Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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Thief. Warrior. Gladiator. Barbarian.

Revised April 19, 2010

Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas there was an age undreamed of. And unto this Conan, destined to bear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga…

…LET ME TELL YOU OF THE DAYS OF HIGH ADVENTURE!



24 Tracks • 82:55


  1. PROLOGUE • ANVIL OF CROM (Conan the Barbarian) 3:36

  2. HYBORIAN TREASURES (The Adventures of Conan) 3:30

  3. RIDDLE OF STEEL • RIDERS OF DOOM (Conan the Barbarian) 5:32

  4. ILLUSION'S LAKE (Conan the Destroyer) 1:14

  5. WIFEING (Theme of Love from Conan the Barbarian) 2:05

  6. DREAM QUEST (Conan the Destroyer) 1:29

  7. ATLANTEAN SWORD (Conan the Barbarian) 3:44

  8. THE DRAGON'S EYE (The Adventures of Conan) 2:14

  9. CRYSTAL PALACE (Conan the Destroyer) 6:08

  10. THEOLOGY • CIVILIZATION (Conan the Barbarian) 3:08

  11. THE KATTA (Conan the Destroyer) 1:00

  12. ALL THE FORCES OF HELL (The Adventures of Conan) 2:16

  13. RIDERS OF TARAMIS (Conan the Destroyer) 3:24

  14. THE LEAVING • THE SEARCH (Conan the Barbarian) 5:56

  15. THE SCROLLS OF SKELOS (Conan the Destroyer) 2:19

  16. THE KITCHEN • THE ORGY (Conan the Barbarian) 6:23

  17. GAZE UPON YOUR DEATH (The Adventures of Conan) 2:32

  18. GIFT OF FURY (Conan the Barbarian) 3:45

  19. ELITE GUARD ATTACKS (Conan the Destroyer) 2:22

  20. RECOVERY (Conan the Barbarian) 2:09

  21. VALERIA REMEMBERED (Conan the Destroyer) 3:04

  22. BATTLE OF THE MOUNDS • DEATH OF REXOR (Conan the Barbarian) 10:12

  23. …BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY (Conan the Destroyer) 3:27

  24. AGE OF SWORDS AND SORCERY (The Adventures of Conan) 1:12


Music Composed and Conducted by Basil Poledouris
except “The Orgy” Composed by Basil and Zoë Poledouris
Orchestration by Grieg McRitchie


Conan the Barbarian
(1982)

Performed by Members of the Orchestra and Chorus of Santa Cecelia and The Radio Symphony of Rome
Engineered by Pedegro Savina at International Recording Studios, Rome
Text Translation by Beth Lawson and Teresa Cortey
Prologue” Spoken by Mako


The Adventures of Conan: Sword and Sorcery Spectacular
(1983)

Performed by The London Studio Symphony Orchestra and Voices
Engineered by Eric Tomlinson at Bond Street Recording Studios, London


Conan the Destroyer
(1984)

Performed by the Orchestra El Unione Musicisti Di Roma
Additional Orchestration by Jack Smalley and Steven Scott Smalley
Engineered by Antonio Rampotti at RCA Studios, Rome



I first bought the soundtrack album for Conan the Barbarian the same day I purchased that for The Hunt for Red October; the latter was one of my first CDs (although not the very first; that would have been Jerry Goldsmith's score for Total Recall). Conan, however, was on one of those old white-shelled MCA cassette tapes with no Dolby and a lousy reduction of the LP cover art ("Note: There is approximately 1 minute 26 seconds of blank tape at the end of Program 1"). I still have that tape, almost worn down to nothing. I keep it for sentimental reasons.

I had just seen Red October and was impressed by several moments in the score (some of which were not on that album), and had remembered a bold theme from Conan the Destroyer that I really wanted to hear, so I figured that Basil Poledouris was somebody whose music I wanted to check out. Alas, that theme was not on the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack album, but by Crom what was there was one of the most impressive forty-seven minutes of music that I'd ever heard. I took to the battle music immediately, and as for the rest, more I listened to it, the more I wanted to listen to it, and this was my reaction completely divorced from the film, which I had not seen for quite a while at the time (and even then, probably only on television).

