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MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE soundtrack re-released!!!

PostPosted: 04 Jun 2008, 16:59
by Jox
For 11 years, one quest of mine was to find the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE soundtrack. I finally found 92 extended edition, and the original later and have since acquired the vinyl and even the cassette tape.But I may be one of the few lucky ones...


It sounds like the excellent label LA-LA Land Records (who just gave us the POINT BREAK score) is to re-issue Bill Conti's score in a 2 discs remastered set! I expect signed copies, liner notes and possibly an interview with Conti himself...

no release date yet but it's said to be coming this summer...

PostPosted: 19 Jun 2008, 14:19
by Jox
Here's what Conti told in a Buysoundtrax interview (

Q: Masters of the Universe was a large scale fantasy film of the type you hadn’t done before. What were your initial impressions of when you first came onboard that project?

Bill Conti: Those kinds of are things cartoons and the strenuous thing about them is that they take a lot of music. There’s no dead air. Because it’s fantasy, you see. Music, being the ultimate fantasy – music being non-literal, and in fact beyond non-literal: it’s anti-intellectual – you don’t think about the music. You have a reaction to music. You either like it or you don’t like it. You don’t think about “do I like this?” So when you deal with any fantasy, it assumes that there’s going to be lots of music, as opposed to reality. That might be obvious, but for a film composer that just means there’s going to be thousands of little bitty notes that I have to spend time composing, and everything is super-dramatic. I approached it in the Wagnerian way – meaning Valhalla opens up and there are the gods, there is the this, and this god tweaks this other god’s toes and then they’re off to the races. Wagner did all that with leitmotifs – every little character had a musical figure and he appears on the scene and he’s got a theme, so you begin with a catalog of character’s names/character’s themes, and then you can get from those little snippets to general storylines. In other words, if there’s a conquest, if there’s a goal to be met – and there’s always a goal to be met and always a conquest – and if there’s a bad guy and various reasons why you’re going to be prevented from that goal, all that stuff can have thematic implications. There’s a classic sense of what those things should be, but it’s difficult in a way, because realism is easy – she gets up, she walks across, she shoots him with a gun, he falls dead. See Spot Run. Now the thing about like non-humans and all of that stuff, you’ve got to keep the energy going and it’s just incessant.

Q: You worked with a number of orchestrators on Masters of the Universe? Was that due to the time constraints on the project?

Bill Conti: You always have orchestrators. That’s a tradition of Hollywood. If I were to do the score and the orchestration it would take X amount to do. The music may go from a piano sketch, which is like two lines of music, to staves, to six lines of music (six staves). Beyond six staves you are actually bringing it up to the full score, which is an orchestration. In other words, you come up with the themes, and now you dig in [and flesh it out]. Say you have the first dramatic moment that requires music – she picks up the gun, it goes boom, she walks across the room. So you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time, musically. You have to figure all that out and write music that fits. And while you’re doing that you’re thinking in your head, “there’s flutes, the woodwinds do this, the celli come up and do that,” and you write this on your sketch, be in two lines or six lines. Everything that you need to know about that musical theme, in terms of orchestration, is supposedly what the composer does. He creates the music for that moment. Now, let’s say you’ve got 90 minutes of music to do, so you go through the entire movie like that. That could take you – in the old days, a studio contract was ten weeks to do a movie. At some point in the history of film music, the ten week contract was the norm. There are exceptions, of course, but there was norm at one point. Ten weeks. You were on a picture three months. Now if you wrote two to three minutes a day, you thought you were doing pretty good. So when you add that up, you go through the entire score, it’s going to take you weeks to actually create the music. And you’ve accounted for the flute, the clarinet, but how do we get it to the orchestra? How does that individual flute player get to play his notes, because he only gets the parts that have his notes on them. Every instrument in the orchestra has a stave on the score. But the composer’s sketch may just say “clarinets” on one line, but on the score you have the three staves for the clarinets, two for the flutes, and so on. You have a score that might have 40 staves. Now someone’s got to fill in everything that you’ve said. It’s very tedious– not that it isn’t creative, because the person giving the orchestrator the two-line sketch is giving more leeway than the person who gives him a six-line sketch.

