2014/10/15

The CD Collection -- Super Sentai Complete Song Collections (1996-1998)


Not to be confused with my previous entry on Super Sentai Music Collections--I am back with a massive write-up of the Complete Song Collections for Super Sentai!

As I mentioned before, there was a lot going on in the world of Toei Tokusatsu music in the mid to late 90s. In fact, I typed up a little list to show how packed the Sentai releases were...

-Toei Sentai Battle Music Collections (2 CDs)
-Toei Sentai Robo Battle Music Collections (4 CDs)
-Toei Sentai Heroine Music Collection (1 CD)
-Super Sentai Music Collection Series (19 CDs)
-Super Sentai Complete Song Collections (18 CDs)
Well...as it turns out I totally forgot about two releases on my list. I forgot about...


Toei Sentai Series Single Collection (2-CD Set)
Toei Sentai Series Shudaika Karaoke Collection (2-CD Set)

So...I might as well talk about those two first, just to get them out of the way.

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Toei Sentai Series Single Collection
COCC-12990→91


When this CD set was released it was really the first definitive collection of Sentai Opening and Ending theme songs. Except...it wasn't. It is missing two ending songs, Miyo! Goranger and 1 tasu 2 tasu Sunvulcan. It's kind of a shame since I think that Miyo! Goranger is one of the coolest ending songs. Outside of the two missing tracks this is a cool collection, especially if you're only interested in the full versions of Opening and Ending theme songs and nothing else.

Why would I have a such a pedestrian CD in my collection since I have all of these songs about fifty times over? Well, there is a Bonus Track on the second disc. It is the infamous disco travesty known as Super Sentai Banparaban in it's very first digital release! That's right, up until this CD set was released it only shared a vinyl 45 with it's sister song Stars on Kamen Rider in 1982.

Super Sentai Banparaban is a very puzzling song when you dissect it. Like I mentioned, it was released in 1982...a time when, well, Super Sentai really wasn't much of a thing. This is basically a medley of theme songs from Goranger, JAKQ, Battle Fever J, Denjiman, Sunvulcan, Goggle Five, Daitetsujin 17 and Gavan... Even in 1982 they couldn't keep Gavan out of Sentai. Also, it's pretty strange to see acknowledgement for Goranger and JAKQ, two series that weren't considered Super Sentai Series until 1994.

My point is...that song sucks.

Toei Sentai Series Shudaika Karaoke Collection
COCC-13044→45


This CD is the same as the previous set except from some slightly different artwork and the fact that all of the tracks are Original Karaoke versions of the songs.

Again, this CD seems to be a little too pointless to be in my collection, but once again there are some very exclusive songs to this set. The term Original Karaoke means that the main vocals have been removed, but the backing vocals remain intact. The CDs you will be reading about below feature Karaoke tracks of various nature. Most of the time the Original Karaoke version is used, but there are some cases where the No-Chorus or Off-Chorus Karaoke is used. Those versions have the backing vocals removed in addition to the main vocals. The most popular exclusives from this set I can think of are the Jetman Opening and Ending themes. The Original Karaoke versions are only found on this set.

Oh yes, and the only release of the Karaoke version of Super Sentai Banparaban lives on this set.

Thanks to the superfan following that Karaoke tracks have, this set is very rare.

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Alright, so now I am going to get into the main event--The Complete Song Collections. Much like the Music Collections that I wrote about earlier (seriously, you should really read that article before moving on with this one) these CDs were released over the course of two years. I suppose I should breakdown the types of content on these discs...

