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Star Trek
Album Cover Art
2009 Varèse
2010 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
2019 Varèse
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Tim Simonec

Co-Orchestrated by:
Peter Boyer
Richard Bronskill
Jack Hayes
Larry Kenton
Chad Seiter
Chris Tilton

Performed by:
The Hollywood Studio Symphony
Labels Icon
Varèse Sarabande
(original issue)
(May 5th, 2009)

Varèse Sarabande
(expanded set)
(May 31st, 2010)

Varèse Sarabande
(September 27, 2019)
Availability Icon
The 2009 album is a regular U.S. release. The 2010 2-CD set was limited to 5,000 copies and sold primarily through soundtrack specialty outlets. It had a retail price of $30 through Varèse Sarabande's own website, although because the company did not offer the item at wholesale prices to other venders, those outlets typically offered the product for about $40. The 2010 product sold out after several years, prompting Varèse to re-issue the same contents in 2019 for another 1,500 copies also valued at $30 initially.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you have forgiven Michael Giacchino for boldly going to a style of striking action and simplistically obvious main theme that totally refreshed the musical style of the franchise.

Avoid it... if you expect to hear any satisfying semblance of fantasy or the heart of tradition in Giacchino's first "Star Trek" score or if you desire an album release that represents the choral mixes you hear in the film.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 5/10/09, REVISED 7/5/20
Star Trek: (Michael Giacchino) After ten motion pictures and over 700 hours of television episodes, it was perhaps inevitable that Paramount would eventually succumb to the temptation to reboot the lastingly popular "Star Trek" franchise. If ever necessary, perhaps the late 2000's was the right time, rekindling the fire before the embers had died off completely after the concept's life on television had been extinguished with an unceremonious abbreviation to the "Enterprise" series a few years prior. With so much lore memorized by adoring fans, the "Star Trek" franchise reboot was a tricky prospect, potentially alienating the very viewership from which Paramount wished to milk solid grosses once again. For this endeavor, the studio turned to wildly successful television director J.J. Abrams, a non-Trekkie, to ensure that a fine balance between loyalty and revitalization was achieved. And, for the most part, Abrams has once again succeeded; while a certain amount of annoyance was stirred amongst concept die-hards due to a few liberties taken with the history of the franchise's oldest back stories, enough major connections and trivial nods were employed in the script and other production values to please mainstream audiences at the very least. It is somewhat unfortunate that this restarting of the franchise could not exist without the paradoxes of time travel and a singularly one-dimensional villain who some would say is too similar to the archrival in the previous film, Star Trek: Nemesis. These aspects, as well as some dubious art direction seemingly dialed in through time by the contemporary designers of Apple, Inc., didn't stop the film from earning over $76 million in its opening weekend, 50% greater than Paramount had hoped. From $4 million in pre-midnight screenings on the night before its opening to $8 million in IMAX showings during the same weekend, a consensus of positive reviews assisted in solidifying the studio's prior inclination to immediately green-light production of Star Trek Into Darkness for 2013 utilizing, obviously, the rebooted crew and a cameo for an enthusiastic Leonard Nimoy, who quickly expressed interest in a continued role of some kind. Along for that ride was composer Michael Giacchino, fresh off of his rare, clean awards sweep for the functionally pretty but outrageously overrated music for Up.

At 42 years of age at the time of this assignment, Giacchino was among those who grew up with the William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy films of the 1980's, himself an admitted fan of the music to come from those films. As Abrams' regular collaborator, his involvement in 2009's Star Trek was never really doubted. Hopes for his approach to the reboot were high for a number of reasons, foremost being the amount of talent the (then) Oscar-nominated composer had exhibited from the "Medal of Honor" video games to Pixar features and several franchise and concept reboots already in his career, and this was before he took over the Jurassic Park and Spider-Man franchises. Anyone familiar with his creative adaptation of his "Medal of Honor" music into both his "Lost" television and Ratatouille film music knew his capability to smartly incorporate existing material, even if sometimes with a tongue in cheek attitude. For a few film score collectors, there was a wish to revisit Cliff Eidelman in the franchise. While his career in Hollywood never achieved the success that many had believe was inevitable in the early 1990's, Eidelman's music for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country represents an extremely compelling single entry in the franchise that adeptly closed the Kirk and Spock era with a keen balance of gothic menace and heroic fanfare. With the legendary Jerry Goldsmith's death and an assumption that none of the previous composers (on screens big or small) would be involved in the eleventh picture, Giacchino was among the best alternatives, serving as a capable and young voice for this franchise with the same potential for fruitful longevity in the concept that David Arnold had proven to be for several James Bond films dating to 1997. Perhaps not surprising are the numerous similarities between the intentions behind Giacchino's work for Star Trek and Arnold's highly acclaimed music for Casino Royale, the Bond franchise's equivalent reboot. Both scores utilize a familiar canvas for their basic atmosphere, not rocking the boat (as, for instance, the producers of "Enterprise" had decided to dabble with by employing a rock song incongruous to the series' underscores), and both were intentionally constructed without overt connections to the franchises' previous music until the maturation of the characters at the end of their initial stories. The fact that Giacchino's score sounds, in many places, more appropriate for a Daniel Craig era Bond film, however, is most likely an odd coincidence.