I eventually rented the film and was amazed not only by how much the film used its music as a narrative tool, but by how much really good music was in the film that didn't appear on the album. The film itself remains a personal favorite of mine for its exhilarating battle sequences and operatic tone. The score is hands down the most sophisticated aspect of the film, but it such a perfect musical reflection of the film's story, ideas and setting that it reaches heights of film/music interaction that Sergeis Eisenstein and Prokofiev would have been proud of (I don't always like John Milius' films, but they do always have great scores).

I also caught up to Conan the Destroyer on video and found the score to be much more conventional but with splendid highlights. Several cues seemed to be recycled almost directly from Conan the Barbarian, which I found somewhat odd. That theme that I had remembered, the one that prompted me to purchase Conan the Barbarian in the first place, it was right there in the main title, glorious and heroic. Unfortunately, in addition to the film being monaural, the music in the main title was obscured by thundering hooves, but I did record the end credits, which had a piece of that main title theme, and made finding the soundtrack album a priority.

Of course, as anybody familiar with the Conan the Destroyer score is aware of, the album omits the main title. The track titled "Main Title/Riders of Taramis" has a piece of "Conan and Bombaata Battle" tracked in before segueing into the cue for the fight at the shrine. To make matters worse, the cue that immediately proceeds the presentation of the main theme in the end title is heard as part of "Dueling Wizards" on the soundtrack album, making for something of a tease in that respect.

When Varèse Sarabande released these two titles on CD, I hit the roof when I saw that Conan the Barbarian had additional tracks on it — this was the first expanded release of a score I had ever seen! The disc of Conan the Destroyer, however, was a straight reissue of the LP configuration. Ford A. Thaxton has said that the reason why Poledouris chose not to include the main title on the soundtrack album is because he was dissatisfied with the performance, but I have to say that on a personal level I have always wanted that track, and it became one of my holy grails. And whenever someone would mention the possibility of myself making a Conan mix, I always cited the lack of available music from Conan the Destroyer as being a primary reason why I couldn't. I meant, of course, that I couldn't feel comfortable making a Conan mix without including this track. And of course, there was no third film which would make it somewhat difficult to make a decent concept album.

I am understandably not going to get into too many details here, but I have found, at long last, this holy grail of mine. It doesn't sound all that great, but it is in stereo and more than listenable (and I've made a lot of… special modifications myself; it actually consists of two takes recorded separately that I had to combine to replicate its intended flow). I can certainly hear why Poledouris had reservations about the performance, but it's just such an exciting piece of music that it transcends the playing (which could honestly be said about some parts of the Conan the Barbarian score as well). It's all here, that propulsive rhythm, the clanging adaptation of "Anvil of Crom," the brassy rise and fall of an adventure theme only Poledouris could have composed. And furthermore I had forgotten that it blossoms into a soaring rendition of the "Riddle of Steel" theme as Conan is seen praying at the shrine.

I finally have a piece of music that I've wanted for over twenty years and forget all that bullshit about "wanting" being better than "having," this is only two minutes and thirty-seven seconds and it's my version of bliss. What can I say? I'm even glad that I had to tinker with it.

But it gets even better. I couldn't make a Conan mix because I didn't have this track. I also couldn't make one because there was no third Conan film and therefore no third Poledouris Conan score. However, in addition to the two Conan features, Basil Poledouris also composed the score for The Adventures of Conan: Sword and Sorcery Spectacular stunt show at Universal Studios in 1983. The music for this program was released by SuperTracks, and it is quite a handsome work in its own right, and while it doesn't have direct quotes to the thematic material from Conan the Barbarian, they are referenced, and there are several ideas that the composer would develop and incorporate into the Conan the Destroyer score one year later.

