Fans of the syndicated television show "Star Trek: The Next Generation" may remember the two-part episode "The Best of Both Worlds" as a high point for the series, and for science fiction television in general. This cliffhanger and its resolution constituted the third season finale and fourth season premiere. In the story, the United Federation of Planets faces an invasion by the Borg, a seemingly unstoppable cybernetic race that "assimilates" whole civilizations into its insect-like "collective." Captain Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise represent the Federation's only hope against this relentless enemy. Such an epic tale calls for an epic musical score, and composer Ron Jones delivers. His music pounds with excitement during the thrilling space battle sequences. He makes brilliant use of eerie musical effects to capture the alien nature of the Borg Collective and its dispassionate "drones." He also brings out all of the emotion of the heroic struggle of the Enterprise crew to save the Federation from conquest and assimilation. But it's not all big, bombastic space opera music; Jones also pays attention to more intimate moments between the crew. Yes, "The Best of Both Worlds" was a landmark in the ongoing, multigenerational "Star Trek" saga, and Ron Jones' superb score is an integral part of the story. This is an essential disc for fans of science fiction soundtracks.
Like the reviewers before me, I concur that this is, without a doubt, the score by which all other Star Trek scores should be measured. Prior to, as well as after, there has never been a more perfect blend of sight and musical sound than the episode from which this music is taken. My only question is why Jones was not permitted to do the music for the "Borg" theatrical film! Granted, Jerry Goldsmith did a superb job for "First Contact," but Jones' compositions for the television two-parter made him the obvious choice to "helm" the music for the cinematic adventure. But, movie music buffs should add this disc to their collection because it SOARS as high as the Enterprise!
Without comparing this TV score to that of a film, I would consider this an excellent TV score. Hearing the Alexander Courage's version of Jerry Goldsmith's Star Trek theme really opens the album up. It is really a shame that it appears only once or twice in minor situations because then it would mean this score has some trace of thematic development like film scores do. The Borg theme, played by a synthesized chorus, sounds very mysterious yet somewhat hostile and threatening. You have to have seen the show to know what's happening because there's barely any thematic music to base what's happening on. The strings and celeste playing on the tracks before the borg encounter adds the sense of mysterious but foreshadowed danger. The battle tracks between the borg and Enterprise aren't upbeat like scores from John Williams or Horner but sound much more suspenseful and average-paced like on Crimson Tide. Ron Jones seems to back off on fast-paced string and brass parts and prefers edgy brass and percussion coupled with electronics. Away Team Ready is a haunting, military-like cue as some people prepare to board the borg ship. An unused cue for the exploration of the borg ship sounds very far and dissonant like on The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi, and Aliens. Both are very original sounding. Let me admit that the music on the second and final fight between the Enterprise and Borg ship heats up but leaves more to be desired. Of course, this is a TV score scored under a period of a week so forget what I just said for any film score fan. After a bittersweet ending stopping with an afterthought, the brilliant Star Theme comes up for the credits and draws this score to a close. I recommend this original score for anyone who has seen the borg episode of TNG but don't expect a Star Wars score here for any film score collectors.
I have all the movie soundtracks and a few of the TV soundtracks. This CD is the best of the lot. It's actually got about 18 or 20 tracks (it's in my car - I can't remember exactly) not the shorter list shown in amazon.com. Contains about 8 truly excellent tracks. You might remember scenes like the chase, the nebula, the "we have engaged the borg", the "Fire" order at the end of part 1, and lots of other great scenes. The audio quality is also top quality. It plays great on my bose system. I'd recommend this one to anyone who likes The Best of Both Worlds. Play it nice and loud. It will take you right back into the episodes.
Like another audio CD that I had stolen from me, this purchase fulfilled all of my expectations. The jewel case, audio CD, everything was exactly how I expected to it to be. Service was prompt, and shipping was faster than expected. Very pleased with this purchased.
This cd represents the best music ever made for the T.V. series. From beggining to end this one's a winner. The music is movie soundtrack quality, and has never been surpassed on any of the Star Trek series.
It is simply put, two of the best episodes in Star Trek the Next Generation series. The score is equal to the task. I enjoy scores and this one keeps up the fast-paced action seen on the show. It is highly recommended and extremely great quality recording. I hope others who enjoy scores will purchase this one as well. Daniel Luke Diaz