Archive for the ‘live’ Category

YMOh Yeah

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Technopolis (M.S.T. Mix)
Rydeen (Beat Sonic Mix)
Behind The Mask (Live at A&M Chaplin Memorial Studio 7th Nov 80)
I don’t know if the information regarding when and where that version of “Behind The Mask” was recorded is right. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago I picked up YMO Giga Capsule, a special edition DVD featuring live and rare YMO performances. This is not the same as YMO Giga Clips. That’s a different DVD that focused more on TV show performances and music videos. Giga Capsule is a bigger affair, mostly because it’s a two-sided disc. One side is your standard DVD video and features a nice selection of YMO live footage from various concert videos (all of which are annoyingly out-of-print right now). It’s great, but nothing out-of-the-ordinary.

The other side is what’s special, a unique digital experience full of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, outtakes and more. Of course, that’s what I’ve gathered from reading about it online. That’s because I can’t get the fucking disc to work on my computer. I think the thing will only work using an old 32bit version of Quicktime that is no longer available and doesn’t work on modern 64-bit machines. If anyone does know anything about getting this thing to work on a new PC, hit me up.

Even though I can’t run the disc’s program proper, I can browse the file directories, which led me to some interesting discoveries. Rather amazingly, this one DVD contains YMO’s complete studio discography, as well as the Live At Kinokuniya Hall album. They’re AIFF files, but they all sound pretty good save for the live album, which is blown out for some reason. Anyone with a bit of technical skill could rip all these files off the disc, easily convert them to MP3, and then have every single YMO record on their hard drive! That kind of thing would never happen today.

There are a lot of other random audio files on this disc. Apparently, somewhere on it are the raw instrumental tracks for several songs. Tried my best, but I couldn’t find them. What I could find was this live version of “Behind The Mask.” I got the information behind its source via the disc’s Discogs page. It could be completely wrong, I have no way of checking. I think I just wrote more words in English about this disc than anyone in the history of the internet. If I’m wrong, please inform me with the correct information.

As for the remixes, they’re from a bizarre remix compilation (pictured above) that features remixes of YMO tracks as well as YMO-associates Sandii, Snakeman Show and Melon. As remixes of YMO go, these are some of the better ones I’ve heard. However, as you may know if you read my multi-part guide to the YMO discography, that’s really not saying all that much. Nearly every YMO remix is complete garbage, even the ones by prominent electronic artists like The Orb. I think it’s because YMO are, at heart, a pop band, and the majority of their remixes have been done by artists looking to make the music more like whatever dance music trend is hip at the time. That just doesn’t work.

Like I said though, these aren’t atrocious. And if you’ve ever wondered what YMO might sound like if they were a mid-90s hardcore house act, well then you are in luck tonight!

Giga YMO (We need to use giga more, it’s a good word)

Friday, June 9th, 2017

I was previously lamenting about my analog-to-digital struggles. But you know what’s dope and super-easy? Converting one form of digital file to another. I used to write for eHow and thanks to that, I know how to convert anything to anything. Seriously, got a RealVideo file you want to convert to ogg vorbis? I got you covered.

These files are not in ogg vorbis I swear. I’m not a lunatic.

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Cosmic Surfin’ (Live)
Rydeen (Live At Hurrah)
Behind The Mask (Live At Hurrah)
Day Tripper (Live At Hurrah)
Ongaku (Live)
Expecting Rivers (Live)
Cosmic Surfin- (Live 2nd Version)
Technopolis (Live On Japanese TV)
Rydeen (Live On Japanese TV)
Kageki Na Shukujo (Live On Japanese TV)
Riot In Lagos (Live YMO Special)
Solid State Survivor (Live YMO Special)
Rydeen (Live YMO Special)
An item on my holy grail watch-list for some time had been the YMO Giga Clips DVD. This video compiles not only all of YMO’s various music videos, but also features a slew of live performances from various concerts and Japanese TV appearances. I would occasionally see it in stores used, but usually for prices close to $100.

Thankfully, I stumbled upon a heavily discounted copy in Kichijoji last week. It was lacking the original booklet, kind of a big deal here, so it was priced to move. I paid less than a third of it’s usual price. That’s pretty amazing.

