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FuryofFrog Feb 11, 2017

I know that over the years a number of different versions of the Conan the Barbarian and Destroyer soundtracks have been released. My question to everyone is what do you believe to be the definitive versions of the soundtracks in terms of completeness and quality?

Conan the Barbarian has releases from Varèse Sarabande, Milan, a 2012 remaster from Intrada and the Tadlow rerecording.

Destroyer has Varèse Sarabande and the Tadlow rerecording. Intrada was going to release a remaster but I have no clue if it ever released or not.

I know the original discs can be a little pricey but I want the best versions of Conan I can get. I know there has been some bootlegs over the years too that might be better as well but I am unlearned in the ways of securing a good quality bootleg.

So then, anyone listen to the Intrada version of the soundtrack? Do you like the Tadlow rerecording from the Prague Orchestra?

Also, which soundtrack do you like better? Barbarian or Destroyer?

(Side question) How well regarded is the Ennio Morricone Red Sonja soundtrack? I didn't realize till recently that a Red Sonja movie even existed despite being a huge fan of the Marvel/Dynamite comics.

Sorry for the barrage of questions big_smile

Adam Corn Feb 15, 2017

First of all I had no idea about either the 3-disc Conan the Barbarian Intrada remaster or the 2-disc Conan the Destroyer Prometheus rerecording, so a big thank you for starting this thread.

Second of all the Conan the Barbarian score is an absolute classic, among other things still boasting some of the most epic choral-orchestral works of any soundtrack ever made, and is as must-own as any film score I can think of.

My review of the original Conan the Barbarian recording is pretty dated, but you can read my review of the Prometheus recording for my comparison of the two. I'm still partial to the original recording but that could very well be nostalgia speaking, so if that isn't a factor and the prices are comparable I can certainly see the Prometheus recording being a viable option. I'd be very curious to hear how the Intrada remaster compares.

My first experience with the Conan the Destroyer score was actually the "Chamber of Mirrors" bonus track on the Conan the Barbarian Prometheus edition, which is as epic as any track on the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack itself. After hearing it I gave a rip of the original Conan the Destroyer recording a listen, and it sounds like an entirely different score. Despite some comments around the web about the original Conan the Barbarian recording being subpar it's never bothered me, but the original Conan the Destroyer recording is genuinely awful. I've read that it's not only the mastering but the performance as well that leaves much to be desired, so I think it's a safe bet that the Prometheus edition is the superior version for this one, even if an Intrada remaster does see the light of day (which I'm guessing it won't).

That being the case I've just ordered the Conan the Destroyer Prometheus edition from Amazon myself big_smile  Will report here after I've received it - I have high hopes!

Related note: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Nic Raine, who performed the Prometheus editions, were also behind the soundtracks to Kameo and Viva Pinata. That's a very good thing.

scoresounds Feb 15, 2017

I have the Intrada version. I always tend to shy away from re-recordings. One major highlight to me is the cue "The Defilers," as it has a large portion of Doom theme WITHOUT the chorus.

Maybe blasphemous, I know, but I've always felt this score was at least somewhat overrated. I'll always feel that the "Hymn to Red October" is Poledouris's definitive choral work.

scoresounds Feb 15, 2017

I really don't know much about the Destroyer score. I've only ever heard bad things about it outside of a couple highlights.

XLord007 Feb 20, 2017

I did not know a 3 disc version existed either. I will be ordering now. Thanks for the tip!

Qui-Gon Joe Feb 21, 2017

I also did not know about the 3 CD version, and will be ordering it as well!  Conan the Barbarian is probably my favorite film score of all time, and I'm a sucker for anything Poledouris.  SO sad that he's no longer with us.  sad

And scoresounds, Hymn to Red October is phenomenal as well!

Adam Corn Aug 3, 2017

Quick follow-up on the Conan the Destroyer Prometheus/Tadlow edition, which I've given a half dozen listens since receiving it. The improvements in performance and recording over the terrible original Conan the Destroyer soundtrack release are huge as expected. But now that those aren't a distraction I find my main issue lies the score itself recycling quite a bit of material from the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack. I'd say at least half of the score re-uses themes from Barbarian, and often in a pretty similar fashion.

The main highlights for the new material are the new Conan the Destroyer main theme and the entire, outstanding "Chamber of Mirrors" track. But since "Chamber of Mirrors" is included as a bonus on the Prometheus/Tadlow edition of Conan the Barbarian, if you have that set already I don't think there's a lot of value left in getting their Conan the Destroyer release. If you don't have that set and don't mind lots of reprises it's worth a look though.

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