Tokyo Hollywood

October 21st, 2014

In the middle of a busy week as my mom is currently in Tokyo visiting me. That’s the good kind of busy, but it is making it rather difficult to put the finishing touches on my last wrestling-related post. I’ll try to have it done next week. In the meantime, here’s some Madonna remixes. Because I don’t post enough of those, right?

Hollywood (The Micronauts Remix)
Hollywood (Oakenfold Full Remix)
Hollywood (Calderone And Quayle Glam Mix)
Hollywood (Oakenfold 12″ Dub)
Continually shocked that I find 12″ Madonna singles that I don’t own. Guess I’m not the only person in Japan who likes to rock fierce.

Yeah, Madonna’s “Hollywood” isn’t her best single, but it’s certainly her best single off of American Life, an album that I maintain is one of the worst ever released by a major artist. I stand by that. Sorry. Anyways, if American Life does have a good track, it’s this one, and these are actually some pretty decent remixes of it. I think I posted the Oakenfold mix before, but this is a new recording and it sounds slightly better.

Enjoy, more wrestling next week. I know you’re all stoked.

The Wrestling Album – AKA The Worst Album Ever Recorded

October 14th, 2014

I got a few new followers it seems, so I’d like to let all of you know that I actually have another website called Mostly-Retro, where I ramble about all things music, movies and games (but mostly music). Check it out. Right now I’m writing about obscure grunge rock. I’m sure that appeals to someone either than me. Maybe.

Moving on. When I posted Hulk Hogan & Itch-Band a few weeks back I had a sneaking suspicion that it would catch on and gain some traction with the online wrestling community. However, I didn’t suspect that it would be the most popular thing I’ve written all year. Like, by a lot. My hits usually hover in the mid-to-high hundreds. That one garnered me a few thousand. And if I’m anything I’m a sucker for attention so, congratulations you all, you made me do this.


The Wrestling Album (Complete Album Download)
The Wrestling Album, released in 1985 and the he first WWF/WWE album. It was produced mostly by Rick Derringer with some assist by Cyndi Lauper, under the pseudonym of Mona Flambe. It features 10 tracks in total, and is a combination of wrestler theme music, oldies covers, a few comedic bits and original tunes. All singing duties on the album are performed by either wrestlers or other WWF personnel, with appearances by Junkyward Dog, Jimmy Hart, ‘Captain’ Lou Albano, and many others. The album is mostly known for its all-star single, a cover of “Land Of 1,000 Dances ?!!?” that features pretty much every wrestler the WWF had at the time.

Oh. And its the worst album I’ve ever heard in my entire life.

And that’s really saying something! Because A: I’ve listened to a lot of shitty albums and B: I actually like two tracks on this record. But it goes to show you just how damn bad the rest of it is.

But before I get to the dogshit, the good tracks. First up, Derrenger’s “Real American.” While it’s most famous for being Hulk Hogan’s theme music during the majority of his time in the WWF, here the song is billed as the theme music to the U.S. Express tag team. However, they bailed on the WWF not long after this album came out, so the song was re-purposed as the Hulkster’s theme music. Still a classic, I get goosebumps of nostalgia every time I play it. Not just that, I do think it’s an honest-to-goodness good song. Not many songs can be blatantly patriotic while avoiding sounding nationalistic, so good job on Derringer for pulling it off.

Trivia note: the backup vocals are by Cyndi Lauper!

The other good track is “Hulk Hogan’s Theme.” This served as the theme to Hulk’s cartoon and was, as the title suggests, was also Hulk’s theme song for about five minutes in 1984. This track was written by Jim Steinman of Meat Loaf fame, and would go on to be reworked as “Ravishing” by Bonnie Tyler. So yeah, it’s an alright tune.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way – everything else on this album is dogshit of the worst variety. “Mean” Gene Okerlund covers “Tutti Frutti” and it’s abysmal. Jimmy Hart drops the dis track “Eat Your Hart Out Rick Springfield” and – wait a second, “Hart?” Is Jimmy Hart asking Rick Springfield to eat…okay I’m gonna move on now before I get incredibly unfortunate mental pictures stuck in my head.

