Welcome to a special CCLemon99 review of a single CD release. I know, I know--I usually review like sixty-seven CDs in a post, but I'm going to make a special exception for this week.
Hit songs are not unheard of...I mean, just turn on the radio right now. Whatever song is playing is a hit song. For a song to be celebrated thirty years after it's release (and arguably gaining momentum along the way) you really have something special.
Get Wild is the tenth single from a band called TM Network. The band consists of Takashi Utsunomiya, Tetsuya Komuro (who I promise to write much, much more on in the future), and Naoto Kine. All three members of the band are wonderfully talented multi-instrumentalists, however, Utsunomiya is behind the microphone and the others are usually behind their respective keyboard rigs during performances. On their own they each have had very different solo careers. Utsunomiya is the rocker, Komuro completely dominated JPOP for most of the 1990s as a mega-producer, and Kine...I have to listen to more of his work (I only have his first album...I really like it, though!).
While it's pretty clear that TM Network thrives on sentimentality (their second single is a sweet little diddy called 1974), Get Wild is a song that really could have survived on it's own. The Get Wild story truly begins two days before the single was even released. On April 6, 1987 an animated adaptation of a hit manga series called "City Hunter" debuted on television. Get Wild was selected as the series ending theme song. Every episode of City Hunter during it's five(ish) year television run had the same format at the end. There would be a slowly panning freeze-frame with continuing dialogue as the ending theme song (whatever it may be...there were many) started to wash in. None worked as perfectly as Get Wild did. It was like a gentle nudge out of the door rather than "here's who made the show you just watched...take it or leave it".
Thirty years after it's release, a lot has happened with not only TM Network, but also Get Wild. It's become a bit of a timeless relic that can also be adapted to fit every time and place. Do you want a version of it set to Eurobeat? Sure. How about a remix to make it actually sound like it came from the 80s? It's been done. A cover by a French singer? Oui. OK, OK...what about...a cover by the song's writer??? YES! In thirty years this song has become everything to everyone.
Which brings us to the point of this post. I am reviewing a brand new 4-Disc CD set which contains thirty-six versions of Get Wild spanning 1987 to 2017. It features all of the aforementioned covers (and more) plus remixes, live versions, and other studio releases. On top of that it contains a booklet (that I really haven't had time to breeze through...yet) containing a lot of information and interviews with the band and even Tsukasa Hojo, creator of City Hunter.
Happy Birthday, Get Wild. Life isn't so bad in your 30s...
DISC ONE AVCD-93669
This disc covers the early releases from TM Network (and the time they were known as TMN). It's a bit of a mixture or remixes, new versions, and live versions.
NOTE: The CD set provides recording dates for all of the live versions of the song. I added EP/CD release dates for all of the studio versions/mixes just to show continuity.
Let's take a look at the first fifteen years of Get Wild.
01. Get Wild [1987/4/8]
You know...I was excited at the prospect of getting to review Get Wild proper until I realized I didn't have much to say about the song itself. Get Wild is a tough one to describe because it's a part of me. It has always been around, but it became important to me when I was going through something particularly rough. Even though it's a great song on it's own, I imagine it connects with people as well given it's accelerated popularity since it's release.
Get Wild is a song that can exist in any time. It has a way of latching on to memories, good or bad, and turns them into something worth remembering. I guess what I'm trying to say is...it's a life-changing tune. It's memorable, at least to me, in a very deep way. Lyrics like "Get Wild and Tough" don't really touch me as much as the overall message of the song does.
It's a beautiful song--start to finish, note to note. I know I might be overselling it, I feel the lyrics are as surgical as every note played. Everyone has been in a situation where this song is applicable...
All of this...and the song only peaked at number nine on the Oricon chart in 1987... Well, as of this writing, GET WILD SONG MAFIA holds the number one spot on the Oricon chart. How about that?
02. Get Wild ("FANKS CRY-MAX" Version) [1987/6/24]
I suppose I should explain what FANKS are (Hi, fportobr). FANKS are fans of TM Nework. The word is a loose portmanteau of FUNK, PUNK, and FANS. Yeah, I guess PUFUFANKS doesn't quite work.
This is the oldest live versions of the song included on the set. It's pretty damn great too. As it was recorded early on in the song's life, it sticks pretty closely to the original. That said, it is different enough to make it a unique version of the song.
03. GET WILD '89 [1989/4/15]
TM Network remixed Get Wild and re-released it as a single two years after it's debut. For whatever reason, this seemed to be the prevailing version of the song in the years after it's release. For a song as timeless as the original was, making a dance version of it at the end of the craze was a bold move.