Therein lies the most intriguing aspect of this soundtrack. The lack of obvious references to themes by Goldsmith or James Horner isn't necessarily a detriment, and the withholding of Alexander Courage's fanfare and theme from "The Original Series" until the end isn't particularly bothersome. "J.J. and I decided to hold off on that famous theme as long as we could," said Giacchino at the film's debut. "And, when we do use it, it's almost a reward for everything the characters have gone through." After the success of Arnold's unhindered performance of Monty Norman's original Bond theme at the end of Casino Royale, nobody can really fault Giacchino for delaying the same kind of popular connection in Star Trek. But far more interesting about Giacchino's music for this film is the fact that it doesn't exude any of the deeper, atmospheric characteristics of a usual Star Trek venture. It plays as though its personality is 70% focused on adventure and 30% focused on drama, and nowhere to be heard at any point is the concept of fantasy. At the heights of the Goldsmith, Horner, and Eidelman scores, there was an intangible element of awe that accompanied the concept of "the final frontier." In the scores of those three composers, this idea manifested itself in the form of majesty from slow tempi, broad strokes, and a deeply resounding sense of impact. Perhaps Horner's sea-faring title theme best represents this sense of larger than life fantasy, though Goldsmith's original 1979 score certainly poured on this element outside of its own fanfare. For Eidelman, a certain reliance on Gustav Holst's "The Planets" provided this feeling. Despite Giacchino's assertion that he did work some inspiration from these scores into his own music, that connection seems buried in mostly obscure progressions. Instead of addressing the element of fantasy as any strong score in this franchise has done before, the composer has instead created a straight forward adventure score that would be, with only a touch of jazz, a competent James Bond entry. A lack of any significant role for electronic rhythms or other effects contributes to this feeling, and it is possible that the extremely fast-paced narrative of the film precluded any notion of expansive majesty in this entry. On the whole, however, Star Trek doesn't fit in any tangible way with its predecessors, much like Leonard Rosenman's strikingly different tone for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. You know you're in for a shock when you hear the slamming orchestra hits in Giacchino's main title, a technique he reprises a few times to keep the adrenaline pounding.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.06 Stars
***** 340 5 Stars
**** 372 4 Stars
*** 402 3 Stars
** 356 2 Stars
* 294 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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In response to the question of sound quality
Rebecca - January 29, 2011, at 4:58 p.m.
1 comment  (1455 views)
From Courage to Giacchino: a Star Trek Legacy
Rebecca - January 25, 2011, at 11:19 p.m.
1 comment  (1484 views)
Vulcan Theme; appropriate?
Glass - November 4, 2010, at 12:50 a.m.
1 comment  (1723 views)
Deluxe Edition leaves out choir   Expand >>
Mac.K - June 16, 2010, at 6:51 p.m.
2 comments  (2646 views)
Newest: June 21, 2010, at 4:42 p.m. by
Star Trek, to boldly go.. nowhere
Mike - November 18, 2009, at 2:05 p.m.
1 comment  (1729 views)
Solid Four Star score
Roman - August 10, 2009, at 10:07 p.m.
1 comment  (1619 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
2009 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 44:52
• 1. Star Trek (1:03)
• 2. Nailin' the Kelvin (2:09)
• 3. Labor of Love (2:51)
• 4. Hella Bar Talk (1:55)
• 5. Enterprising Young Men (2:39)
• 6. Nero Sighted (3:23)
• 7. Nice to Meld You (3:13)
• 8. Run and Shoot Offense (2:04)
• 9. Does It Still McFly? (2:03)
• 10. Nero Death Experience* (5:38)
• 11. Nero Fiddles, Narada Burns (2:34)
• 12. Back from Black (0:59)
• 13. That New Car Smell (4:46)
• 14. To Boldly Go* (0:26)
• 15. End Credits* (9:11)
* contains the original television theme by Alexander Courage
2010/2019 Varèse Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 98:50

Notes Icon
The insert of the 2009 album includes a list of performers and a note from the director. The 2010 set comes in a larger hard-cover book and contains the same note from the director and list of performers, as well as a note from science fiction industry guru Kerry O'Quinn. The rest of the 20+ pages of the set features photography from the film and one shot from the recording sessions. The 2019 re-issue reduced the same booklet contents into a standard jewel case.
Copyright © 2009-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Star Trek are Copyright © 2009, 2010, 2019, Varèse Sarabande (original issue), Varèse Sarabande (expanded set), Varèse Sarabande (re-issue) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/10/09 and last updated 7/5/20.
The villain's name in this film may have special meaning for descendents of World War II Danish immigrants.
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