As this was a compilation that I had been dying to make but never could, I did pull out all the stops. I took advantage of the slightly greater capacity of the Hewlett Packard CD-Rs I've started using since the Memorex inkjet discs started injecting newer discs without printable surfaces surrounding the center ring, and so this is the longest mix that I've ever made, running over 82 minutes. I have, for the most part, abandoned incorporating index markers onto my CDs because there are so few players out there that have that feature anymore (hell, I don't even have a player with the index function), but seeing as this was a Conan mix which featured a few compound tracks, I included several of them.

What was really nice about putting this mix together was how well the scores balanced each other out: Conan the Barbarian provides the emotional connections, lust and fury; Conan the Destroyer provides a greater sense of adventure and mystery while The Adventures of Conan imparts a sense of wonder and discovery.


  1. PROLOGUE • ANVIL OF CROM (Conan the Barbarian) 3:36
    One of the wonderful things about working on a mix upon which you're so familiar with the music is that you often find choices making themselves for you. I had no indecision whatsoever as to how I should open this album. The opening of the Milan CD (which is otherwise a straight reissue of the LP without the extra tracks that were on the Varèse Sarabande edition) features Mako's monologue over Basil Poledouris' percussion-based prologue; while I generally dislike dialogue on my soundtrack albums, I have always found this to be the perfect introduction to the music. I also knew that I was not going to be using many of Poledouris' percussion tracks from Conan the Barbarian (e.g. "The Witch," "Battle Preparations," although I do like the references to Fumio Hayaska's score for The Seven Samurai). The original LP and the Varèse CD open with "Anvil of Crom," the film's powerful main title which blasts out Conan's main theme on 24 French horns (talk about a wall of sound!) and an expanded percussion section; this thunderous opening would be referenced by Jerry Goldsmith in his score for Total Recall. This portion of the theme will be associated with Conan's heroics and will return prominently in Conan the Destroyer. As the title sequence, which features the forging of an impressive sword, begins to focus on young Conan (Jorge Sanz), the "Riddle of Steel" theme is heard on strings. This theme will be associated primarily with Conan's emotional arc in Conan the Barbarian, and while it does return in the second film, its appearances are much more fleeting as keeping with the tenor of the film. There is an index marker at the transition point between the two cues.

  2. HYBORIAN TREASURES (The Adventures of Conan) 3:30
    In 1982, Universal Studios, reacting to the public's interest in fantasy films in the wake of Star Wars as evidenced by the success of such movies as The Dark Crystal, Excalibur and The Beastmaster, decided to create a fantasy stunt show at their theme park based upon their own property, the enormously successful Conan the Barbarian. It was therefore only fitting that they would hire Poledouris to provide the music. SuperTracks released the resulting recording as a two-track CD; the first track had the sound for the show (including dialogue), the second just the music. The first track proved invaluable when it came to titling the selected portions of the suite. Here a sprightly opening builds up to Poledouris' forbidding "Dragon's Eye" motif, which is followed by a major mode motif for Conan that is based loosely on "Anvil of Crom."

  3. RIDDLE OF STEEL • RIDERS OF DOOM (Conan the Barbarian) 5:32
    Young Conan is told the story of his god Crom by his father (William Smith), who instructs him that he must learn "the riddle of steel" to be accepted into Valhalla. We hear an innocent version of that theme, but the idyll is broken by raiding Vanir, signaled by a warning call from the brass. The choral music is inspired by both Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and the music of Sergei Prokofiev (whose scores for the films of Sergei Eisenstein were a primary stylistic influence on the film/music interaction for Conan the Barbarian), though with a more Eastern flavor. There is an index marker at the transition from one part of this piece to the other.

  4. ILLUSION'S LAKE (Conan the Destroyer) 1:14
    While there are many very heroic moments in Conan the Destroyer, which is on the whole a much more conventional score than Conan the Barbarian, much of the score is also devoted to the central enigmas of the storyline. Mysterioso textures are heard as Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his band travel across a misty lake to the palace of Toth-Amon (Pat Roach) to seek the missing Princess Jehnna (Olivia D'Abo).

