Support Filmtracks! Click here first:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
iTunes (U.S.)
Amazon.ca
Amazon.fr
eBay (U.S.)
Amazon.de
Amazon.es
Half.com
 
This Week's Most Popular Reviews:
   1. Romeo & Juliet
   2. Hobbit: Unexpected Journey
   3. The Phantom of the Opera
   4. Lady in the Water
   5. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone
   6. Moulin Rouge
   7. Gladiator
   8. Titanic
   9. LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
   10. Thor: The Dark World
Newest Major Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
   1. Guardians of the Galaxy
   2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
   3. How to Train Your Dragon 2
   4. Maleficent
   5. X-Men: Days of Future Past
   1. Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
   2. City of Ember
   3. Jack the Giant Slayer
   4. Indiana Jones Collection
   5. King Kong Lives
 
Section Header
The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular
2000 Super Tracks

2011 Prometheus

Composed and Conducted by:
Basil Poledouris

Performed by:
The London Studio Symphony Orchestra and Voices

Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie

2011 Album Produced by:
James Fitzpatrick

2011 Album Conducted by:
Nic Raine

2011 Album Performed by:
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus

Labels and Dates:
Super Tracks Music Group
(September 29th, 2000)

Prometheus Records
(December 13th, 2011)

Also See:
Conan the Barbarian
Conan the Destroyer
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Flesh + Blood

Audio Clips:
2000 Super Tracks Album:

1. The Adventures of Conan (0:34):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (263K)
Real Audio (164K)

2. Sword and Sorcery Spectacular (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (243K)
Real Audio (151K)

Availability:
The 2000 Super Tracks album was a limited release of 3,000 copies, available only through soundtrack specialty outlets. Ten years later, it was still available at those outlets for its initial price of $20. The 2011 Prometheus 2-CD set pairing this score with Conan the Destroyer is not a limited product and was made available through soundtrack specialty outlets for $25.

Awards:
  None.









The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular
•  Printer Friendly Version
 
  @Amazon.com:
Used Price: $19.99

Sales Rank: 695683


Buy from Amazon.com

or read more reviews and hear more audio clips at Amazon.com.


  Compare Prices:
 2000 Album:

Amazon.com
(new and used)


 2011 Album:

eBay Stores
(new and used)


  Find it Used:
Check for used copies of this album in the:

Soundtrack Section at eBay

(including eBay Stores and Half.com listings)








Buy it... if you have an affinity for Basil Poledouris' music for Conan the Barbarian and its sequel, for this live-action spin-off show allowed the composer to produce a refreshing and viable extension of the same general sound.

Avoid it... in its original form if you have no interest in the entertainingly booming dialogue track and seek far superior sound quality, in which case the 2011 re-recording is a fantastic alternative.



Poledouris
The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular: (Basil Poledouris) In the early 1980s, Americans were consumed by the need for adventures from the mythical age of sword and sorcery. With films such as Dragonslayer, Excalibur, and Beastmaster came audiences' desire to see even more of such fantasy epics. The most successful film of the genre was, of course, Conan the Barbarian, and not only did the 1982 film inspire a full-length motion picture sequel two years later in the form of the substandard Conan the Destroyer, but it also led to the creation of a live-action Conan stage show located at Universal Studios in 1983. The Landmark Entertainment Group show, formally titled "The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular," ran for ten successful years in Hollywood before being replaced by newer, more technically sophisticated attractions such as "Jurassic Park: The Ride." The Conan show was produced in between the two feature films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it was therefore logical to ask the franchise's own compositional powerhouse, Basil Poledouris, to score the live-action version as well. The production wasn't all that long in its duration, lasting for about 20 minutes, but its intense Hyborean Age action required almost constant underscore of sufficient volume to give the audience a consistent rush of Conan-related fever. Poledouris tackled the assignment with the same seriousness as he had for the original film, employing orchestrator Greig McRitchie and the large London Studio Symphony Orchestra and Voices to duplicate the pounding depth of the music from Conan the Barbarian, though with a switch from the brutally cold demeanor of that film to a lighter, fantasy-oriented one for the franchise's continuation, the composer was forced to take the concept's music down a somewhat new path. That said, at least he did not have to contend with the nightmarish budgetary constraints that would ruin Conan the Destroyer for him and many listeners.

