Collectors Corner

Posted on May 6th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (Addicted)
Posted under Music, Video Game, RF Jamz

Video game music has evolved from the bleeps and bloops of the Atari 2600 and early arcade titles to the orchestral scores found in Final Fantasy and Skyrim. For many of us, video game music played a bigger part in our lives than the latest pop hits. Join us on a bi- monthly journey as we celebrate the sounds of our favorite past time. In this inaugural volume of RF Jamz, we will be looking at arranged music from three iconic series. Each one of these series has amazing music in their own right, but the arrangements, like a cherry on top of sundae, add something special. Let's take a look at them now.

Title: Mario & Zelda Big Band Live
Released: December 2003
Format: 1 CD
Label: Sony/Columbia

Our first album is a recording of a live big band performance of songs based on the Mario & The Legend of Zelda series. There are countless arrangements of music from these series but the Big Band of Rogues (Tokyo Cuban Boys Jr) breathes new life in to familiar melodies with touch of Jazz. Track 16 (The Legend of Zelda Theme) is a standout by using a saxophone in the Legend of Zelda's iconic opening. The violin in Track 10 (Dragon Roost Island theme) steals the show and is my favorite arrangement of the song. My favorite, Track 2 (Super Mario 64 Opening Theme) should bring back memories to anyone who has played Super Mario 64 with a bombastic opening that never stops.

Full Track Listing:

01    Opening Theme of MARIO (FAMILY COMPUTER: "SUPER MARIO Bros.")    2:23
02    SUPER MARIO 64 Opening Theme ~ Overworld Theme (NINTENDO64: "SUPER MARIO 64")    4:40
03    Medley of SUPER MARIO Bros. (FAMILY COMPUTER: "SUPER MARIO Bros.")    4:24
06    SUPER MARIO Bros.3 Ending Theme (FAMILY COMPUTER: "SUPER MARIO Bros.3")    2:42
07    Theme of Athletic (SUPER FAMICOM: "YOSHI'S ISLAND")    4:17
08    YOSHI on the beach (NINTENDO64: "YOSHI'S STORY")    3:13
09    THE LEGEND OF ZELDA -Takt of Wind- Title Theme (NINTENDO GAMECUBE: "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA -Takt of Wind-")    7:27
10    Theme of Dragon Roost Island (NINTENDO GAMECUBE: "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA -Takt of Wind-")    4:21
13    The Zora Band (NINTENDO64: "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA MAJORA'S MASK")    4:42
14    Theme of Goron City (NINTENDO64: "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA OCARINA OF TIME")    3:52
15    Theme of The Shop (NINTENDO64: "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA OCARINA OF TIME")    3:18
18    Encore(Slider) (NINTENDO64: "SUPER MARIO 64")


10    Theme of Dragon Roost Island (NINTENDO GAMECUBE: "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA -Takt of Wind-")    4:21

02    SUPER MARIO 64 Opening Theme ~ Overworld Theme (NINTENDO64: "SUPER MARIO 64")    4:40

Title:  Konami Kukeiha Club - Gradius Arcade Soundtrack
Released: April 2002
Format: 2 CDS
Label: Konami

Our second album comes from Konami and features the music of Konami Kukeiha Club (Konami Square Wave Club), Konami's in house band. It was not unusual for a Japanese game company to have an in house band as Sega, Falcom, Capcom, and even SNK had them.  The arrangements found in this album run a wide range of themes such as Trance, Jazz-Rock, Techno, and Chiptune. Track 42 is one of my favorites as it keeps a constant fast paced techno beat that feels like it would be at home in my favorite of the series Gradius Gaiden. It's also the first time I've ever heard a Speak & Spell used in a composition. Track 40 is also a standout as a Jazz-Rock remix from Gradius II that would be perfect for a Bemani or Guitar Hero game. The guitar is front and center and really makes you want to grab a guitar and start strumming along.

Full Track listing:

