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The Music of 'Best of Babylon 5' CD

This music is comes with the Official Guide to Babylon 5 CD-ROM.

1. Main Title Season 2

This title sequence sums up the attitude of Babylon 5 in the early seasons; it was a frontier town, wild and dangerous. It was an adventurous time, and as yet, untainted by the Shadows.

2. The Geometry of Shadows III

The re-working of the Requiem of the Battle of the Line, is said by Neil Perryman to be excellent, to which I agree with.

3. Sheridan and Father
4. Mobilization
5. The Big Battle
(all from Severed Dreams)

Christopher Franke's music doesn't get music better than this. The frantic action sequences interspersed by the sadder, contemplative tunes is wonderful, reminding you that real people have to die in battles, whether or not it's for a good cause. My review of Severed Dreams has more info on why I like the music of Severed Dreams.

6. Signal (Shadow Dancing)

Signal starts off, well, like the music in a horror film movie, where the hero is wandering around a darkened room which you can rely on to hold several skeletons, disembodied skulls, etc, then strangely enough launches into the music at the start of Severed Dreams where Major Ryan orders the forward batteries to fire upon his own side, the Earth Alliance ship. Again, it changes to a darker note (yes, like a horror movie) with a piano repeating a eerie melody.

7. Awakening (A Late Delivery from Avalon)

This starts off fairly slowly, but later on the beat of the tune is reminiscent to the start of an ancient hunt ritual, which quickly turns into the hunt itself. Too bad it doesn't last for long.

8. Countdown (Severed Dreams)

This isn't a very long track, and I'm not exactly sure why they put it here. It merges into the Main Title Season 3 fairly well, although it seems a little at odds with the previous track.

9. Main Title Season 3

Season 3 is far darker than Season 2, and this music illustrates the conflict and hopeless battle against chaos. Everything's going to hell in Season 3, and there's nothing they can do about it.

10. Into the Abyss

This track starts off fairly quickly, then subsides for a few minutes. The last few minutes of Into the Abyss, however, are on par with Christopher Franke's best pieces ever - Sheridan's dilemma, and his sacrifice are pictured here beautifully. You might want to read my review of Z'ha'dum to get a better idea of what I think of this track.

11. Attacking the Shadows

As with Countdown, this isn't a long track, and it's more of an introduction to Emergency Treatment.

12. Emergency Treatment

Yet again another short (i.e., less than one minute) track, which is in turn an introduction to The Geometry of Shadows II. It's somewhat incongruous to Geometry II's far more gentle music, with it's own typical quick and frantic style.

13. The Geometry of Shadows II

Although this track starts off quietly and gently, in usual Franke style it transforms into something much darker, then into bursts of trumpets, and of perhaps a new hope. This track isn't one of my favourites, and to me it seems like some kind of teaser for the far superior next track.

14. The Geometry of Shadows I

Starting off with the Main Title Season II, this has to be my favourite track of the CD. Had I not already heard the Severed Dreams tracks before, this might be a different story, but even so, The Geometry of Shadows I is striking in it's difference to the other tracks, with an entire section seeming to be off-key. I've heard that Christopher Franke wrote the music to the Outer Limits, and if you listen to this track, you'll certainly believe it. The quiet solo after the main theme evokes in my mind how everything we do creates far reaching, and often terrible, consequences. The end harp solo finishes off this track with a return to the usual Babylon 5 music introducing the Season 4 intro.

15. Main Title Season 4

At a far more frantic, and militaristic pace than any of the other tracks, it's drums beat out a sound of constant conflict and war, which of course is what Season 4 is all about.

16. Main Theme Sierra Game

A relatively short track at a touch over 90 seconds long, but it doesn't seem like it. This is a great opportunity for Christopher Franke to try out some new tunes while sticking with the usual Babylon 5 format, and he's definitely been successful. You almost wouldn't even think it's a game theme. The music immediately launches into full flow, and Franke sets the tone at first with his familiar drum beat. The haunting string melody introduces a new, grave theme we haven't heard before, and it ends with a note of optimism. Most certainly a contender to X-Wing's throne of possessing the best in-game music ever.

17. Main Theme Sierra Game Extended

Starting off at a slower pace, the theme soon turns into the traditional Babylon melody which melds into the main elements of the previous track. Soon, this turns changes to include the off-key rhythm of Geometry I, then abruptly launches into a drum-beat heavy rhythm with the usual Babylon 5 battle elements. Soon enough, the main melody returns, and this track could well have suited perhaps a battle such as Severed Dreams. In the last minute, the melody transforms into a victorious note, then, not unlike the end of the Big Battle in Severed Dreams (which seems to have been cut on the CD, for some reason) the music turns to a graver note, remembering those who died. A unusual change is that after this grave note, the melody ends, well, happily. Although this track doesn't differ too much from the previous track in terms of the main melody, the Extended version is a more complete track, in my opinion.