The resulting quarter of an hour of music by Poledouris remained a difficult item to obtain on album for quite a while. A limited album from Super Tracks, the quickly-defunct soundtrack specialty label, was released in 2000 and is devoted to only this Conan show. It includes two tracks: most of the music alone and a shorter selection of material with the original dialogue from the live action on stage. The suite which comprises the second track on this album had previously appeared on a few compilation bootlegs of Poledouris' work, some of which selling for hundreds of dollars at online auction houses. The music itself is a viable extension of Conan the Barbarian but more closely resembles parts of Conan the Destroyer. While neither the title nor love themes from the prior motion picture score are directly translated into the show for lengthy statements, bits and pieces do appear in mutations throughout. For instance, a bar of the title theme from Conan the Barbarian is inserted at 6:50 and the finale in the second, score-only track, and the pulsating rhythm of Crom occurs at 8:30 in the same track. Avid fans of Poledouris and the Conan franchise will recognize many of the composer's woodwind and brass styles carrying over from the film as well. A strong presence of timpani and a few new thematic ideas keep the live-action score distinct enough to enjoy apart from Conan the Barbarian (unlike the "Back to the Future: The Ride" score, for which Alan Silvestri just took his original film themes and pieced them together into a suite for the ride). In fact, a lovely new theme of romance is introduced at about 4:20 into the score-only track that translates into a couple of extremely attractive performances throughout the piece. The evil dragon receives an appropriately hypnotic theme heard at 2:30 and 5:10 into the same track. The primary new uplifting theme for Conan would be reprised in full for a couple of minutes near the climax of Conan the Destroyer. In general, the score is easily accessible, with only the wildly shrill scoring for the slaying of the dragon at the end providing a dissonant weakness in its musical content.

Learn about
supporting
Filmtracks

Taken from analog originals for digital mastering onto the 2000 Super Tracks CD, the recording does feature some tinny sound all around (not abnormal for a 1983 recording). The first track features select portions of the dialogue and music together, while the second one includes only the expanded score of over 16 minutes by itself. The digital transfer has caused a few notes of interest for those running their audio through larger stereo systems. On a smaller setup, the CD sounds much more uniform, but audiophiles will notice that the music is of slightly poorer quality on the track with the dialogue, a greater amount of treble hiss present throughout. Making this artifact more apparent is the comparatively booming, superior quality of the dialogue. On the whole, however, the album is a grand addition to the collection of any Poledouris collector. It's like traveling back in time to the early 1980's and living in the age of Conan mania all over again, with a fresh, obscure Poledouris score to enjoy. In 2011, when the City of Prague Philharmonic re-recorded the complete score for Conan the Destroyer for release by Prometheus Records, producer James Fitzpatrick opted to also record the entirety of "The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular" (without dialogue). Expanding the music available and dividing it into palatable cues, this re-recording includes full choir and really excels in the massive choral passages within "The Dragon/Mordor's Death" (speaking of Mordor, parts of this cue do resemble Howard Shore's The Lord of the Rings classics in intensity). The allusions to the motifs of Conan the Barbarian are more pronounced in "The Flight" here as well. Overall, it's an extra bonus on the re-recorded Conan the Destroyer set that will, for some, be the highlight. It's hard not to keep coming back to the dialogue version on the 2000 CD, however, with a rumbling, majestic narrator and wildly animated and equally deep vocal performance by the villain, both of whom will be certain to awaken your neighbors at any hour of the night. The death screams of the villain in particular are the kind of material that any sound effects collector will desire. The man portraying Conan definitely needed to work on his Austrian accent, though. ****   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Basil Poledouris reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.47 (in 33 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.21 (in 33,557 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 3.55 Stars
Smart Average: 3.45 Stars*
***** 82 
**** 90 
*** 63 
** 26 
* 33 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.



No Comments Yet



Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  




 Track Listings (2000 Super Tracks Album): Total Time: 24:36


• 1. The Adventures of Conan (8:03)
• 2. Sword and Sorcery Spectacular (16:32)




 Track Listings (2011 Prometheus Album): Total Time: 19:37


CD 2: (31:10)

Sword and Sorcery: The Adventures of Conan: (19:37)
• 1. Introduction (3:19)
• 2. Winds of the Woods (3:17)
• 3. Mordor's Four (4:41)
• 4. The Fight (3:30)
• 5. The Dragon/Mordor's Death (3:32)
• 6. The Ending (1:20)

Conan the Destroyer: (11:33)
• 7. Main Title (Film Version) (3:31)
• 8. Akiro/Cavemen Fight (Film Version) (0:55)
• 9. Zula/Bombaata Fight (Film Version) (2:27)
• 10. Dagoth Ceremony (Film Version) (4:41)

(no music from "The Adventures of Conan" on CD 1; total time only reflects contents from this live show soundtrack)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The insert of the 2000 Super Tracks album contains notes about Poledouris, Landmark Entertainment Group, and the show itself. That of the 2011 Prometheus set contains a brief analysis of the show, composer, and score.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular are Copyright © 2000, 2011, Super Tracks Music Group, Prometheus Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/1/00 and last updated 12/21/11. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2000-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.