The above files are MP3 rips of all the non-album versions that are on the disc. So, none of these are music video rips as those are just the album versions.. I also didn’t include tracks that are also available on live CDs. Not for ethical reasons (those CDs are long out of print) but because the versions on the CDs are of higher quality. I also skipped a few TV performances that appeared to be mostly lip-synced, because what’s the point.

As my copy doesn’t have the booklet, I don’t know all the details behind all of these tracks, I don’t have that information. I do know that the “Live At Hurrah” tracks are a 1979 performance at the Hurrah in New York City.

The YMO Special tracks are from a….YMO Special (shocking I know) that aired on Japanese TV in 1983. That special also featured some behind-the-scenes stuff and interviews. That stuff isn’t on Giga Clips, but you do a search for “YMO Special” on YouTube you can find VHS rips of it rather easily.

“Ongaku” and “Expecting Rivers” are from a concert video. I think they’re from the band’s 1983 Budokan performance. That lines up with their wardrobe/instrument set-up in the video. That concert was released on laserdisc only. Which means I’m going to have to buy another Laserdisc player at some point. That makes me angry and sad.

I have absolutely no clue as to where the second version of “Cosmic Surfin'” is from. It appears to be taken from the same tour as the Hurrah show, however.

The remaining clips are all Japanese TV shows. Again, I don’t know which ones because, no booklet.

Black Days

Friday, May 19th, 2017

I had the immense privilege of seeing Cornell with both Audioslave and Soundgarden. And he was probably one of the greatest vocalists I ever saw perform in person. The world has lost an amazing talent and person. And I am heartbroken as I realize that my generation will be sorely lacking in old rock stars.

Soundgarden
Gun (Live ’90)
Get On The Snake (Live ’90)
Superunknown was one of the first albums I bought with my own money to listen to on my own. I didn’t have to buy a lot of music with my own money when I was a kid, mostly because my mom and I had very similar musical tastes. Having a mom who was way into Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana really saved me a lot of money at the time. Thanks mom! My mom is dope.

Anyways, for some reason I can clearly recall buying Superunknown used at a CD Warehouse and playing the shit out of that album. I would listen to it when I played Doom, read comics or mowed the lawn. I honestly think the main reason that album became my default background music was simply because it’s so damn long. That album is 15 tracks and 71 minutes long. And it doesn’t have a single piece of filler on it. That just never fucking happens.  How many classic, amazing tracks are on that album? Six? Seven? Eight? I mean, shit, “Black Hole Sun” might be the worst song on that album, and it’ s one of the greatest rock singles of the 90s. But it can’t hold a candle to “Spoonman” or “Kickstand” or even the title track. It’s downright criminal that Superunknown isn’t spoken with the same reference as Nevermind and Ten. It’s the Thriller or Hysteria of grunge; every song could’ve been a single. And again, at 15 tracks long that’s a holy shit statement.

For the longest time there were countless Soundgarden rarities. Unlike Pearl Jam or Nirvana, there didn’t seem to be anyone keeping track of the Soundgarden archives. Thankfully, that started to come to an end a few years back. Between the deluxe editions of Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, and the 3CD rarities compilation Echo Of Miles, a good portion of the rare Soundgarden tracks worth a listen are now easy to score, and I suggest you do that. Be sure to check out their oddly sedate-but-great cover of Devo’s “Girl U Want” and the amazing Moby remix of “Dusty,” which I prefer to the original.

These live tracks are from the CD single to “Blow Up The Outside World.” To the best of my knowledge, they were never included on any of the various re-issues, but if I’m wrong please let me know.

FYI: the “movie no one saw” that Cornell references in the beginning of “Get On the Snake” is Lost Angels. He’s certainly right, no one saw that movie, but the soundtrack, which included The Pogues, Toni Childs, Soul Asylum and Apollo Smile, was hella dope.

