The CD Collection -- Rescue Hero Music Collections (1990-1992, 2007) + Lady Battle Cop

I'm back once again with another post about my absurd CD collection. This time I am going to take a look at possibly the biggest atonement of sins to ever carry the Toei and Nippon Columbia names. That's right, I am going to be looking at the original and new versions of the Rescue Hero Music Collections!

What do I mean by original and new versions? As usual there were Music Collections for the Rescue Hero (Winspector, Solbrain and Exceedraft) shows as the shows aired, but these CDs were...garbage to put it lightly.
Three, huh?...

The original CDs had very short tracklists (as few as 12 tracks in the case of Solbrain--and that includes the theme songs!) and really didn't have much in the way of memorable content from the shows. Whoever put these CDs together truly had a taste for the bland. Between 2003 and 2006 a new set of 2-Disc Music Collections were released for Gavan, Sharivan, and Shaider. I'll talk more about these sets later on, but in short they featured songs and music while also bringing together some rare materials like the Sharivan Synthesizer Fantasy Digital Trip etc. LP. There was also a Metalder 2-Disc sets that I'll be talking about later. If you are familiar with the Metalder 2-Disc set, you'll have a better understanding of what they did with the Rescue Hero music sets. What we have here is a complete collection of every piece of music made for these shows including variations and Instrumental Versions of every song from the Song Collection (and these shows were quite song heavy!).

...how about six? Boom.

These sets were released in 2007 at a very efficient pricepoint (¥3200, a steal considering the original 90s CDs were ¥2800) and, as usual, were printed in pretty short supply. I guess they didn't have much confidence in music collections from nearly 20 year old shows being hot sellers. Even I was caught asleep...only a little while ago I bought the Solbrain set to complete my collection of these glorious 2-Disc sets. These days these sets can sell for upwards of ¥10000. As usual, a deal can be found and usually if you hold out long enough you can find a seller selling theirs through consignment with Amazon Japan (these are labeled as "Fulfilled by Amazon"). Shipping is extremely fair and, atleast in my case, I get the CDs about two to three days after I order them depending on what time of day I place my order. Seriously, Amazon Japan is where you should be shopping for your Out-Of-Print CDs instead of asking me for mp3s

As I mentioned, the original CDs were pretty dreadful. A few tracks, nothing memorable, and some lame artwork to go along with it. Here are some comparisons...

Artwork. Solbraver, Soljeanne, and Solbraver...ugh

Content. Yes, 100 tracks versus 12. 12!!

Detailed liner notes with recording dates.

More is more. More is better.

As you can see, these sets were absolutely necessary. The art is better, the tracklists are complete, and the notes have atleast a paragraph dedicated to every single track. This is how it should be done!!

Now that I have the explainers out of the way, here are some brief thoughts on each release.


Tokkei Winspector Ongakushuu

Of the three Rescue Hero shows, this one was given the best Music Collection release. It's a more coherent and traditional CD that clocks in at fifty-nine minutes. Not too shabby, but definitely not complete. It should be noted that this CD is wall to wall music, there are no TV size versions of the theme songs to bookend/pad this release.

On top of this, the lyricless song Winspector Action was left out and released on the second song collection. If you've ever heard Winspector Action you probably know what I'm on about...it's pretty much an unfinished song...it even has background vocals.

I suppose you really can't hope for much when you release a show's music collection so early into it's airing.

Tokkei Winspector Original Soundtrack

The first of the 2-Disc sets does not disappoint at all. It includes all of the music from the 1990 release as well as many unreleased tracks. There are Instrumental versions of ALL of the songs as well as two different versions of Winspector Action (one is without background vocals).

The only issue I have, and this is a recurring one, is that the instrument of choice for whoever did the instrumental versions is a shrill-sounding synthesizer. For this show, for Solbrain, and for Excreedraft. This isn't really the fault of the CD or whatever engineer compiled this CD, though. As I mentioned in my last blog, short versions of some of these instrumentals were included on the Battle Music Collections. It really goes without saying that these tracks go back to the early 90s and maybe whoever did the Music Collections back then left them off the original music collection CDs in protest.

