CD Review: THE TOUCH soundtrack

THE TOUCH soundtrack | ©2013 Buysoundtrax Records

Once the composer of full-blooded orchestral epics like RED DAWN, STARSHIP TROOPERS and LONESOME DOVE, Basil Poledouris would be among a number of similarly talented, and unabashedly melodic orchestra-heavy composers whose careers went south for no other good reason other than the vagaries of Hollywood demand. It took a Chinese co-production to give Poledouris his last major work with this Michelle Yeoh martial arts adventure. But with this 20 million dollar, 2002 movie still unreleased on video in the United States (at least until the advent of YouTube), and its score album only available on a hard-to-find and exorbitantly priced […]Read On »

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CD Review: CONAN THE BARBARIAN soundtrack – 3 discs

CONAN soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

What is best in life? How about getting just about every note of one of the greatest film scores ever written, as spread over three CD’s for 1982’s score to CONAN THE BARBARIAN. Ever since the 1982 CONAN THE BARBARIAN LP on MCA (also included here), just about every label from Varese to Milan has been trying to solve The Riddle of Steel with fits and starts of additional music, most recently with an admirably inclusive re-performance by Tadlow Records. But it’s Intrada that has gloriously mustered the full scope and lusty power of the Might that is Poledouris, his […]Read On »

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CD Review: WHITE FANG soundtrack

WHITE FANG soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

Just like the confident bear who tangles with an upstart white wolf, Basil Poledouris’ old-fangled orchestral score was given a proper mauling by the Disney execs, who make their period Jack London adventure seem a lot more contemporary. But where it’s usually the veteran creature who’d lose the fight when thrown into the fight pit of studio politics, quite a bit of both composers’ work ended up in WHITE FANG, making the movie most notable for its stylistic clash of scores in the long run (even if Zimmer somehow went uncredited). Yet props can also be given to Disney for […]Read On »

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CD Review: CONAN THE DESTROYER

CONAN THE DESTROYER soundtrack | ©2011 Prometheus Records

If you’re a composer going into battle with one of the worst sequels of all time to protect the sanctity of your original masterwork, then you might as well hold your sword high, scream “Crom!” and produce such symphonic blood and thunder that the one thing to come out of the destruction will be your music. Such was the power of Basil Poledouris as he swung his mighty CONAN into DESTROYER‘s woeful death pit. The fact that Nic Raine and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus are back nearly thirty years later to re-perform Poledouris’ gloriously manly score […]Read On »

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CD review: SPELLBINDER (1,200 edition) soundtrack

SPELLBINDER soundtrack | ©2011 La La Land Records

Though Basil Poledouris was better known in the 1980’s for the uber-heroic orchestral damage of such scores as CONAN, RED DAWN and ROBOCOP, some of the late composer’s most creative scores were being done for synths, from the wildly percussive car chases of NO MAN’S LAND to the eerie sci-fi western stylings of the HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MARLBORO MAN. If there’s one electro-centric score of Poledouris’ that truly held hypnotically evil sway, then it would be 1987’s SPELLBINDER. This little-seen, but very effective chiller cast TOP GUN’s Rick Rossovich as the hunk who falls bad for uncanny hottie Kelly […]Read On »

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CD Review: BREAKDOWN soundtrack (3,000 limited edition)

BREAKDOWN soundtrack | ©2011 La La Land Records

It’s not as if I could talk from the experience of being a film composer, let alone the skill to put two notes together in harmony. But from what I’ve witnessed, the job can be either one of the most elating, or soul-draining gigs on the creative planet. You either run in synch with the filmmaker as you give voice to their vision, or collide head-on when you don’t hear eye-to-eye. The latter’s a bumpy road that Hollywood euphemistically calls “artistic differences” – i.e. not giving a director (who can more often than not be a blistering tyrant) exactly what […]Read On »

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CD Review: FLESH + BLOOD soundtrack (2,000 edition)

Flesh + Blood Soundtrack | ©2010 Intrada Records

Basil Poledouris was at the height of his macho musical glory in 1985 with the likes of CONAN and RED DAWN, so it was no wonder that violence and sex-loving Dutch director Paul Verhoeven sought him out to score his first English language outing. Where this visceral medieval epic about lusty marauders, not-so nobles, and the slutty princess they all desire might have seemed dark age on the surface, the sheer lunacy of Verhoeven’s excesses allowed Poledouris to deliver a surprisingly high-spirited epic score, one based in jaunty medieval plainsong as much as it was knightly melodies. More in the […]Read On »

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CD Review: Sword and Sorcery scores (CONAN THE BARBARIAN, RED SONJA, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS)

Conan Soundtrack | © 2010 Tadlow Records

For baby boomer fantasy fans, there were never better days than the early 80’s when it came to seeing sweaty, near-naked barbarians hacking their way through the Hyborean Age with sex and gore to spare. But in a period that’s fondly remembered for the cheesy likes of ATOR THE INVINCIBLE, YOR, HAWK THE SLAYER and THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, one film truly took the genre seriously, with all the production polish to spare. And 28 years later, John Milius’ adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN still remains the king of this genre, whose blood and thunder score by Basil Poledouris remains the one fantasy soundtrack to rule them all.

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