The Music Of Star Trek

Classical Music In Space

Since Star Trek: The Motion Picture, classical music has been at the core of Star Trek. Jerry Goldsmith created the epic music that defined most of Star Trek for decades, along with music for other movies I watch frequently like Total RecallAlien and The Burbs. Dennis McCarthy, Ron Jones, Cliff Eidelman and others have contributed and sometimes collaborated throughout the series. I purchased two soundtracks from Starland by mail order (nice to see they still exist). The work that Michael Giacchino has done with the three recent films has been excellent, particularly the opening scene in Star Trek 2009 where Captain Thor dies amid a thousand lens flares.

Ooby Dooby

Time travel provides a fun opportunity to introduce 20th century music to the people of the 23rd and 24th century. When Spock and Kirk are traveling by public transit in 1986, they encounter a punk listening to “I Hate You” by Edge of Etiquette. That Jim Kirk didn’t like loud music. I agree with the punk on this one.

Punk

Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact introduced the Vulcans to Roy Orbison, and the Enterprise-D crew to Canadian rock band Steppenwolf. He also liked dancing as though his torso was going to fall off.

Space Cowboys

“Faith Of The Heart” performed by Rod Stewart charted at number 3 in the US. Somehow, studio execs thought that qualified it to be the theme to Star Trek: Enterprise, performed by Russell Watson. Choosing a country song to represent a futuristic spacecraft wasn’t well received. If you’re binge watching, it quickly grates on your nerves. The exception was the “Mirror Mirror” alternate timeline, which had an epic intro showing the divergent human history. Thank goodness the entire series was just a dream, and not in a good way, so it doesn’t count at all.

Sledgehammer

The reboot brought Star Trek further into mainstream and it was only a matter of time before they brought on a pop megastar. This song is a bit odd because the lyrics sound like they’re about crying and relationships. At the end, Rihanna becomes VGER or something. She explained it in an interview with Vogue but it seemed pretty flaky to me. But she did tattoo her face for the video, and that shows commitment.

It’s been a long road, gettin’ from there to here. You’re just another brick and I’m a sledgehammer. Etc.

Rihanna’s video has cool effects but it doesn’t even close to the groundbreaking animation in the original “Sledgehammer” video.

Sabotage

This video is still amazing. Playing the song loud might chase a few senior citizens from room. But then, the video is 22 years old and I’m middle-aged. But I have a very very difficult time believing that the same VHF frequency that we used to all watch free television over would be capable of blowing up a superior enemy. This is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen outside of a Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker film.

I did, however, like how the music was referred to as “classical” in the latest movie. It always bothered me that people in the 23rd and 24th century listened mainly to either weird alien music or classical from the early 19th century. The first time “Sabotage” was used in Star Trek 2009 was a pretty cool scene, once you get past the Nokia product placement.

Warp 11

Warp 11 is what real fan music sounds like. Here is “She Make It So” from the album Boldly Go Down On Me

Beyond Rihanna

Who do you think, will it be Jay-Z next? Taylor Swift? Maybe LMFAO or PSY. Op op op op Oppa Starfleet Style. Um, no.