Thursday, February 7, 2013

Soundtrack Sample - Conan the Barbarian - Basil Poledouris

I mentioned in my review of the 2011 version of Conan the Barbarian that the score was adequate at best and abrasive and annoying at worst. It literally distracted me at times during the film, and in a way that made me wonder, "What the hell was that?"

A score should support the film, feel like a natural part of the movie at the very least. But a great score will make you take notice and say, "Where can I buy that one?"

Sadly, composer Tyler Bates had a huge problem. He had to compose music for a franchise that created one of the best fantasy scores of the modern age, and easily one of the best movie scores of the 1980s.

Basil Poledouris created a masterpiece with his score to Conan the Barbarian. Inspired by medieval rhythms and primal power, the score feels at once ancient and at the same time a perfect fit for a Golden Age epic film.  Nearly every track on the score is a joy to listen to. Much of the film goes by with little to no dialogue, and allowed Poledouris to tell the story musically.

There are so many great tracks to pick from, but I decided to go with the opening credits. The track is The Anvil of Crom, and it pretty much tells you all you need to know about Conan and the Hyborian Age.

Poor Tyler Bates didn't have much of a chance.

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