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Comments about the soundtrack for Conan the Destroyer (Basil Poledouris)

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Unique in it's own right.
• Posted by: Ommadawn   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2003, at 12:22 p.m.
• IP Address:

It's only recently that i've obtained the "Destroyer", after having been a keen and frequent listener of the "Barbarian" score for many years now. The movie of "Destroyer" was truly awful (few deny this) and i only watched it once years ago (being very tempted to turn off the video on several occasions). No longer was it rugged bear skins and dirty hands in sumerian wilds. Now it was to be oiled bodies and carefully groomed hair for Conan, with shiny swords and magic.

I think that is the difference in the score for "Destroyer" also. It takes an entirely different approach, and that's why i call it's unique in it's own right. I sympathize with those who say it's extremely difficult to prevent themselves from comparing with "Barbarian". If we do, then "Destroyer" simply comes nowhere near the thematic and varied masterpiece of "Barbarian". But the way to to listen to it, is to view the score like the film. A completely different setting and situation with coincidentally familiar characters.

"Barbarian" was raw and gritty Sumerian /Atlantean Wrath and fury. "Destroyer" is refined fantasy, with shiny swords and wizards. The score we here reflects that. It certainly is a shame that the overall sound of the score is so "enclosed". It often feels like a tiny school orchestra in a room. That is my only dislike and one that is hard to shake. The raw and un-refined recording of Barbarian is infact one of it's lasting addictions in the end (imo). It's sound is raw and prehistoric. That's why it sound so great (a contradiction in terms it seems. But those of you who know Barbarian, will understand what i'm talking about). "Destroyer" should be appreciated as a fantasy score, rather than a beefy rugged and muddy wrestling score,like "Barbarian" was.

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