One of the stranger tracks on the album is “Rowdy” Roddy Piper covering the obscure Mike Angelo & The Idols’ track “Fuck Everybody” renamed to “For Everybody.” This, of course, completely changes the meaning of the song into complete nonsense, but that’s the least of its problems as Roddy can’t sing for shit. Seriously, he sounds like someone is pulling out his testicle hair with a pair of tweezers. There’s a reason why They Live didn’t have a musical number.

Junkyard Dog, Hillbilly Jim’s , and Nikoli Volkoff all have songs too, but they’re just run-of-the-mill horrible and barely worth talking about. What is worth talking about, however, is “Captain Lou’s History Of Music/Captain Lou.” This is the worst song I’ve ever heard in my entire life. No question. The constant wailing by The Animal, the hideous carnivalesque music, the bland production (thanks to Cyndi Lauper) and, at the forefront of the shit, Captain Lou’s atrocious, hideous, craptastic singing. If you have any esteem for Captain Lou, wrestling, Cyndi Lauper or pretty much “the 80s” as a singular thing, you’ve been warned – this might destroy all of that.

As for the all-star rendition of “Land of 1,000 Dances ?!!?,” well, that’s just kind of cute. I mean, yes, its horrible and not a single wrestler who makes an appearance on the track can actually sing, but none of them are really trying to. It’s just a joke track, a novelty number and nothing more. Yeah, the joke is horrible and the novelty wears off after about one minute, but it’s a hard song to outright hate. Or maybe my hatred for it is just dulled because, when compared to the sonic manure that makes up the rest of the record, it’s downright Grammy-worthy.

The WWF certainly thought the track was noteworthy. It was the only song from the album to get a video, and they even released it as a 12″ single, complete with an extended version and an instrumental. Now, I know what you’re thinking, what idiot would be dumb enough to buy that?


The Wrestlers
Land Of 1,000 Dances (Dance Version)
Land Of 1,000 Dances (Instrumental Version)
So if you were listening to the album version of this track and thought, “you know what? This needs to be about two minutes longer and end with a wicked drum solo,” then you are in luck. As for the instrumental, you should download it just so when people ask you “what’s the dumbest, most pointless song in your MP3 collection? you have an easy answer.

Enjoy the horribleness. One more wrestling album coming soon.

It’s slightly better than this one.


Tracks From A Tiny Guns N’ Roses CD

October 5th, 2014

Well then, that stupid Hulk Hogan post is now the most popular thing I’ve written all year. I suspected that might go viral just from its idiocy and rarity, but I had no idea it would blow up so big. So to anyone who read that post and decided to check out what this blog is all about, thanks! Before I disappoint you with a series of Madonna singles in the coming weeks, stick around, I promise more wrestling stupidity later this week.

Until then, how about some G N’F’n R?

Guns N’ Roses
Live And Let Die (Live)
Shadow Of Your Love
Coma (Live)
It’s amazing the shit you can find in a discount record bin.

The first two of these GNR tracks are from a CD-single of “Live And Let Die.” Not just that, they’re from a 3-inch CD single that came packaged tiny “longbox” style. Seriously, check this thing out.


It’s hard to see, but it comes with instructions on how to snap the bottom half off and make it more compact.


Like anyone in Japan would ever do such a thing. You have no idea how well the Japanese people treat their media. You go to a used bookstore or CD store and all that shit looks brand freaking new. It’s insane. It’s great when you find one a little banged up though, because when you do it’s mad discounted. However, such instances are few and far between. Shit, when I buy game music here it usually comes complete with the original sticker sheets. I don’t know how anyone could buy a CD that came with stickers and NOT USE THE STICKERS. Madness.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, GNR. So, I did some digging and I really can’t find if those two tracks were ever put on any other official GNR release. The live version of “Live And Let Die” is not on the Live Era album, and I don’t think it’s on any of their EPs either. If Axl’s opening rant is to be believed, this recording was filmed for the VMAs. I think I have a vague recollection of that happening, so that sounds about right.

