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on March 15, 2016
WOW! If you are a ST:WOK fan or a lover of the orchestral music of James Horner - run out and buy this! I've listened to the original soundtrack release of WOK thousands of times since I bought it on CD in 1982. As someone who came into his ST fan prime with ST:WOK at age 14, I was addicted to this movie (arguably the best of the original cast films) and have seen it hundreds of times. Listening to the soundtrack, to this day I can envision the action and hear the dialogue in my head. This release adds in all the music and musical cues from the movie which weren't included on the original soundtrack release. For example, you will hear the bagpipes at Spock's memorial which leads into the gorgeous and uplifting musical cue as his tube is fired into space. You'll hear musical cues when Kirk stops the Enterprise and announces to the trainees that they'll have to grow up a little bit sooner than expected - and the following musical pulse as the Enterprise leaps into warp speed. The gorgeous and unnatural dissonance of the dark pieces related to Khan and the eels of Ceti Alpha V is deliciously unnerving and richly dangerous at the same time. You'll feel the conflict musically as Captain Terrell decides to commit suicide rather than to kill Kirk on Khan's orders. From beginning to end it's all included and so for the first time you'll be able to enjoy STII:WOK musically from beginning to end. The sound quality I judge to be excellent - in some of the pieces which were even included on the original soundtrack release - I now hear instrumentation I've never heard before in thousands of listenings. The brass just leaps out of this remastering and envelops you. This is one Star Trek soundtrack CD you will definitely want in your collection. I'm looking forward to a similar treatment for STIII! The late James Horner really nailed it with the scores to both these films and musically took the ST universe to new heights-what a shame we lost him so tragically in 2015. Thank you James and RIP!
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This collection probably shares the dubious honor of being the most expensive CD I've ever purchased (the other being Glass Hammer's Evermore). Forty bux for a single disc? It'd better be good.

And it is. The recording is crisp and clean, sounding like it was recorded yesterday. That, of course, is down to the care of the re-mixing. I, late to the table, do not have a previous version with which to compare it, so I cannot wax lyrical about the wonderful way the mix has been corrected for older mistakes. Others here have picked up that particular baton and seem to know what they are talking about.

There is extra material here, but I lack the familiarity with the original material to give it any sort of context. I can only say that the whole is pleasing to the ear and evokes the film in my mind's eye from the opening bars onward (I am only an occasional Trek fan).

The structure of the music is very well thought out, based on three major thematic ideas: Anything with Kirk prior to the engine room scene includes prominent french horn work and usually follows the melody of the film's bouncy, martial theme. Anything with Spock features a sort of synthesized "singing wineglass" melody with a harp in the mix, and Khan's presence is signaled by slow, menacing cello notes played low. The engine room scene is conjured with Spock's theme played on "singing wineglass" AND french horn, as Kirk experiences, well, if you don't know I'm not going to spoil it.

There's a critical viewpoint that Kirk and Spock represent two halves of a single person - the one impulsive and emotionally driven, the other coldly logical. Neither is complete, and this story is about Kirk becoming more complete. This is reflected clearly in the music. Masterful.

The CD booklet is lavish, but the print is far too small from my old eyes to be able to read it without a magnifier. What a shame the publisher didn't want to increase the print size, up the page count a little and place the now thicker book in a double CD case with the disc itself. I guess they figured the increased cost would be the straw that broke the camel's back. I dunno. All I do know is that there must be a lot of fascinating stuff in it that I cannot see without strong light and a magnifying glass. There are also a plethora of stills and promotional shots that make one yearn for the old days of LPs and the two square feet a gatefold sleeve offered the printed matter graphic designer.

All in all it is a great soundtrack, arguably better than that for Star Trek:The Motion Picture. Whether the music and the care taken to restore it justifies the extremely unattractive price only you can say. It was a hard decision for me, one that took months to make.

