The Power Records Podcast 15 – Conan the Barbarian!


Rob and Chris are back with a new episode of THE POWER RECORDS PODCAST, taking a trip to Cimmeria for a listen to all four adventures from the CONAN THE BARBARIAN LP!

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Opening and closing themes courtesy Peter Pan Records.

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8 responses to “The Power Records Podcast 15 – Conan the Barbarian!

  1. Might be my favorite overall record because it sure does veer into some more mature themes. My guess is if I heard this as a kid I would feel like I had sneaked into something more adult.

    In the first story, I thought for sure the woman would end up as a villain. Here calling to him reminded me of the scene in the first Conan movie (‘do you want to warm yourself by my fire barbarian). No such fireside chat in this record as we saw there. And yes Chris, when I think of why young Anj struck out with women it was probably because I thought ‘you are a handsome wench’ and (from The Big Sleep) ‘I have a decent bottle of rye in my pocket’ were good lines … they worked in the movies/comics!

    Interestingly enough, I liked the gunpowder story because it was so nuts. As you say, many of these stories are formulaic. Conan being forced to be an oarsman, then thrown into a zoo in the ship’s belly, then blowing the thing up even though it may strand him in the middle of the ocean. I wasn’t expecting any of that … so that makes it the winner!

    Look forward to the Wonder Woman one!

  2. I remember seeing one or maybe both of the Conan movies in the early ’80s when I was very young. Too young, frankly. I didn’t appreciate or understand the appeal of the character for a long time. It wasn’t until I heard Mike Gillis and company talk about Conan on an episode of RADIO VS. THE MARTIANS that I decided to give the comics a shot.

    I got the first CHRONICLES OF CONAN collection on ComiXology collecting the first several issues of CONAN THE BARBARIAN by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith and I freaking loved it! Thomas’ stories were awesome and Smith’s art blew me away. What’s more, they showed me how wrong I had been about the character. Due to his lack of clothing, I attributed a lack of sophistication and intelligence to Conan, assuming the naked brute was somewhere between Tarzan and the Incredible Hulk. I had no idea that he was actually quite clever, quite articulate (in his way), and at times bitingly snarky.

    All of that context is presented so I can tell how much I enjoyed listening to these Power Records. I think I smiled from ear to ear when this loaded on my phone the other morning. These four episodes were all terrific, worthy of stories like “Tower of the Elephant” that I read in the collection, but the Side B stories in particular were outstanding! Great plot, great voice-acting, great narration and sound effects. This was easily my favorite episode of the show since you covered TOMB OF DRACULA and Spider-Man meets the Man-Wolf; and before that, Man-Thing. Hmm… I may prefer the genre Power Records more than the classic superhero episodes.

    1. I think the horror-tinged records definitely gave PR something to sink their teeth into. You can even argue that my beloved Robin Meets Man-Bat falls into that category.

      Can you imagine if Power had adapted some of DC’s horror anthology comics? A House of Mystery LP? The mind boggles!


  3. I had several Power Records as a kid, though I don’t remember exactly which ones I had. The only one I recall clearly is the “Stacked Cards” story with Batman and the Joker that you covered in episode 13. I think it’s safe to say that my parents would never have bought me a Conan record, which is a shame, because these four stories were excellent.

    I am partial to the sword and sorcery genre, though my experience with Conan is limited to watching the two 80s movies and reading one or two issues of Marvel’s Conan that I acquired as a teen. Based on that, these stories seemed to capture the essence of the character, as I understand him. I particularly enjoyed his improvised escape in “Thunder Powder”. He just decides to toss the explosive powder on the fire, and trusts in his strength and skill to see him through whatever follows.

    Thanks for sharing this record with us. I may have to bump the Conan novels up a few spots on my reading bucket list as a result.

  4. Reason the music sounds like Star Wars is that I’m pretty sure it was Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. This was used as a temp track for some scenes on Tatooine when George Lucks was trying to show John Williams what he wanted. You might also know it as the Dinosaur bit in Fantasia as it had this as the music too.

  5. Always enjoy the Power Records podcast. Probably my favorite of ANY podcast, it is always a treat and this one was great as well. I think by this time most of the records they were putting out were very kid oriented (Peter Pan) and it would have been nice if this had actually been a Power Record. Not sure why they stopped using the Power Records icon, would have made this one a bit more cool.

    Looking forward to the next installment!

    Around a year ago I found a sealed copy of the Hulk album (The Assassin, Black Chasm, etc.). Since it was sealed it was in pristine condition. I converted the first side to mp3, need to do side 2. It’s pretty much pop and crackle free!

  6. I’m not terribly familiar with Conan the Barbarian, though I have picked up a few of his comics (and Red Sonja) for a friend. I have to say, because of that Star Trek ep I really kept waiting for a wizard “consort” to show up and go adventuring with him. I really really thought that guy was based on a real character and the writers just didn’t have a thesaurus on hand when they called him his consort. (Or they were trolling everyone.)

    One thing I had to say about the last story. I had a totally different thought. The guy said he took the sick and the elderly, and ‘worm’ (can’t remember his name) was disfigured. I was completely under the impression that Conan couldn’t enter because he was physically prime and able. (I also really found that whole pocket heaven dimension ominous, but that’s me. I still think it was a trap. It took a freaking slave trader and made him whole! Nuh uh, something’s up with that.)

    I suddenly have an incredibly strong urge to go watch Xena Warrior Princess… huh…

    PS Its sad, but I have higher hopes for this Wonder Woman podcast than the movie. I think the movie trailers look good, but I have almost zero confidence in DC Comics movies at this point… but if I have low expectations at least I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it’s good at all!

  7. These Conan stories are some of my top Power Records favs.
    Having listened to these so many times, I realize they have the same production team that did the Batman LP which had “Stacked Cards” etc. And the VO actor who narrated those stories, did the Joker’s and Commissioner Gordon’s voice was also the voice of Conan. It just hit me one day hearing the Batman stories.
    And the Scarecrow and Riddler was the same guy who voiced Shara Kahn and Zarkoff and the viceroy in the Conan stories.
    Such talented actors. They really put so much into it. The Conan actor would add grunts when swinging his sword and panting after a strenuous battle. Wish we could find their names.
    Love that they used classic music “The Rite of Spring” throughout “Search for the Stolen City”. Added an epic flavor to this already exhilarating tale.
    Thanks for this. “There is much a man can purchase with a chalice made of …solid gold”

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