An image song (IM) is a song that is inspired by the show, but isn't heard during the course of the show. An insert song (IN) is a song that was used in the show. A good example of this is a mecha theme song where you can hear the lyrics being sung. I talked about Karaoke versions and the difference between Original Karaoke and No Chorus Karaoke above. The Opening (OP) and Ending (ED) theme songs are pretty self-explanatory. A character song is a song for a specific character, sometimes sung by the actor. Oh yes, and there are also songs that have alternate versions included. I will be sure to point all of these out.
In terms of current availability, well, these CDs are much more common than their Music Collection counterparts. Part of this has to do with the popularity of this line in the 90s, the other part has to do with the fact that this entire set was reprinted in 2006 for the 30th anniversary of Super Sentai! Columbia really did something awesome by reprinting this entire set. Even though I had these CDs prior to their reprint I can confirm that these 2006 reprints are 100% identical to their 90s releases--right down to the catalog numbers (e.g. COCC-12345). Granted, that was eight years ago at this point...but imagine how much harder these CDs would be to find if there was only the 90s printings.

Enough with all of that--time to talk about some CDs! Eighteen of them!

Himitsu Sentai Goranger Complete Song Collection
COCC-13213


Where else could this series start other than Goranger? Actually...the Music Collections started with Battle Fever J and Denjiman, so I guess it really could've started anywhere.

I suppose the best way to describe this CD is...excellent. There is a song for each of the Goranger and there are also theme songs for mecha like Baridoreen and Bariballoon. This is the prototypical Sentai Song Collection and how they all should be. This is probably the singular best Tokusatsu Song Collection to come out of the 70s. The action songs are great and the character songs are all charming in their own ways.

Tracks 1-16 are vocal songs, 17-26 are Karaoke versions of various songs.

JAKQ Dengekitai Complete Song Collection
COCC-13267


The JAKQ song collection is significantly moodier than the Goranger one, but still has some nice songs. I really like JAKQ Machine Rock. The Crime song is just...weird.

Tracks 1-10 are vocal songs, 11-20 are Karaoke versions of all songs.

Battle Fever J Complete Song Collection
COCC-13351


This is a pretty sorry excuse of a CD. It's only eleven tracks long and based on only five BFJ songs. There was literally nothing else they could've put on this CD? They didn't even include a Karaoke version of ashita no senshitachi rather tacking a TV size version of the song at the end.

Tracks 1-5 are vocal songs, 6-9 are Karaoke versions of most songs, 10 is an alternate version of Battle Fever Dai Sanka, and 11 is a TV size version of ashita no senshitachi.

Denshi Sentai Denjiman Complete Song Collection
COCC-13412


This CD is also pretty short, but atleast it's pretty complete. I'm not entirely sure what the full story is behind the Denjiman song called Ginga Honey, but it wasn't included on this disc. The song remained unreleased until the MONO version was included in the Gattai Tamashii CD Set from 2001.

Oh yes, it should be noted that the version of hoshikara kita choheiki is slightly different from the original vinyl version of this song. In that version the song begins with "Denji Energy, Switch ON!". I wonder why it was cut out...

Tracks 1-7 are vocal songs, 8-14 are Karaoke versions of all songs.

Taiyo Sentai Sunvulcan Complete Song Collection
COCC-13488


Alright, now we're getting back into having a decent amount of content. They turned up the disco dial quite a bit for the Sunvulcan songs, which is fine I suppose since most of the songs are pretty good. You have classics like the Sunvulcanrobo theme and yume no tsubasa wo. It should be noted that this is Akira Kushida's Sentai debut and only the second Sentai outting for Ichiro Mizuki (he did two of the IN songs for Battle Fever J...that barely counts).

At this point I feel I should also talk about the cover art for the CDs in this series. For the most part they look pretty cool, but then there are covers like this one. It may look like I did a lousy job taking the picture of this CD, but the clarity of the logo suggests that I had a steady hand. I'm not sure why they used such a blurry photo of Vuleagle, but they did. Some of the pictures are pretty clear, some are slightly blurry...and then there is this cover.

Tracks 1-15 are vocal songs, 16-22 are Karaoke versions of most songs.