So orchestrators have been around from the beginning and what they actually do is prepare the score for the copyist to extract the parts for each one of the players. You’ve got a hundred people showing up, and in a case like Masters it had to be 85 to 95 players, a huge orchestra, and everybody gets a part. Now, that’s because it was copied, not from your sketch, from the score. Who did that? The orchestrator did that. So when you have 90 minutes of music and if you don’t have a ten week contract, but you have, say, six weeks, it would be a miracle to actually create the music let alone be the same guy to take it into the orchestrating phase. You could even take it into the copying phase, if you were the composer – you could do it all, but there are limits to the amount of time you’re given, so you have copyists, you have orchestrators.

Q: Masters of the Universe came out in the wake of the third Stars Wars movie, which series has become an icon of science-fantasy film music that is constantly being referenced one way or another by subsequent genre films. Were you asked at all to follow that influence, or that type of music, in your score for Masters?

Bill Conti: I think that that is a given. I can’t tell you how many movies I’ve done where one is asked to come from the depths and go the distance, if they don’t ask for the Rocky reference. I’ve give you another example, I want to do it in a respectful way, but it may not sound that way. 2001 was a cartoon, and Kubrick did not have the courage to use living composers – although Ligeti may have been alive at the time [yes, he died in 2006. –rdl] – but using something as pure as The Blue Danube was a way of depicting outer space, at least to Kubrick and his audiences – or using Ligeti for spooky/scary. Contemporary composers of the 20th Century never knew that what they were doing was going to become the cartoons for spooky/scary! What Pendereski, Ligeti, and all of the composers of the new century had been propagating, went immediately into film music as spooky/scary! So when John Williams does Star Wars, an enormous hit, he is just giving you a model for anything that follows, and Masters Of The Universe certainly follows that.

PostPosted: 22 Jul 2008, 22:15
by Jox
After being pushed back again and again, the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE remastered and complete soundtrack is finally released!!! (



Limited Edition of 3000 Units


ORDER “MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2CD SET): LIMITED EDITON” NOW and get your CD autographed by composer Bill Conti at no additional charge. For a limited time. Autographs are while supplies last and are not guaranteed.


Presenting acclaimed composer Bill Conti’s (ROCKY, THE KARATE KID, LOCK UP) complete original score, performed by the Graunke Orchestra of Munich, to the 1987 feature film MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE starring Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella and Courtney Cox. This special 2CD SET contains Bill Conti’s previously unreleased complete score, along with the full original album soundtrack presentation – all digitally remastered. That’s over 119 minutes of rousing, full-throttle orchestral score! Booklet features exclusive, in-depth liner notes. This release is a limited edition of 3000 Units.



1. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE Main Title / It’s All Mine (5:19)
2. Quick Escape (2:48 )
3. Battle In Greyskull (2:36)
4. Arrival On Earth (Not Used In Film) (1:09)
5. Where Is The Key (0:42)
6. The Cemetery (1:26)
7. Getting A Bearing (1:01)
8. The Mercenaries (1:20)
9. Battle At The Gym (6:24)
10. Skeletor’s Wrath (3:00)
11. Evil-Lyn To Earth (1:04)
12. Kevin’s Plight (3:35)
13. It’s Them! / Centurion Attack (4:27)
14. Julie Sees Mom / Julie Takes Key (2:38 )
15. Skeletor Arrives / After Them (7:28 )
16. He-Man’s Last Battle? / Skeletor Departs (3:49)
17. Julie’s Muzak (1:46)
18. He-Man Gets Whipped (3:58 )
19. Kevin Remembers The Tune / People Of Eternia (3:50)
CD One Total Time 59:10


1. Cosmic Key Music (0:14)
2. The Battle Begins / The Final Battle (6:52)
3. Time To Go (2:41)
4. Julie And Kevin / Happy Ending (1:57)
5. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE End Credits (5:10)