Personally, I like this version of the song...but I prefer the original by a wide margin. I wonder why they didn't use GET WILD '89 for City Hunter '89. I mean...one has to have been named after the other, right? At least we got Running To Horizon for CH'89, right?
04. Get Wild ("CAROL TOUR FINAL CAMP FANKS!! '89) [1989/8/30]
Heh. TK was definitely having some fun with the sampler on this one.
Much like the previous live version on this set, it's the same and yet so different. As this is live, there is a more organic feel to the song than the studio remix. It gets pretty nuts when Utsunomiya starts battling the sampled version of himself to a GET-WILD-AND-TOUGH off.
My only complaint is that Utsunomiya's vocals are drown out for the duration of the track. Maybe that's the idea, though. '89 is a dance song first, and a vocal song second.
05. Get Wild ("RHYTHM RED TMN TOUR" Version) [1991/2/22]
Having never heard this version of the song before...I have to say I'm pretty amazed. Forty eight seconds in...you can hear a very quick version of the Rocky theme Gonna Fly Now. Wow! Snuck that one in eh, TK?
This is another live version of the song from the era when TM Network was now TMN and focused heavily on Rock/Prog Rock. Strangely enough, this fits so well. It's been an electronic song, a dance song, and now an early 90s rock song.
06. Get Wild ("tour TMN EXPO ARENA FINAL" Version) [1992/4/12]
A back-to-basics approach to Get Wild. This live version is as close to the original song as they could probably get it. The only real difference here is the rock drumming and Utsunomiya's vocals being a little washed out once again.
It's kinda refreshing to hear a recreation of the original version of the song. Given the date of the performance, I imagine this was to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the song (if they even cared about such a thing back then).
07. Get Wild (techno overdub mix) [1993/8/21]
Yo Dawg, I heard you liked remixes. So here's a remix inside your remix.
Absurd. I really don't know how else to describe this one. I mean, the name of the mix describes it perfectly. It's GET WILD '89 with a 1993 techno beat and synths laid on top. That's it.
I love that this exists, but what in the name of hell is this?
08. GET WILD '89 ("TMN final live LAST GROOVE 5.18" Version) [1994/5/18]
TK really loves his samples...and Utsunomiya battling the sampler is always fun.
OK, now get this. This is the 1994 version of GET WILD '89. It's a live version of a dance remix with a rock and techno spin to it. *Mind blown* How DO they come up with all of these different variations? Wow.
That said, this one is a little bit too sloppy for me. The synth is a little bit overpowering and really not very nice sounding. The crowd was going absolutely bananas during the whole thing...so what do I know. Maybe I had to be there.
09. GET WILD DECADE RUN [1999/7/22]
Ummm...yeah. About two years too late...
I actually bought the single for this new...and was kinda let down when I preferred the coupling track It's Gonna Be Alright.
This is an all-new studio recording of Get Wild to close out the 20th Century. I suppose it was a little more timely to release it then rather than the nothing-ness of 1997. Besides, there was a new version of Get Wild in 1997 (I'll get to that later).
I think the best way to describe this one would be...it's much less optimistic than the original. The same lyrics are mostly there, but the music is kinda barely takes off. The singing is also much lower and *gasp* AUTOTUNE'D!. I suppose if you're going to remake your song for the first time legitimately you'd better go big or go home.
Frankly, this one has grown on me more over time. Maybe if I had heard all of the live versions on this disc before hearing DECADE RUN for the first time, I would understand it better. In the twelve years leading up to this, Get Wild has been the Swiss Army Knife of songs. It's kinda nice to hear something completely new...even if it isn't the strongest version.
10. GET WILD ("LIVE EPIC25" Version) [2003/2/23]
Remember how I was complaining about Utsunomiya's vocals being washed out on two previous tracks? They're on maximum attack this time around.
This live version is much like the TMN EXPO ARENA FINAL Version I talked about above. It's close to the original, but features a little more control. It's somehow a little more sedate than you would expect. Maybe they're all still on DECADE RUN mode.
Pretty solid live version. It's definitely a smidge more mature than previous performances.
DISC TWO AVCD-93670
The second disc covers the second half-ish of Get Wild's life. Rather than just applying different genres to an old song, Get Wild has become something of an experiment later on it's life. It's fun to watch the journey continue...
