OK, maybe I have been spending a little bit too much time covering Sentai recently in my lists and CD Collection posts. To make up for that, I am going to focus on the Music Collections and Song Collections that cover all of Shotaro Ishinomori's Kamen Rider work from the 90s (and Hakaider)! The good and the...slightly less good! So let's get to it, shall we?
Shin Kamen Rider Prologue Original Soundtrack
Shin Kamen Rider was such an awesome movie. The soundtrack is also pretty incredible. You know how pasta and ice cream are both delicious? Well, they aren't so good when you mix them together. Maybe this soundtrack could've worked with the movie, but the final cut is just awkward in it's sound design. There is one scene where Shin is riding his motorcycle to the warehouse lab and the music is just...out of hand. The sound of just his bike wouldn't been a thousand times more appropriate.
So yes, the music is very good on this CD, just poorly utilized in the film in my opinion. The CD is broken down into three sections rather than the usual random assortment seen on Music Collections similar to this. Tracks 1~4 are the "Band Arrange", Tracks 5~9 are the "Synth Arrange", Tracks 10~20 are the "Orchestra Arrange" and Track 21 is the film's ending song "Forever". There is a full color booklet, which is loaded with the usual production info along with several images.
Overall this is a fantastic release. I believe it was reissued as part of the ANIMEX 1200 series...so this is an easy one to find still. Just beware...ANIMEX 1200 CDs don't come with booklets, just a slip with the cover photo.
Kamen Rider SD Shudaika
I talked about this CD previously in one of my Rare CD Round-up posts. Not much else to say. As a bonus I even uploaded the CD to Youtube. Enjoy...
Kamen Rider SD Ongakushuu
This is easily one of the rarest Kamen Rider CDs out there. The Kamen Rider SD OVA was released the same day as this CD. Well...this CD is exclusively made for the OVA and that is it. It contains the opening theme, ending theme, and all of the background music featured in the special.
So how is the CD? It's...excellent. I love the music on this disc. Usually rare CDs contain nothing special in terms of quality music. The flavor of music here is upbeat and very 90s. If you saw the OVA, you heard most of the music here.
The only thing that kinda sucks is how short it is. It comes up to about 33 minutes. It would've been cool if they tossed in some instrumental versions of the opening and ending themes to pad it out.
If you happen to see this CD for sale...BUY IT. Seeing as there were only two vocal tracks, it's easy to why the music on this CD doesn't get much love. However, they had a perfect opportunity to reissue this during the ANIMEX 1200 run. All of the other 90s Rider Music Collection were reissued...but this one was forgotten.
Kamen Rider ZO Shudaika
This CD Single features the Ending theme song and image song from Kamen Rider ZO. It also has Karaoke versions of both songs. Enough said.
Kamen Rider ZO Original Soundtrack
Eiji Kawamura took over soundtrack duties for the Kamen Rider ZO soundtrack. Seeing as he was composing the score for Dairanger at the same time, there is a similar style among the tracks. A handful of the music here actually ended up in Dairanger if you listen closely. The biggest difference is that there is more of a cinematic feel to the music with a bit more depth on the orchestra and action pieces.
This disc is very nicely put together. It features a wide track list (36 tracks) which makes finding specific tracks easier. There are also instrumental versions of the songs (versus Karaoke on the CD Single that I mentioned above) as well as the vocal versions.
Of the 90s movie music collections, this is easily my favorite. It is very comprehensive and the music is absolutely great. Recommended!
Kamen Rider J Shudaika
This CD Single features the Ending theme song and image song from Kamen Rider J. It also has Karaoke versions of both songs. So there you have it...
Kamen Rider J Original Soundtrack
Eiji Kawamura is back for another Rider movie! While not as good as the Kamen Rider ZO soundtrack, the music here is pretty decent. It retains the cinematic feel that the ZO music has, but it also has a mixture of a handful of tracks that were clearly Kakuranger rejects (Kawamura did the Kakuranger music as well). So the quality of the music is pretty good.
The CD itself falls short, however. It is 13 tracks, 12 of which are music with the vocal version of the ending theme song tacked on at the end as the final track. No instrumental version of the image song or ending theme--hell they didn't even include the vocal version of the image song "Just One Love". If they had included the instrumentals, this CD would've felt more complete.
There is a happy ending to the missing content, however. Skip down to the "Kamen Rider Song Collection" after the Hakaider stuff.
MODE - WILD SIDE
This is the single for the ending song to the 1995 film Jizoningen Hakaider. Rather than produce a fourth Rider film, the popular antagonist from Kikaider gets his own role as a hero(kinda?). I talked a great deal about Hakaider earlier in this entry. Check it out -- both the blog and the film!
