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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (soundtrack)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Star Trek III Soundtrack.jpg

CD cover

CD cover
Composer(s): James Horner
Additional Music by: Alexander Courage
Orchestrator(s): Greig McRitchie
Label: Capitol Records
GNP Crescendo Records (re-release)
Released: 1984
21 January 1991 (re-release)
Length: 37:38
Reference(s): ASIN B000001P0S (CD)
ASIN B000001P0T (tape)

James Horner's original 1984 score for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Additional music by Alexander Courage.


As Star Trek III: The Search For Spock was essentially a direct continuation of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, so too is James Horner's score, picking up fast on the heels of the last soundtrack.

Utilizing the previous film's Spock-centric theme as this film's overarching and opening theme, Horner introduces several new motifs while remaining true to the same orchestration and style that branded Khan. New here are Vulcan and Klingon themes as well as several motifs for Starfleet and the world of the 23rd century, returning are the aforementioned Spock theme and opening title (now end title) from Khan.

Relegating Nicholas Meyer's emphasis on nautical percussion and chimes to the background, Horner takes a more traditional action-adventure approach, reminiscent of later work in Cocoon and The Rocketeer. The composer also trades some of the grandiose (or over-the-top) styling heard during action sequences in the previous film, for more personal scoring, almost out of place in a Star Trek film.

The Search for Spock is airy and more subdued than Khan, heavier on strings and lighter on brass and percussion. Whether by directive of Leonard Nimoy or the simple natural progression that is a sequel score, Horner's Spock plays a smaller part in the latter film, more ambiance than active player. This, Horner's final journey with the crew of the Enterprise, proved to be a transitional score before heavyweights Cliff Eidelman and Jerry Goldsmith took up the reins and completed the movie series.

Although "Stealing the Enterprise" is heard before "The Mind Meld" on the commercial release, in the film it was the other way around.

Track listingEdit

# Title/Runtime
1 Prologue & Main Title † (6:27)
2 Klingons † (5:55)
3 Stealing the Enterprise † (8:33)
4 The Mind Meld (2:30)
5 Bird-of-Prey Decloaks (3:37)
6 Returning to Vulcan (4:49)
7 The Katra Ritual (4:29)
8 End Title † (6:12)
9 The Search for Spock (03:43)
Total 00:46:53

Contains TOS theme composed by Alexander Courage

Note: The final track is a discotheque version of the main title. It was produced exclusively for the album and was not used in the film. The UK release [FILMCD 070] omits this track.

See also Edit

Previous soundtrack release:
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek Movie Soundtrack
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Next soundtrack release:
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

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