01. Get Wild ("DOUBLE-DECADE 'NETWORK'" Version) [2004/4/21]
Remember how I was making fun of that techno overdub version from 1993? Well, the same exact beat is present here on this live version. How the hell did this happen? This is pretty much a live version of the techno remix of the dance remix...an entire decade later. I...don't have words. Needless to say, I have never heard this one before buying this set.
It isn't bad, but I have to wonder why that beat was used. It'd be pretty close to the EPIC25 version if the beat were absent.
02. Get Wild ("DOUBLE-DECADE TOUR FINAL 'NETWORK'" Version) [2004/6/24]
Based on the title, I assume this version is from the end of the DOUBLE-DECADE tour. Honestly, for being only two months after the previous track it's much different. The techno beat? Gone. YES. I really enjoy this version worlds more than the previous for that alone. It's a great performance. Two-thirds of the way through it actually changes up quite for the guitar solo.
This is what they should have been doing the whole tour! Good stuff.
03. Get Wild ("REMASTER" Version) [2007/12/3]
Prior to the song starting there is a nice piano intro. Then......SAMPLE OVERLOAD!!! Most live versions feature the same sample getting slammed. It only gets crazier over time.
It's hard to describe this version of the song. It's very different. It's a bit more of a rock version of the song, but features some neat variations including a more palatable tone of synth.
The only weird thing about this one is probably Utsunomiya's voice. It's higher pitched than usual.
04. Get Wild ("Incubation Period" Version) [2012/4/25]
Last time we got the nice piano intro. This time around it blasts right into it. Utsunomiya's voice is back on point, so all is right with the world.
I have to say, listening to these live versions chronologically is impressive whenever I get to a version where they play the song straight. Some bands get complacent over time and their playing gets sloppy. TM Network really does this song justice. They bring their experience to the table every time on the versions included here. This is the proper way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Get Wild.
05. Get Wild ("FINAL MISSION -START investigation-" Version) [2013/7/20]
I'm not up on newer music, but I believe this is what the kids are calling EDM. Yes, this is probably the first *true* techno version of Get Wild. It features lots of different elements of different versions of Get Wild, but manages to sneak in some of TK's recent EDM obsession.
Who would've thought this would be a good combination? I actually like it quite a bit.
06. Get Wild 2014 [2014/9/24]
This is more or less the studio version of the previous track. Most of the same elements are still there, but it isn't really as much fun as the live version was. The beat is just a little to harsh. *BANG BANG BANG BANG* Through most of the song.
It isn't a bad version of the song, but it kinda feels like it was something else first and then made into a new version of Get Wild. Especially as you get toward the end of it.
07. Get Wild 2014 ("the beginning of the end" Version) [2014/5/20]
These 2014 versions have something interesting that I never really noticed. It took them a really long time before they started to screw around with the intro. The original studio version has a different intro than the live versions did...but that was really it. Recently the intros have gone on to become these strange extended experiments in new music.
This is a live version and the first of a few that clocks in at over ten minutes. That's definitely not a complaint. If I went to a TM Network concert and they played Get Wild for twelve minutes, I'd definitely be more than alright with it.
This is more or less an extended version of Get Wild 2014. The last minute or so is pretty crazy. I like this one.
08. Get Wild 2014 ("30th 1984~ QUIT30" Version) [2014/12/20]
Another crazy intro into another really good version of Get Wild.
The idea behind this one is the same as the previous version, but the execution is different. It doesn't sound a whole lot like the other 2014 versions. Something that becomes really obvious at this point is Utsunomiya adding two little "C'mon!" to the lyrics of all of the live 2014 versions (he'd done it sporadically over the years, but now it's more or less become an official lyric considering the 100% consistency in use and placement). I wonder what brought that on. The crowd seems to be having a really good time.
I guess the best description for this one would be 30% less EDM, but 100% the same in theory.
DISC THREE AVCD-93671
The heavy hitters. There may only be three tracks on this disc, but they're all very long. Track 1: 19:20, Track 2: 11:53, Track 3: 27:12. Again, if I were seeing TM Network and was lucky enough to experience one of these mega-versions of Get Wild...I wouldn't be complaining.
01. Get Wild 2014 ("QUIT30 HUGE DATA" Version) [2015/2/8]
Intro Game: Next Level... Can you really consider the intro "the intro" anymore when it takes up over half of the song?
Once you get past the nine minute mark, it becomes what can now be identified as Get Wild 2014. The song itself hasn't change all that much from the previous 2014 versions, just the structure around it. It's important that it's all been preserved.