As for “Shadow Of Your Love,” that tune pre-dates GNR by several years. It’s actually a Hollywood Rose track, Hollywood Rose being the proto-GNR group that Axl formed in 1983. While many Hollywood Rose-era tracks would be re-worked or re-recorded for inclusion on several official GNR official releases, “Shadow Of Your Love” wasn’t one of them.

It should be pointed out that “Shadow Of Your Love” is not a particularly good song.

Anyways, while the track never made it to a GNR album proper, various versions have seen the light of day over the years. A faux-live take (with crowd overdubs) was recorded for the Live Like Suicide EP, cut, and then included on the Japanese-only Live From The Jungle EP. A demo by the original(ish) Hollywood Rose line-up was also recorded back in the 80s, which was released a few years ago by Cleopatra Records, much to the chagrin of Axl. As far as I know, this is the only studio version of the track recorded by GNR that doesn’t feature the crowd overdubs.

I would also like to point out once more that it is not a very good song.

As for the live version of “Coma,” that’s from the Japanese edition of Live Era. I actually don’t own the Japanese edition of Live Era, I just snagged this MP3 off of…somewhere eons ago.

Hulk Hogan & Itch Band

October 1st, 2014


Hulk Hogan & Itch-Band
Itch Ban
Night Home
You’ve Got To Leave

From 1972 to 1976, Telly Savalas, better known as TV’s Kojack, released four albums. All of them are generally regarded as being horrible mistakes that should have never existed in this reality or another. Today they are forgotten, and justly so. However, I remember reading once that, when asked years later, why he released not one, but FOUR horribly hideous albums, Savalas replied simply, “they let me.”

I feel that a similar explanation probably lies behind Hulk Hogan & Itch-Band, the Hulkster’s 1983 self-titled EP that was released only in Japan. He must have said to someone “I want to release an album” and that someone had enough power somewhere to let that happen. That person must be put on trial for crimes against humanity.

The album was recorded and released during the tail end of Hulk’s run in the New Japan Pro Wrestling League, where Hogan was so damn popular that his nickname was simply “Ichiban” which means “Number One.” I guess that partially explains why Hogan’s band name is “Itch-Band,” but why they just didn’t go with “Ichiband” is beyond me.


There are four songs on Hulk Hogan & Itch-Band. The first is “Itch Ban,” a self-aggrandizing boast track where Hogan exalts the power of his wrestling skills; his massive wealth; and even his cameo appearance in Rocky III, all to a disco-funk beat and a chant-like chorus of “Ichiban is Hogan San! Hogan is our Champion! Ichiban Is Hogan San! Hogan is number one!”

And it must be said, right up front, that Hogan’s singing voice is one of the most atrociously awful singing voices I have ever had the extreme displeasure of hearing in my entire life. It is so horrific that I didn’t actually recognize it as his voice the first time I listened to the record. I guess I expected Hogan to sing like he talks, all deep and gutteral and “what’s you gonna do brother!” But instead he sings in this bizarre high-pitch with a strange accent that sounds like…I don’t even know how to describe it….like a mentally handicapped Hanna-Barbara cartoon villain? You know how the bad guys in cartoons always make that “bwa ha ha” laugh? That’s Hogan’s singing voice…maybe with a touch of Jimmy Hart thrown in for good measure.  It’s something that has to be experienced, it escapes words.


After that nightmare abortion from hell we’re treated to “Night Home” a quiet instrumental number where Hogan gets to showcase his…surprisingly decent bass skills. That’s right, Hogan plays bass, and he’s not that bad! Who knew? Actually, as a whole the music on Hulk Hogan & Itch-Band isn’t horrible – it’s just Hogan’s singing voice and the ridiculous lyrics that sink it, both of which return after that instrumental interlude.

First, we’re treated to “You’ve Got To Leave,” where Hogan laments his upcoming departure back to the states, followed by “Axboomba,” an ode to Hogan’s then-finishing move of a running arm lariat (and totally not as cool as the flying leg drop). Throughout both Hogan’s vocals rest somewhere between the sound of nails on a chalk board and the howls of a cat in heat in terms of annoyance and auditory displeasure.


