Over the last couple of months, TrekCore has been covering the release of La-La Land Records’ complete soundtrack collection release of Star Trek: The Original Series. If you’ve missed it, check out our interviews with three of the producers on the set – Neil S. BulkLukas Kendall and Jeff Bond. You can also see a full track listing from the set as well as a large number of sample tracks. To wrap up our coverage, here’s the full TrekCore review of the set.

Star Trek: The Original Series The Complete Soundtrack
Published by La-La Land Records • 15 CDs
Limited Edition of 6000 Units
17 hours, 23 minutes

 

Buy from La-La Land Records

 

It only takes a few notes of the Star Trek Original Series fanfare to conjure up mental images of the Enterprise and her crew getting ready for another adventure. The music is not only iconic, but historic. Simple yet strong melodies have inspired countless musicians, have been parodied throughout the years and dearly cherished by Star Trek‘s fans.

Perhaps it’s a bit of nostalgia, but the lighthearted tones and the whimsical melodies are capable of conveying a strong image to even those who have never seen the series before.

This is the set that Star Trek fans have been dreaming of for over 40 years. The minefield of music licensing, royalties and copyrights had made such a project far too much of a financial risk for the majority of record labels, but La-La Land took the mugato by its horn and set about putting together this dream of a collection. Years in development, the producers of the set have worked tirelessly to ensure every note from all 80 original episodes is included in the best possible quality.

This daunting task of fulfilling a complete soundtrack has been masterfully done. Nothing has been cut out, every song from every episode is included and care for integrity is obvious. Even the most dedicated fans will not be left wanting more or questioning the integrity of the collection. Finding the exact recordings that were used must have been a difficult project, but discrepancies aren’t present, even throughout all 15 discs.

What’s especially exciting for fans are the extra takes and source music, since they’ve never been released before. For the first time, fans can listen to outtakes and retakes from songs they’ve heard countless times. Even recordings of sound effects that were never used — such as a collection of ideas for sound effects for tribbles.

Even after over 40 years, it’s amazing the sound quality is so pristine and more importantly, that the original music has even survived at all. One would expect the tracks to have a bit of background noise, but it’s rarely present and almost every track is completely clear with amazing quality. That’s a testament to the fact that the team went back to the original reels, diligently transferring them and enlisting the help of a global team to ensure the best possible sound quality. The majority of tracks are presented in mono sound, however fans can delight in listening to tracks from “The City on the Edge of Forever” in stereo, a true rarity for television from that time period.

Because original cue sheets have also been preserved, the original names of each title are available. Humorous titles like “Zap the Cap”, “Music to Dent Force Fields By” and “The Unreal McCoy” are an interesting look into the composer’s production process, while other titles like “The Crew That Was”, a track from the episode “The Doomsday Machine“, gives a harrowing reminder of what became of Commodore Decker’s crew.

Star Trek’s more dedicated fans will be able to determine which episode each track is from, if not the exact moment. Without referring to the physical packaging, it can often be difficult to figure out which episodes certain tracks pertain to. However fear not, the collection is accompanied by 4 wonderfully detailed booklets with notes from producer Jeff Bond. The liner notes are full of painstakingly researched information from the names of original musicians to factoids about cues and composers.

When the scores are listened to independently from the show, one can truly appreciate the merits of the theatrical, whimsical and distinct melodies. Iconic songs like that from the famous fight scene in “Amok Time” are easy examples. Imagery of conflict or anxiety is inescapable.

The set is housed in an elegant black box containing three CD boxes, each containing one season. The spine of the box sports a striking metallic effect logo of the Enterprise‘s top profile blueprint inside the Starfleet delta. Every part of the design of this set screams luxury at you.

The box holds four booklets, one housed separately (review set copy shown here signed by composer Gerald Fried, retail copies are not available signed) and one enclosed in each respective season case. Bookets sport imagery of the original Enterprise (not remastered) and each disc features a different character.

There’s no questioning the fact that at $225 the set is a considered purchase, but when you do the math that’s still just $15 a CD and more than worth the expense in my opinion. The financial commitment on La-La Land’s part has clearly been considerable given the huge number of people and entities who needed paying to make the set a possibility, so any cries of “screwing the fans” would be incredibly unjust for these guys. Based on the sheer amount of work that’s gone into this, I would humbly suggest it’s worth every cent and then some.