  5. WIFEING (Theme of Love from Conan the Barbarian) 2:05
    Conan finds himself drawn to Valeria, the Queen of Thieves (Sandahl Bergman), and the two of them feel love for the first time in their lives. This cue begins with their lovemaking and then plays over a montage which covers the development of their relationship. The blossoming love theme bears the distinct influence of the film scores of Miklós Rózsa, whom Poledouris credits as being one of the primary reasons he became interested in music. While I generally drop subtitles if they don't fit into my overall format for the track listings, here the original subtitle is preserved because it worked just fine in that context.

  6. DREAM QUEST (Conan the Destroyer) 1:29
    A somber flute quotes a dark theme for Queen Taramis (Sarah Douglas) which is reprised on brass in an arrangement that evokes "Riders of Doom" (track 3) at the conclusion of this track. Poledouris also introduces a theme for the journey the forms the basis for the film itself here, which is heard in a glittering setting here as well as a more intimate flute version for a short conversation between Jehnna and Bombaata (Wilt Chamberlain).

  7. ATLANTEAN SWORD (Conan the Barbarian) 3:44
    Conan is freed after a childhood and adolescence in slavery, and he takes refuge from a group of pursuing wolves in a cave. Quiet strings, bells and glass harmonica are heard as he finds the ruins of a royal court complete with the skeletal remains, one of whom has a sword which fascinates Conan. A noble brass motif is heard, intoning as though the voice of the long-dead giants. "The Riddle of Steel" concludes this cue as Conan exits the cave with the sword to face the wolves, and in the next scene is wearing fur coat.

  8. THE DRAGON'S EYE (The Adventures of Conan) 2:14
    A pair of young thieves attempt to steal treasure from a ruined temple, which is scored with a passage for bells and strings denoting great wonder. An evil wizard urges them to "Come To Me," knowing that they will eventually reach the Dragon's Eye, which allow him to return to power, featuring a powerful rendition of the artifact's theme

  9. CRYSTAL PALACE (Conan the Destroyer) 6:08
    A short, repeating woodwind and harpsichord motif for Toth-Amon's palace begins this track. Brass and percussion take over with another motif, this one relentless and mounting as Conan must battle Amon without help of his companions, who are trapped. A dazzling rendition of the "Dream Quest" theme is heard as Conan works out exactly how to defeat the evil Wizard. His rescue of Jehnna is scored with flutes and strings reprising a section of "The Awakening" from Conan the Barbarian (not heard on this compilation) that was in a part of the scene that was edited out of the American theatrical prints. The album edit of the cue, which omits a few seconds towards the beginning. I decided that those few seconds weren't necessary, and the jump in sound quality from one source to the other would be too jarring to bother including, so this is the track as it appears on the Conan the Destroyer soundtrack album.

  10. THEOLOGY • CIVILIZATION (Conan the Barbarian) 3:08
    One of the best things about the score for Conan the Barbarian is that because the film uses the music as a primary storytelling device, most of the cues are actually fully-formed musical pieces, each with a beginning, a middle and an end. This delightful track is such an example; it begins with Conan and Subotai (surfing legend Gerry Lopez) discussing their relationships to their gods and the gods to each other — "Crom laughs at your Four Winds. He laughs from his mountain." "My god is stronger. He is the everlasting sky! Your god lives underneath him." — and continues as the duo visit several cities and Conan discovers the primitive civilizations of the time. Tinkling bells, English horn, clarinet and flute evoke the burgeoning friendship between the two men; the strings take over as they are seen running from town to town. This theme would be reprised later in the score of Conan the Barbarian for Subotai's rescue of Conan from the "Tree of Woe." I had planned on placing index markers at the transition points of each compound track; in most cases, there was a pretty clear point of demarcation from one to the other. Now, there is an index marker where "Theology" becomes "Civilization," but it doesn't really mean much as "Theology · Civilization" isn't really a compound track but rather a single piece of music that scores two events the titles refer to.

