Battlestar Galactica: Season 1

Bear McCreary

 
" Repeat it 33 times, I love Battlestar Galactica "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Welcome to Battlestar Galactica Season 1. After the successful launch of the 3 hour pilot, we viewers were dropped into a world divided by man and Cylons. Cylons were made by man. They resisted. They evolved. They looked and felt like humans. Some were programmed to believe they were human. There were many copies. And they had a plan. That was the intriguing story that got us hooked from the very first minute. Yet after the successful launch of the 3 hour miniseries, composer Bear McCreary took over from Richard Gibbs. The result is that it made Bear McCreary the man (or Cylon) we cherish today.

We open with "Prologue" (basically the opening statement every single time) followed by "Main Title". This is a different version from the "Main Title UK Version)" but they end the same with the teaser like visuals.

Anyway, at first the sound and tone of Battlestar will not appeal to many. Especially if you realize how "Helo Chase" and "Olympic Carrier" begins. A rhythmic pattern, some throat singing, meaning not exactly promising stuff. BUT once you enter the world of Battlestar the series, his music takes on another life. It makes the series what it is today and you'll realize how easily and effective it can work on TV and on CD. What you'll notice immediately is the ethnic titled sound of it all. This together with the percussive beat and the female vocals is the driving force of the fleet's movement.

The first sign of emotional colour comes from "A Good Lighter" (Adama's theme) when suddenly Celtic influences come shining through. This is followed in the series by the appropriate song "Wander my Friends". Together they bring emotional hope to what's left of mankind. The percussive "The Thousandth Landing", vocals that give the percussive "Starbuck Takes on all Eight" some emotional weight (watch out for the ethnic touch), "The Card Game" that throws in some diversity and "Two Boomers" that gives us spoiler plots and techno, Battlestar never sounded so eclectic before.

But there are highlights for sure. The emotional material alongside militaristic drums does work a lot during "Two Funerals". "Forgiven" is one of the first statements of the lovely Kara theme, returning in a vocal heroic setting in "Starbuck on the Red Moon". And to take things to a hotter level, classical seduction spawns during "Battlestar Operatica" and "The Dinner Party", a surprise it actually works inside the context.

But these are small highlights. For true believers of the war between man and Cylon, there are tracks that made a lot more impact. And with "Flesh and Bone" it all commences. Don't know if the album was meant to end with the better tracks, but for me the music became also much more noticeable when we reached the final episodes. The guitar touch shows the non-Battlestar followers a McCreary sound they will recognize, but it does add a nice doses of human emotion on the Leoben grill.

"Battle on the Asteroid", used in one of the season's most explosive episodes brings us 7 minutes of nail biting tension. And it shows rhythmic percussion, ethnic music, vocals, Celtic tones, ... you name it, heavenly powerful music. The duduk enhances the ethnic sound during "Destiny", the string magnificence of "Passacaglia" is too divine for words and "The Shape of Things to Come" (dedicated to the late Elmer Bernstein) gives the same theme a monumental finish. "Bloodshed" is the unbelievable climax of Season 1.

Holy Frak. I believe many said those words when they witnessed the end of Season 1 right before their very eyes. And yes Season 1 was definitely worth it. Alongside the feeling that we began to love and hate the characters after a couple of episodes, so too we fell in love with the music. It was unique, refreshing and kinda odd to hear ethnic music and Celtic tones during a SCI/FI series. And yet it became quite quickly THE sound of Battlestar Galactica. Richard Gibbs may have infused the pilot and first episodes with the sound. But it is Bear McCreary that takes it somewhere. And between Man and Cylon, you want nothing else instead.

Tracklisting

1. Prologue * (0.40)
2. Main Title ** (1.05)
3. Helo Chase (1.31)
4. The Olympic Carrier (5.48)
5. Helo Rescued (1.01)
6. A Good Lighter (1.55) Excellent track
7. The Thousandth Landing (3.08)
8. Two Funerals (3.25)
9. Starbuck Takes on all Eight (3.46)
10. Forgiven (1.30)
11. The Card Game (3.04)
12. Starbuck on the Red Moon (2.00)
13. Helo in the Warehouse (2.01)
14. Baltar Speaks with Adama (1.54)
15. Two Boomers (1.47)
16. Battlestar Operatica (2.36)
17. The Dinner Party (3.14)
18. Battlestar Muzaktica (1.43)
19. Baltar Panics (1.46)
20. Boomer Flees (1.16)
21. Flesh and Bone (4.06)
22. Battle on the Asteroid (6.52) Excellent track
23. Wander my Friends *+ (2.57) Excellent track
24. Passacaglia (5.15) Excellent track
25. Kobol's Last Gleaming (2.49)
26. Destiny (4.44)
27. The Shape of Things to Come (2.55) Excellent track
28. Bloodshed (1.50)
29. Re-Cap * (0.36)
30. Main Title (UK Version) * (1.05)

* Music by Richard Gibbs
** Music by Richard Gibbs and Bear McCreary
*+ Music and lyrics by Bear McCreary

Total Length: 77.07
(click to rate this score)  
 
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(total of 12 votes - average 3.67/5)

Released by

La-La Land Records LLLCD 1032 (regular release 2005)

Main Theme by

Richard Gibbs

Conducted by

Bear McCreary

Orchestrations by

Brandon Roberts, Jeremy Levy & Bear McCreary