say different. He's great.
     
  4. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    OMG, the fight music in this episode is amazing. This is a great score, this and Friday's Child are my favorites after The Doomsday Machine. Really great, muscular stuff which gets regular play in my playlist.

    I wasn't a fan of his "covered wagons" theme for the Ship in Orbit, and I see Bob Justman wasn't so hot for them either, since he substituted Alexander Courage's library music in their stead for the most part.
     
  5. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    I'll have to go check that out. I'm not a fan of the episode itself either. :)

    BTW, here is June / July:

    6/28/67 Metamorphosis
    7/7/67 Friday's Child
    7/10/67? The Apple (This says “Recorded with Friday’s Child", but it lists a date of 7/10)
    7/12/67 Who Mourns for Adonais
    7/12/67 Charlie X Library
    7/19/67 Amok Time
    7/19/67 Wolf in the Fold
     
  6. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    Somehow I missed this thread but I love what you are doing!! I listen to the set frequently but I will also concentrate my attention on specific parts based on your anniversary dates!!


    Thanks for the heads-up
     
  7. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    47 years is a weird anniversary, but I didn't want to wait for 50. I didn't post the first season here, but I should have. Glad you like it.

    I've never watched TOS as a week to week show. But really getting into the production order of the scores has been an eye opener. For example there were no season two scores recorded after 1967!
     
  8. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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  9. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It’s $225 on the LaLa Land website, That’s never going to change. There are a TON of costs involved in releasing scores. That’s what keeps a lot of releases of old music from happening.
     
  10. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    And cheap at the price! (I admit, getting the money together for this set was a non-trivial endeavor.) The fact that a year and a half later I still listen to this all the time certainly makes it a worthwhile purchase.
     
  11. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    QFT!

    I don't think more than a "tiny march of days" goes by before I listen to it again. I'm always going back to this music.
     
  12. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    And it's worth every penny.
     
  13. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not it my financial situation. And with all you guys shelling out big bucks I'd feel shitty about torrenting it, so I guess I'll have to live without.
     
  14. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    I’ve been on vacation, so I haven’t had time to post. I did listen to Metamorphosis and Friday’s Child. (No, I didn’t listen to the drums from The Apple.)

    Short answer: I love both of these. Metamorphosis is my favorite Duning score. I generally think his scores get a little long winded even though they are lovely. This one hits just the right pacing. (Although Return to Tomorrow has my favorite track.)

    Friday’s Child just rocks. It’s like Amok Time’s less famous little brother. His Enterprise fanfares here are my favorites. This really is the “sound” of season two. (Although obviously we get a lot of Amok Time and Doomsday Machine.)

    Next up:
    7/12/67 Who Mourns for Adonais
    7/12/67 Charlie X Library
     
  15. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Who Mourns for Adonais: Fred Steiner

    It’s funny, because there seems to be a difference of opinion on how much John Powell reused of the original for How to Train Your Dragon 2. I think it’s not much, and it’s all different arrangements. And the new stuff is stunning. Other people think it's a lot of recycling.

    I’ve had a hard time getting into Who Mourns because it starts out with Corbomite Maneuver and then seems to go through Steiner’s Greatest Hits. Not that I don’t love these scores, but if you’re going to track an episode, then track it and give us another full score! Because of this I can be a little dismissive of the score as a whole.

    Now I've realized I don’t think I give this score a fair shake. Again, when you get into his new stuff it’s stunning. Apollo’s Storm is rightly lauded as a highlight of the series. I especially like End of Apollo. There are some particularly Herrmannesque passages.

    At the same time Steiner re-recorded Chess Game and Zap Sam from Charlie X. For whatever reason, I like the season 2 versions a little better. They feel a little tighter. Maybe I associate them with S2 episodes more? It’s amazing that we get a set that is so complete that we get these.

    Next week: Amok Time!
     
  16. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Is that stuff tracked? Or did Steiner write a full score, incorporating motifs that he had used for earlier scores?


    I'm not following any of this. Did the score for How To Train Your Dragon 2 have some music from Star Trek in it??
     
  17. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    No, it's not tracked. He incorporated it into the score.

    HTTYD had no Star Trek music in it (that might have been cool). It was a sequel that (like Who Mourns) incorporated previous themes and arrangements.
     
  18. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Well, this is one of the 900 lb gorillas of Star Trek. When the TOS Box came out people would ask "Why would you want 15 CDs of Nah Nah NAAA NAAA NAAA NAAA NAAA NA NA NA NA?"

    For all of the recognition that The Fight music gets for me the real standout of this music is Spock's theme. I like Spock music. Loved Goldsmith's in TMP, loved Horner's in TWOK and TSFS, loved Eidelman's retread of Horner in TUC and I adore Giacchino's theme for Spock in JJ-Trek.

    But Fried really set the gold standard. That bass guitar manages to be cold and unfeeling while also being profoundly sad. The string version of the theme certainly doesn't hurt. I love the way it's played at the end of the episode when Spock is talking with T'Pau.

    The music under T'Pring's speech is mercifully dialed out. I hated this kind of plink plink music in Catspaw too.

    One of the interesting discoveries for me in this set is discovering Fried's theme for Kirk. It's kind of like Giacchino's Kirk theme in that it's all action and danger rather than Courage or Steiner's Captain themes which are more exploration and discovery and the loneliness of command. Watching the episode I was surprised at how specific his use of the theme is. When Kirk is talking with Spock at the beginning of the episode the music is Spock's theme but when Kirk calls the bridge to order the diversion to Vulcan the music switches to the Kirk theme. A small thing but it caught my attention.

    Fried's Enterprise music is a little over the top. Which is probably why they tracked in Duning and Courage music for the teaser and the titles.

    The ceremony music / fight music is pretty terrific. I like how it's foreshadowed when Spock is describing Pon Far. I always thought it was interesting that when Sarek is introduced rather than using the cold calculating Spock theme they used the crazy combative ceremony music.

    That's it. See you on 8/30 for The Doomsday Machine!
     
  19. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Whoops! A few days late. Long weekend here in the States.

    Well here we are for The Doomsday Machine. I think Amok Time is probably better known than this one to the teeming masses. But since I was a little boy this score has always been definitive Star Trek.

    Kaplan brings back his Enterprise fanfare from Enemy Within. Unlike, say, Gerald Fried, Kaplan never really changed this much. As evidenced from the opening track where it plays like forty times.

    He uses Courage’s fanfare quite a bit. He makes it heroic he makes it menacing.

    Then there’s his Constellation theme. It’s haunting and forlorn. It plays like the sound of far away battlefields, glory long past. I love when it’s played on xylophone during Commodore Matt Decker.

    And of course his Doomsday theme. Jaws before there was Jaws. If this didn’t have you on the edge of your seat it was because it had knocked you to the floor.

    I didn’t go back and watch the episode with this one like I did with Amok Time. I know there is some music that was either left out or changed, but I can’t tell you what off the top of my head.

    A terrific score. One of the best. We had a very nice representation of it on the old GNP disc. The TOS Box is truly a treat.
     
  20. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    A quick tech note about this score. The GNP album used an incorrect take for one of the cues and that has now crept its way into the multi-channel remix of the remastered episode. The La-La Land set uses the correct take, which can still be heard on the mono track on the Blu-ray. I can't remember which cue it is, just know that the LLL set is the correct take.

    Neil