Hulk Hogan & Itch-Band might be one of the worst records I’ve ever bought. Although musically benign, Hogan’s horrific howling, matched up with some inane self-important lyrics, truly outshine any talent that was put into the music. Beyond hideous from start to finish, its only saving grace is that, with a brief four tracks and a running time under 12 minutes, it manages to stay firmly in so-bad-it’s-entertaining territory simply because of its brevity.

But it’s still better than WWF’s Wrestling Album. At least it doesn’t have Mean Gene singing “Tutti Frutti.”

I Think Capsule Is a Drug Reference

September 22nd, 2014

You know one of the best things about Japan? No one here likes Nicki Minaj.

Feelin’ Alright (Extended-Mix)
Never Let Me Go (Extended-Mix)
In The Rain (Extended-Mix)
Dee J (Extended-Mix)
All The Way (Extended-Mix)
Motor Force (Extended-Mix)
Capsule are an electronic music duo out of Japan (shocker, I know). They’ve been around for a very long time, but they’ve barely broken through internationally, which is a surprise to me, as they’re fucking incredible.

The group is a duo, but the core of it is a man named Yasutaka Nakata, who is Japan’s foremost electronic/dance music producer at the moment. In addition to his work with Capsule, he also produces music for the super-huge-gigantic pop trio Perfume, as well as the solo artist Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who is probably the closest thing j-pop has had to a crossover success since Pizzacato Five.

I think of the three Capsule is the least-popular, but that speaks less to Capsule’s lack of popularity and more to the HOLY SHIT HUGE popularity of KPP and Perfume. They’re certainly just as good as those other groups, if lacking a bit in personality (while KPP practically explodes with wacky quirkiness). If you like upbeat, club-ready house/electronic tracks then you should really dig on them.

These extended tracks are all taken from the 2CD edition of their 2012 album STEREO WORXXX. The regular, single CD version is available on iTunes, and I suggest picking that up if you like these tunes, it’s a good jumping on point for the group.


September 13th, 2014

I KNOW! What were the odds?

Why’s It So Hard [Live]
Secret (Junior’s Luscious Single Mix)
Bedtime Story (Orbital Mix)
Fever (Hot Sweat 12″ Mix)
Human Nature (Love Is The Nature Mix)
Express Yourself (Shep’s Remix)
Friday was the first really nice day in Tokyo since the beginning of August (when it gets to the mid-90s Fahrenheit with a humidity of approximately 100000%). High 70s temperature, nice wind, survivable humidity. Just all around beautiful.

So I went for a nice three and a half hour walk, give or take.

The compulsive collector’s guide to losing weight. That’s what I call my exercise plan. If I want to go shopping for records or CDs that I have absolutely no need for, that’s great – but I gotta walk there. Before the summer heat hit I managed to lose over 50 pounds in five months, and I’m hoping that I can pick up where I left off now that the weather isn’t being an asshole anymore.

And while the main winner in this situation is my heart, you all make out too! Because I pass the records onto you.

These Madonna tracks are all CD rips, taken from a series of single that I snagged at a Disk Union. Most of these have never been posted on my site before, save for “Bedtime Story (Orbital Mix)” and the remix of “Express Yourself.” I originally posted vinyl rips of them several months/years ago, but these rips sound much better.

Additionally, the “Human Nature” remix is the first version of that song I’ve actually liked. It’s a synthgasm.

New Power Generation (N.P.G.) [Funky Weapon Remix]
New Power Generation [T.C.'s Rap]
Brother With A Purpose
Get Off
Lubricated Lady
Loveleft, Loveright
These are all from the CD single for “New Power Generation.” Remixes of “Thieves In The Temple” are also on the single, but I posted those mixes not too long ago, and I think my vinyl rips sounded fine so I’m not going to replace them tonight.

