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Showing 1-10 of 182 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 228 reviews
on March 6, 2017
I grew up watching this classic movie. I always loved this sound track. At times this amazing soundtrack carried the film. It is a joy to listen too while working in my shop or doing the dishes (which makes my wife happy). My too kids 8 and 6 have of course never seen the film and won't until they much older. However, even they enjoy listening to the music on this album. If you're a Conan fan you wont go wrong with this buy!
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on December 31, 2013
This is THE definitive version of the soundtrack for the ORIGINAL and BEST Conan movie. Just as critics said that the movie, while free and easy with the source material, got the spirit of Howard's writing and the titular character bang-on, the sweeping, majestic score from Basil Poledouris perfectly conveyed the swagger, strength, and high adventure of Conan and the brutal, dazzling landscapes of Hyboria. This movie stands as a testament that a good soundtrack can make an otherwise adequate movie great. Without this monumental score, the movie falls flat on its face and joins the ranks of the dime-a-dozen sword and sorcery movies from the 70's and 80's.

As for this particular version, it's the one Conan fans have been waiting for. Every single musical note heard in the movie is here, as well as some other treats. Other editions of the soundtrack have come and gone. There was one available as an import, which had more material than the bare-bones soundtrack available here in the US, but it was hard to find, and still incomplete.

For those who have been waiting, we finally have the Renaissance piece that played during the infiltration in the tower of Set. So complete is this album, you even have the odd, unsettling chanting going on in the background when Conan first meets Valeria. Also present are some discarded numbers that Poledouris resurrected for the "Conan the Destroyer" soundtrack. So, in essence, this album contains the complete score from both of Arnold's Conan movies. Again, every musical note you hear in Conan the Barbarian is on this album.
As an added bonus, there are some outtakes and earlier versions of the score, some with different instrumentations.

All this would be only a curiosity if the re-mastering were sub-par or drastically altered from the original. Typically, I find "re-mastered" to be code for "We wanted more money, so we changed the mix to be different from what you remember. It's compressed and inferior. But Hey! It's RE-MASTERED!" Not so here. Those audiophiles who noticed the low-fidelity of the original soundtrack recordings will be thrilled with the quality of this release. The lo-fi noise is gone, but not the richness of the instruments. Indeed, the quality of the sound is superb, and the re-mastering stays very true to the original. So while they have drastically improved the sound quality, they have not monkeyed with the mix just for the sake of change.

This is a superb album, and without question the only soundtrack of Conan the Barbarian anyone needs.
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on February 13, 2015
I bought the Varese Sarabande edition of Basil Poledouris' "vibrant score" (per Leonard Maltin) in 1993, and it has been one of my favorites ever since. Real bone-rattling gutsy music alternating with delicate and even spiritual passages. The awesome atmosphere of "Atlantean Sword," the beautiful waltz of "Theology/Civilization," the deeply moving angelic choirs of "Recovery," and the all-out blood-and-thunder of "Battle of the Mounds," this was magical movie music in the Wagnerian tradition of gods, heroes, and Valkyries. It made my blood race to my face and squeezed tears from my eyes. The 67.52 minute suite moved me all over the emotional map from the brooding "Anvil of Crom" to the final majestic "The Awakening." Conan's author Robert E. Howard liked to say, "Barbarism is the natural condition of mankind." The masterful score of the late Mr. Poledouris hurls my mind and spirit back to the days of my "Cimmerian" ancestors, in the mists of old Scotland.

All of which leads me to this new deluxe three-CD Intrada edition of the legendary soundtrack. It has all the good old cues for Conan I know so well, plus others now debuting for the first time, as well as alternates, and others not heard in the movie (135.37 minutes). Plus, there is the 52.06 minute "digest" soundtrack from 1982 as disc three. Did the new material reveal anything truly outstanding? Perhaps not, but it is nice to have everything available now. "Conan the Barbarian" I always thought succeeded totally in its music, more so than did the film itself, which seemed to not quite have enough of the magical atmosphere of the pulp literature which inspired it. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a perfect Conan, though. I think this music score should appeal to many people, even to those who don't listen to much orchestral music. Youthful listeners might be surprised at how much they will enjoy it. For me, this score has put the late Mr. Poledouris up there in the Valhalla of Vaunted Victrola Venerables!
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on January 22, 2011
Conan the Barbarian, Poledouris, and film score fans prepare to rejoice!

