He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Music from the Television Series
This is something MOTU fans have been waiting and waiting for. It’s been 32 years since He-Man and the Masters of the Universe premiere in first run syndication. Thanks to La La Land Records we finally have an amazing 2 disc set of all the music we love from the hit cartoon series! Here’s TFG1Mike’s review of this masterful set!
32 years….. it’s hard to believe that He-Man has been around that long. OK technically 33 years, because the toyline did launch in 1982. However the cartoon series which is what made me want the toys really was a driving force for animation back in the day. Really when I remember He-Man and the MOTU from Filmation is after it’s initial 2 year run. Because at 3 years old in 1983… I wasn’t the genius at remembering things that I am now….But from 1985-1991 I remember watching a lot of the Filmation He-Man cartoon. I even thought The NEW Adventures was a sequel series to Filmation’s original cartoon (BOY WAS I WRONG THERE… Yuk New Adventures YUK!) So as a kid He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers, Voltron, even M.A.S.K., and Jem were my go to cartoons to watch. Until they all disappeared from being on air. After that I was into TMNT and Captain Planet, and no I’m not ashamed to say that second title. So 32 years…. damn time flies!!!! So after all this time….. we finally have an official release of the music from the cartoon series!!!
I do wanna point out here I did find James Eatock and Dusan M’s Official He-Man YouTube Channel right before La La Land Records made this announcement. I have to say that I do not believe in any way does the La La Land Records CD release take away from the hard work James and Dusan have done on their channel. Plus with an official CD release, it gives audiophiles like myself the actual tracks to just listen to versus leaving a YouTube link on. You can check out the Official He-Man Channel HERE!
So this 2 CD Limited Edition set has one hundred and eleven tracks on it. 53 on Disc 1 and 58 on Disc 2. Normally when I do a La La Land Records review of this magnitude… I can organize it into episodic sets. I did this with my BTAS Volumes 1, 2, and 3 reviews, because that’s the way those are laid out. However with this I’m just going to break each disc down, and highlight my favorite tracks.
Disc 1 Total Time: 69:26
Disc 1 as I stated has 53 tracks. the first 11 are from what they call “The Album”. In doing further research, and rereading the liner notes in the set by John Takis… we find out that The Album tracks have been remastered from the original LPs. By just looking at the set, you can tell that they really have taken extra special care to give us the BEST possible release for this series. He-Man fans will NOT be disappointed here. These first 11 tracks were used by Mill Creek and XIII Bis Records back in 2012 when they released Masters of the Universe 30th Anniversary Limited Edition DVD set. This set came with a bonus CD with these tracks on it. I remember a friend had sent me the tracks from that, because he knew how much of a MOTU fan I was. Those tracks at the time whetted my palette for He-Man music. But now….. La La Land Records has gone above and beyond with this 2 disc set! If you wanna see the liner notes written and researched by James Eatock TVShowsonDVD.com has that story HERE!
Track 1: “He-Man (Main Theme)” is what kicks this journey into Eternia’s music! I dunno what I was expecting out of this track, because I honestly was ready to hear the vocals from Prince Adam. Then I realized… “DUH Mike, this is a soundtrack score!” I really enjoy the track actually, with the He-Man Choir. Although I think I’m more of a fan of the theme with no vocal. I dunno why I just am. Track 3: “Orko’s Theme” is another one of my favorites. Say what you will about Orko as a character, but his music is fun!!!! Track 5: “Facing the Castle” starts off with this epic beginning, and then gets a bit soft. It’s kind of like going up and down a hill in San Francisco! Within this track I hear all the castle’s themes and even a few when He-Man would be running in the cartoon series. Then there is Track 6: “Royal Family” I honestly wish this was used more in the series. Generally and more to the point obviously this was used during any and all Palace scenes, or when King Randor and Queen Marlena were on-screen. It starts off with some huge trumpets and then falls into this quiet refrain. It’s almost a soothing theme song now that I think about it. Then we get the classic keyboard part of the anthem.
With Track 12: “He-Man At Home” we get some great music cues, the piano in this is refreshing!!! I can only assume the track title speaks for itself. Listening to this as I type… I feel like this was the music that was played during scenes of Adam fishing or doing whatever lazy event he would be doing. And cue Teela yelling at him to get his training done! Track 13: “Orko Means Well” is another lovely piece of Orko music. I remember this 1:24 cue from the series… Everytime Orko would attempt to get his magic to work right, and the end result would be that Man At Arms usually got the backfire of Orko’s spells! Track 14: “He-Man Trapped” is yet another one I like for the varying use of musical instruments. At times there is a light piano cue in this, and then the rest of the time it is amped up instruments clearly letting us hear that He-Man is in danger! At 1:11 in the track it has that standard theme of when He-Man finally gets out of the trap. The Heroic music here is so wonderful! Track 17: “Evil-Lyn” THIS RIGHT HERE IS WHAT I WANTED THIS SET FOR!!!! To actually have the Villain themes on disc! Even if it’s only 1:57 this track packs in so much of Evil Lyn’s themes that I heard in the show!!!! It’s sinister, dark, and beautiful all at the same time! Track 18: “Battle In The Sky” NOW this is a theme I remember, because it’s the music that would cue up every time a Sky Sled or Wind Raider was flown. Track 23: “Trouble In Grayskull” I JUST now noticed something with this one. At the very beginning it has the He-Man choir before the track begins its regular music beat. I’m assuming that this was when they would do the scene transitions. THAT RIGHT THERE IS FRIGGIN AWESOME!!! That they got the scene transition music without the sound effects!!!!