Dai Sentai Goggle Five Complete Song Collection
COCC-13579


Goggle Five might have a pretty lousy opening theme song, but the rest of the songs are actually decent. The Gogglerobo song is good as is the ending theme Stop The Battle. I like songs like Flash! Goggle Five and Neppu Shadow, but there are also some stinkers like Goggle Five no March and the Comboy song.

Tracks 1-11 are vocals songs, 12-19 are Karaoke versions of most songs, 20 is the slow version of the Gogglepink song and 21 is the alternate version of the Goggle Five opening theme song. I talked about the different versions in the past...

Kagaku Sentai Dynaman Complete Song Collection
COCC-13662


I really like how MoJo sounded in the 80s...and sadly this is the last we heard from him until his return to Sentai in 2001 with the Gaoranger song Eyes of Justice. This song collection is a lot more upbeat, smooth, and rock-ish than the disco flavored Goggle Five song collection.

It's been awhile since they screwed something up.....so how did they screw up this one?

Well, when it comes to the Karaoke tracks, some of them aren't Karaoke but rather instrumental versions. The difference is that instead of the vocals being silenced, they are replaced with an instrument such as a horn. To make matters worse, the instrumental versions here are MONO rather than stereo. Fortunately this is only done with two songs (both of which, I should mention, were released in instrumental form on the Dynaman Music Collection), but really it should've been done with zero songs...

Tracks 1-9 are vocal songs, 10, 12, 14-18 are Karaoke versions, 11 and 13 are instrumental versions and 20 is the slow version of the Dynaman ending song.

Chodenshi Bioman Complete Song Collection
COCC-13724


Another straight-forward CD of some rather straight-forward songs. I guess it would be best to describe the Bioman songs as more on the jazzy side a long with some rock. Oh, and yes... there is a song called Sexual Lady here. It sucks. IIRC it was used in one of the montages in Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai along with the much better Bioman song Blue Togetherness. OH! And the Biorobo song totally makes up for how much the Peebo song sucks. The last 45 seconds of the Biorobo song are the most amazing thing ever.

Tracks 1-10 are vocal songs, 11-20 are Karaoke versions of all songs.

Dengeki Sentai Changeman Complete Song Collection
COCC-13831


Ohhhh yeah. I love Changeman songs! ...*sigh* So how did they screw it up?

They screwed it up the same way they screwed up the Dynaman song collection. This time the tracks are listed as being Karaoke on the tracklist when they are, in fact, instrumental versions. Atleast they listed them as instrumental versions in the Dynaman tracklist. Again, two songs were victimized, the Changerobo theme (noooooooo!) and GREAT PASSION. Normally I like instrumental versions, but these two sound like ass.

As for the songs, Changeman was the Super Sentai debut of Hironobu Kageyama...and this collection is very heavy with his work. All the songs are very good with maybe GREAT PASSION and Earth Force being on the weaker side.

Seriously, though...they also messed up the Changeman Music Collection. Maybe that one was a little worse, but what does Columbia have against Changeman? Did Ibuki kick their puppy or something?

Tracks 1-12 are vocal songs, 13-14, 16, 18-21 are Karaoke versions of most songs, 15 and 17 are instrumental versions.

Choshinsei Flashman Complete Song Collection
COCC-13920


Flashman songs are much like Changeman songs if you used less guitar and more synthesizers. I really like Flashman songs, especially the Flashking song, but that same cheesy drum machine drum beat poisons most of the songs. Blah. That said, the only Flashman song I genuinely don't like is the Mag song. Action No.1 is such a strange song... Its basically a 1986 version of Miyo! Goranger.

Tracks 1-11 are vocal songs, 12 is vocal/instrumental hybrid version of Action No.1, 13-20 are Karaoke versions of most songs.

Hikari Sentai Maskman Complete Song Collection
COCC-13977


Kageyama is back for another soundtrack! The Maskman songs carry on  a similar flavor from Changeman and Flashman with their uptempo rockness. If anything, though, I would say it leans a little closer to the Changeman song collection than Flashman. Not because of Kageyama, but the music just seems to be a bit more on the rock side.

Both versions of the Shot Bomber song are included. Type A is for Shot Bomber and was used as the Movie Opening song and Type B replaces the "Shot Bomber" lyric with "Jet Cannon". Let's Laser Magnum!

This is a solid disc. The only thing it lacks is a Karaoke version of Telepathize shite kure. It's such a nice song.

Tracks 1-11 are vocal songs, 12-19 are Karaoke versions of most songs, and 20 is 'Shot Bomber' Type B.

Chojuu Sentai Liveman Complete Song Collection
COCC-14014


There is a noticeable jump in quality between the Maskman and Liveman song collections. The music used in the songs started to sound much richer. I'm not sure why they invested in production, but they definitely picked a good year to do it. All of the songs are great here. Even Hop Step Love Jump! is a decent song--possibly the only decent Robot-Helper song in Sentai history. Seigi wa fumetsu sa Liveman is kinda tacky, though.

Oh, and at 19 tracks this disc is kinda bare. If they added another Karaoke to bring it up to an even 20 it would've been much nicer.

Tracks 1-12 are vocal songs, 13-19 are Karaoke versions of most songs.

Kousoku Sentai Turboranger Complete Song Collection
COCC-14044


I've long stated that the Turboranger and Ohranger song collections sound far superior to other song collections of the 80s and 90s. The producing on both of them is very rich and detailed. Just listen to the Turboranger theme and follow it up with the Fiveman theme. It feels like someone poured water in my ears whenever I do it.

This song collection is heavy on songs by Kenta Satou, who played Riki (Red Turbo). Usually I would frown on such a thing, but he actually did nice work on these songs while somehow not being a great singer. Weird how that worked out.

Tracks 1-12 are vocal songs, 13-20 are Karaoke versions of most songs.

Chikyu Sentai Fiveman Complete Song Collection
COCC-14060


I'm not a huge fan of Fiveman. This is a CD of the songs from Fiveman. A match made in boring heaven.

Outside of Brother Blood and the Fiverobo theme, this Song Collection is pretty bland. Kung Fu Dance is pretty cool too, I guess. This has to be the most boring Sentai Song Collection, though.

Tracks 1-12 are vocal songs, 13-21 are Karaoke versions of most songs, 22 is the Piano version of the New Town school theme.

Chojin Sentai Jetman Complete Song Collection
COCC-14062


The final song collection in the Hironobu Kageyama trilogy. Sure, he didn't do enough IN/IM songs as he should have in this collection...but the ones he did were great. Well, I've never been crazy about the opening theme song, but Kokoro wa Tamago is such a fantastic song. Really, if that wasn't the ending song I think the show would've lost quite a bit of spark.

I like the songs on this CD, but they're a little bit all over the place. I suppose variety can be good, but this just seems a little bit sloppy. I mean, even the song from Ako's ramen commercial is here (along with the Karaoke version).

Tracks 1-12 are vocal songs, 13-20 are Karaoke versions of most songs.

Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Complete Song Collection
COCC-14374


Zyuranger was given much better love in the Music Collection than it was here in the Song Collection. I like songs like the Tyrannoranger theme, the Dragon Caesar theme, and the Pteraranger theme, but the rest kinda fall flat. I have to be the only person who can't stand the Bandora song--ugh. I do like the theme songs quite a bit and am in the minority thinking that the ending theme is an underrated gem.

My only real complaint about this CD is the lack of a Karaoke version of the song Pop up night. There was clearly room on the disc for it, and if they included it all of the songs would've been represented in the Karaoke half of the CD. Oh well...

Tracks 1-10 are vocal songs, 11-19 are Karaoke versions of most songs.

Gosei Sentai Sentai Dairanger Complete Song Collection
COCC-14456


This is a song collection that pales in comparison of the series. That isn't to say that the songs on this disc aren't good or even enjoyable, but for the most part they just don't fit Dairanger. Part of Dairanger's success should be credited to Eiji Kawamura's awesome music collection. The song collection is pretty much just there... That said, there are a few truly good songs like the Daibuster theme as well as the Won Tiger theme. OH, and the opening and ending theme songs are excellent.

As usual this CD skimped out on the Karaoke collection. Oh well...

Tracks 1-11 are vocal songs, 12-17 are Karaoke versions of most songs.

Ninja Sentai Kakuranger Complete Song Collection
COCX-30157


I mentioned in my Music Collection post that the Kakuranger 2-Disc Music Collection was a treat but sadly missing a bunch of content from a show that I love so much. This CD pretty much falls into the same category--love it, but hate it.

I love all of the Kakuranger songs except the Tsuruhime song (it's alright, just boring) and the Nekomaru song. The way this CD is laid out is much different from the previous Song Collections. Rather than having a Karaoke collection it has a selection of Bonus tracks. Two of which are One Chorus versions of the Muteki Shogun and Kakure Daishogun themes. UGH! Pointless stuff like that should've been limited to the Music Collections. The only Karaoke tracks included are a short version of the Tsuruhime theme and the opening and ending theme songs.

The two other bonus tracks...were a pretty wise inclusion I must admit. One is the version of Kiai Hyakuhatsu! Kakuranger that played in the show. The difference between this version and the original is the omission of "Super Henge! Doron Changer!" from the lyrics. The other bonus track is an alternate version of Hoshi yo, nijimuna! that features a backing vocal over the lyrics "karada ippai hirogaru kizu ni" the first time it's sung and "itsumo ashita wo mitsumeru hitomi". Both of the bonus tracks have very, very minor differences but were totally worth including for the insane completist such as myself.

Overall...I'm bummed that Kakuranger and Ohranger are probably the most under-represented Sentai series when it comes to Karaoke, but both kinda made out OK in sheer volume of content. But yeah, this CD could've been better. The One Chorus versions were absolutely pointless with space that could've been spent on some Karaoke.

Tracks 1-12 are vocal songs, 13-14 are Karaoke versions of the theme songs, 15-19 are the bonus tracks that I mentioned above.

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It really would've been great to have an Ohranger Complete Song Collection, but it was never to be. I mentioned that Kakuranger was robbed in the Karaoke department (Both themes, Both Mecha themes from the CD Single and the short version of the Tsuruhime song) but Ohranger was REALLY robbed. Just the opening and ending theme songs...that's it. Even though Ohranger only had ten songs...if they did Karaoke versions of like seven or eight they could've had a full CD. What would it take for Columbia to retroactively release such a CD? Maybe they can atleast acknowledge the abandoned theme songs from Ohranger...

This was yet another glimpse into the twisted music collection of CCLemon99. I have pleeeenty of more to write about. I am currently figuring out how I am going to write about Metal Hero since I have an absolute ton of CDs. I also have plenty of Rider, Sentai, and Misc CDs to write about. Yes, I am insane.

See ya!

-CC

2014/10/01

The Abandoned Ohranger Theme Songs...

 
Just a little warning before I get started...the music nerdery has been cranked up to eleven on this post. I kinda see myself as a Tokusatsu music historian so this kind of post really gets me riled up. You might dig this post if you share the same kind of love and appreciation for Tokusatsu music as I do, or you might dig it if you like unearthed secrets being brought to light.

A year ago I wrote the first entry in my two part rant entry on the failed music label Forte Music Entertainment (or Forte Music E as it's sometimes written). After posting my conclusion I never thought I would have to swing around and write about Forte ever again... Well here I am, and this is yet another thing they managed to screw up (and possibly for the better this time). I really recommend reading my previous posts on Forte before moving forward...

I was spending my time going through some old tapes when I noticed a strange commercial...a VERY strange commercial. It was a promotional commercial for our good friend KYOKO Sound Laboratory's album See You Again. The commercial featured an updated version of the titular track See You Again (the song was originally released as a single in 1993) and featured a little blurb in the bottom left corner...


Do you see it?


See You Again was advertised as being the Ending Theme Song for Ohranger! It might seem completely random, but it all kind of makes sense. Here is my dramatically enhanced theory on what happened...

It is late 1994 and Forte is desperate to strike a deal with Toei to save itself from it's rapidly approaching death. KYOKO is clearly Forte's greatest asset so she is tasked with writing and performing a handful of songs for the upcoming Hakaider film and Choriki Sentai Ohranger. Two songs were written, performed, and released for the Hakaider film, but were left unused in the film itself. Alright, so maybe the Hakaider part of the story turned out...OK... for KYOKO.

The two songs for Ohranger were destined to be the Opening and Ending theme songs for the series. For the Opening theme, she wrote and composed a new song called Niji Iro Crystal Sky and for the Ending theme a new version of her previous single See You Again would be used. Unlike the two songs from Hakaider, the story of the two Ohranger songs have very different endings.

See You Again never made it as Ohranger's ending theme song. It's a shame since I think it's a neat little song...but Kinkyu hasshin! Ohranger is one of my favorite Sentai Ending theme songs. I'm a little bit conflicted with the outcome here. It would've been a fresh sounding change to use See You Again and a label outsider, but Kinkyu hasshin is an awesome song. Sentai has always used songs from Columbia, so maybe using Kyoko's song would've opened up the possibilities for having guest artists drop in for a song here and there.

On the flipside, it's no secret that Niji Iro Crystal Sky was originally intended to be the Opening Theme song for Ohranger. It would be easy for anyone at Toei or Columbia to admit such a thing because the song exists as a finished product on an Ohranger CD along with the fact that it is one of the most popular Sentai songs of the 90s. Whether or not it was always intended to be performed by Kentaro Hayami or not remains a mystery. It's also interesting to note that the infamous Saburo Yatsude would've magically gotten credit for writing the song had it become the show's theme song.

So in short, Niji Iro Crystal Sky might not have ended up as the show's Opening theme song...but it did end up being a song that Kyoko created that actually ended up in the show as well as being an incredibly popular song. Oh, and it also served as the ending song in the final episode...so Kyoko actually did get her Sentai ending theme song afterall...kinda...

In the end, Forte's collapse might have played a hand in the inability for 3/4 of these songs to go anywhere--the label was dead a few months after Ohranger's debut. Things probably worked out best for everyone involved in retrospect, but you can't help but feel bad for Kyoko's inability to actually put her voice in a theme song to Hakaider or Ohranger.

It really makes you wonder how many near misses have existed over the years. I'm sure this sort of thing was more common in the past, but you never know...

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As a little note to this post, I did a little bit of research before I set out to write this. On niconico I found this video for See You Again which features it being used as an opening song. The uploader also tacked on the commercial that I saw on my VHS. Further digging lead me to this video on Youtube, which features the opening and ending videos recut with Niji Iro Crystal Sky and See You Again respectively. I'm not sure how I missed the latter video, but it would have made it much less of a surprise when I caught the commercial on the tape I was watching.

Oh yes, and I now notice that Kyoko's wikipedia page makes mention of this who debacle at the bottom, yet the Ohranger wikipedia page makes no mention (but it does mention all of the random JPop songs used during the show......future blog post perhaps...?).

Anyway, I've typed enough. I hope your mind is sufficiently blown. Let me know what you think in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.

-CC

P.S. As of this writing I'm not entirely sure where my copy of KYOKO Sound Laboratory's See You Again is. Sorry for the lack of pictures and a better quality rip of the song--I'll have to hunt through my boxes of CDs to find it when I get some time. Also, are you surprised that I actually owned the album already? Yeah, me neither. In the meantime I uploaded the song to Youtube. Give it a listen!