Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Joseph LoDuca

" the best is not from LoDuca "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Hercules and Xena, two of Raimi’s own creations didn’t do badly on TV at all. Both the male and female warrior attracted enough attention from female or male fans to make it successful for a couple of years, including the always lovely landscape as beautiful co starring ladies. Composer of both the series has always been Joseph LoDuca and considering his background with Sam Raimy in particular, it is sad that we couldn’t see him working on the Spiderman movies too.

Considering the occasional nice results of LoDuca for both the Xena and Hercules adventures, music from their seasons were released by Varèse Sarabande, and Season 1 of Hercules is reviewed here.

It is hard to tell you which season received the best music in the end. But it is obvious the hero received a really lovely theme. Heroic, blazing forward with enough gusto to keep you alive, it is a wonderful way to open and close the CD. In between this all, the episodes are scattered and Varèse chose 4 of those episodes to keep you occupied.

In Hercules and the Circle of Life we probably discover the best music of all. Opening with the main theme, it is the overall melody that runs through the whole episode that makes it pleasant to listen to. A choir is introduced briefly in 7 and "The Cure" is the best part of the score. Sadly this entire piece is one giant rip off from Basil Poledouris' The Hunt for Red October "Red Route 1" track. Think of a 300 like rip.

In the second episode (Hercules and the Lost Kingdom) things become somewhat less enthralling. It is the difference in sound and the boringness of the material that doesn't really capture your interest. Luckily some tracks are worth it. "Destiny Theme" captivates you through a classical vocal. But it is "A New Day" which is again the best of the bunch. Sadly once again this last track is influenced big time. It is so Krull like in tone, theme and method that it once more nothing but a giant influential rip off. I must say the use of his choir over the brassy trumpets is simply spectacular, but it is Krull and nothing else.

The third episode (Hercules and the Amazon Women) surely starts promising with another bold choral moment in track 20. But the rest isn’t that grand. The jungle territory of course demands for another sound, and "Journey to Gargarencia" surely hops around nicely. And in episode 4 (Hercules and the Underworld) the sound becomes truly obnoxious at times. Dark and unsatisfying, it uses scary sound effects, mixed vocals and "The Chasm" presents all this in mere minutes. Sadly the influences are at work again with "Forked Tongues", or how Bram Stoker's Dracula opens instead the cue.

It will be fairly obvious that Hercules: The Legendary Journeys will hold more than just these rip off / influential pieces, so another person could discover more than what I've written down here. And it also makes it somewhat frustrating considering the album holds indeed amazing highlights, but they are sadly influential rip offs from other amazing albums. It degrades the mere fun in discovering how well LoDuca can write music. Trust me, the entire album shows enough variety to give you a sample of the Hercules music, but the best is not from LoDuca and the overall quality of the score is a bit too average to really recommend this "at times" orchestral rousing television score.


Hercules and the Circle of Life
1. Main Title (1.04) Excellent track
2. Hail, Hercules (1.10)
3. Fight in Hera's Temple (1.52)
4. Phaedra (3.03)
5. House of Prometheus (1.19)
6. More Time / Tickle (2.21)
7. The Circle of Fire (1.32)
8. Zeus vs. Hercules (1.55)
9. The Cure (3.12) Excellent track
10. The Runners Part 1 (1.27)
11. The Runners Part 2 (0.56)
12. Destiny Theme (3.02)
13. Battle With the Blue Priest (3.14)
14. The Slave Bar (1.25)
15. First You Then Stew (1.32)
16. The Runner Arrives (1.11)
17. The Cowherds Way (1.31)
18. A New Dawn (2.57) Excellent track
19. Hercules Fanfare (0.32)
20. Prologue (1.47)
21. Preparing for Battle (2.44)
22. Battle With the Beast (1.39)
23. Journey to Gargarencia (1.42)
24. The Escape (1.17)
25. Battle With Hera (2.47)
26. Hyppolyta (2.06)
27. Iole (2.32)
28. The Chasm (1.56)
29. Alien Cloak (1.52)
30. Forked Tongues (1.56)
31. The Old Woman (1.50)
32. Cerberus (1.33)
33. Delirious Deianeira (1.16)
34. End Title (1.06)

Total Length: 63.50
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 7 votes - average 3.64/5)

Released by

Varèse Sarabande VSD-5660 (regular release 1995)

Orchestrations by

Tim Simonec, Larry Kenton & Joseph LoDuca