  11. THE KATTA (Conan the Destroyer) 1:00
    I have no idea whether this was done at the request of the director, producers or what, but several of the cues for Conan the Destroyer were adaptations of cues for Conan the Barbarian. "The Katta" is a new recording of the cue "Discipline of Steel" from the first film, and features a meandering version of the "Anvil of Crom" theme on English horn. The conclusion of the piece features a harp sequence not in the original version.

  12. ALL THE FORCES OF HELL (The Adventures of Conan) 2:16
    The young male thief is transformed into Conan to heroic brass and strings. He is just in time, as the evil wizard begins to raise minions from the dead to the sound of a forbidding passage for choir and percussion.

  13. RIDERS OF TARAMIS (Conan the Destroyer) 3:24
    This is actually the cue titled "Battle at the Shrine," and was the opening track of the Conan the Destroyer soundtrack album. The main title had been excised, and a section of music from Conan's battle with the keepers of the Horn grafted on to it (on the album, this is also tracked into the beginning of "Conan and Bombaata Battle"). I decided as I hadn't planned on including "Conan and Bombaata Battle," that I would include the album edit of "Battle at the Shrine." After a suspenseful beginning, a new arrangement of "Anvil of Crom" is heard, which (on this, the album edit) leads into a heroic new theme for Conan the composer wrote for the sequel, itself built along the same rising and falling lines as both "Anvil of Crom" and "Riddle of Steel." Angry versions of Taramis' theme is heard as Conan and Malak (Tracey Walter) are attacked; Malak is represented by a theme for woodwinds that Poledouris used briefly for Subotai in Conan the Barbarian, heard in the cues "Escape" and "Resourceful Warriors" A.K.A. "Cunning Warriors" (neither of which appear on any version of the soundtrack album). Because it covers so much of the thematic material in the film, an edit of "Battle at the Shrine" was used in the film's end credits. I didn't make an official "side one" and "side two" on this disc, but this is the unofficial conclusion of "side one."



  14. THE LEAVING • THE SEARCH (Conan the Barbarian) 5:56
    The love theme is heard in one of its most beautiful performances as Valeria tries to convince Conan not to take up the offer of King Osric (Max Von Sydow) to rescue his daughter (Valérie Quennessen) from the Mountain of Power. Conan, however, has found a symbol which links the cult of Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) to the Vanir that raided his village ("Riders of Doom," track 3) and killed his parents ("Gift of Fury," track 18), and makes the decision to make the journey to a wrenching crescendo, which resolves into the most intimate version of the love theme heard in either film. As Conan sets out, a new melody is introduced, an appropriately meandering work that goes through a myriad of variations as Conan nears the object of his search. A more mysterious passage featuring a distant fanfare heard voiced by several instruments is then heard as Conan discovers the Mounds, and with them their wizard keeper and the film's narrator (Mako), who will be named "Akiro" in Conan the Destroyer. While I have isolated versions of each of these cues ("The Search" was included on the original LP while "The Leaving" was not) and could have put them in separate places on the album, I instead chose to present them joined as they are in the film and on the Varèse CD, although there is again an index marker at the transition between the two cues.

  15. THE SCROLLS OF SKELOS (Conan the Destroyer) 2:19
    Woodwinds and strings are heard as Conan and his band penetrate deep into the crypt to recover the Horn of Dagoth and the wizard begins to suspect that not all is right with Taramis' ambitions. This cue has a similar flavor to "Atlantean Sword" (track 7), as it is also evoking a mystical aura about the ancient past. A beautiful passage for flute and strings close off the track.

