Highlander: The Original Scores

Highlander: The Original Scores soundtrackThis handy compilation album features music from the previously unreleased scores of all three Highlander films. Admittedly, the whole disc is worth it just for Michael Kamen’s orchestral counterparts to the original Highlander, which most people just seem to assume was scored by Queen. To the contrary, you’ll probably remember the cue “Rachel’s Surprise / Who Wants To Live Forever?” from the scene where Connor MacLeod has to deliver a fatal stab to himself in order to prove to his leading lady that he’s immortal…yowee, that’s gotta hurt! But the music is a beautiful rendition of the song usually associated with Queen, and that track alone 3 out of 4justifies the whole album. Thankfully, the overly synthesized Stewart Copeland pieces from the ill-fated second movie are kept to a minimum and are graciously short. The slightly less ultra-modern music from the only-slightly-better-fated third Highlander movie, scored by J. Peter Robinson, are nice, but it’s hard to beat Michael Kamen’s contributions to the original Highlander.

Order this CD

    Highlander by Michael Kamen

  1. The Highlander Theme (5:19)
  2. Rachel’s Surprise / Who Wants To Live Forever? (4:08)
  3. The Quickening (3:14)
  4. Swordfight at 34th Street (2:24)
  5. Under the Garden / The Prize (4:04)
    Highlander II: The Quickening by Stewart Copeland
  6. Finger Dip (2:00)
  7. Rebel Troops (2:09)
  8. Dam Raid (1:22)
  9. White Cloud (1:44)
  10. Mac Absorbs Reno (2:51)
  11. Shield Shatters / Alan Dies (3:52)
    Highlander: The Final Dimension by J. Peter Robinson
  12. Love Theme / Shrine Fight (5:30)
  13. Massacre – The Beginning (5:45)
  14. Laundry Room / Quickening II (3:30)
  15. Revolution (5:30)
  16. Final Battle / Quickening III / Epilogue (7:01)

Released by: Edel
Release date: 1995
Total running time: 61:08

Highlander: The Series – Volume 1

Highlander: The Series soundtrackMy greatest accolade for the music from Highlander: The Series is that it achieves a rare balance of contemporary, neo-classical and futuristic without overdoing any of those styles or stooping to cliches. That alone would make this a great soundtrack no matter what show it might have come from! Admittedly, quite a bit of the music from Highlander has slipped by me, though many of the pieces I’d been hoping to hear sans dialogue and sword-clashing turned out to be absent. Still, the music is very pleasant and exotic, covering many periods and many genres of music in keeping with the 3 out of 4show’s constant flashbacks to nearly every period of history conceivable. Sadly, the stuff from the episode Homeland wasn’t included, as only material from the first three seasons made it into this CD. Fortunately, it’s pretty obvious that the composer would enjoy releasing a second compilation of series music, so there may be hope after all.

Order this CD

  1. Steam Hole (1:19)
  2. Through Pictures Stories (4:13)
  3. A Woody Through Time / Out For The Night (2:13)
  4. Squaw Man (3:05)
  5. A Faded Memory / A Secret Place (4:23)
  6. Demon Miracle (3:19)
  7. Hand In Hand (2:37)
  8. He’s a Star / Level Playing Field (5:14)
  9. Just a Dream / Falling Rose (2:15)
  10. Samurai Suite (7:07)
  11. The Food Chain (2:38)
  12. We Are Warriors (1:00)
  13. Dosi Duncan (1:07)
  14. Big River (3:30)
  15. Moderate Monks (1:32)
  16. Promise of Better (3:42)
  17. Winds With You (2:08)
  18. Literacy Kills (1:15)
  19. Slow on the Road (1:55)
  20. Belly Dance / Pink Pension (3:09)
  21. To Happiness (3:30)
  22. En Position / A Life Upside Down (3:30)

Released by: Bellchant Records
Release date: 1996
Total running time: 64:55

Queen – A Kind Of Magic

Queen - A Kind Of MagicThis was about as close as the original Highlander film ever came to having an official soundtrack release, and many people didn’t blink an eye in the absence of score material from the movie. Not that this is a bad album – on the contrary, it’s rather good. This is the only place you’ll find the song “Princes Of The Universe”, by the way, as well as my favorite Highlander-themed song, “It’s A Kind Of Magic”. Some of the other Highlander tunes don’t trip my trigger quite as much; “Don’t Lose Your Head” 3 out of 4is okay at best, and “Gimme The Prize”, despite its killer mock-Scottish guitar solo, is filled with soundbytes from the movie, and I’m not a big fan of mixing soundbytes in with the music. Worth a listen.

  1. One Vision (5:08)
  2. A Kind Of Magic (4:23)
  3. One Year Of Love (4:26)
  4. Order this CD Pain Is So Close To Pleasure (4:19)
  5. Friends Will Be Friends (4:07)
  6. Who Wants To Live Forever (5:13)
  7. Gimme The Prize – Kurgan’s Theme (4:32)
  8. Don’t Lose Your Head (4:35)
  9. Princes Of The Universe (3:30)
  10. Forever – instrumental (3:20)
  11. One Vision – extended vision (6:23)

Released by: Hollywood Records
Release date: 1986
Total running time: 50:31