02. Get Wild 2015 -HUGE DATA- [2015/4/22]
Different from the previous 2014 version on this disc, but similar to a lot of the 2014 versions on the previous disc. I'm not entirely sure what makes this version "2015" other than the fact that it was performed in 2015. I guess they got me there...
UPDATE: I guess I have a pretty good ear. avex has issued an apology and opened an offer to exchange the third disc. This track is a slightly longer version of the eighth track on Disc 2. The catch is that they're only replacing discs within Japan (Booooo!) and that they will ship out the replacement only after they receive the defective disc you mailed in at your own cost. Yeah...screw that. Heh.
03. Get Wild 2015 ("30th FINAL" Version) [2015/3/22]
Wow! Right off the bat, the intro contains samples of...a different TM Network song! Self Control to be exact... I have to admit, it's kinda jarring to hear a different song among all of these versions of Get Wild. Heh.
This version of the song is less a song and more of a large chunk of concert. Again, it's easy to be impressed as you listen to these live tracks in order how much of an evolution TM Network has taken over the years. You can see Aerosmith and know what you're going to get. If you were to miss a TM Network show, you'll never know what you'll be missing out on. You could get a five minute version of Get Wild that sounds like a mildly updated version of the 1987 original...or you could be missing something like this--a half hour marathon.
There is no indication that this song is Get Wild until TK absolutely spams the sample button about thirteen minutes in. From there, it resembles Get Wild 2014. Again, this is really good. At this point, however, I think Get Wild is getting over shadowed by the hype around the song that has apparently taken it over.
DISC FOUR AVCD-93672
Covers! Covers and Remixes! This disc goes over the covers of the song chronologically and closes out with some brand new remixes.
01. Get Wild / Victor Fantastic Orchestra [1989/6/7]
Oh! Oh! I actually know this one!
I suppose this is the first actual cover of Get Wild. The CD it comes from is loaded with covers of various TM Network songs. I bought it thinking it might be done with an actual orchestra. Ehhhh no. I was a fool, I'll admit. One of the early reviews of this set called this the "grocery store version" of Get Wild. That made me laugh.
This cover is a somewhat cheaply produced instrumental version of the 1987 original. The lack of vocals is replaced with a sax. It's a fun version of the song, but not all that exciting. The full CD that this came from is worth a listen if you enjoy the 80s TM Network singles.
02. Get Wild / Dave Rodgers [1992/9/23]
If you're a regular reader and the name Dave Rodgers sounds familiar...good on ya for paying attention. Dave Rodgers, a.k.a. Giancarlo Pasquini, is the
To be perfectly honest...I think this version may have inspired some of TM Network's live performances. Maybe not so much the Eurobeatness, but some of the sample placement sounds pretty similar to what I heard earlier in the set.
Oh yeah, this song is in "English". Do with that what you will...
03. Get Wild / Mitsuko Komuro [1994/11/21]
So remember I mentioned that the writer of Get Wild has their own version of the song. Well, here it is. Mitsuko Komuro (no relation to TK) wrote quite a few of TM Network's early hits. Once again, I link to my recent Ultraman post since she also wrote Ultraman Gaia's ending song Beat On, Dream On.
This version is very of the time. Like, if I didn't already know this version was from 1994 I definitely would have guessed it. I like it quite a bit, since it absolutely has the same tone as the original. The fake violins are kinda lame, though. It's a very pretty version of the song.
04. Get Wild (CITY HUNTER SPECIAL '97 VERSION) / NAHO [1997/5/2]
Rather than use an existing version of Get Wild or ask TM Network nicely to come up with a new one, the City Hunter '97 Special "Goodbye My Sweetheart" used a newly recorded cover of Get Wild by NAHO. I don't know who NAHO is (admittedly a decent enough singer...kinda similar in style to Utsunomiya), but yeah...this version is kinda bland.
Personally, I think they should have just shelled out some extra money and used Mitsuko Komuro's version.
05. Get Wild / Nami Tamaki [2005/11/2]
Weird, weird, weird version of Get Wild.
Get Wiiiiiiild aaaand toooough. If you've heard this one, you know what I mean. Points for being unique and brave enough to try something new with a classic.
06. Get Wild / Megumi Ogata [2007/10/3]
If you want to have a memorable version of a classic song, you need to give it a spin that nobody knew they wanted to hear. This is a heavy rock version of the song.
There isn't a whole lot to say about this one. It's a rock version and it's pretty good.
