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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 7:38pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Brannon Braga is quoted in The Fifty-Year Mission as saying, "Those main titles with U2 are amazing. It's hip and cool, whereas the song we ended up with is awful. I'm a big fan of Diane Warren, she's a great songwriter, but this particular song and the way it was sung was tacky. I still cringe when I hear it and, by the way, I think the song had a lot to do with people's adverse reaction to the show. If you look at the main titles themselves, it's a really cool sequence. But the song is awful, just awful."
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Coincidentally, I recently stumbled onto a relatively new Podcast--INGLORIOUS TREKSPERTS, hosted by Mark A. Altman (co-author of THE FIFTY-YEAR MISSION) and Daren Dochterman. I'm totally hooked. It's great. They often have guest-hosts who have worked on TREK in its various iterations, and they geek out on plenty of topics. Their discussion topics tend to skew toward TOS, but the other iterations also get plenty of coverage.

Anyway, I listened to their excellent ENTERPRISE retrospective, the other day, and the origins of the song were discussed, so this is all fresh in my mind.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 7:44pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I feel awful for saying this, especially being the guy who regards TOS as The One True Star Trek, but I hate the theme tune. Never liked it. Even when I watched the show as a kid I wondered why the series had a theme that seemed better suited to a romantic comedy than a serious Science Fiction series. Lar-lar, lah-la-la-lal-larrr... nope, sorry.
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It should be noted that the Enterprise fanfare which precedes the actual theme tune is probably the most well-known piece of TREK music. Arguably, THAT'S the iconic music from the show, especially since it was carried over into (some of) the movies and TNG.

The actual TOS theme tune appears just a handful of times across the movies, and didn't appear at all in TNG. It really wasn't until Michael Giacchino went with a big, sweeping version for the end credits of the first AbramsTREK film that it was used in a significant way, post-TOS.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 7:47pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

...and Leonard Rosenman initially was going to use the TOS theme for the main titles of THE VOYAGE HOME:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9RrEZEArOw
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 7:58pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I think we can all agree though that the TOS theme with Roddenberry’s lyrics would have been awful.
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 9:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I always liked the ENTERPRISE opening scene and theme because they were trying something new. I still remember the pilot episode, watching it with my friend. As soon as the opening music started playing, he got up and left. Surprised, I asked him what he was doing. He stated this is is not Star Trek since ST does not have words in their opening theme and refused to watch the rest of the show. As far as I know, he never watched an episode. 
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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 9:09pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I might be remembering wrong, but I think I recall reading that Roddenberry only wrote the lyrics so that he would get half of the royalties for the composition, even if they were never intended to be used.

I do remember for sure that Mike Barr sneaked them into an early issue of DC's first Star Trek series as a song that Sulu and Uhura are singing during some down time. I never would have known except it was pointed out by an alert fan in a letter column a few months later.
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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 9:22pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

For anyone who's interested, here's one fan version of the Enterprise credits with "Beautiful Day":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TaI_cX08gc

It sure sounds and looks great, although it's not a good fit lyrically for the most part. 
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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 9:24pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

And also with the Perfect Strangers theme, which is weirdly awesome...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P4IlgtwHmA
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 9:25pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Has there ever been a fan-edit or something similar of 'Beautiful Day' over the ENTERPRISE opening sequence? I'm curious how it would have been edited for the 45-60 seconds that theme songs usually take up, or how it would have been arranged over the final credits.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

...the PERFECT STRANGERS version may...may actually be the best one...!
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 19 February 2019 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Funny enough, when I first heard the DS9 theme I thought they were tongue-in-cheekly trying to evoke the TAS theme (at least in the opening strains).

The Goldsmith theme used for TNG Season 1 and 2... ugh.   Terrible orchestration with lots of unnecessary string glissandos and the electronic synthesized bits in the opening strain hasn't aged well at all.   There's also something odd in the stereo/mono mixdown (which is what most of us heard back in the late 80s) where the swoopy strings are too prominent and the loud 'Bang!' when the ship goes to warp just grates on me as it obliterates most of the music.   Considering that 98% of the audience at the time didn't have a stereo capable TV or home theatre system they should have mixed it for the absolute lowest common denominator -- the crappiest of crappy mono TV speakers.  The version used for Season 3 onward is a great improvement (especially in the mixing), but why oh why could they have not used Goldsmith's TMP theme as it was?

(Incidentally, I find most of the sound and music in modern TV shows to be 'off' because they usually don't bother to do a proper stereo mixdown.  The dialogue more often than not is drowned out by the music because the mixer expects that everyone uses a 5.1 center channel.   The dialogue is usually lightly mixed to the front L and R channels and thus gets lost when you are hearing the whole surround mix.   Mind you, if they mixed it so it sounded good on a stereo system those with surround sound would have the opposite complants.   The solution is a one-size-fits-all type of mix that makes compromises at both ends -- but that requires hard work and a trained ear which most modern production companies don't seem to want to cough up for)


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 19 February 2019 at 12:44pm
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Allan Summerall
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Posted: 19 February 2019 at 6:48pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

TOS- Iconic
Deep Space Nine-Like Tyler mentioned above, I too prefer the slower theme of the first few seasons.
Voyager- Majestic
TNG-I like this theme song a lot but I associate it more with "The Motion Picture" soundtrack.
Enterprise- I like the song(I prefer the slower version), but not sure that it's really a "Star Trek" song. The starting verse of "It's been a long road, getting from there to here."does, I think, fit with the premise of how far Earth had come from "First Contact" to where the series starts, but that's about it.
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