Star Trek: 30 Years - A Tribute

Time for a little shameless cross-promotion here ... for those of you who are both Star Trek/sci-fi fans and music lovers, I've taken the liberty of putting this post on both of my blogs at the same time, since it firmly touches on both points of interest ("the best of both worlds", if I may toss in a Trek in-joke). So, by all means, check out my other blog if you're so inclined, as it's quite nifty-neato in its own right, if I do say so myself.

various artists
(BMG Ariola Germany, 1996)

"Unendliche Weiten" by Illegal 2001

The surrealistically anti-hip "special" Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond (Ted Danson? Kenny G? WTF?!?) was forebodingly telling of how tired the once-venerable sci-fi franchise had become. But as terrible a train-wreck as that spectacle was, the occasion of Star Trek's pearl anniversary did produce a couple of unique and interesting pieces of memorabilia, even if they did come from outside of its home country of the United States. A prime example: this "curious" (as Spock himself might describe it) compilation of music, assembled in Germany, in honor of Star Trek's 30th Anniversary.

Given its origin, it stands to reason that the majority of this album's tracks are performed in German, but that's not nearly the deal-breaker in this case that it might normally be. In fact, a good part of the fun comes from listening for the recognizable Trek names that pop up regularly through the German language ("Kirk", "Picard", "Klingons", and I think I even heard "Tasha Yar" and "Cardassians" at least once each). Another thing that keeps this CD from becoming boring is the multitude of music genres represented: you'll find everything from jazz ("We've Lost The Captain", which employs a soundbite of that very quote from the original pilot "The Cage") to techno ("Die 4. Dimension") to pop ("Ich Bin Verknallt In Jean-Luc Picard", which sounds a little like something off a Dido album) to punk ("Ich Bin Knille, Pille") to hip-hop ("Reime, Räume Und Zeiten", full of the forementioned Trek shout-outs as well as a handful of authentic sound effects), resulting in a pretty safe chance that everyone will find something to like here.

I won't lie to you -- I was a bit disappointed when I first played this CD, as I was expecting more faithful interpretations, mostly instrumental, of the various Star Trek themes heard throughout the years; indeed, the first track, a cool synth-rock sort of take on the Star Trek: Voyager theme, got my hopes up a bit too much the first time around. But the dazzling cover design, and the fact that it was an official Paramount-licensed compilation from a major label, compelled me to more readily accept it. It's now safe to say that this album has come to hold a place of honor in my collection of Star Trek music CDs -- Worf himself would probably be proud.

Buy the CD (while you still can...!)

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