  16. THE KITCHEN • THE ORGY (Conan the Barbarian) 6:23
    Conan, Valeria and Subotai sneak into the Mountain of Power through the kitchen and follow a soup made from human body parts through the underground caves to a thunderous adaptation of the primary Thulsa Doom theme introduced in "Riders of Doom" (track 3). As with "The Leaving · The Search," this was a case where only one of these cues, "The Orgy," was on the original LP but the Varèse CD featured another cue attached, albeit here not mixed together. I could have separated them, but decided instead to mimic the transition that appears in the film so that we proceed from "The Kitchen" to "The Orgy" without a break, although once again there is an index marker at the point of demarcation. "The Orgy" is the only source music that I included on this album, and it consists of several repeating musical phrases being passed around the orchestra in an almost minimalistic manner creating a hypnotic spell as our heroes sneak around the distracted revelers and Thulsa Doom turns himself into a giant snake. There is an interesting backstory to this piece: Poledouris was apparently suffering from writer's block when working on this piece of music. He had elements of a melody he knew he wanted to use but couldn't figure out how to make them work. He had apparently been working on it for days when his nine-year-old daughter Zoë, fed up with hearing him pound out the same notes on the piano over and over again, stormed into his office and said informed her father that he had it all wrong, and played how she thought the music should go on her recorder. Zoë had given him the solution to his problem, and so Poledouris credited her as co-writer on the piece, and Zoë Poledouris became the youngest member of B.M.I. when it was published. The piece would be reprised in Conan the Destroyer for Taramis' ritual to bring forth Dagoth.

  17. GAZE UPON YOUR DEATH (The Adventures of Conan) 2:32
    The evil wizard and his undead minions fall upon Conan and the other thief, but they manage to prevail by pitching their enemies into a giant pit. Unfortunately, the wizard emerges as a gigantic dragon, presenting a whole new threat to the heroes. Several of the ideas in this cue would form the basis for the development of the thematic material from Conan the Barbarian in the score for Conan the Destroyer.

  18. GIFT OF FURY (Conan the Barbarian) 3:45
    The sword of Conan's father entrances the raiding Vanir, who reveal themselves to be led by Rexor (Ben Davidson), Thorgrim (Sven Ole Thorsen) and Thulsa Doom. Thulsa Doom's secondary theme is an adaptation of "Dies Irae," the Catholic Mass for the Dead. Conan's mother (Nadiuska) holds her child beside her but is hypnotized by Doom into lowering her defenses. The tragic but understated conclusion to this cue is an example of how well the music works to convey the inner emotions of the stoic main character in the film.

  19. ELITE GUARD ATTACKS (Conan the Destroyer) 2:22
    This is an exciting action cue in which Poledouris' new theme for Conan is given a few swashbuckling flourishes as it is set against relentless renditions of the theme for Taramis and her operatives. This was apparently a very difficult cue to record, as there are several different takes of it on the scoring sessions tapes, but the final version as it appears on the album is one hell of a ride built around the ostinato that Poledouris formed his main title around (see track 23) as Conan battles the head of the Queen's guard (Sven Ole Thorsen again); this is the album edit and is actually only the second portion of the cue as it appears in the film.

  20. RECOVERY (Conan the Barbarian) 2:09
    This cue starts with "Anvil of Crom" on English horn, which then proceeds to "Riddle of Steel" before the trumpet takes over are heard in this introspective moment as Conan feels his strength returning; this sequence is repeated again with a choir. This is one of the most arresting pieces of music from either film, a beautiful reworking of familiar material to illustrate not only how a character feels but how he has been changed by his experiences.

  21. VALERIA REMEMBERED (Conan the Destroyer) 3:04
    The love theme in Conan the Barbarian culminates in the dramatic "Funeral Pyre." Taramis tempts Conan with a promise to bring Valeria back to life, and the music from this sequence is reprised. It is heard again when Conan is offered the chance to rule at Jehnna's side, but with a new bridge for the princess (now queen) featuring an adaptation of the "Dream Quest" theme.