Audioslave
Show Me How To Live (T Ray Remix)
Set It Off (Live From Letterman)
Gasoline (Live From Letterman)
I’ve always felt that Audioslave is an underrated band. At the very least, their first album certainly is. It is such a great record, a fantastic hard rock album that came out at a time when those were few and far between. I got to see Audioslave live three times, and each time they delivered a stand out show. If you’ve never given the band a proper chance, I really recommend that first self-titled record. And while those second two albums don’t hold up when compared to that stellar debut, they both have some solid tracks. Scope them out on iTunes, each have some buried gems. I’m a big fan of “Man Or Animal” and “Somedays,” myself.

Audioslave doesn’t have many rarities to speak of. I think their only commercially released B-side was “We Got The Whip” and you can get that on iTunes no problem. These three tracks were the only ones in my collection that I couldn’t find commercially available.  They’re all from various singles from the first album. The two “live” tracks don’t sound very live. You get zero crowd noise on these. I suspect that they’re rehearsal recordings. They still sound good though. The remix of “Show Me How To Live” is the highlight of the group though. It’s a good remix of a great song that adds some layers of electronic and psychedelic effects. Simple, but it works.

Sigh. Why does everything have to suck so much?

I have nothing of value to add to the current discourse so here’s some ZZ Top.

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Geez.

ZZ Top
Gimme All Your Lovin’ (live)
Sharp Dressed Man (live)
I Got the Six (live)
TV Dinners (live)
Got Me Under Pressure (live)
Legs (dance mix)
Legs (Album Version)
All of these tracks are from the 2008 Collector’s Edition of Eliminator, which was released in 2008 and has been seemingly out-of-print ever since. For some reason (and whatever the reason is, it’s a bad one) all digital versions currently being sold only have the single edit of “Legs.” Some CD versions have the album version still, while others use the single edit. It’s pretty hard to tell which has which just from looking though. Both are perfectly fine versions, I don’t prefer one over the other, but it would be nice to have the album version on the album (duh).

Completely exclusive to this release is the dope as fuck super extended “Dance Mix” which really jacks up the sequencers. It’s basically “I Feel Love” with blues riffs. A great concept that I’m really bummed more people didn’t get behind in the 80s. The live tracks are decent, but let’s be honest, this is an album that was never made to be played live. It’s a studio creation through and through.

I recently bought the remastered vinyl of Eliminator. It came on cherry red vinyl to match the Eliminator car and it sounded great. That is, until it got to “Legs” and it just suddenly cut out near the end of the song. No fade, no breakdown, it just cuts out entirely. What I suspect happened was that they pressed the original album version on a groove that was allocated for the single edit, which is over a minute shorter.  Whatever the reason, it’s pathetic that Rhino, who released the disc, never issued any sort of public recall for the LP. I emailed them twice, with neither message getting a response. I eventually had to return it to my local record store.

Anyways, between the error-riddled vinyl and the out-of-print 2 CD edition, Rhino/Warner Bros. really need to get their shit together on this one. Eliminator is one of the greatest albums of the 80s. They should teach it in music school and the class should be called “how to sell out for cash and still make a kick-ass record.” Because, let’s face it, a Texas blues band adopting a synth-heavy sound in 1984 was about as hard a sell-out as humanly possible. But they made it work.

Japanese Versions Of The Star Wars Theme

Friday, May 13th, 2016

The best thing about living in Japan is finding 1970s covers albums of sci-fi films.

Okay, maybe it’s not the best thing, but it’s definitely in the top 10.

Toru Hatano
Star Wars Theme
Toru Hatano (aka Toya Hatano) is somewhat of a minor player in the progressive/jazz/electronic scenes of 1970s Japan. In the early 70s he was a member of the psych-rock band Brush!?, who only released one record as far as I can find. In 1977 he released his solo debut, a soundtrack called Love For You followed a year later by a collection of movie themes performed on synthesizer entitled Space Adventure. Since then, he’s worked behind-the-scenes and runs a company that sells insanely high-end audio cables.

As synth cover collections go, Space Adventure is an odd one, and features not only 70s soundtrack standards like Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but also selections from lesser known genre material at the time including Logan’s Run, Capricorn One, Solaris, and even Flesh Gordon (not Flash, Flesh).