07. Get Wild / Supernova [2010/7/21]
Korean boy band Supernova... Do I really have to say anymore?
Ehhhh the music is pretty good since it attempts to be faithful to the original, but did we really need a boy band version of Get Wild? When I first got this CD I texted my wife and asked her who Supernova is. She never got back to me and it hasn't come up since. I'm not sure how I should take that.
08. Get Wild / globe [2010/9/29]
There is some back story to this version of the song. globe is one of TK's (Tetsuya Komuro) side projects. Like I said, I need to write about him sometime...he's a fascinating dude. This version is somewhat a self-cover with his wife KEIKO and Marc Panther as globe. This was supposed to be released in 2008, but was shelved when TK ran into his serious legal problems (again...fascinating). It was instead released in 2010 as part of globe's 15th anniversary.
Ehhhh I kinda like globe some of the time. This one I can kinda leave. Weird, right? The guy who INVENTED this song is in it...and yet...feh. The music is really good, but the singing doesn't lend it any favors. KEIKO is kinda all over the place and Marc Panther...yeah. There is a good song in here, but as-is it's kinda weak. Maybe he should have given this to TRF instead. That'd actually be kinda fun...
09. Get Wild / Clementine [2011/5/25]
French! This cover comes from an album of anime covers from French singer Clementine. It's about what you'd expect from a French version of Get Wild. I dig it! Given the monster popularity of City Hunter (and well, many other anime series) in France, this one is a no-brainer.
10. Get Wild / H ZETT M [2012/7/25]
This is the classical version I was hoping to get from the Victor Fantastic Orchestra...
A very nice piano version of the song. I'm surprised this hasn't been done sooner and often. Given the insane versatility that Get Wild has something like this would be more appealing over the "grocery market" version.
11. Get Wild / Purple Days [2010/3/17]
Putting aside the somewhat murky release date, I like this one. Of all of the covers, this is the only one that actually bothered to cover GET WILD '89. I mean, it's a loose cover...but none of the others even came close. Not bad, Purple Days...not bad at all.
12. GET WILD 2017 TK REMIX
Now we're in Remix Town...and one by Mayor TK himself.
As I mentioned earlier, TK has been on an EDM kick for a few years now. It's not surprising since he has always been in the genre of electronic music basically since it's inception. His current vision for Get Wild is actually a bit more subdued and almost trancier than I was expecting. Hmmm... Color me surprised.
Do I like it? Yeah, this is pretty good. I think I might have preferred something a little more upbeat, but this is quality.
13. GET WILD (Takkyu Ishino Latino Acid Remix)
The kind of boring remix I was afraid of getting in abundance when this set was first announced. It's isn't bad, it just doesn't go much of anywhere. It's also over seven minutes long...which, again, is a long time for a song that doesn't go anywhere.
14. GET WILD (SICK INDIVIDUALS Remix)
This set couldn't end without some kinda crazy EDM remix. It's almost funny to hear a song from 1987 wrapped inside something like this. It's a fun remix and doesn't over stay it's welcome at five minutes...
15. GET WILD (Dave Rodgers Remix)
Dave Rodgers again? It's not an ideal way to go out, but oh well.
Get Wild + Runnin' In The 90s
...except it's 2017, Dave.....
Recommended Pick: This is tough. I am disqualifying the original version since that would be the obvious pick. I am going to have to go with... Rhythm Red TMN Tour version. That's my answer now. I'm sure if you asked me every week I'd have a different answer. The beauty of this set is that it has a version of Get Wild for any possible mood you can be in.
Set Verdict: It's amazing that you can pick up a four-disc set of a single song and not be sick of it by the end. Get Wild is an incredible song and I'm curious to see what the future holds for it...whether it's with TM Network or with other bands.
I only have one complaint. It's a big complaint. Where's "Ver.0"? For those who don't know, a demo version of Get Wild was released as Ver.0 on TMN's Groove Gear. If you want to check it out, here you go...you'll need a Nicovideo account, though. It may be short, but it's very important to the history of this song. It proves that Get Wild was more than just a song
That said, this set is an absolute bargain for the amount of quality music you get. For me it worked out to less than a dollar per track...even after shipping (always preorder on Amazon.jp immediately...worry about canceling before release if you change your mind).
There it is! Once again, a big Happy Birthday to Get Wild and congratulations to TM Network for 30 years of successfully giving us FANKS new and interesting ways to enjoy what has always been an amazing song.
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed reading about the same song thirty six times.