The CD Collection -- Kamen Rider BLACK & BLACK RX 2015 3-Disc Sets

Welcome to yet another entry into the never ending series on my vast CD Collection. For the second CD Collection entry in a row I am covering a new release--two of them, actually!

A little over a week ago Columbia released 3-Disc CD Sets from Kamen Rider BLACK and Kamen Rider BLACK RX. I was kinda hesistant on whether I was going to order these sets or not...but decided to put in a last minute pre-order to ensure I had them on release date. Was it worth it? Let's find out!

Oh! Stay tuned for a little bonus at the end!


Kamen Rider BLACK Song & Music Collection

The hype for Kamen Rider's return in 1987 was immense. It might appear that it was a true attempt to modernize Kamen Rider, but it wasn't too much more than a very loose reboot. The biggest change, atleast in my eyes, to the Rider franchise was the hiring of the great Eiji Kawamura to compose the music for BLACK. I do enjoy Shunsuke Kikuchi's work as composer for all of the Riders up to ZX, but it was really time for a change. He seemed to be making the same music for a very long time and, let's face it, continued to make the same music post Kamen Rider. He did manage to land on his feet getting the job as composer for a little show called Dr. Slump...which in turn lead to a forgotten underground favorite called Dragonball. I sure am getting off topic...

Eiji Kawamura was chosen to compose the music for the new Kamen Rider show. This also happens to be his first big credit. The song collection would be entirely devoid of any artists previously heard on Kamen Rider song collections as well.

Toei was taking a jump in a new direction here when it came to aesthetics. There was a new Rider with no scarf, no connection at all to the previous ten Riders, no returning music, no returning singers, and a somewhat familiar sounding plot. Since I am not talking about the show (yet), let's talk about the Songs and Music.


We are given the song collection to start this set. There isn't too much to the Kamen Rider BLACK song collection. There are ten songs, plus a slightly different version of the opening theme song called the "Album Version". All of the songs are sung by Tetsuo Kurata (who played Kotaro in the series), Toshiya Igarashi, and Norio Sakai singing the ending song Long Long Ago 20th Century.

I will get things started by saying that Tetsuo Kurata is a terrible singer. Just because you can get the star of your show to sing the theme song, it doesn't mean you should. This is one of the old Rider traditions that should have been left on the shelf next to the muffler. This isn't to say that the theme song would've been stellar in anyone else's hands...but no amount of reverb could've saved his awful singing. I mentioned the Album Version of the theme song before, and I should probably explain what that is. They removed some of the sin-shielding effects from Kurata's voice and, for some blisteringly stupid idea, left off the heavy effect on the "BLACK!" lyric of the song. It basically sounds like this...

Kaaameen RAI--DAA blackblackblackblack

It just kinda sputters out. Eh. Oh yeah, and they were confident enough with his singing abilities that they also gave him a song called Ore no Seishun to sing. It was an alright song--and it made an appearance in one of the movies. The singing is still pretty terrible.

The rest of the song collection is pretty solid. Pretty much every song stands out as a classic Rider song outside of the lullaby. Long Long Ago 20th Century is a wonderful ending song. The standout IN song, to me, is Blackhole Message. People seem to like Henshin! Rider BLACK or BLACK ACTION better.

The rest of the disc is fleshed out with previously released Karaoke versions of all songs. 21 tracks in total.


Here we get the music collection for Kamen Rider BLACK. Nothing on this disc is new, either. The tracklist is verbatim to the original release of the music collection with the lone addition of the Single Version of the opening theme song at the end of the disc.

Like I was saying before, the music collection was one of the biggest changes for the big reboot in 1987. When you have the person who laid down the musical footprint for a franchise suddenly replaced, it can have a pretty big impact on the show. In this case of Eiji Kawamura's seven-year takeover of the Rider franchise, it was a much needed change.