This single is unique in that it is a pop single that was adapted to become part of the movie. There is mention, in small print, that this is the ending song from the Hakaider film--but no image of Hakaider anywhere. Oh well.
Wild Side is a great song as I'm sure you're well aware. Even people I've spoken to who didn't dig the film walked out thinking that the song was cool. I've always had a theory that using Wild Side as the ending song was a last minute decision. Oh, and the other song on this album is a cool little song called "Shake To The Future". It's a little more dated than Wild Side, but it's still nice. The third track is the Karaoke version of Wild Side...and that's all.
I should note there was another single released for the Hakaider film. It is the two vocal image songs by KYOKO SOUND LABORATORY from the Forte edition of the soundtrack. It is one of maybe two 90s Tokusatsu CDs that I don't own. I'm not exactly tripping over my to get it because I already have the two tracks from the single, but more importantly it's flippin' $100+ whenever it pops up. I have no idea why it's so expensive... Hopefully I'll score a copy from auction for cheap.
Jinzoningen Hakaider Music Collection
I've talked about this CD in the past. To summarize, this CD features a lot of music that wasn't featured in the movie. The record label behind this CD evaporated almost immediately after it was released and a second Music Collection was released the next year to coincide with the release of the Director's Cut of the film on Laserdisc and VHS.
Is it any good? Sure. The unused image songs are nice and hey, instrumental versions to go with it! The CD Single for the image songs didn't even have those (or Karaoke versions). The music itself is decent, but don't expect to hear some of the awesome music from the film itself--this contains bizarro versions of what ended up in the film.
Jinzoningen Hakaider Director's Cut Music Collection
This is the CD to get if you want to hear the music from the movie. It is a whopping 40 tracks with an insane number of variations of pretty much everything. It lacks vocals songs, but it totally makes up for that in content. Even the artwork is better...
Kamen Rider Song Collection
I'm so happy this CD exists. Remember how I mentioned during my review of the Kamen Rider J Music Collection that it was missing a bunch of stuff? Well, here it is. Lemme post a picture of the tracklist so that you can see what I'm on about...
Tracks 1~5 are all of the vocal songs from J, ZO, and Shin (in that order), Tracks 6~10 are Karaoke versions of 1~5 and 12~13 are instrumental versions of the J image songs that were missing from the J Music Collection. As an added bonus, track 11 is the movie size version of the ending song.
Also notable is that in addition to this being the only place to find the instrumental versions of the J songs, this is the ONLY disc to have the Karaoke version of the Shin Kamen Rider ending song.
This was pretty much the last Kamen Rider CD to feature new content in the 90s (yeah, in 1994). I'm just glad they were able to fill in some gaps before letting it die for a little while...
Kamen Rider Comple Song Collection of 20th Century Series EXTRA
Alright...a little back story.
Kamen Rider seems to get a lot more love when it comes to song collections. When it comes to the "Columbia Riders" as I call them (Kamen Rider 1-Agito), we get a reissue of Song Collections every few years. The first "Complete Song Collection" came out in 1992 with a follow-up in 1996. The Super Hero Chronicle Daizenshuu series came out in the early 00s, which combined multiple shows into volumes but did not contain Karaoke tracks. In 2011 a completely new series of complete song collections came out. This new series featured more Karaoke tracks and usually some bonus tracks tacked on to fill out the disc space.
I happen to have the 1996 series of CDs, which covers Kamen Rider-Kamen Rider BLACK RX. My Kamen Rider V3 CD is actually from the 1992 issue, so it annoyingly has a different cover (meh). I did end up picking up a handful of these 2011 versions though--Super 1, BLACK RX, and the EXTRA disc. Super 1 and BLACK RX has some missing Karaoke (and bonus tracks).
The EXTRA disc basically features all of the songs from ZX, Shin, ZO, and J. Karaoke versions of the 90s songs are absent, but for the first time ever we given the Karaoke version of the unused ending song from Kamen Rider ZX called "Forget Memories" along with a Karaoke version of that disco travesty known as "Stars on Kamen Rider". In addition to this, we are given MONO instrumental versions of the Riderman theme as well as "Tatakae! Kamen Rider V3" and "Let's Go!! Rider Kick".
While this CD isn't entirely for me, it is a fantastic disc to get if you just want to check out the songs from the Rider films of the the 90s...and ZX. All of the songs are great, as you probably know.
There you have it. This is a look into the insane musical completionist world of just a handful of films. If you take anything away from this post...umm...Kamen Rider SD rocks!