Original TV Soundtrack

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Vols. 1-3

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The music for the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was composed by Dennis McCarthy, who started in variety television and moved on to the Dukes of Hazzard spinoff Enos. After a brief fallback from this dizzying height, he went on to The Barbara Mandrell Show and then to genre television, where he raised a few eyebrows with a pulsating, menacing, theme for V that displayed an extremely polished talent.

The two-hour pilot for Star Trek: The Next Generation had a few saving graces amid the blandness of a fairly boring story -- John DeLancie as Q, Patrick Stewart as Picard, the effects and some of the set design...and the music, which had an orchestral push to it that was worthy of the movies. Which isn't too surprising, considering that the main title theme utilizes the Jerry Goldsmith theme music from the first motion picture, as well as the original Alexander Courage Trek themes.

This album compiles music from "Encounter At Farpoint," mixing the music used in the show with music that was left out. The major surprise track here is the last on the album -- the original version of the main title music, composed by Dennis McCarthy (rather than the now-familiar Goldsmith version.) It begins with the standard Trek fanfare (without the spoken introduction) and mutates into a jauntily heroic piece of music that, having been dropped here, should have found its way instead to Superboy -- it reminded me instantly of the John Williams music for Superman, but is far more memorable.

On the whole, this is an excellent soundtrack album, and a very good showing for McCarthy. The mixing and editing is superb, and it's a very pleasant listen indeed.

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