This new release of the amazing score by the late, great master Basil Poledouris, is simply amazing. I've been listening to the Conan score since I was a kid picking up any version that I could find as they became available. When I saw this release I was skeptical, as many re-recorded film scores can be less than impressive.

Well, that is not the case with this release from Prometheus Records. This is a brand new recording of the complete score from the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian. Poledouris crafted his magnum opus with this score (I heard that he worked for an entire year in its creation) and it really shows. The film features so little dialogue that the score actually became another character in the story. While impressive in its initial release there was a lot more music in the film than on the first soundtrack, but the music was so incredible that we just kept listening anyway. In 1992 faithful fans were rewarded with an amazing new release on the Varese Sarabande label; a 16 track CD version that added a whole new level of awesome to the score. But there was always something missing.

Now, finally, the complete score has been released! Included are the much needed tracks Pit Fights, The Tower of Set, and In the Court of King Osric to name a few. Also included are the special treats like the alternate version of Theology/Civilization and a wonderful rendering from Conan the Destroyer "Chamber of Mirrors". I was not aware that this project was in the works but apparently Basil was involved in starting this project some 15 years ago. Sadly, he did not live to see it to completion, but thankfully James Fitzpatrick saw to it that the project was completed. Let me say that the only disappointing thing about this release is the cheezy artwork; it is a shame that they didn't use the amazing art of R. Cassaro on the CD. This doesn't have to replace the original score in your collection. I like to think that it complements it.

I should preface this glowing review: the original recording of the Conan score, the one that was forged in Rome by Basil himself (intentional Father's sword reference), will always hold a special place in my heart. It has always been my favorite music to listen to as long as I can remember. There is unmatched passion and emotion in that recording (that will hopefully get a remastering someday) that cannot be equaled. However this new release is a glorious version of the Conan score that really opens up with modern recording techniques being employed. Listening to it gives me goosebumps and has also brought me to tears. That's how special this music is.

So do whatever you can to get this 2 disc version of the Conan score and you will also see what a great prize this is. I believe that it is very possible that in 100 years or 500 years that this music will be regarded with the same admiration that the music of Beethoven and Mozart is today.

______________________________________
Update: 8-22-12

Having now lived with this new version of our beloved Conan score I must change my review. I've left the above review for honesty but I now view this recording differently. My new take on this recording is very similar to that of F. Dean. The original recording just has so much more heart and emotion in it. Some of the changes in this new recording are interesting but most are unwelcome and not needed. Including the ghastly, blaring tubas near the climax of Orphans of Doom/Awakening. There is a 5 note descending melody played in the buildup. In the original recording the 5th note is very subdued, but in this new version it is blasted out and honestly sounds like a wrong note. What the heck is that all about? Funny though, because they sound like "orphaned" notes! I am glad that classic score is getting some new attention thrown at it though. It really deserves it.

Despite the flaws of the original recording it is still the most outstanding film score ever recorded in my opinion. The new version is much like hearing a symphony perform one of your favorite classical pieces; it is fun to listen to, even wonderful at times, but I always find myself going back to the original (Varèse Sarabande) recording. Kind of like the way you become attached to a certain performance of a piece of music. It may not be the most flawless version but there is great emotion tied to music.

