STAR TREK IV:
THE VOYAGE HOME
by Leonard Rosenman
Who's idea was it to get Leonard Rosenman, of all people, to score a Star
Trek movie? I guess since the film was more comedic in tone, they
wanted someone besides James Horner. Anyway, this score is
pretty bad, with one of the principal themes copied straight from his earlier,
much better Lord of the Rings. Add to this the fact that there's
only about 27 minutes of score on this pathetic CD, and you've got a problem.
I suppose a few parts are not that bad, but, all in all, this is probably
the weakest Star Trek score (although I've heard Generations, which I don't
have yet, is worse.)
Track by Track Analysis:
1. Main Title (2:39)
After one of the only statements of Alexander Courage's original fanfare,
we get Rosenman's main theme, which is actually pretty good. It has
some nice chimes, and is very uplifting. Too bad the middle part
was copied from LOTR.
2. The Whaler (2:00)
Now we get a standard Rosenman action cue that could have come from
LOTR. It has his standard driving orchestral punches with a desperate
variation of the main theme.
3. Market Street (4:39)
Skip this. Trust me. It's a horrid 80's instrumental pop song.
4. Crash-Whale Fugue (8:15)
All of the Star Trek films except Generations and Trek 5 have had massive,
lengthy action set pieces. For example:
Star Trek: TMP The Klingon
Battle: 5 min.
Star Trek 2:
Battle in the Mutara Nebula 8 min.
Star Trek 2:
Star Trek 3:
Stealing the Enterprise
Star Trek 4:
Star Trek 6:
Battle for Peace
Star Trek 8:
Star Trek 9:
The Healing Process
Out of all these, this is by far the weakest. It's basically
low key variations on the main theme, with some dissonant action motifs
5. Ballad of the Whale (5:03)
See track 3. This time, it's based on one of Rosenman's themes.
6. Gillian Seeks Kirk (2:42)
This frantic action scherzo plays as Gillian realizes that they shipped
out her whales. Like the rest of the tracks, a lot of this is derived
from LOTR, although there are a few interesting statements of the main
7. Chekov's Run (1:19)
This is one of the better tracks, with another playful action scherzo.
Unlike the previous track, this is pure fun, with some comedic violin runs.
8. Time Travel (1:29)
As the crew travels back in time, Rosenman does some dissonant brass
and string writing. This is less listenable than most of the other
9. Hospital Chase (1:13)
Another highlight of the score, this is a parody of a Russian polka
that plays as they escape from the hospital. Too bad the two best
tracks are both just over one minute long.
10. The Probe (1:17)
The hopeless underscoring returns. We get more LOTR-derived action
bits, with an introduction of the Probe motif also heard in tracks 2 and
4. In the movie, this followed the main title.
11. Home Again: End Credits (5:40)
After many nondescript tracks, we finally reach the end title.
This time, he states Courage's original series theme a few times, which
segues into another performance of the main title. In the middle
is the San Francisco motif that track 5 was based on, which we didn't hear
at all in the score. Of course, this statement is ten times better
than that horrid 80's piece, and the CD ends with a last statement of the
Overall, this is one CD that hardly ever finds its way into my player.
If I want to hear the main theme, I might listen to this, and the two comedy
tracks are OK, but other than that, you should pass this one up, unless
you find it for dirt cheap, (which I did - $5 new.)
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Star Trek 4 is Copyright 1986 by MCA Records. Its appearance on this
site is for informational uses. Review Copyright 1999 by Andrew
Drannon. Opinions are not those of Tripod.