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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:           Genesis Countdown              6 min.
    Star Trek 3:           Stealing the Enterprise           8 min.
    Star Trek 4:           This                                      8 min.
    Star Trek 6:           Battle for Peace                    8 min.
    Star Trek 8:           The Dish                               7 min.
    Star Trek 9:           The Healing Process              7 min.
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 from LOTR.
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 theme.
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 tracks.
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 main theme.

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.)

Star Trek 4: The Final Score
Music Rating 3/10
Packaging/Liner Notes N/A
Orchestral Performance 8/10
Sound Quality 8/10
Length 4/10
ScoreSheet Raspberry Award!

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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.