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Stargate SG-1
Good television music. This day in age! -Isaac Engelhorn (9/21/2001)
Track List:
  1. STARGATE SG-1: Main Title 1:02
  2. The Enemy Within 6:46
  3. Cold Lazarus 6:09
  4. Emancipation 3:35
  5. Torment of Tantalus 10:14
  6. Thor's Hammer 7:32
  7. The Nox 10:01
  8. Hathor 6:44
  9. Tin Man 6:56
  10. Within The Serpent's Grasp 8:42
  11. STARGATE SG-1: End Credits :58

Total Time: (68:52)

Main themes by:
David Arnold

Composed by:
Joel Goldsmith,
Dennis McCarthy,
Kevin Kiner,
Richard Band

It's becoming harder and harder to find good television scores nowadays. Over the last several years we've seen a tremendous decline in the use of orchestras and, well, talented composers on television. It seems that just about anyone with a keyboard can be hired to score a television show (watch Farscape to see what I mean). Some shows have the power and the money to hire good composers, and they do, but intentionally ask these good composers to make their music less accessible to the general public (fans of the Star Trek television shows will know what I'm talking about). Luckily, shows like Stargate, which I have sadly never watched before, are blessed with good composers *and* good scores.

Since I have never seen the show, I certainly think that it's a good thing that this CD was released. Had it not been, I never would have known just how good television music can still be. While most of it is indeed sampled, as opposed to live performance, it does not hurt the effectiveness of the music. The samples themselves are of very high quality, and in some cases, will decieve your ears into believing that they're real. So, sound quality, despite the heavy use of synth, should not be a factor to worry about when considering to purchase this or not (though some of the action music in track 6 is an exception).

Since his name is obviously the most recongnizable, Joel Goldsmith has the largest portion of the CD devoted to his music. While he and the other composers do make heavy use of David Arnold's original themes, they decide to introduce new themes of their own into the mix. Even Kevin Kiner, whose music I was badly dissapointed by on Wing Commander, does an excellent job. Though I'm really not in a position to judge his entire career since I've heard so little of his music, though I could swear that he adds a statement of Arnold's Independence Day main theme near the center of track 5 (listen to the strings at about 6:13).

Rather than being cues directly from the shows, the tracks on the CD are divided into lengthy suites, which actually makes the music work much better on disc. It would have been more of a pain to sift through smaller cues, and while a couple of the tracks start to wear out their welcome after a while (tracks 5 and 7 are over ten minutes each), none of the music really becomes unlistenable.

Fans of the show should be very grateful for GNPs cd release of this music, and should buy it immediately. People who are fans of Arnold's original Stargate score should buy this too; that now-classic main theme is simply wonderful, and is utilized well. I wouldn't give quite as high a recommendation to other people, but since you may not be able to find TV music of this quality in the future, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Stargate SG-1 is Copyright 2001 GNP Crescendo records. Music produced by Richard Band, Joel Goldsmith, Kevin Kiner, and Dennis McCarthy. CD produced by Mark Banning, Chris Neel, and Ford A Thaxton. Executive producer Neil Norman. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.