Varese Sarabande (302 066 183 2)
Release Date: 2000
Conducted by Randy Thornton
|1.||Hercules Main Title||1:03|
|2.||Someone Else's Shoes||3:17|
|4.||Zeus & Hera||1:29|
|7.||Psalm Of Praise||1:05|
|13.||Imenzu's Pep Talk||1:59|
|14.||Nile At Night, Free Ramses Now||3:50|
|16.||Up The Mountain||3:11|
|17.||Rushing To Judgement||1:40|
|19.||I Get What I Want||2:10|
|20.||More Bump And Grind||1:48|
|23.||Back In Business||1:48|
|24.||A Bareback Rider||1:45|
|26.||Looking For A Snake||1:07|
|27.||Lovesick For Lilith / Here's Johnny||2:14|
|Total Album Time:||57:20|
|by Dan Goldwasser
on October 19th, 2000
It was a television show that had an enormous cult following. "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (and it's sister show "Xena: Warrior Princess") established an enormous fan base, and created a huge franchise for producers Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert. Longtime friend and composer Joseph LoDuca was with them from the beginning, and scored every episode of those series. Now we're graced with a fourth volume of music from "Hercules", and this one is definitely a keeper.
Beginning with the rousing anthem from "Hercules", the "Main Title" is reminiscent of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves structurally, has a great memorable theme. Music from the episode "Full Circle" is presented over five tracks. The music is exciting and orchestral. The choir in "Finding Grandma" is powerful and dramatic, and makes you wonder what on earth Grandma looks like! "At War" is a tense action cue that ends in a calm choral movement. It's a nice suite of music that fits in the "Hercules" universe, and stands apart as a nice nugget of music as well.
Music from the "Bedeviled" episode is craftier, with exciting moments reminiscent of a John Williams action cue in "Bedeviled Fight". "Every Ending" (from "Rebel With A Cause") is a nice epilogue piece that concludes the episode on an upbeat and inspirational note. The fact that it sounds a bit like Braveheart shouldn't put you off from the music - it's really quite lyrical. There are a few cues from the "City of the Dead" episode, which allowed LoDuca the opportunity to play with some ethnic instruments, and "Nile At Night, Free Ramses Now" is a softer and emotionally moving piece.
"Spiked Coffin" (from "Darkness Visible") is a great dramatic cue with choral moments, and a dark brooding ominous layer. The use of an organ is quite apropos. Probably the best segment on the album, the music from "Hercules, Tramps & Thieves" allowed LoDuca to write music like a big-band 1940's jazz club. Beginning with the cleverly written and extremely enjoyable "I Get What I Want" sung by Gia Warner, the cues are jazzy, upbeat, stylish, and completely different from what you would expect from a "Hercules" episode!
While most of the cues are orchestral, a few of them are synthesized - and unfortunately those stand out a bit more as artificial than I would have liked. It's also a bit unfortunate that a lot of the cues suffer from "temp score love", and LoDuca was probably under significant pressure to get the cues written - and it shows. You can hear the influences of many film scores in these cues, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. LoDuca is best heard when he's completely original - but these days, it's hard for any composer not to be influenced by other works.
Still, this is a rather solid album that runs almost 1 hour long. "Hercules, Tramps & Theives" music is worth getting this album for alone, and the remaining cues are pretty enjoyable as well. Released on Varese Sarabande Records, I would suggest getting this one if you enjoyed the television show, or are a fan of LoDuca's music.
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