Carl is on hand with his recommendations of the best soundtracks to listen to whilst in lockdown
To help beat the coronavirus blues, for the foreseeable future, members of team Future of the Force will be on hand with our recommendations of awesome soundtracks to listen to during the COVID-19 lockdown. Whether its lesser-known gems, Oscar-winning classics or just celebrating the best composers – we’ll be here to give you our top picks during this difficult time.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Jerry Goldsmith
There are so many movie score composers that over the years have produced some of the best scores ever to go alongside the movies they feature in but there’s only really a handful that managed to create a catalogue of movie scores that will make up a huge music library on their own. Jerry Goldsmith is one of those people. Over the course of his life and career, he managed to create musical scores that still live on to this day and many of them are deserving of the title of masterpieces. Star Trek: The Motion Picture is one of them. Tasked with producing a score for the very first Star Trek film that would hit the big screen, Goldsmith struggled to find the exact sound he and the producers wanted for the film. He went through several ideas until he hit upon the one that is now, still to this day, one of his most famous and most enjoyable. The themes from the original score lent themselves not only to a further four big-screen outings but to the ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation‘ TV show too. And of course, his themes have once again come into play with the recent ‘Star Trek: Picard‘ show that is currently available to view on Amazon Prime. Forty-one years after its creation, the score still lives on.
Many fans will instantly recognise the now-familiar opening titles march but the soundtrack(s) also encompass the opening to the film, the flight through space accompanied by ‘Ilia’s Theme’. The mastery of Goldsmith’s score is all in the listening. As the film was designed to be a one-off experience, so the score is an orchestral and rousing piece, an all-encompassing score of incredible magnitude, a cinematic score designed to not only describe the action and drama portrayed on the screen but to bring it to life, to elicit a feeling of euphoria from the audience, all of which is replicated by listening to the soundtrack alone. There have been at least three versions of it issued over the years, from the original 1979 release through to an expanded edition that wasn’t quite complete up to a three-disc set that completes the score finally and gives the listener the full experience.
To say there are many moments that send tingles down the spine as the music swirls and plays, to bring a smile to the face of the listener as the majesty of what Goldsmith has created would be a complete understatement. Listen to the six-minute-long track ‘The Enterprise’. We start off slowly and quite movingly as the crescendo starts to build until we are rewarded with a fantastic blast of the main theme as the music begins to get more dramatic. It is a fantastic piece of music and one that is used to brilliant effect once again at the film’s climax. Goldsmith continues to present a terrific score throughout the soundtrack and even uses and utilises some blasts of music that were first used in the TV show during dramatic proceedings. And of course, although many fans were unhappy with its relegation to a cameo appearance in the score, the classic original show theme gets a chance to once again be heard, this time with a full orchestra behind it, bringing it to a whole new generation of fans and delighting the older generation.
The score is delightful from the start to the final notes of the end credits as they fade away. The emotional content that the music brings is beyond reproach and the listener is taken on a musical journey that they will enjoy from the start. Several of the themes that were premiered here reappear later on in the film series, starting with ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier‘ before being put away again only to resurface in a three-film arc starting with ‘Star Trek: First Contact‘ followed by ‘Star Trek: Insurrection‘ and climaxing with ‘Star Trek: Nemesis‘ and the sad death of Goldsmith from Cancer. However, he left behind some of the greatest musical film scores there has and possibly will ever be. ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture‘ is the score that started my love affair with Goldsmith and his music and is one that I cannot recommend highly enough to all soundtrack enthusiasts and film fans across the globe, wherever they reside.
Stay safe and look after each other.
Let us know if you have any suggestions of great soundtracks our readers should check out and we’ll feature and share them with the FOTF community.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!