I suppose the best way to describe the background music from Kamen Rider BLACK...I guess I could say that it borders of creepy/spooky while having an almost anti-heroic sound to it--even on the heroic pieces. There are no definitive here's-the-good-guy-blaring-horns-and-triumphant-orchestra pieces. The entire music collection is very straight-foward in it's theme and barely leaves any wiggle room for straying. This lent itself nicely to the series. Even on a day when he had defeated whatever high-pitched failure Golgom dispatched, he was still a man on a tortured search for his brother.

Listening to the Kamen Rider BLACK music collection is a fantastic experience. Few Tokusatsu albums really get in my head the way this one does. It's disturbingly basic most of the time, but has this creepiness and sadness that make it quite memorable in a sea of generic hero music.

Why Road Sector?


This is the important disc...all of the new content lives here.

Disc three starts off with some leftover BGM from the 1994 daizenshuu music collection release that was not included on the original music collection from 1988. Once that music is out of the way, there are several unreleased little gems included. Some of the unreleased music are very short little pieces or even variations of longer existing BGM. Nothing is particularly groundbreaking or had me going "Aha! I've been waiting for this piece to be released forever!!", but it's great to finally have it all.

To close this disc out there are several new variations of a lot of vocal songs. These range from Off-Chorus Karaoke to Instrumentals to short edits used in the show. I could list all of what versions of which songs are included, but I really don't have the patience to list a bunch of tracks that you probably don't even care about.

As I mentioned, I am a big fan of listening to the BLACK music collection a few times a year. The more, the merrier I say! It's nice to be able to add some new tunes to my Kamen Rider BLACK library after decades of having the same old music.

Set Overall

This set isn't entirely for a person like me. I'm a rabid fan of Tokusatsu song and music collections, so there isn't a whole lot in the way of new material to justify this purchase. I will say, however, that it is nice to finally have all of the songs and music completely remastered and presented all in one place for the first time ever. Something about consistency just really gets me going. All of this music was recorded at the same time by the same people and had various types of remastering over time. Here it is--all in one packed box set for an efficient price.

I will give this set bonus points for efficiency. While the second disc may have the same tracklist as the original music collection from 1988, the tracks are broken down individually. Instead of being eighteen tracks, it is broken down into fifty-three individual tracks. Very convenient if you're looking for a specific track.

The only misses I have are the somewhat boring and uninspired packaging and the questionable photo they selected for the booklet. Really? You want Road Sector to be the bike to represent this show? I think Battle Hopper would have been a lot more appropriate in this situation...


Kamen Rider BLACK RX Song & Music Collection

Naturally Kamen Rider BLACK was a huge hit for Toei and Tokusatsu in general. It was at this point that I think Toei kinda panicked and took the absolute safest route imaginable...and boy did it blow up in their faces...

BLACK was followed up with BLACK RX. Once again, Tetsuo Kurata played the lead role of Kotaro Minami. Once again he faces a band of criminals bent on taking Earth. Once again he faces off with Shadow Moon. For the staggering amount of stuff that was used again in the sequel, it was a very different show.

Case-in-point, they even brought Eiji Kawamura back to compose the music for this series. While there was a bit of reused music from the previous series, the new stuff was pretty different.

The song collection was also playing it safe. Gone were the rockin' vocals of Igarashi and Sakai. They were replaced with rising legend Takayuki Miyauchi and existing legend Ichiro Mizuki, who had been singing Rider songs since 1972.

Everything about BLACK RX was cautious. RX failed to keep the Kamen Rider name broadcast over televisions through the 1990s, but the series wasn't a total loss...


While the song collection from BLACK is well-remembered and enjoyed, the song collection from BLACK RX is probably the most iconic of the "Showa" Rider era (I use quotes because BLACK RX is both Showa and Heisei--in fact, I came up with a better classification for Riders--"Columbia" and "avex". Rider was given a major shake-up in 2002 with one of the major changes being a record label switch.). The RX song collection has some of the best action songs of the franchise, and they're all represented on this disc.