It’s not bad, although as someone who has listened to probably over a dozen synth cover albums in his day, there’s not much to make it stand out aside from its slightly oddball song selection. The cover is pretty rad though.

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Damn, it looks like they’re constructing the ELO spaceship.

Jun Fukamachi
Theme From Star Wars
One thing that I was surprised to learn about the 1970s music scene in Japan is how intermixed the jazz, funk and electronic music scenes were. Look into the discography of nearly any major guitarist or keyboardist from the era, and you’ll find that he or she probably got their feet wet in all three genres, if not more. Ryuichi Sakamoto’s first release as a collaborative free association jazz album, and both of YMO’s most prominent guitarists, Kenji Omura and Kazumi Watanabe, were accomplished jazz musicians before, during and after their work with the legendary synthpop group.

The same goes for Jun Fukamachi, digging through his back catalog I’ve found everything from J-pop, funk, folk, jazz, experimental avant-garde, synth-pop and pure electronic music. He even worked on a few of those “Digital Trip” anime soundtracks that I wrote about a couple weeks ago. His main focuses seemed to be jazz and funk though, using synthesizers in way that could be compared to the 70s output of Stevie Wonder, much more organically and with other instruments than his purely electronic counterparts.

And if you know anything about live jazz, with its heavy use of improvisation and free-association jamming, is why this live take on the Star Wars theme lasts over seven minutes. It goes places, man.

I’m crediting this to Jun Fukamachi because it’s listed under his discography at Discogs and I found it in among his solo records at the record store, but it’s really a collaborative effort. I think the band itself is called Space Fantasy. In addition to Jun, the group is also made up of Hideki Matsutake (aka Logic System) and the previously mentioned Kenji Omura. Joining them are Hiroki Inui, Shuichi Murakami and Shigeru Okazawa, all of whom have worked on countless albums in Japan as session players. So if you know anything about the jazz scene of Japan in the 70s and 80s, then this is kind of an all-star supergroup jam session.

To be honest, the album as a whole diverges into free-improvisation a bit too much for my liking, but their take on the Star Wars theme the only improvisational jazz/funk version of it I’ve ever heard, so they get points for originality if nothing else.

I’m Still An Alligator

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Turns out I have a lot of David Bowie on my hard drive(s) and digging it all out/organizing it is proving to be a task better suited for some sort of digital archaeologist. Just counting songs that are properly tagged as David Bowie/Tine Machine I have about 1,300 tracks in my iTunes library. I know I have more buried somewhere though. And I’m fairly certain that I have some singles back in the states that I never got around the properly recording. That’s a real shame because there are a few gems there, including a weird 10+ minute remix of “Fame ’90.”

I continue to be amazed at how much David Bowie is in print now. If you want the 12″ remix of “Magic Dance” then you can go on Amazon and fucking buy it right now. AND YOU SHOULD BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME. You can even go online and get remixes to “Loving The Alien” if you so desired.

So basically I’m repeating what I said in my previous all Bowie post, if you like David Bowie’s music then you should really be buying his music.

Of course, this blog exists because that’s not always possible. So here’s some shit that’s worthwhile yet unavailable.

David Bowie
Fun (Dillinja Mix)
Dead Man Walking (This One’s Not Dead Yet Mix)
Under Pressure (Live)
Moonage Daydream (Live)
Some real oddities tonight.

First up is a remix of “Fun,” which is doubly weird because the non-remixed version of “Fun” was never commercially released as far as I can tell. I have no idea when it was recorded, the story behind it, or if any other remixes were ever made available in any way shape or form. I got this remix off of the Davidbowie.com exclusive Live And Well 2CD compilation. Most of the remixes from that set were made available when Bowie’s mid/90s output was re-released in 2CD sets, but it didn’t make the cut.

After that we have a unique remix of “Dead Man Walking” which I found off of a CD single to the song. Another mix that didn’t make the cut when Bowie’s 90s records were re-released. A real shame too because it’s one of the better ones. While most of the song’s remixes play the dance angle and crank it up to be a club banger, this one puts Bowie on the forefront and tones it down a bit, all while keeping its beat. It’s a cool take on a great track.