Either way, they're kinda hit or miss. Some of them are awful, some are tolerable. They could've been great, though...I really like the songs from these shows.

Disc 1 is colored like Fire, Disc 2 like Walter and Bikel

Tokkyushirei Solbrain Ongakushuu

Twelve tracks...thirty five minutes...AWFUL.

Tokkyushirei Solbrain Original Soundtrack

This CD wins the award for most improved. While the 1991 Solbrain CD did have a few good pieces buried in it's not-depths, this one is packed with it. Like I said earlier, this CD set has 100 tracks. 100! My favorite is the action BGM that heads off the second disc. Where the hell was that on the original release?? Maybe I would have cut it a little bit of slack if it was thirty-five minutes of good music.

Anyway, this is a great set. The instrumental tracks are pretty much as lame as the Winspector ones, but as I said...this was expected.

Disc 1 is colored like Braver, Disc 2 like Jeanne and Dozer

Tokusou Exceedraft Ongakushuu

I will give this disc some credit...it's aesthetically pleasing. The front and back covers feature some very cool photos of the Exceedraft team and the disc itself is actually photo printed, which was rare for Columbia to do at the time.

The music on this disc does not move the needle at all. This is a stultifyingly bland collection of music. Shockingly it is only three minutes longer than the Solbrain CD with a runtime of thirty-eight minutes. It just feels much, much longer.

Tokusou Exceedraft Original Soundtrack

This set is kinda light compared to the other two. Since everything is listed in the liner notes, I imagine that they just didn't make an abundant amount of music for this series.

The Instrumental tracks are a little bit out of control here. The synthesizer used in the Barius 7 theme sounds like something out of a DOS game. Some of the more action-ish tunes that weren't included in the 1992 CD are a little more jazz based. You know what I say about Metal Hero music? The brassier, the better!

Disc 1 is colored like Redder, Disc 2 like Blues and Keace


How about a little bonus? She may not be a Rescue Hero, but she certainly looks the part. Here is the Soundtrack from the 1990 V-Cinema Lady Battle Cop!

Lady Battle Cop Original Soundtrack

Eiji Kawamura is probably my favorite Tokusatsu composer of all-time. When he has a bad day, things like the Lady Battle Cop soundtrack get released. That's not to say this is a bad disc, but it certainly isn't the high spot. Kamen Rider J...now that was a bad disc...

As I have probably mentioned before, the big reason I really enjoy Eiji Kawamura is that his music retains a certain flavor over the years while managing to grow nicely with the time. If you listen to his first soundtrack (Kamen Rider BLACK) and his last (Jukou B-Fighter) you'll notice that they sound appropriate for the time they were released yet very familiar...and different. He really had a certain command over his work over some composers that pumped out the same music year after year (Akihiko Yoshida did the TurFiZyumanger Music Collection for example).

This CD is forty minutes long, which is longer than the Solbrain and Exceedraft CDs ugh. It features music that is, in all honesty, quite good. If you like the music from Kamen Rider BLACK RX, consider a lot of this to be runoff since they were released in the neighborhood-ish of each other. While it does sound a bit like the RX music, it is also kind of a link between RX and Kamen Rider ZO, which was also done by Kawamura. 

Also included here are full size versions of both vocal songs from the movie--believe my life and the ending song No No Give-up. It would have been nice to have instrumental versions or Karaoke versions, but oh well.

Overall, this is a pretty solid CD. I recommend it if you're like me and a fan of Kawamura's work. 

As a side note, the two vocal songs from this film were released as a CD Single (the lone Toei CD Single from the 90s that I do not own) and on a cassette tape. The cassette is even more rare AND contains Karaoke versions of both tracks. So if Karaoke versions existed...why weren't they included on the CD Single? Or better yet, why weren't they included on the Soundtrack??


Thanks for sticking with me as I recover from traveling the country and battle a pretty nasty cold. I promise I will have a centralized Music Page up soon to compile articles I've written about music and my CD Collection. It's definitely coming...so stay tuned!