I'm glad I decided to buy.
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on April 17, 2017
One of my favorite soundtracks. This pressing, while pressed on quiet vinyl and being more transparent than the original vinyl pressing (which I've owned for years) is seriously compressed. So, it's a mixed bag, the original pressing has though slightly muddy in sound has better dynamics and is less compression than the new version. The new Wrath of Khan is quieter, clearer, and has all the music cues on two records (as opposed to the original Wrath's one record with score highlights.) I have not listened to the CD of any version, so I can't comment on the CD's sound. So ya pays yer money and takes yur chances.
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on August 25, 2009
This newly expanded edition of the soundtrack for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is something I had been hoping for for years, ever since I first saw the picture, heard the music and owned the CD, but this really is a 5-star product! I was already very happy with the expanded edition of the music for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and ever since that one came out, I had been hoping for an expanded version of Star Trek II. (Now let's hope for an expanded album for Star Trek III too. About this music James Horner can be quoted as saying: "It's just a much more interesting score and, for me, a much more beautiful and emotional score than Star Trek II." I find that a bit hard to believe. If only a full extended version of the soundtrack for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock would come out, we could better judge if Mr Horner is right ;)

James Horner's music for Star Trek II has (like the movie itself) always been a personal favorite of mine, in that it defines, for me, what Star Trek is mainly about. The first real, deep impressions I had of Star Trek, when I was an (impressionable) child, were not from the original series, but from seeing this movie and hearing this music, on television. It took a while to sink in, but I was hooked. Emotionally grabbed. Where I adore the the mystery, wonder, eeriness and graceful beauty of the music of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I equally love the grandeur, drama and deep emotionality of the music for Star Trek II: it is more about the 'human element' in Star Trek (especially the relationship between Kirk and Spock. For better or for worse, the above-mentioned impressionable child within me is still alive ...

I already loved the GNP CD, in itself a nice album (especially because we did not have any other option, of course), but missing out on many important (little and some not so little) dramatic and action moments. What strikes me most when listening to the newly expanded edition is how more darkly brooding, eerie and dramatic the music soundtrack is, overall. Also, you get a sense of the story unfolding in the music from beginning to end (no jumping over or rearranging of cues for musical dramatic effect, as in the original issue), giving a nice feeling of dramatic continuity.

As we again learn from the booklet, in the vision of the director Nicholas Meyer this movie was to accentuate the nautical and adventure-story feel ('Horatio Hornblower in space'), and the music was to underline this. The music on the original 45-minute release were most of those cues that related exactly that kind of atmosphere, namely (most of) the music cues that accompany the battle and/or action scenes, although 'Enterprise Attacks Reliant' was one of those cues that was sorely missing in that respect. Within that music, there is the music for the 'aggressor' Khan, with their short, staccato themes, aggressive percussion, pizzicato and col legno playing and restless, short, swirling string figures; the music for Kirk and the Enterprise: those bold and noble and sweeping melodies; the music for Spock, with its restrained nobility and slightly melancholy character, with the warm tones of a wooden flute and pluckings on a harp in the cues 'Spock' and 'Kirk takes command'.

On this expanded edition, many defining moments that were originally missing now are finally to be heared too, like the decisive moment when Spock urges Kirk to take command of Enterprise because that is his first, best destiny (and thereby also in a sense hinting, for those who already know, at his own tragic destiny at the end of the movie), and also, of course, the death of Spock and his funeral/'Amazing Grace'. As a extra bonus there are included on the CD the complete music cue Craig Huxley wrote for the 'Genesis Project' and the original version of the Epilogue (without the music for Spock's coffin on the Genesis planet and without his narration "Space ... the final frontier"). This version of the epilogue is more concise, and there is a slight difference in the way the orchestra sounds: caressing the melodies with more care for detail, to my ears, and with a freshness that sets it apart from the one used in the film. Or is it more a result of different mic'ing and mixing for this particular cue? Certainly a beautiful addition to the album, making it as complete as can get.

The soundpicture of this reissue is more open than the original issue, which sounds really 'pinched' and compared to this one (I use the GNP CD as reference, I have never heard the sound on the vinyl record), allowing for the instruments in the orchestra to register more fully and to really bloom, making for an exhillarating listening experience from beginning to end.

From page 3 to page 12 in the accompanying booklet, we get a nice essay that gives us a consise overview of the music, its composer James Horner, the creative proces of its composition and a bit of its place in Star Trek music history in general, with lots of quotes from known sources, like Jeff Bond's "The Music of Star Trek", Allan Asherman's "The Making of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", and the Cinefantastique and Starlog Magazines. Also, the booklet is graced with many (28 from cover to cover) behind-the-scenes photographs and images from the motion picture itself, which, together with the well referenced and accurately written essay, make it a joy to read. Also, every track has its own little musical-theoretic 'exegesis' and some information about what is happening at that moment in the movie. Very nice and very interesting stuff.

