Babylon 5 Soundtracks

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I haven't heard the track 8 theme from "Messages from Earth" on the Show. Is it an "inspired by" theme?

A: Indeed, you are right. Track 8's original is hard to find since it's a general reflection inspired by certain characters from the show, including Sheridan, Delenn, Draal, The First Ones, etc. To come up with a closing theme I went through splinters of musical phrases used in shorter scenes over the last four seasons. Then I combined them into a more complete heartfelt / noble sounding track. This theme will be used in a future episodes. -
- Christopher Franke -

Q: How did you come up with the titles for the 4 suites on the new soundtrack "Babylon 5 Volume 2" subtitled "Messages From Earth?"

A: It's probably not what you would expect.
The titles don't reflect the musical content of the 4 suites at all. I didn't use my usual style of titles with general wording and related ideas (e.g. "The Bridge to Eternity"). I took the liberty of assembling music from 44 episodes, so I actually had about 10 titles per suite to choose from. I decided to name suites after certain episodes which made especially deep impressions on me. These impressions were formed by the episodes themselves, from certain joyful experiences in the process of composing and recording the music, and due to other personal reasons.

The titles of a particular sequence were determined at the early concept stage of the album while I was editing and moving the music around till the very end of my deadline. This holds true for the first as well as the second album. But the evolution of the recording is such that elements were linked like a jigsaw puzzle to create fluid and unified pieces and the end result was rather different than what the titles denote.

So, the funny thing is that the suite "Mind War" on the first CD contains quite a bit of music from the "Chrysalis" episode and very little from the "Mind War" episode. On the second CD, the track "Messages From Earth" had a large portion from "Severed Dreams" but close to zero from the actual "Messages from Earth." On the other hand, "Severed Dreams" had quite a bit from "Messages From Earth." Ironic, isn't it?

Therefore, for people who are big fans and know well which music is from which episode, the news is that you could get confused by my way of naming suites. So don't hold too much to the title, but listen to the music and enjoy!

Q: When will "Babylon 5 Volume 2, Messages From Earth" be available in US record stores?

A: It will be available at the end of March.

Q: 'Babylon 5 Volume 2 Messages From Earth" has been available through Sonic Images Mail Order since 2/28/97. Why does it take so long for the record to be available on the street?

A: To release a record through a major US distributor, in our case it's INDI/Alliance, it takes about 8 weeks.

The first 4 weeks is the so-called pre-soliciting phase, where a 4-color one-sheet is handed by the distributors to all the buyers of the major chains (Tower Records, Blockbuster, Best Buy, Musicland ect.) and one-stops (Valley Distribution, CD One-Stop, Abbey Road). One-stops are the middlemen to so called "mom and pop" stores with a small chain or just one location.

After approximately 4 weeks the orders come in. The CD's are then shipped from the Sonic Images warehouse to the record chains' warehouses and from there into the stores. The store clerks sometime take over a week to put the CD onto the shelf. Meanwhile several companies are busy entering all the B 5 data and sound bites into interactive record store kiosks to enable customers to find products nice and easy.

In the case of Babylon 5 the pre-soliciting phase starts after the music and artwork has been approved by the show's producers and Warner Brothers. After that point it takes one week to have the product ready for Sonic Images mail order but 8 weeks to appear on store shelves.

All other SI Products which don't need the approval process are typically available in shops 4 weeks after they are made available for mail order. This is true because the pre-soliciting phase can already start while the record is still in production.

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