Disc 1

01    Morning Music    1:11
02    COIN    0:04
03    Air Battle    0:33
04    1st Stage    0:59
05    2nd Stage    0:57
06    3rd Stage    0:55
07    4th Stage    0:58
08    5th Stage    0:48
09    6th Stage    1:20
10    7th Stage    0:59
11    BOSS    0:32
12    GAME OVER    0:08
13    RANKING BGM    0:35
14    Title Demo (Title Demo)    0:34
15    COIN (Coin Sound)    0:04
16    Equipment (Select)    0:44
17    TABIDACHI (Air Battle 1)    0:55
18    A Shooting Star (Air Battle 2)    0:53
19    Burning Heat (1st Stage BGM)    1:00
20    Synthetic Life (2nd Stage BGM)    1:34
21    Crystal World (3rd Stage BGM)    1:35
22    A Way Out of The Difficulty (4th Stage BGM)    0:51
23    The Old Stone Age1.2 (5th Stage BGM)    1:29
24    Maximum Speed (6th Stage BGM)    0:51
25    Gradius1 BOSS Theme (7th Stage BGM 1)    0:29
26    SALAMANDER BOSS Theme (7th Stage BGM 2)    1:18
27    Fire Dragon (7th Stage BGM 3)    0:40
28    Into Hostile Ship (8th Stage BGM 1)    1:24
29    Shoot and Shoot (8th Stage BGM 2)    0:46
30    The Final Enemy (8th Stage BGM 3)    1:01
31    Take Care! (Each Boss BGM)    0:30
32    Game Over (Game Over)    0:10
33    RANKING BGM (Ranking)    0:38
34    Farewell (Ending)    0:44
35    DEMO MOVIE    1:55
36    SELECT    0:57
37    ENDING    2:02
38    Hope & Joy Peace & Love (GRADIUS)    4:25
39    Farewell (GRADIUS II)    5:21
40    Maximum Speed (GRADIUS II)    4:51
41    Gradius Medley (GRADIUS)    7:18
42    Medley (GRADIUS GENERATION)    4:19
43    1st Stage (GRADIUS)    3:24
44    Dead End Cell (GRADIUS III)    4:27
Disc length 67:08

Disc 2

01    COIN (Coin Sound)    0:04
02    Prelude of Legend (Title BGM)    1:03
03    Invitation (Select BGM)    1:13
04    Departure for Space (Air Battle 1)    1:14
05    Try to Star (Air Battle 2)    0:56
06    Sand Storm (1st Stage BGM)    1:42
07    Aqua Illusion (2nd Stage BGM)    1:25
08    In The Wind (3rd Stage BGM 1)    1:51
09    Underground (3rd Stage BGM 2)    1:36
10    High Speed Demension (4th Stage BGM)    1:30
11    Easter Stone (5th Stage BGM)    2:00
12    Dead End Cell (6th Stage BGM)    1:58
13    Fire Scramble (7th Stage BGM)    1:38
14    Cosmo Plant (8th Stage BGM)    2:03
15    Crystal Labylinth (9th Stage BGM)    2:19
16    Mechanical Base (10th Stage BGM 1)    1:20
17    Final Shot (10th Stage BGM 2)    1:26
18    Escape to The Freedom (High Speed Escape)    0:36
19    BOSS (Boss On Parade)    2:42
20    Dark Force (Boss BGM)    0:33
21    Game Over (Game Over BGM)    0:11
22    King of Kings (Ranking)    1:03
23    Congratulations (Beginner Ending)    0:16
24    Return to The Star (Ending)    1:21
25    A Long Time Ago (Hidden BGM)    1:49
26    GRADIUS-SALAMANDER (EXTRA Stage)    3:35
27    COIN (Coin Sound)    0:04
28    DEMO BGM (Demo)    0:17
29    SELECT BGM (Select)    0:34
30    APOLLON (Air Battle 1)    1:25
31    FEITON (Air Battle 2)    0:48
32    HYDRA (1st Stage BGM)    1:40
33    DEMETER (2nd Stage BGM)    1:16
34    OCEANUS (3rd Stage BGM)    1:35
35    CRONOS (4th Stage BGM)    1:23
36    HADES (5th Stage BGM)    1:23
37    URANUS (6th Stage BGM)    1:38
38    HERA (7th Stage BGM)    1:40
39    DUPON (8th Stage BGM)    0:44
40    BOSS BGM 1 (Boss Rush Stage 1)    0:41
41    BOSS BGM 2 (Boss Rush Stage 2)    0:33
42    PROMETHEUS (9th Stage BGM)    1:22
43    ATHENA (9th Stage BGM)    1:49
44    TITANS (Boss BGM)    1:09
45    GAME OVER (Game Over)    0:11
46    RANKING BGM (Ranking)    0:40
47    GAIA (Ending)    1:07
48    DEMO MOVIE 1    2:10
49    DEMO MOVIE 2    2:51
50    SELECT    3:50
Disc length 68:14

42    Medley (GRADIUS GENERATION)    4:19

40    Maximum Speed (GRADIUS II)    4:51

Thanks for listening and we'll see you in July as we look at the SST Band!

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Great selections; thanks for sharing! Those big band tracks were really unique and interesting. I haven't heard anything quite like that before. Have you listened to the One-Ups at all? They do jazzy remixes of many 8 and 16-bit game tracks. I'm a big game music lover as well and am looking forward to future pieces like this. I may have to track down that Gradius album for myself.
Great idea for a series. Can't wait to see where this goes
Great contribution, thank you! It is amazing how game music became a part of us. We listenened to the music of certain games more than to any other song, and we immediately recognize these songs which are associated with the emotional ups and downs of gameplay. Just the theme song of Super Mario 64 brought a smile back. Great soundtracks of all genres are vastly underappreciated.

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