All in all, this is a good year for Star Trek fans, and I for one am very happy. I was excited about Michael Giacchino's soundtrack for Star Trek. The film (as well as the music) itself leaves me a bit puzzled, though, about what to make of it, in the end: is this really Star Trek? We'll be able to judge it better with the following movies ... But when this even more beautiful expanded edition of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (a genuine classic of the genre, IMHO) came out (my wish for ages), I was genuinely delighted. This Film Score Monthly/Retrograde issue is made with the highest respect for the music as well as the fans. It is made by fans for fans, as it were, and it shows in the quality of the product! Highly recommended!
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VINE VOICEon June 5, 2014
You probably know this is an outstanding soundtrack. James Horner infuses the music with energy. The tracks in the Newly Expanded Edition are definitely worthwhile, including some of my favorites, such as the Ceti Alpha Eels. Because I don't see it on Amazon's website, I'll include a list of tracks on this disc:

# Title/Runtime
1 Main Title* (3:06)
2 Surprise on Ceti Alpha V (0:45)
3 Khan's Pets (4:19)
4 The Eels of Ceti Alpha V/Kirk in Space Shuttle* (3:53)
5 Enterprise Clears Moorings (3:33)
6 Chekov Lies* (0:40)
7 Spock (1:12)
8 Kirk Takes Command*/He Tasks Me (2:07)
9 Genesis Project† (3:16)
10 Surprise Attack (5:07)
11 Kirk's Explosive Reply (4:01)
12 Inside Regula I (1:35)
13 Brainwashed (1:24)
14 Captain Terrell's Death (1:58)
15 Buried Alive (0:57)
16 The Genesis Cave (1:09)
17 Battle in the Mutara Nebula (8:07)
18 Enterprise Attacks Reliant (1:29)
19 Genesis Countdown (6:34)
20 Spock (Dies)* (1:53)
21 Amazing Grace (1:26)
22 Epilogue*/End Title* (8:41)
23 Epilogue (original version)*/End Title* (7:29)
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on July 23, 2015
This outstanding release of James Horner's legendary score is made all the more prescient and omniciently powerful due to his recent tragic death.

This is the score that really burst Horner into the mainstream in 1982, and his creativity, imagination, guts, raw power and ethereal beauty are all in it!

I didn't think it was possible to improve on the legendary music Jerry Goldsmith composed for the original Star Trek-The Motion Picture, but Horner does just that! His music is even more exciting, even more suspenseful, even more passionate, even more deeply meaningful! The bagpipes of "Amazing Grace" that accompanied Spock's funeral in the film have finally been reinstated in this soundtrack release, and they are clearly responsible for the heart-breaking nature of this scene.

This music lays the groundwork, the template, the blueprint for all of Horner's superb scores to follow!
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on December 4, 2009
I had seen this new treatment of The Wrath of Khan soundtrack recently and decided to go for it. I probably played the old record a gazillion times and enjoyed it. I have never felt that Horner's Trek music surpassed Goldsmith's but the great thing is it didn't have to. We can have both. Besides, Horner was in his 20s when he wrote this and it holds up really well. As he said in the liner notes, he was more interested in the combination of music and picture than just the music itself. This stuff really fits Nick Meyer's vision of nautical to a T. All those horns! Awesome! As far as Trek composers go, I liked Cliff Eidelmann;s STVI score and I liked Michael Giacchino's music for the new film also even though I think I need to live with it a little so it can grow on me some more. I think that the original series composers (Kaplan, Fried, Fielding, Duning, Steiner, etc.) were the best but honestly everybody who has composed for Trek whether it's Jay Chattaway or Ron Jones or anybody, really...they all did a great job. As everyone else has said, this release puts the whole shebang (all the cues and a bonus track) on the disc and I have to admit, having seen this film a lot, it didn't seem new to me. But then I turned it up and listened more closely. There is A LOT of content in here that I have NEVER heard. The clarity and depth is much better than anything out previously. And as a fan, the loving presentation never hurts. And it is obvious that whoever made this...well, it was a labor of love. The liner notes are exhaustive but interesting and the place I bought it from is in Virginia - my home state. I loved it and look forward to playing this again soon...and hoping they do the same with any other Trek scores they can find from any film or episode. Trek music really is its own thing. And that is the best of times! I, too, say highly recommended. If you already have the score CD but don't have this, you DON'T have the score. Get it!
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on March 11, 2016
This album is terrific. The newly expanded edition really satisfied my craving for the full original soundtrack. The Wrath of Khan and its partner album, The Search for Spock is, in my opinion, the true theme of the classic Star Trek movies. James Horner (RIP) did an amazing job creating his own take on what this universe should sound like and blended it seemlessly with Alexander Courage's Original series theme. Such an amazing album
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on November 14, 2012
If you have an affinity at all for James Horner, or simply the Star Trek II score, and have the means of vinyl playback, this purchase is an absolute no brainer!