As always, thanks for reading.



The CD Collection -- Metal Hero Special CDs (1995-1997)

Welcome back to my never-ending series on my enormous CD collection. I like writing these posts on my CD collection because it gives me an opportunity to go back and not only listen to my CDs, but to give them some serious thought.

I am a bit short on time this week, so I will only be talking about six CDs instead of my usual eight hundred or so (maybe I should start shortening these CD posts, no?). The CDs I chose this week contain some properly rare material. Like Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, Metal Hero got the insane CD treatment in the mid 90s. Here is a list of some of the releases from the specialty CD series...

Toei Metal Hero Karaoke Collection (2 CDs)
Toei Metal Hero Battle Music Collection (4 CDs)
Toei Metal Hero BGM Collection (2 2-Disc Sets)
Toei Metal Hero Song Collection (4? ?-Disc Sets)

I don't very much care for the last two sets of releases since BGM and Song Collections are pretty common for Metal Hero shows (and something that I plan of covering extensively in the future). My main focus today are the Karaoke and Battle Music Collections, which are very rare.

Before I get into the meat of the content of these discs, I recommend reading my previous entries on Sentai Music Collections and Song Collections to get some of the lingo down. I really don't want to devote two extra paragraphs on the matter especially when I have to explain one quick thing before I get started...

I am a crazy person...but I have my limits. Normally I stay the hell away from former rental CDs and only buy CDs that were always in private hands. I was able to get all four of the Battle Music Collection CDs for a very low price (¥3200 for the four, not bad when each disc cost ¥2427 each when new) and a guarantee that all discs were in like-new condition from the seller.

Yes, CD rentals were a big thing in Japan. Typically the give-away is an unremoveable seal on the cover along with the obi (paper spine cover) being permanently attached to the CD case. Fortunitely in the case of my Battle Music Collection CDs, there are no seals attached to the covers--only the obi are attached to the cases. I own very, very few former rental CDs...but when I do it's usually because the deals were too good to pass up on lightly used discs.

Now on to the main event...


Toei Metal Hero Shudaika Karaoke Collection Vol. 1

I don't know what it is with these Karaoke CDs. Columbia put only a few of them out and didn't print many. The Sentai set that I talked about in my earlier post goes for ten times more than it's vocal counterpart and in the case of these Metal Hero discs...well they're even more rare.

As the cover would suggest, this CD contains Karaoke from Metal Hero shows spanning from Gavan to Jiraiya. The tracklist is divided in such a way that most of the series have three tracks a piece--the three tracks being the OP, ED and one IN song. Gavan gets two IN songs, while poor Juspion only gets the OP and ED songs. When it comes to Spielban, he has both ending songs and no IN song.

Besides the lack of a Juspion IN song (hey, I like that Ginga no Tarzan song) my only real beef is with the second Spielban ED song Kesho da!. This track isn't Karaoke, rather it is the instrumental version of the song. I already had this issue with the Dynaman and Changeman Song Collections if you want to read further into why this is a problem.

Other than that...this is a great CD. Of the three main Toei franchises, Metal Hero Karaoke is very, very, VERY hard to come by. The series on this disc are particularly difficult since these are all shows that came out before they popularity of CDs and the CD Single.

Toei Metal Hero Shudaika Karaoke Collection Vol.2

The continuation of the Metal Hero Karaoke series begins with Jiban and ends with B-Fighter.

As I mentioned previously the advent of the CD Single made way for some Karaoke to be given some standard releases. The earliest CD Single to be given Karaoke was Exceedraft with Janperson and Blue SWAT also including Karaoke on their singles. Annoyingly the B-Fighter Shudaika single didn't have any Karaoke damn you, Forte but the later Black Beet/Mega Herakles single by Columbia did have Karaoke for those two songs.

So even though some shows had some Karaoke released, this CD is essential for any collector.