Finally, there are two live tracks, both taken from the CD-single to “Hallo Spaceboy.” The live version of “Under Pressure” is relatively faithful to the original save for the fact that the vocals are shared by Bowie’s amazing bass player Gail Ann Dorsey.  However, the live rendition of “Moonage Daydream” is an interesting departure from the original, stripping away a lot of what made it a glam rock tune and replacing it with some industrial/90s’-rock overtones. Bowie would do this a lot when he toured in the 90s, sometimes to more drastic degrees than others. The changes he made to this track are tame compared to how he totally re-worked “Andy Warhol” into batshit crazy drum and bass track during his “Outside” tour.

By the way, does anyone have high-quality MP3s of this 90s tours that they’d feel like sharing?

If I listened to Life On Mars right now I’d probably cry

Monday, January 11th, 2016

I share rare and out-of-print songs. So it’s what I’m going to do tonight. I don’t know what else to do. I’m not going to eulogize David Bowie. Others, those who knew him, will do a better job at at that. Writing about his music, and sharing the tunes that people can’t easily get, is my own way of dealing with his death.

David Bowie’s discography was massive, and throughout the years many of his recordings fell through the cracks. In fact, my very first post on Lost Turntable was one such song, his theme to the largely forgotten animated nuclear war drama When The Wind Blows. Thankfully, that song is in print now, as are the remixes for it. You can buy them all on Amazon and I suggest you do. It’s a tremendous track.

In fact, in recent years many of Bowie’s rarer tracks have been re-issued in one way or another. His “greatest hits” compilation from last year featured rare and hard-to-find mixes of even his most popular tunes,  and even Sound + Vision was recently re-released, meaning you can find rarities such as the awesome U.S. single mix of “Rebel Rebel,” the radio edit of “Nite Flights” and the saxophone version of “John, I’m Only Dancing.” Bowie completists would do well to check them out. I also recommend picking up the David Bowie box set from 2007, which collects his albums from Outside to Reality, most of which were excellent (I still dig Earthling a lot).

So much work has been done to restore Bowie’s discography that there isn’t much for me to share here tonight. And make no mistake, that’s a good thing. David Bowie was a genius, and you should buy his music.

These are the only tracks I have that are out of print, not crummy sounding bootlegs, and worth sharing. I don’t feel that sharing a track like “Too Dizzy” a song that was so bad it was deleted from later pressings of Never Let Me Down (Bowie’s worst outing by many accounts, including his) would be a proper tribute to the man. I want to celebrate his legacy by showcasing the songs you might not know about, not dredge up stuff best left forgotten.

That being said, let’s start with a Tin Machine song.

Baby Universal
Baby Universal (7″ Remix)
Baby Universal (Extended Version)
I briefly mentioned Never Let Me Down a bit ago. Make no mistake, that is an incredibly bad record. Critics thought so, his fans though so, and in the years after its release Bowie thought so as well. Bowie took such a drubbing from the album’s release that he retreated from releasing albums as Bowie altogether, and instead formed a band called Tin Machine. They released two records, and although neither were particularly well-received by the public, perception on the Tin Machine material has improved over the years. I wholeheartedly recommend the band’s self-titled debut, and I even have fondness for their follow-up, Tin Machine II. It’s a bit uneven, but it does have the best song that Tin Machine released, the fast-paced punk/art-rock/dance hybrid Baby Universal, which I’m presenting here in all its forms. Be sure to listen to the lyrics, which include the classic Bowie line “Hello humans can you feel me thinking.”

Jump The Say (Rock Mix)
Tin Machine wasn’t that much of a critical or popular success, but it sure as hell served to revitalize Bowie creatively. After the group disbanded he went back to being a solo artist and went on a hell of a creative tear through the 90s, starting with Black Tie White Noise. A fantastic if somewhat dated record, much of the album dealt with Bowie’s then-recent marriage to Iman, but not this track. It was inspired largely by Bowie’s half-brother Terry, who lost his battle with mental illness and took his own life some years before.

