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Conan the Barbarian – The Expanded Score

After years of wondering if we would ever have access to the entire film score of Basil Poledouris’s Conan the Barbarian, the wait is over. In their words, Intrada has released this grand film score in its entirety: Conan the Barbarian – Expanded. One of Poledouris’s most popular works, it is also one of the enduring most film scores of cinema – and also one of my all time favorites. What is so special about this release is that even in its truncated forms from Varese Sarabande in various releases over the years Conan the Barbarian has a certain power, muscularity and beauty that has dazzled fans of the movie and soundtrack/film score geeks for many years. This new album release is a 3-disc album. According to Intrada it was thought for decades that the score in its entirety was missing. Even the composer thought that much of it was lost. However, from the vaults of Universal there was recently found 2” 24-track and 1/2” 3-track stereo session masters for the entire project, in pristine condition – even the rehearsal takes! Having the complete multi-track elements allows Intrada to newly mix and master everything and add all the extras in as well.

In this album we will hear the composer’s original take on the main opening theme, “Prologue/Anvil of Crom”, with high trumpets joining the horns plus a dynamic horn counter-melody in the midsection. There are many, many extras: previously unreleased cues and versions dropped from the film that have now been added back in. Altogether we have the score in its entirety over two discs, then the original score from Poledouris’s own 48-minute version that he put together from his score for the 1982 film. This is a massive score in its original form and Intrada now has it available for purchase directly from their website.You can also preview many of the tracks at the site. There are also interesting liner notes from Nick Redman and Douglass Fake. We hear all that Basil Poledouris conducted for this great score, for a grand film. It has been presented in a way that makes it sound crisp, fresh and and even more powerful than the version fans of the score already own and it comes on the heels of the 30th anniversary of the film release of Conan the Barbarian. There are 53 tracks in total and a run-time of 187: 17 minutes.

 

This album was released on November 26th, 2012.

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8 comments

  1. Thanks for a great article Victoria! The adventure is just beginning! 😉

  2. Great news! Easily in my top 10 soundtracks of all time..Epic stuff!

  3. Thanks guys!

  4. Great article!

  5. One of the best soundtracks ever written.

  6. Cool! But, for owners of the re-recording, how would this release compare?

  7. Matt, I’m not as familiar with the 2-disc CD rerecording – if that’s what you mean, as I don’t own it but I do own the original motion picture soundtrack and this newest one and I can say that you may not need it unless you are a completist. I would say that those who only have the “short” version of the soundtrack (the one with only 12 tracks) and are fans of this work should definitely get it. I do think this newest release has a few more cues than the rerecording.

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