“Get Off’ is NOT “Gett Off.” Actually, it, along with “Lubricated Lady” are really two additional remixes of “New Power Generation.” They also segue together quite well. “Loveleft, Loveright” also shares some elements with the main single, but it varies it up a lot more.

Also, yes, there is a song called “Lubricated Lady.” A song title like that would easily rank as the most offensively stupid in any artist’s back catalog. But isn’t just any other artist, and with song titles like “Pussy Control,” “Scarlet Pussy” and “Soft And Wet” I don’t even know if it ranks in the top ten.

Prince is a classy motherfucker.

Fight Music For The Fight – Bare Knuckle DJ Mix by Yuzo Koshiro

September 6th, 2014

I came to Japan for a lot of reasons. I wanted to teach people and try and do something that actually can make a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to expand my comfort zone and try new and exciting things. I wanted to meet new people, make new friends and go on exciting new adventures.

All that and, y’know, buy DJ mixes of classic video game music.

The important shit.


Yuzo Koshiro
Bare Knuckle Legend Mix 
One of the first game music CDs I bought when I came to Japan for vacation last year was a copy of the Bare Knuckle II (AKA Streets of Rage II) soundtrack. It cost me nearly 50 bucks, but it was worth it, because that game’s music is, no doubt, some of the best music ever put on a cartridge. I want Yuzo Koshiro to score my life. I’m sure if he did it would be hella exciting, and feature 50% more dropkicks. And we all know dropkicks are the most dope kicks.

At least, I thought it was worth it, but that was because no one ever told me there was 4 CD VERSION WHAT THE FUCK.

Four CDs of Streets of Rage music. God. Damn. That’s my jogging soundtrack for the next month (that and the Pointer Sisters’ Break Out, did you know that’s one of the greatest albums of ll time, cuz it totally is). How do you fill up 4 CDs of music from Streets of Rage?

GOOD QUESTION allow me to answer it.

Not only does this set have the entire soundtrack to Streets Of Rage and Streets of Rage II for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), but it also includes, in their entirety, the complete soundtracks to the Game Gear versions of both games. That’s the kind of attention to completist overkill that I can really get behind.

The cherry on top is the fourth CD, which includes an exclusive DJ mix of the music from the series by Koshiro himself. That is what I’m sharing tonight. He apparently mixed this live at some game music club event in 2002. That’s incredible. Are game music DJ mixes a regular thing in Tokyo? If so, then fuck I’ve been going to the wrong clubs. I want to get my groove on to a non-stop Mega Man mix.

Wait, YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE GREAT? Gradius DJ mix. No, wait, a Darius DJ Mix. On second thought, no, that would just be too damn weird. On third (fourth? I’m tired) thought, I just want someone to do a DJ mix that combines all of the greatest game music of all time. Double Dragon, Tempest 2000, Shinobi, Afterburner, Pac-Man DX, you name it. Girl Talk that shit. Mash it up. That would be epic.

And they have to end it with Vib-Ribbon. Because there’s no time hurry up everything is so fantastic.

Transcontinental Remixes and Rarities

August 26th, 2014

Summer is almost over! Yay! Summer sucks. Summer especially sucks in Tokyo, when it’s been like 32c-35c (89-95f) EVERY GODDAMN DAY since July 1st. If you could bottle all the perspiration I’ve sweated out over the past two months then you’d have solved California’s water crisis.

And with that lovely mental picture in all your heads, here is some music.

Lene Lovich
Wonderland (New York Dance Mix Radio Edit)
Wonderland (London Dance Mix)
Wonderland (London Dance Mix Radio Edit)
Don’t ask for my opinion of Lene Lovich, I don’t even know how to pronounce her name. All I know about her is that she was on Stiff Records, so I of course own some of her stuff.

Sheena & The Rokkets
You May Dream
Radio Junk
Rocket Factory
Sheena & The Rokkets were yet another in a long line of Yellow Magic Orchestra protege acts that gained some degree of notoriety in their native Japan during the late 70s and early 80s.

Of all the YMO-associates they’re probably the most different – eschewing the cold, Kraftwerk-inspired aesthetic of their label mates for a far more new wave/punk rock style reminiscent of early Blondie. If you told me they played CBGB’s I wouldn’t be surprised (oh wait, they did).

