Sunday, November 13, 2016

Score Sample: Conan the Destroyer (1984)

When it comes to the big guns of fantasy music of the 1980s, you can't ignore the amazing score to Conan the Barbarian by Basil Poledouris. Nearly every track on that score is top notch film music material, and it is easily one of my favorite scores for the 1980s. The score became iconic in its time, and when the sequel came around the producers asked Poledouris to return.

While most of us will agree that Conan the Destroyer is an inferior film to the original, it has some solid fantasy tropes, some cool action scenes, and some really bad humor that doesn't work and some serious moments that turn out hilarious. It is a great movie to riff. But the music is actually one of the best parts of the production. Poledouris returns with a similar style, primal and rooted in medieval music stylings, giving it a very different feel to John Williams or James Horner's more classical trained scores.

Conan the Destroyer keeps the love theme, the main theme and even repurposes a few themes from the original score in unique ways. But the new material is really great. The villains get a bombastic new theme. The sequence with Conan facing the mirror room creature has a relentlessness to it, and there is plenty of magic in the score. While the original 80s album isn't too bad, there was an amazing rerecording that is the only way to listen to this score.

For you listening pleasure here is a suite of music from Conan The Destroyer by Basil Poledouris.

And the rerecording done by City of Prague Philharmonic for the amazing Tadlow album, that also includes music from the Universal Studios Sword and Sorcery Spectacular.


  1. I wonder if the producers were tempted to use "Destroyer" by the Kinks? I suppose not.

    1. Yeah I have my doubts. But it actually may have made the movie better. :)