Film score enthusiasts may recognize James Horner from such fame as Titanic, Apollo 13, Aliens, Cocoon, *batteries not included, An American Tail, Field of Dreams, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, Legends of the Fall, Jumanji, Braveheart, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Amazing Spider-Man, etc... And discerning listeners might even recognize his music in Disneyland's ultra Michael Jackson tribute 3D show "Captain EO". (ok, maybe discerning is the wrong word; you can clearly hear the influences of both Aliens and Wrath of Khan in it...)
His skill is utterly staggering.

I am a huge Star Trek fan, as well as an audiophile of ridiculous proportions; and I have to say this mix is the absolute best film score release I have ever heard! Recorded and mixed by Don Wallin, and edited by Bob Badami, the album can almost be indulged upon by itself as a masterpiece of engaging music. The album truly does bring you along a storyline that transcends the necessity of picture, letting your mind reel with emotion simply by the gorgeous vistas of orchestrations championed by Jack Hayes.
Not only does the music move you, but the mastering of its sound quality is outstanding on vinyl! This is where I must make clear the difference between my review of the work, itself, and the vinyl record release which I'm referring to. Heard on compact disc (ew...) or cassette tape (I'm sure it was released on such back then, though I have not confirmed it), I have no doubt you'd think my description was an exaggeration. No, I am specifically referring to the vinyl record album that requires a turntable, and sufficient quality speakers to reproduce the high horn notes, as well as a strong subwoofer to thump the bass of the percussion.
There were moments when I was startled into the fast pace of a turn of the music into the next scene that... is almost indescribable. It's like listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture for the first time in person by actual musicians, and not expecting a live cannon to be shot during the revue. It knocks you out of your seat, and thrills you with intensity that you may not expect and yet find utterly delicious!

Now, I have a Pandora station dedicated to this soundtrack that I created before I purchased the album. (honestly, it doesn't play half the album anyway, so it was kind of a waste) And there is a clear difference between their source and/or stream than this album. If you've never heard this music, sure, it's worth a listen on Pandora. But I wouldn't judge it based on their service. It just does not measure up.

This album is on par with a good shape Beatles album, in my opinion. Thankfully, the costs are not that high to get a good used copy, or even a new copy of it; but I've paid more than $50 for albums that are not as good as this one.
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on January 24, 2013
I did have the old GNP Cresendo one (three or four over the years actually) but I was overjoyed to see this one coming out. The film was always my favorite of the films and the score was in the top five (all are good except for ST 4).
The expanded edition makes a good soundtrack very good. The Eels of Ceti Alpha V/Kirk in Space Shuttle, Kirk takes Command, Inside Regula 1, Captain Terrell's death, The Genesis Cave, Enterprise Attacks Reliant, Spock Dies, and Amazing Grace are all small but welcome additions to this classic album. This was even before the expanded edition very well done score so the expanded edition while nice wasn't my most wanted of the scores but still was worth the price. It got me hoping FSM would do the rest of the series especially ST 3 which it did if you enjoy this one you definitley go for the next films expanded edition Horner turned in an even better score in that one. Its ashame he didnt want to continue with ST 4, instead Leonard Nimoy hired friend Leonard Roseman who IMHO turned in the worst score in the series. However if you are a Star Trek fan, A James Horner fan, or just a film score fan this is a worthy addition to any of the mentioned collections.
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