Now Track 24: “Snake Mountain” is something again I’ve longed for! This is the villain theme of Skeletor’s home base, and the villain theme for Skeletor himself if you really think about it!!! Track 31: “Skeletor’s Spaceship” this one has some truly evil cues in it. It also seems to mix in the Heroic and the Villainous cues very well!! The last one I’m going to talk about on disc 1 is Track 46: “Journey Back In Time” This has that Castle Grayskull Time Corridor feel to it. The drums in this are amazingly dark, which is fun for this is supposed to be somewhat of a heroic theme. That was one thing I really loved about Filmation’s He-Man and the MOTU! The time travel music!!!! So there ya have it folks… those are my thoughts on Disc 1 of the set.
Disc 2 Total Time: 60:26
So Disc 2 starts off with its first track in Track 54: ” He-Man (Main Theme-Full Version)”, you might be wondering what is different between this and the track that started the set off… Well the first “Main Theme” was 1:14 in length, this is 2:42 in length. Tracks 55 and 56 are ” Story Title (Heroic)” and ” Story Title (Mysterious)” respectively. These were the cues used when the title cards appeared before each episode! LOVE having these!!! They are such cool sounding cues!!! Track 58: ” Adam And Orko” honestly starts off like a Hall & Oates song from the 80s. DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME HERE…. I LOVE Hall & Oates so that is a praiseworthy comment. I love the drumbeat in this track. It really feels as if you are on an adventure with Adam and Orko! In Track 59: ” Magical Dragon” there are several beats where I have no clue what instrument they are using. It sounds really cool. What I’m referring to is closer to the end of the 33 second track. In Track 61: ” Electronic Game” this is music I don’t even remember hearing in the series. I know it was there, but I just can’t place it.
As I’ve already stated I can place most of the music into whatever episode I remember hearing it from. however this one is a mystery to me. I do enjoy the track, because it’s not something that made up the CORE of the cartoon series’ music. In Track 62: ” Villain Plays The Game” are themes that again I hardly ever remember hearing. Sure there is the familiar He-Man music cue inside here, but it feels like a space opera more than anything else. Tracks 68-70 are ” Suspenseful Act-Out”, ” Good Vibes (He-Man)”, and ” Fanfare” respectively. These three tracks are from most of the endings to the episodes of the cartoon series. “Fanfare” I am not sure where it was used, but it’s still enjoyable! Track 71: ” Story Title (Main Theme)” is another opening cue for the Title Cards. I love that all of these are included on the set. It just adds so much more to the enjoyment of finally having a real He-Man score release! Track 75: ” Happy Times” ahh yes this reminds me of so many good moments at the Palace of Eternia. The funny thing is I remember this cue more so with Orko in it than anything else.
Track 83 is ” He-Man In The Country” and I had to laugh at this title. The reason for my laughter at the title of the track is that this is not what I hear in my head when I think about Country living. Track 84: ” Marching Guy” has great flute tones in it, I really love the whimsical notions in it. Track 86: ” Joining Forces” has some haunting tones, that will send a chill down your spine. Track 90: ” Bad Guys Attack” starts off with this deep tempo, that again will send chills down your spine!!! It has this ominous feeling to the music, and it’s a track that I’ll highly recommend. It’s very well done. I love how Levy and Saban have really given the Filmation He-Man series so much!!! They’ve really gotten the best of the mystical and technological here in the scores!!! Track 96: ” The Munchkins” has that whimsy I was talking about, and other tracks like one I didn’t mention… Track 78: ” He-Man In Space” really nails the technological side of the Universe filled with these Masters!!!! So Track 97: ” Teela Saves The Day” ends the regular scores, this is a track we should all remember hearing. I love hearing it clearly, because even though I’m not a fan of Teela in the cartoon… The music Levy and Saban gave her was wonderfully done. Track 98: ” He-Man (Main Theme – No Vocals)” is the end of the set’s regular music.
Tracks 99 through 104 are all Alternate Ending cues, and then 105 to 110 are the mono tracks. After that Track 111 is the Spanish He-Man theme. I’ll say this about the Spanish theme…… thank god I never had to hear it when I was a kid, because I might not be the He-Man fan I am today if I had. I mean it’s great that Filmation’s MOTU cartoon is in other countries and languages, but for me if it aint English… I generally avoid it. That’s my principle on most media I consume. I do very much enjoy the Alternate Ending and Mono tracks, glad that they are presented on this set.
Total Album Time: 130:22
There ya have it folks! I’m sure EVERY MOTU fan will love this set. So can’t wait to see what La La Land Records does in the future with the MOTU brand! You can get this MASTERFUL score from LA LA Land Records directly! By the Power of Grayskull you all have the power to listen to this masterpiece of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition Soundtrack Score!