(written from a Production point of view)
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.
|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)|
† 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.
| 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