  22. BATTLE OF THE MOUNDS • DEATH OF REXOR (Conan the Barbarian) 10:12
    This lengthy suite encapsulates the events of the sequence surrounding the final battle in Conan the Barbarian, and is the action climax of this disc. "Battle of the Mounds" features several variations on Thulsa Doom's main theme as introduced in "Riders of Doom" (track 3) as well as the first appearance of the theme for the wizard, which would return along with the character in the sequel. One of the standout moments in the score and film is the calm before the storm, during which Conan prays to Crom for the first time to an inversion of the "Riddle of Steel" theme. "Death of Rexor" features several Wagnerian passages as Conan faces off against his more powerful foe; thunderous brass gives away to a serene string sequence as Crom, impressed by Conan's determination, answers his prayer and returns Valeria to Earth just long enough to save the Cimmerian's life. Powerful statements of "Anvil of Crom" and "Riddle of Steel" are heard as Conan triumphs. Thulsa Doom's secondary "Dies Irae" theme returns; this leads to a brief statement of the love theme on brass as Conan raises both his Atlantean sword and his father's sword, broken by his own fury in combat with Rexor. Ethereal choral passages are heard as Thulsa Doom, bereft of his warriors, plans to have his worshippers kill themselves to give him power. A dark adaptation of the "Dies Irae" theme is heard as Conan prowls the temple. The R1 "Collector's Edition" DVD of Conan the Barbarian restores a conversation between Conan and Subotai that immediately preceded this scene that was excised from American theatrical prints; the cue started right before the transition point between shots and so the original American releases of the film had previously cut the very beginning of "Battle of the Mounds." Similarly, while the score is unchanged between the two versions of the film, American theatrical version had different shots to avoid any hint of the princess, who, betrayed by Thulsa Doom is leading Conan to him. This was pretty much the only time I did any 'editorializing' on the tracks from Conan the Barbarian, and the only time on this project I combined music from from two separate tracks of each source myself ("Riders of Taramis" [track 13] contains a piece of "Conan and Bombaata Battle," but that was Poledouris' choice and not my doing); my initial edit contained material from "Cunning Traps" A.K.A. "Resourceful Warriors" in between these two tracks, but these were cut for considerations of both sound quality and album pacing. I had tracked the strings over the choral portion of the "Dies Irae" when I found the effect was rather interesting, but my primary purpose for doing this on the original run of these discs was for time. I have since found that I had plenty of space on the disc to finish off this track, so I restored the missing sequence to newer pressings, albeit with a slight abridgment to prevent it from becoming too repetitive. There is, of course, an index marker at the transition point between the two cues.

  23. …BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY (Conan the Destroyer) 3:27
    Akiro's theme is reprised from a sequence in which he has a battle of magic wills in "Dueling Wizards." The rousing variation on the new Conan theme heard as the band of heroes escapes from the Sanctuary of the Horn was later retracked into the end of the film as the epilogue and beginning of the end title scroll. I mimicked the transition from that cue to the first part of the main title that appears in the Conan the Destroyer end credits, but instead of proceeding to "Riders of Taramis" as it does in the film, here the full main title plays out exactly as it does at the beginning of the film, where the new Conan theme leads into adaptations of both "Anvil of Crom" and "Riddle of Steel." This is the only case in which I did any retitling, seeing as "Dueling Wizards" didn't fit the track anymore, "Riders of Taramis" was already taken and "Main Title" was just too utilitarian for this disc, so I used the closing words of both of the Conan features (the one change in the "Collector's Edition" version of Conan the Barbarian was the alteration of this line to "…and that story shall also be told," although hopefully now that it is obvious that that story will not be told as part of this franchise that any Blu-ray version will revert back to the normal sign-off). The main title single piece of music the lack of which had been preventing me from ever considering making a Conan compilation in the past, and my recent discovery of it satisfied a yen I've had for about twenty years or so. The condition of the original tracks were not the best, but I took them and scrubbed them as best as possible. It isn't perfect, but it is an improvement over the raw sound and more than listenable, especially given the driving nature of the music. This piece allows me to close of this album with a certain amount of symmetry, as this track is a companion piece to "Anvil of Crom" (track 1). There is an index marker at the beginning of the main title portion of the track.

  24. AGE OF SWORDS AND SORCERY (The Adventures of Conan) 1:12
    The finale of the Universal Studios' stuntshow features a return to the attractive textures heard in "Cimmerian" (track 2) and features a direct quote of "Anvil of Crom" in its final crescendo, which is presented here with the sustain of the dialogue track mixed in as it was more spacious. This was the perfect conclusion to the disc, and it closes on a note of adventure.

Tags: basil poledouris, conan, film music, my mixes
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