The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Crom Smiles Upon Intrada (But Not Surround Fans)

with 3 comments

Fans of Basil Pouledoris’ scores to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer (1984) had a reason to be excited when the Tadlow label recorded the City of Prague Philharmonic performing the complete score to each film (the first score has already been released, the second is forthcoming). The late composer had expressed disappointment with the original film recordings (particularly that of Destroyer), and his family participated in the release in full. Plus, with the persistent notion that the original master recordings were missing from Universal’s vaults, this new recording was very likely the most complete performance fans would hear.

Imagine the surprise, then, when Intrada’s Roger Feigelson announced on Monday that not only were the masters not lost, but were being utilized for new CD presentations of the score! (The original Conan scores were released on LP by MCA Records released on CD by Varese Sarabande in 1992.)Label honcho Douglass Fake further confirmed matters, reporting that the original 24-track masters boasted material never heard in the finished film. While there’s certainly room for debate over which set is most worth your money (fan consensus seems to be in favor of Tadlow’s impending Destroyer re-recording over the original film score, which Pouledoris all but disowned), our hats are certainly off to Intrada for making two of the composer’s most popular scores available as they were originally recorded.

While neither title has a release date set, Conan the Barbarian is expected to be added to the label’s unlimited MAF collection, with a limited Destroyer expected to follow.

For non-score fans, it is worth noting Fake’s comments when an Intrada forum poster suggested a 5.1 surround mix from the Conan elements:

I must admit the multi-channel CD around our parts is pretty much a dead animal. I realize my view comes from just our narrow little corner of the movie music world but – at least for Intrada – the complaints about the audio quality of Varese’s THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY far outweighed any compliments it received. I don’t recall any major feedback on TIMELINE but during that era we sure got a lot of comments from customers saying they preferred to listen to music in a two-channel stereo format rather than anything multi-channeled. We recorded JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS in the Genex 5.1 format (as well as a live two-track format) with the plans to do a multi-channel release and found very limited interest at the time. The economics vs. the potentially dismal sales prospects made our decision process simple. I’m just not convinced there’s an audience willing to support the extreme finances of mixing, mastering and manufacturing a multi-channel disc for either of the two CONAN scores. I’m guessing people would prefer the efforts be made to produce the best possible stereo CD, then if the expenses warrant it, include alternate takes, perhaps a rehearsal of the main title or some of the battle music, maybe some mixes without the chorus and so forth instead. But keep in mind… I don’t know. I just work here.

What do our many surround fans think? There have been some great SACD releases of film scores (Isaac Hayes’ Shaft and John Williams’ E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial spring to mind) – but do they have a place in the film score world? Sound off below.

Thanks to super reader Charlie for the tip!

Written by Mike Duquette

August 3, 2011 at 18:46

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I would LOVE to hear multi-channel versions of these scores, but I understand the financing issues they’re facing.

    Perhaps they could get the project financed by Universal so that the studio can use the music in a re-release of the films – it’s probably time that they released them in 5.1 once and for all.

    The Thorn

    August 4, 2011 at 09:40

    • I reckon Kickstarter would be a good way to see whether people are willing to help finance a surround mix or not.


      August 5, 2011 at 02:55

      • Good idea! 🙂

        The Thorn

        August 5, 2011 at 09:12

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: