The CD Collection--Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Japanese Dub CD Singles
I die a little whenever someone uses the term "Japanese Power Rangers". In this case...they wouldn't be wrong...
Welcome back to the never ending parade of stuff from my too-large CD Collection. This time I'm only doing a mini-post (a scant five CDs) based on all of the CD Singles released for the Japanese Dub of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
So yeah, the series that was loosely made up of Japanese footage ended up getting a dub back into Japanese (the dub episode titles, for the most part, are exquisite). Now I can't speak too much for the dub itself--I've seen very little of it. I really don't know which episodes these songs were used for, only the order that they appeared. To make matters even weirder, the Japanese dub was aired out of order from the original US broadcast. If you happen to know which ending song belongs to which episodes, let me know and I'll update it.
Starting with the eighth episode of the dub, the series was given three local ending theme songs. These weren't made for the series, rather they were repackaged singles. Think of what Toei did with Dragonball GT. It was done out of convenience and probably a suitcase or two of money from the record labels for cross-promotion. Whatever the case was, I own all of these CDs...so I guess I better talk about them.
Oh yes, I am throwing in a little bonus. I wonder why... It's not like there is a Power Rangers movie coming out this month or anything.....
modern grey Sekai de ichiban hakanai yoru ni c/w Tenshi ga furu yoru
Our trip begins before the official single even came out. In late 1995 a band called modern grey released this single. I can't say a whole lot about modern grey because, well, I only know them for this song. They were pretty short lived anyway. Their entire discography falls within late 1994 until mid 1997. They sure tried to leave an impression it seems--seven singles and four albums in that short amount of time.
The first track on this single, Sekai de ichiban hakanai yoru ni, was used as the first ending song to the Japanese dub of MMPR. More on that song later...
Track two (of two) is a slower rock song called Tenshi ga furu yoru. There isn't too much to say about it. It's pretty decent, but kinda bland. Hmmm...I hope that first track was lively. Let's see how that one was...
modern grey Sekai de ichiban hakanai yoru ni
Two months after it's initial release, Sekai de ichiban hakanai yoru ni was repackaged in a shiny new Power Rangers-themed tanzaku and shot back out into stores. I personally can't think of another instance where an anison CD single had a dual release juuust to change the artwork up a little bit. It's the same song. Yeah. About that song...
I happen to like Sekai de Ichiban hakanai yoru ni quite a bit. 1996 was part of a very...VERY dry period in JPOP. I've talked about songs sounding like "1996" in previous posts. The popular sound of the year was bland rock tracks largely released by bands that were gone by 1998. This song is of the time, but refreshingly upbeat. It features an aggressive synthesizer to keep things lively. On top of that...it's just well done. The singing is good, the music is good, hell...even the title is cool. While there was some obvious cross-promotion here, the label clearly had faith in this song. I dig it.
The second track is the Karaoke version rather than Tenshi ga furu yoru from the previous release. Yeah, only two tracks on this one. There is a sticker included, however.
ROLL DAYS BREAK YOURSELF c/w LOVE CONFUSE
ROLL DAYS is another band that didn't live past the 90s (barring a brief regroup in 2007). Their song BREAK YOURSELF was used as the second ending song to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. It's alright. I mean, it's kinda lively but just so...1996. Why did all music that year HAVE to sound like it was meant to be played on a Summer's evening?? You know what? I blame the composer. He clearly didn't do the song justice. Who was the composer anyway? ...... OK, looking in the liner it said that band's bass player composed this. WAIT. His name is JUNYA?
I thought he died! Whew. Well, personally I enjoyed his previous work...
The other song on this single is called LOVE CONFUSE, Again, it isn't a bad song--it's just boring (or boreing). I can't be certain that they didn't get the title of this song from a random word generator...same goes for the band's name.
Tracks three and four are Karaoke versions of the previous two.
ZYYG GYPSY DOLL c/w BLOOD ON BLOOD c/w Hohoemi dake o kurenai ka
Much like the previous two bands. ZYYG was gone before the 90s were. Funny thing about this band...I actually have heard of them. Sometimes I'll buy a box of random CD singles from Japan. It's usually full of pretty lousy stuff or singles that sold in the hundreds of thousands. ZYYG has popped up a number of times, but I am under the impression that they haven't sold in the hundreds of thousands. Call it a hunch...
The title track, GYPSY DOLL, is actually pretty solid. The 1996ness is there, but rather faint. I kinda dig this one even if the singing is kinda dull. There is a problem though. This isn't the song I bought this single for. That would be...
BLOOD ON BLOOD is the third and final ending song for the Japanese dub of MMPR. Eh. Yeah, it is a harder track than the previous two ending songs. That really isn't saying much though. 1996 strikes again. This might as well be any of the ending songs to Dragonball GT. They all sound like the exact same damn song with only minor twists.
The final track is called Hohoemi dake o kurenai ka. If it wasn't for Tetsuya Komuro, Japanese music probably wouldn't have survived to see 2000. While he was off completely dominating the charts (i.e. the stuff people actually wanted to hear) bands like modern grey, ROLL DAYS, and ZYYG were releasing the same damn slog in 1996. I think I have found my new arch nemesis. It used to be Forte Music Entertainment...but now it's the year 1996 and it's godforsaken JPOP blandness.
So no, I do not like Hohoemi dake o kurenai ka...
Power Rangers Orchestra GO GO POWER RANGERS
Naturally "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie" was released in Japan. The soundtrack that was released in 'The States was also released in Japan. If you couldn't bare to hear things like the cover of Higher Ground that Red Hot Chili Peppers* did, then you could just get to the goods and pick up this single instead. Still though...isn't it kinda odd that this warranted a release as a single? Once you dig a little deeper, it alllll makes sense.
OK, so I know I knock Go Go Power Rangers quite a bit. It's a song I genuinely can't stand--just empty calories. The TV version, that is. This version rocks...and for very good reason. When your Power Rangers Orchestra is made up of professional musicians who aren't under an absurd time constraint, you tend to have just a little more depth. The singing in particular is done by one Eric Martin of the band Mr. Big.
Funny story: I was in Wawa during lunchtime not one week before writing this post and Mr. Big's To Be With You was playing. Everyone...EVERYONE started singing along to the chorus. I've never seen anything like it. It was a Number One song back in 1992 (this week, 25 years ago...what a coincidence)...but if you've heard it just once, it hooks into your brain like a parasite. Yeah, good luck not thinking about this song.
As it turns out, Mr. Big is just that...in Japan. Ahh, you see where I'm going? Now this single makes sense! Did anyone from Mr. Big do the theme song to the second Power Rangers movie?? I. Think. NOT!
I'm the one who wants to be with you. Deep inside I hoDAMMIT!
Recommended Pick: I'm going to have to go with the MMPR version of modern grey's Sekai de Ichiban hakanai yoru ni. It comes with a sticker! Heh. It's a really cool song and the Karaoke version is also pretty great. The artwork also justifies the purchase for the collection too...even though the cover is a strange fuzzy still frame in which the Green Ranger is slowly killing Alpha 5 with his mind.
That's it for the newest installment of the CD Collection posts. If you're going to see the new Power Rangers movie, enjoy it I guess. I'm going to watch Blade Runner every weekend until the sequel comes out instead.
*For the record, I like that cover. It was back when they were a pretty fun band (i.e. wasted).