I used to be such a Square Whore -Redux-

Something I wanted to share for a while now.

I’ve recently (two months ago) succeeded in unloading over 150 soundtracks and various consoles and games. Before I did so, I wanted to keep a handful of albums to remember the good times while I was collecting game music and playing many, many games.

A picture is worth many words. So this is what I’ve ultimately kept as a souvenir from years past.

So there are 10 VGM CDs and 5 non-VGM CDs. It’s not much, I realize this. However, these albums always fix me up.

Let’s go at them one at a time.

VGM

Akumajo Dracula Best 2

This is amongst my very first purchases back in 1999 and remained a strong favorite for many reasons. Not only does it contain the excellent Super Castlevania IV music for SNES (It’s been 20 years since it’s out, folks !), but it also contains the music for Castlevania : The Adventure and Castlevania II : Belmont’s Revenge for the Game Boy (Also 20 year old game). Translation : It’s a damn good nostalgic ride :slight_smile: SCV4’s music has always impressed me since I first played it in ‘91 (Good times !) while The Adventure and Belmont’s Revenge had ample playtime on the ol’ Game Boy when I had it.

Border Down -Sound Tracks-

This is one of the more recent albums I have. It’s from the hit (?) shooting game that was released on Dreamcast in 2003. This album has a variety of styles from plain funky to classy smooth jazz. The stage and boss themes are so diverse that each and every one stands out in its own way. Plus it has arrangements by a slew of composers that I absolutely worshipped while I was deep into the VGM hobby.

Capcom Music Generation Famicom Music Complete Works Rockman 1~6

Here’s another nostalgic goldmine ! This 3 CD set has the complete music for Mega Man 1 to 6 in all its chiptune glory. If you were like me, you probably recorded these tunes on tape back in the day. I’ll say outright that I adore MM2, MM3 and MM4 more than the rest, but they all have their standout tracks in the end. This is a great example of quality VGM in my mind. The composers worked hard to overcome the limitations of the NES sound chip to create a slew of catchy, memorable themes and it really shows !

Daiva

This will be an oddity as it’s from a game I have absolutely no knowledge of. It’s from a NES game released only in Japan and in 1986. These are arrangements done with various Yamaha synthesizers released in 1987. It has a definite “pop” vibe to it and some of tunes are actually really catchy ! A definite “diamond in the rough” for sure.

Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version

Ah, good 'ol FF3 for Snes. How do I love thee ? Let me count the ways.

  1. Near perfect soundtrack by Nobuo Uematsu with 99% of the music being memorable and catchy.

  2. Fantastic array of character themes.

  3. Outstanding overworld and airship themes.

  4. Incredible battle themes.

  5. Tear-jerking and epic ending theme.

Perfect Collection Ys I & II : Complete Works of Ryo Yonemitsu

This is one for the few who had the chance to play Ys I & II on Turbo Graphix 16. Two of the best RPG soundtracks by Falcom, arranged in Power Rock, Jazz and New Age styles. Some of the tracks are better than their TG16 counterparts, other don’t fare as well. Overall the good easily outweighs the bad, it was a no-brainer to have this as a definite keeper.

Raystorm Neu Tanz Mix

Oh lookie here, a Taito soundtrack ! Had to have at least one of those ! This is the music that was available in the “Extra” mode on the Playstation release. It’s simply techno in its most enjoyable form. Fairly easy on the ears and hard to put down once it starts.

Symphonic Suite Dragon Quest V - Heaven’s Bride

Had to have one of these ! I’ve always loved DQ 4, 5 and 6, but 5 really took the cake with its captivating story and heartwarming music. This specific edition of the DQ V SS was used for the Playstation 2 updated version which we did not have. It was the first game by Square-Enix to have a fully orchestrated soundtrack in-game.

Symphony Ys '95

What’s this ? More Ys ? In a convincing synthetic orchestral style ? Yes and yes. It’s an interesting contrast to the Perfect Collection version. When each movement reaches its climax, it is simply stunning. A must have for those that love orchestral VGM.

Tommy Tallarico Virgin Games Greatest Hits Volume One

Quite a mouthful, huh ? Anyways, this is the only representation from the Western side of Game Music. But is it ever good !! Tallarico and a bunch of his friends perform the music with live synthesizers and guitars. To the lover of rock VGM, this is heaven. It contains music from a bunch of less known Sega CD and Sega Genesis games like The Terminator CD and Global Gladiators to name a couple.

That’s it for the VGM. Now for the rest.

Le Romantisme Espagnol

This is a collection of various Spanish songs during the 16th-19th century performed by Bruno Jacques Pelletier, a reknown Canadian classical guitarist. The pace of the album is lively one moment and calm the next. Just classical guitar, no other instruments are featured so it’s an acquired taste. Since I know the guy (semi-personally, let’s say), I feel the need to spread out the news about this album. I think it was released in 1998, so it may be tricky to find now. For the few that enjoy classical guitar once in a while, it may be worth your while.

Metal Works '73 - '93

This is a collection of some of the absolute best songs that heavy metal band Judas Priest recorded from the late '70s to the early '90s. At one point, I thought Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden was the best metal vocalist I had heard. Then came Rob Halford and I was floored ! His vocal range during his prime is just unbelievable. From the fast and aggressive “Painkiller” to the emotional “Blood Red Skies”, this double disc set really showed the band’s diversity. Everything on this album fixes me up instantly, including the questionable “Eat Me Alive”.

Musique Ancienne

Bruno Jacques Pelletier’s second album, this time focusing on music from the Baroque and Classical era. It’s performed with a custom-made 10 string classical guitar which gives the music an impressive array of tones and sound. The pace for this one is mellow, so those who are used to fast music will have a hard time appreciating this. It’s truly an acquired taste, but it’s perfect when you just want to chill out. It’s been recently released in 2010 so it should be easy to fnd.

Third Stage

Not everyone would recognize the title, this is the third album by the rock band Boston. It’s quite diffrent from Judas Priest, it’s not aggressive for one. It’s actually quite smooth and easy to get into. Bradley Delp’s voice is highly addictive once you get into it. Like the Judas Priest album, every song here fixes me up.

Van Halen II

Don’t need to identify the band here. David Lee Roth wails away while Eddie Van Halen gives all guitar lovers a helpful serving of yummy shredding. They floor me everytime they come up on my playlist. So. Darn. Good.

So there we have it. Thus far I have been successful in not purchasing more albums. I do not feed the need to acqure any more since everything here fixes me up perfectly :slight_smile:

Thoughts, folks ?

Good call on the Judas Priest, as they’re probably one of the best heavy metal bands. A little underrated outside of the metal circles though. Iron Maiden seems to get more recognition which is odd as I think JP is the better band for the most part.

I really wish I could cut my collection down to 15 albums, but that would be too difficult. I had over 300 CDs at one point, but sold and traded a whole bunch. I still have too many. Luckily I have a good friend who takes some off my hands once in a while, and there’s a decent store that takes a lot of them. Collecting vinyl isn’t helping either…!

As most of the music I collect was in the electronic form, when my hard drive died and I lost my entire VGM collection a little bit of me died inside; a little bit of my youth.

I have yet to even attempt to recollect anything.

Kudos on keeping some choice items though, especially the Y’s ones.

:kissy:

Fuck yes, Tallarico!