Lyrically, its one of my favorite tracks on the record, but I always felt the funky production kind of beguiled the song’s dark message and somewhat angry tone, which is why I much prefer this rock remix. It’s still an early-90s dance-rock tune, so it’s pumped-up and overproduced, but the funky wah-wah guitars and more manic elements are removed and replaced with some hard guitar riffs. It gives it just enough edge for the lyrics to resonate a little more, just a bit more bite.

This remix first appeared on a few different singles. I got it from the two-disc edition of Black Tie White Noise. While that version of the album is out of print (for now) the single-disc release is easily available. It is very much an album of its time, for good and bad, but it has an upbeat vibe that’s hard to dislike. If you like this tune, check it out.

Cat People [Putting Out Fire] (Australian Promo Extended Version)
If I had to make a list of my top ten favorite David Bowie songs, I’d go insane – but I think this song would probably make the cut. A collaboration between Bowie and Giorgio Moroder (holy shit!) for an exceptionally bad movie, many consider it to be his creative swan song for the 80s. I wouldn’t go that far, I actually like a lot of Bowie’s 80s output, but this track is a motherfucking masterpiece, largely due to Bowie’s freakishly powerful vocals. He’s downright operatic here, with a bellow that rivals what he delivered on “Heroes.”

If this track sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because it was featured prominently in Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. The version featured in the movie is the one from the soundtrack to Cat People. You can find that on the Sound + Vision box set. It is distinctively different than the version on Let’s Dance, which is also good but far too over-produced (this was a common problem with music from the era, not just Bowie). The version I’m sharing tonight was only included on the original Australian 12″ single, and most likely by mistake. It’s over nine minutes long and features a fucking rad as hell sax solo.

Disclaimer: This is not my rip, I found it on another (defunct) MP3 blog.

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (With Nine Inch Nails)
Okay, one bootleg.

This might be my favorite Bowie song. And this version with Nine Inch Nails (from the Outside tour) is just a (scary) monster. A powerful and intense burst of glorious thunder. This is how I choose to remember David Bowie.

As a motherfucking rock star.

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Nostalgiagenre

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

I went to Summer Sonic this past weekend. It was pretty rad and I plan on writing about it sometime this week or the next. I won’t have much to say about the actual festival, but the entire experience did make me think about the state of rock music, what makes me identify with music, and the growing trend of pastiche as a genre.

I think it’s going to be rather wordy. So I apologize in advance for that.

Now music.

N.E.R.D.
She Wants To Move (D.F.A. Remix)
She Wants To Move (Mac & Toolz Extended Remix)
“Her ass is a spaceship I want to ride.”

“HER ASS IS A SPACESHIP I WANT TO RIDE.”

Fuck the “Happy” song, that line right there is the most life-affirming shit Pharrell ever wrote by far.

I love this song, much like I love nearly everything off of the first two N.E.R.D. albums. It’s such a great song that it can even overcome the lackluster DFA remix, that tries way too hard to make it into a krautrock song. You can’t do that to a song that has the line “her ass is a spaceship I want to ride” goddammit. The Mac & Toolz remix works far better, and instead re-imagines the song as an 80s funk jam with plenty of totally radical synths.

Big Country
Wonderland (Extended Mix)
Heart And Soul
Lost Patrol (Live)
Giant
I posted a bunch of Big Country a while back and have been repeatedly (but politely) requested by one incredibly persistent Big Country fan to repost them. Here are a few of them. I’ll try and put the rest up in the next few posts. Spoiler: “Wonderland” is one of the greatest songs ever written and you should like it.

Madonna
Celebration (Benny Benassi Remix)
Celebration (Benny Benassi Dub)
Celebration (Oakenfold Remix)
Celebration (Oakenfold Remix Dub)
Celebration (Johnny Vicious Club Remix)
Continuing in what will most likely be a multi-month/year posting spree of Madonna remixes. These are all from a 2×12″ single I picked up earlier this summer.

In additional Madonna news, I’m still working on part two of my guide to Madonna singles. It’s proving to be daunting. She put out a lot of freaking singles in the 90s you guys.

Tracks From A Tiny Guns N’ Roses CD

Sunday, 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.

003

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

007

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.

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

Saturday, 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.

Bare_Knuckle_Original_Soundtrack_A

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.