One of my favorite games of all-time is Harmonix’s Amplitude, an amazing rhythm game that served as the foundation for the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series. It’s fucking dope, and I wish more people remembered it.
Thankfully, right now Harmonix is using Kickstarter to bring back the series! Which is great! However, with less than two weeks to go before their deadline, they’re still well short of their goal, which is not great!
I love this game and I want to see a new one (I gave…far too much to this Kickstarter) and I want to do whatever I can to help make that happen. So while my blog isn’t exactly popular, I’m going to do what I can, which is bribe what few readers I do have in the hopes that every little bit helps.
If the Amplitude Kickstarter is a success, I will update Lost Turntable five days a week for one month. And each post will have completely new music, no reposts, no re-recordings. All new shit. So if you’re a reader of this site and have lamented my lack of updates since my move to Tokyo, yo, this is your way to get my ass writing again.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to the Amplitude Kickstarter page and send them a few bucks!
Then when you’re done with that check out this vintage collection of dope game music!
When I was on Retronauts last year (which, if you haven’t heard, you can listen to here) I briefly mentioned the instrumental role that Yellow Magic Orchestra had in getting game music released in Japan. Not only did the group sample video game sounds in their early releases, they started their own label to release game music, the ingeniously-titled G.M.O. Records (Game Music Orchestra).
The first release on said label was simply titled Video Game Music, and I’m fairly certain it was the first full-length video game soundtrack ever released (early 1985), although I could be mistaken. They followed it up later that year with The Return of Video Game Music.
After that, they got a bit more specific with their releases, focusing more on individual game companies for each album. The first of these was Famicom Music, which featured nothing but music from Nintendo-produced Famicom titles. With a roster of tunes that includes themes from The Legend Of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Excitebike and motherfucking Balloon Fight (in a remixed version no less!) it’s definitely on my want list. One day it will be mine.
But while I don’t have that stellar compilation, I do have the second developer-focused release by GMO, Konami Game Music Vol. 1, which came out in 1986. While it doesn’t have anything as well-regarded and classic as the Zelda or Mario themes on it, it does have some pretty great standout tunes. The theme music to Yie Ar Kung Fu is included in full, and that shit is dope (even with the game sound effects playing over it). But by far the real standouts here are the TWO versions of the Gradius theme music; the original version and a remixed (or “arranged”) version. The original Gradius theme is some of the greatest game music of all-time, so getting any version of it is a win in my book.
And if this leaves you in the mood for more game music, I recommend the amazing soundtrack to Darius, which you can actually get on iTunes (wow). Check out this batshit insane live version of the Darius theme “Chaos.”