The layout is even more straight-forward than it was on the previous disc. There are three songs per show--OP, IN, and ED songs. There are some really good choices here like Gekisou! Rescue Machine from Winspector and Shutsugeki! Beet Machine from B-Fighter. I like Fighting Solmachine from Solbrain, but would have much rather preferred Rescue Action Kokoro wo sukue. I really, really wish they could have spread this into two discs to include even more gems, but it is what it is.


Toei Metal Hero Battle Music Collection Vol.1

I have a hard time explaining to some people what these "Battle Music Collection" CDs are. Basically they are comprised of leftover music that was left off of the Music Collections for whatever reason. A few times I have run into duplicate tracks (on this particular disc there are some tracks from Janperson and Blue SWAT that also appear on the regular music collections). I guess "Battle Music" sounds better that "Misplaced" or "Forgotten" or "Stuff We Didn't Find Very Interesting". Either way, these CDs are a nice companion piece to the regular Music Collections from each series.

With this CD, I am very familiar with the content from the original CDs. The Janperson, Blue SWAT, and B-Fighter music collections get regular play for me so I can say that this disc is an amazingly important addition to my collection. Seeing as the music collections for all three of these shows were done by Forte, it's no surprise that there is a lot of missing content. The Janperson and Blue SWAT CDs in particular lack instrumental versions of the vocal songs. This CD makes up for it by including short versions of a lot of instrumental songs from all three shows.

Of the four discs in this set, this one is hands down my favorite. It really ties the loose ends for all three shows.

Toei Metal Hero Battle Music Collection Vol.2

This CD covers Winspector, Solbrain and Excreedraft. When this CD was released...it was up there in importance with Vol. 1 in terms of unreleased goods. However, in 2007 all three shows were given very thorough and complete versions of their Music Collections. I will cover these CDs in the future along with the awful early 90s counterparts.

So in the late 90s, this was all very new and exclusive material...but today the only exclusive tracks are the short versions of the song instrumentals. The full size versions were all released in 2007.

Toei Metal Hero Battle Music Collection Vol.3

Instead of going the logical route and covering the next three Metal Hero shows in descending order, this disc jumps even further back in time to cover Gavan, Sharivan, and Shaider. Why? I have no idea.

The same thing happened here that happened with Vol.2. All of the music here was new when this CD came out, but all of the Uchuu Keiji shows got the complete music collection treatment between 2003 and 2006. Again, there isn't a whole heap of unique content here anymore.

Toei Metal Hero Battle Music Collection Vol.4

OK, now Columbia is just trolling us. It's pretty clear that they planned on ending the series with this disc...but Juspion, Spielban, and Jiban? Right...

This CD is as important as the first volume in terms of exclusive content. None of the shows represented here got the complete music collection treatment in the '00s. My biggest issue has to do with the bizarre tracklist. Juspion has only six tracks with one of which being the episode preview music. Spielban has eight with most of them being instrumental short versions of songs. Jiban has a whopping thirteen, again the majority being short instrumentals plus TV size versions of the theme songs.

Yeah, there is NO consistency in the tracklist. This CD is truly made up of scraps...but also has a whiff of licensing issues or some other kind of problem. They really couldn't fit in some more Juspion content?

This is a pretty decent CD, though. It is a bit sloppy, but with modern software these tracks can be seemlessly blended into the music collections from which they came if you so desire.


So where does that leave Metalder and Jiraiya? Well, Metalder did get one of those awesome 2-Disc Music Collections in 2007 (again, I will be talking about all of these in the future) as well as an ANIMEX1200 version of the original 1987 CD in 2004. Jiraiya...poor Jiraiya. The only Jiraiya music we have ever gotten was released on the original 1988 soundtrack which was also given the ANIMEX1200 treatment in 2004. So it has a remaster, but hasn't had any new content in twenty six years.


So those are the special Metal Hero CDs from the 90s. Each of these CDs is proof that at times Toei and Columbia can work together to make sure that fans can get the full experience for the shows that they love. When I get around to talking to those 2-Disc sets that I alluded to, you'll see that even as recently as a few years ago they continue to give love to old shows.

Thanks for taking another peek into my world of CDs. I will be back soon with more!