Overall? I can’t recommend this set enough. It’s been my absolute pleasure to pore through track after track, reliving episodes in my head as I go. The attention to detail, quality and completeness is astounding and I’m thrilled beyond measure that La-La Land managed to beat all the odds and put this set out for fans the world over. It’s an absolute gem of a collection, and I shall enjoy it for years to come. Bravo!

You can order the set from La-La Land’s website here. Numbers are limited to 6,000 copies.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
TOS Soundtrack Collection
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  • archer923

    If you’re of fan of music and a fan of TOS. This set is by far a must for you to own. The high price is justified by the amount of music and work gone into the set.

  • p’trick

    Was waiting online the day and hour it went on sale and having regretted the expense at all. Outstanding work.

    Not a big fan of the plastic cd-cases. They’re difficult to open and close. And they also leave one with the constant fear of the cd’s falling out of the thing. A booklet of some kind with sleeves for ALL the discs in the one booklet would have been easier. Considering that most of us will be transferring the music to our computers or iPhones anyway, this probably won’t inconvenience most fans. Regretably, none of the internet-music databases seem to have been updated with all of the title/track info on all 15 of the discs (as of this date).

    Yes indeed – another happy LaLaLand customer here.

  • p’trick

    Oops! Obviously meant to begin my comment by saying I have NOT regretted the expense at all.

  • GarySeven

    Totally digging my copy. It was my Christmas present to myself. Should thank my good buddy Nicky Walusko for picking up my copy at the release party. Texas is a long way from California.

    • Daddy Todd

      Nick Walusko of the Wondermints? BEST BAND EVER!

      Oh, and the Star Trek set is amazing. Listening even now.

  • Shatoupee

    Awesome set. I can die in peace now.

  • Khanomorph

    This set is an essential archive of the music from what is austensibly the best Star Trek series ever. I’ve waited decades for it, but considering what a fine job Mr. Bond and the others did on this — I have to say, it was worth the wait! There are some unmentioned suprises on the set.

    For example, the first track from Spock’s Brain is NOT the one used in the episode — at least in places.

    Yes, it’s an expensive set but get a second job if you have to — this set is a must-have for any TOS fan…and particularly for any fan of these scores. I’m really happy I can now say I own all the music from this series.

  • hypnotoad72

    It still floors me that the original tapes existed…

    And that the tape was 30IPS (30 inches of tape per second of recorded material!)

    Anyone who says the price is too high should take courses in audio restoration and preservation, and do the work needed to restore all of these pieces… (Do note: a reason why it’s on CD only is because CDs use an uncompressed format. All digital download media types use compressed audio…)

  • dep1701

    I haven’t stopped listening to it yet. I absolutely devoured it when it first arrived and made copies of each disc to carry in my car. I have a long drive to and from my job, and having these scores as background for the drives makes those journeys much more pleasant. An absolute dream come true and ( having previously worked in music reatil for nearly two decades I can attest to this ) worth every penny charged for it. Considering the time, expense and energy that went into making this set a reality, I was actually surprised it wasn’t MORE expensive. Another fantastic La-La-Land release ( and if you haven’t already done so, be sure to pick up their three disc set of the complete “Star Trek The Motion Picture” another breathtaking set ).

    • Khanomorph

      HA!! I use mine for commute time listening too!

  • morgram

    We trekkers have only been waiting for this for most of our lifetimes now la-la land has made the dream an absolute reality. A great birthday present to myself. Now we got the whole nut. A lot to go thru. I thought those “Is There in Truth No Beauty’ tracks sounded a bit mono-ish…but good! My soundblaster card will provide any needed enhancement.

  • morgram

    All I can say is whoa! pouring thru this stuff. The tracks from Charlie-X and The Corbomite Maneuver are fantastic and What Are Little Girls Made Of?’s track 44 is especially rewarding. Great great stuff. La-La Land and their crews deserve a starfleet commendation for inconspicuous gallantry.