The version we've lived with all these years is Poledouris' magnum opus, composed and created in his fiery prime. Another way to look at this music is that the original score was recorded with a certain energy and pressure only a film production schedule can produce. The choir & orchestra may not have been the caliber of the London Symphony but the music they played blended perfectly with the movie. It's almost as if this group of players came together to produce the original Conan score and then they vanished from the earth (much like the Cinematic power of the Conan film saga) as they too were part of the magic that was "Conan the Barbarian"; raw, emotional, and visceral.
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on December 7, 2016
It's arguably the greatest film score of all time. I put it on par with Star Wars and Dune. I can't speak for the body of Basil's work, but this ST is every inch on par with the best of John Williams. There is a newer version of the Soundtrack from 2010, featuring the city of Prague Orchestra conducted by Nic Raine that has all of the songs heard in the movie. My recommendation is to get both. Each will give you it's own unique experience. Each has it's own strengths. This ST is a nice condensation of the score, but some of the missing songs found in the 2010 version are immensely powerful.
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on March 10, 2013
I had been looking for the Conan soundtrack for some time. When I found this 3 cd complete score I was very pleased, not only did it have the original soundtrack version, but it also includes the songs that were missing from the original soundtrack, plus a lot more.
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on May 19, 2016
Unbelievably Creative, Powerful, and Wonderously Awe-Inspiring Music of the Highest Order... Elicits Responses which Virtually Run the Entire Gamet of Human Emotions. Too bad there isn't a Ten-Star rating system, but even if there were, It would get 11 Stars+. Possibly the Greatest Soundtrack for a Motion Picture that has been Created to date. And to think that Basil's YOUNG daughter Zoe Helped him to improve one of this Masterpiece's Greatest Songs, when she spontaneously began to play a counter-melody to what he was creating (playing) on the Piano, by the use of her (ultra-basic, probably brought home by her that day from Grade School) Recorder (which is a very primitive version of a pipe)! The Apple certainly didn't fall far from the Tree in her case! Music of this QUALITY is just virtually not Produced Anymore, and Most Certainly Not by Anything having to do with the Modern-day Motion Picture Industry! Bravo!! Basil (and Zoe) Poledouris, BRAVO!!! -Can you tell that I sort of like this Soundtrack?
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on April 28, 2013
Forget long explanations. This is the HOLY GRAIL of Conan The Barbarian Soundtracks, period. Worth every penny. I'm supplicating Crom that he allows us a similar treatment with the Conan Destroyer Soundtrack. This is one of the most valued disc sets in my collection now.
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on March 28, 2017
Great soundtrack, sounds good on vinyl too. I like to do push ups while the track Wheel of Pain plays. You get the sleeve, the record and a paper inner sleeve so kinda plain as far as new records go. Totally recommend for fans of the film or people who like french horns and bassoons and stuff.
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on January 2, 2014
I can recall searching the internet for the 16 track soundtrack of Conan The Barbarian and finding a copy that had no booklet or even a list of the tracks. With this impressive 3-CD set of the complete score, full justice has been done to Basil Poledouris’ music. The discs contain all of the music of the film with several first versions of the music, as well as the score as it was issued in 1982.

The complete soundtrack is a tribute to the life of Basil Poledouris. The booklet describes how Basil and John Milius met and formed a film making partnership, tracking the ups and downs of both men. The information in the booklet includes a listing of the film cues, the tracks on the three CDs and a detailed analysis of each track with some fabulous still photographs from the film. Listening to the complete score was interesting as the music for many scenes, such as the pit fights, the scene with the witch and the hall of King Osric, allowed me to focus on the music which tended to be eclipsed when watching the film. Having the complete score provides insight into how Basil Poledouris approached the scoring of each scene.

Most interesting of all are the extra tracks containing the first versions of the Prologue, Anvil of Crom, Battle of the Mounds and other tracks. There are two earlier versions of the Orphans of Doom; the first being especially haunting with the use of a solo harp and soprano solo, instead of a chorus. The second version of the track has a chorus with a solo harp with the orchestra. The final track Las Cantigas de Santa Maria was included to present the source of the melody in the scene where Conan kills the giant snake,, as recorded by the early music group Clemencic Consort. The original tracks show the first thoughts of the composer and it is interesting to compare them to the final version. The inclusion of the Prologue with the narration by Mako on the third disc was especially welcome.

Anyone with an interest in the original (and only) Conan The Barbarian will want to have this set of CDs. The set is an impressive tribute to Basil Poledouris and, clearly, a labor of love for the album producers.
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