Original Soundtrack Album Version Produced by Bill Conti
6. Main Title / Eternia Besieged (7:22)
7. Gwildor's Quadrille (1:50)
8. Earthly Encounter (4:21)
9. Procession Of The Mercenaries (2:47)
10. Evil-Lyn's Deception (2:42)
11. Skeletor The Destroyer (3:09)
12. He-Man Enslaved (4:40)
13. Transformation Of Skeletor (2:28 )
14. The Power Of Greyskull (3:31)
15. Good Journey (4:38 )
16. He-Man Victorious / End Title (5:10)

CD Two Total Time 60:15

LLLCD 1071


PostPosted: 22 Jul 2008, 22:58
by Jox
AUTOGRAPHED COPIES SOLD OUT in less than an hour!

Wonder who's buying the most between soundtrack collectors (Bill Conti!), He-Man fans and Dolph fans...

PostPosted: 16 Aug 2008, 11:00
by Jox
La-La Land announced they're down to their last 500 copies (in less than a month) so if you want one it's now or never! ... &archive=0

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2008, 12:16
by Jox
SOLD OUT from La-La Land.

(you might still get copies from outside retailers like Screen Archives, Chris' Soundtrack Corner etc)


PostPosted: 12 Nov 2008, 18:17
by Jox
just started a MOTU topic

review thanks to Nathan ... verse.html

cheesy and rare TV spot at 00:44 (from the initial theatrical release)

Daily Express article (May 15, 1987) ... iverse.htm

PostPosted: 02 Dec 2008, 11:19
by Jox


PostPosted: 02 Dec 2008, 16:08
by Dawn
I still want a replica of that sword. Did Dolph keep one of the props? I thought I remember him in an on-screen interview he said he did. Its been too long since I've seen that though. I can't remember if aired on Showtime or HBO, maybe Cinemax. I would love to have the interview on DVD as well. He was still wearing the boots while they interviewed him about the movie.

PostPosted: 02 Dec 2008, 17:04
by Jox
I think he did but you know they always have several on the set. I think he hated wearing that whole outfit though with body oil and all...

PostPosted: 28 Dec 2008, 14:12
by Jox
Excerpts from a Frank Langella interview featured in USA Today (where he was talking about his Richard Nixon role in Frost/Nixon), thanks to Cobra Commander on the forum

In the 1980s, his movie career waned, but one high-profile performance was that of skull-faced villain Skeletor in 1987's Masters Of The Universe, based on a hit toy line and cartoon his children watched. "In the end, they couldn't care less," he says. "I had a screening for them, and they both fell asleep!"

Even in rough times, he has tried to enjoy the work he did get. For example: "I loved playing Skeletor, and people sometimes say, 'Aren't you embarrassed?' Not in the least! I loved my performance in that. I worked very hard to make him as exciting as I could. It was a great paycheck. But it was also delicious."

He also wrote some of his own dialogue, including this question to Dolph Lundgren's muscle-bound hero: "Tell me about the loneliness of good, He-Man. Is it equal to the loneliness of evil?"

The actor pauses as an idea occurs to him. "Sir Thomas More and Richard Nixon," he says. "I am playing in both of these men the loneliness of good and the loneliness of evil. Jeez, I never thought of it before." Langella starts to laugh: "The parallels between these two...Who would have known Skeletor would be the precursor?"

PostPosted: 03 Jan 2009, 12:16
by Jox
Theatrical screening in San Antonio, Texas!
Saturday Jan 24th at 12:30pm!

PostPosted: 14 Jan 2009, 00:47
by Luigi
I catched this movie on TV a few days ago. It brought back a lot of good memories.


PostPosted: 24 Jan 2009, 13:41
by Jox
Jox wrote:Theatrical screening in San Antonio, Texas!
Saturday Jan 24th at 12:30pm!



PostPosted: 20 Feb 2009, 02:17
by Jox
Frank Langella giving prime example of a great actor totally assuming taking on a part like Skeletor, one of his favorite roles