I have a very serious and unhealthy obsession with Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: the Legendary Journeys. I’m going to assume that everyone in the universe knows and loves Xena, and at least knows Hercules.
I recently watched the 2 series in tandem, as though it were continuously Sunday mornings in the late 90’s. It was great. Unfortunately now I have finished them both and must move on with my life. or something..
Of course while watching them I noticed how stupid and campy and problematic they were, but somehow that makes me love these shows all the more. And something I didn’t count on and could never have remembered from my childhood, was all the awesome music. Plenty of musical episodes, fantastic and fun incidental music, and as Lucy Lawless fancies herself a singer, there was as much opportunity to inject music into Xena as could be. And of course Herc had some great gems as well. So I have collected some of my most favorite-est Herc and Xena tunes for the enjoyment of all.
There’s “A cure for loneliness”, also by Jo Loduca from the second season of Hercules. Quite pretty.
AIR HERC is probably the most epic thing ever seen on the Legendary Journeys. (also Jo Loduca) Herc gets ahold of some lyre-like instrument and becomes a rock-god. Pretty awesome
“One Dinar a Dance” is very cute, but I don’t really get the Widow Twanky thing. The Widow Twanky shows up in the Legendary Journeys occasionaly with no explanation, and is always credited as being played by Edith Sidebottom. Even though we can all see it is Michael Hurst (Iolaus) in drag. It must be some sort of “in joke” with the cast and crew or something. It’s not even him singing in this, so I don’t get it. Here’s the first “Widow Twanky” song, which is way more fun. (Jo Loduca again for both)
Now onto the Xena tunes, which there seem to be quite a lot more of. I don’t know if the songs tend to have a more female vibe to them or something, what with the large presence of female voices and higher register instruments, but Xena’s music tends to have a bigger place in my heart that Hercules’.
The most beautiful IMO is Xena’s actual theme called, “the Warrior Princess” which is based on the Bulgarian song “Kaval Sviri” arranged by none other than Jo Loduca. It’s quite amazing.
“Burial” was actually written by Lucy Lawless, which is very neat. It’s a lovely song, and though I don’t think Lucy is really a very good singer, I love her singing this. It is used every single time that someone significant dies (that Xena likes), even in dreams and stuff.
“Glede Ma Glede” is a traditional Bulgarian song,usually used in reference to Xena’s hometown Amphipolis.
“River Wild” by Loduca I really like as well, from the second season.
And who doesn’t love the “Ballad of Joxer the Mighty” reprised many times throughout the show. I love Ted Raimi.
Ted Raimi as one of Joxer’s brothers also does a cool cover of “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest in a musical episode.
In the third season, there is a cheese-tastic musical episode which features some neat songs. Music is by Jo Loduca and Lyrics by him, Pamela Phillips Oland and Dennis Spiegel. “the song of Illusia” sung by Hudson Lieck (who plays Calisto) is a very musical-ish, even “Nightmare before Christmas” kind of song. The ever-awesome Kevin Smith (Ares) has a great sultry voice in “Melt into me”, and finally Xena and Gabrielle (sung by Susan Wood) sing “Hearts are Hurting“, which is cool, but would have been much cooler had Lawless sung it with less of a country twang.
So they kill Hope (for real this time? I don’t remember), Gabrielle’s daughter and “Hello Beautiful” is kind of the theme for that episode. Very cool. (Loduca, of course).
“India’s different” by Loduca is of course, from when they travel to India and at some point Xena gains a few extra arms.
From a later musical episode, a kind of “jukebox” musical, there are few covers that stand apart from the terrible ones. For example the Beatles cover “We can work it out” sung by Lucy and possibly Renee O’Connor (Gabrielle) or Susan Wood. The previously mentioned “Dancing in the moonlight” is also good, and thats pretty much it….