Even though the group didn’t sound a lot like YMO, the synth-pop pioneers are all over their 1979 debut album Vacuum Pack. All three members of YMO are credited keyboard players on the LP, and each of them wrote a song for the album as well, which are the three I’m sharing tonight. “You May Dream” was written Haruomi Hosono; Yukihiro Takahashi wrote the upbeat and utterly amazing “Radio Junk” (which YMO would perform live) and Sakamoto-san composed the all-keyboards album closer “Rocket Factory.” It sounds absolutely nothing like anything else on the album, and I feel hesitant to even call it a Sheena & The Rokkets track, as it’s obviously a Sakamoto joint through and through.

I may share more Sheena & The Rokkets later, I really dig these guys.

Luscious Jackson
Ladyfingers (Refrigerator Box Remix)
Ladyfingers (Guaranteed Every Time Remix)
Ladyfingers (BD’s Smooth Finger Remix)
Ladyfingers (Smackit Remix)
I’m really glad that me moving to another country hasn’t stopped me from buying completely inessential singles from bands that I wasn’t that big a fan of in the first place.

I’m fairly certain that at least one of these remixes samples “Atomic Dog” though, so there’s that.

Reality vs Remixes

August 20th, 2014

Boy, the world is just a horrible shitty place full of horrible people that do shitty things to each other for no reason other than to be horrible and shitty. Sigh.

No. FUCK THAT. Hey overwhelming anxiety and depression, go to hell. I have obscure remixes of marginally successful songs from over a decade ago – so you can just go to hell with that bullshit.

I’m actually going to be writing something over at Mostly-Retro in the next few days about all the horribleness going on in the world (specifically Missouri, which has gotten even more horrible than it usually is), and how music is failing the world at the moment.

But until then, hey! I went to a big giant huge music festival in Japan last weekend and wrote about it! Check that out!

Franz Ferdinand
Do You Want To (Unknown Remix)
Do You Want To (Unknown Remix 2)
Mysterious remixes! Found these on a white label 12″ single that I bought for about 100 yen (a buck). Totally bootleg for sure, but definitely better than some legit remixes of Franz Ferdinand songs that I’ve heard in the past, I can tell you that much. I know nothing about these, so if anyone has any clue as to who the hell did these (probably no one of note, but you never know), please holler.

New Born (Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto Remix)
Sunburn (Timo Maas’ Sunstroke Remix)
Sunburn (Timo Maas’ Breakz Again Mix)
Whenever I hear “New Born” I think of a murderous lesbian with a concrete saw. So when I hear this dance remix by Paul Oakenfold I just think of a murderous lesbian with a concrete saw at a rave. Thanks movies, you always ruin everything.

Mythical Lands And Angry Giants

August 11th, 2014

This weekend I will be at Summer Sonic in Tokyo! I plan on seeing Babymetal, Suicidal Tendencies, Pharcyde, De La Soul, Akiko Yano, Boom Boom Satellites, and at the end of the last day MOTHERFUCKING KRAFTWERK.

So if you happen to be attending Summer Sonic and see me, come up and say hi. I’ll be easy to spot, I’m the insanely tall white dude. For reference, check out these eight YouTube videos where you can see the back of my head. 

Atlantis to Interzone (Nightmoves Remix)
Atlantis To Interzone (Digitalism’s Klix Klax R-R-Remix)
Atlantis To Interzone (Dave P and Adam Sparkles’ Festival Remix Extended Break)
This song simultaneously references the mythical city of Atlantis and the acid trip freakout works of William S. Burroughs, which must have been the Klaxons way of saying “we all have liberal arts degrees and do drugs.”

Rollins Band
Illumination (Illuminator Remix Edit)
Henry Rollins scares me. So Henry, if you’re out there and you find this post and you don’t like that I’m sharing this song, please tell me and I’ll delete them. You won’t need to fly to Tokyo and pound the living shit out of me.

I may be a big guy but I’m fragile.