What we get is the ten vocal songs from the show along with Karaoke tracks of all ten songs. The last track is a bizarre sounding instrumental version of Hikari no senshi.

As you might guess, I looooove the songs from RX. The very first Tokusatsu album I bought back in the 90s was the RX complete song collection (I might get around to these some day). There isn't a song on here I don't like...even the Tetsuo Kurata song isn't half bad (the Karaoke version is even better--his singing definitely didn't improve, but thankfully they gave the theme song to a pro). Of the ten songs Takayuki Miyauchi sang eight (including both theme songs), Ichiro Mizuki sang the legendary song towa no tame ni kimi no tame ni, and Tetsuo Kurata sang kuroi yuusha.

As late as 1996 Columbia considered two additional Ichiro Mizuki songs, 11 Rider dai sanka and Kamen Rider 99 no uta, as being part of the BLACK RX song collection. In the early 2000s Columbia removed these songs from the RX song collection and have considered them separate songs ever since. I have covered these songs in the past--and stay tuned to the end of this blog, because I'm going to cover them again.


I really like the music collection of Kamen Rider BLACK. I like the music collection of BLACK RX even more. Not only were some key tracks reused in the sequel, but the newly recorded music collection is fantastic.

When describing the BLACK music collection I used words like "creepy" and "sad". The best words to use to describe the RX music collection is "bleak" and "dystopian". Eiji Kawamura, to the surprise of no one, is my favorite Tokusatsu composer. He took possibly the moodiest music collection to date and made it even moodier. The basic-sounding production of the previous soundtrack is gone--this is a more fleshed out and rich sounding production. I doubt that any more/different people were involved in the recording...maybe new equipment was used?

I've reviewed practically all of Eiji Kawamura's Tokusatsu music collections at this point (BLACK, RX, ZO, J, Dairanger, Kakuranger, B-Fighter, and some of BF Kabuto) but feel the need to compliment the man further. Maybe I'll write a tribute someday...but in the meantime I can say that even though the BLACK music collection is wonderful and revolutionary, this one is more of an evolution to the previous one than RX himself was to BLACK.

Like the previous set, this disc is a verbatim copy of the 1989 (and eventual ANIMEX1200) release of the music collection. It is all remastered in it's 2015 glory and sounds amazing. Also. like the previous set, the tracks are chopped up into individual tracks for easy searching. I can't stress this enough...very, VERY convenient.


Here is the reason us super fans bought this set...

The first few tracks are leftover tracks from the 1994 daizenshuu release of the music collection that weren't included on the 1989 CD. It's nice to have these tracks newly remastered since they haven't been put to CD in 20 years. After that, there are some new variations and little incidental music that I guess wasn't good enough for release in the past. To close out the CD, there are several variations of vocal songs (Off-Vocal Karaoke, Instrumental, etc). It is structured the same as the third disc of the BLACK set, but it has quite a bit more variety to the songs selected. It is also nice to finally have Karaoke versions of the songs without the backing vocals. I was never a fan of Karaoke with the backing vocals included.

There isn't too much more I can say about this disc than what I said about the third disc of the previous set. It's nice to have more music to add to my collection--and it's from a composer I love! Top that off with the newly released variations of the vocal tracks and this is a good thing to own.

Set Overall

Pretty much the same thing can be said about this set that I said about the previous set. This is a wonderful set that is packed full of fantastic songs and music in consistent quality. If you own all of the previous RX CDs, as I do, there isn't too much in the way of new material for your collection. BUT, this set isn't all that expensive versus the prices of the individual CDs. At ¥4500 that breaks down to ¥1500 a disc. Not bad considering the individual discs were upwards of ¥3000 a piece new. This is almost ANIMEX1200 territory!

It should be noted that there are some issues that nitpicky idiots like me will probably notice. The lack of the two Ichiro Mizuki songs that I mentioned is kinda silly (atleast the 11 Rider song should be part of the RX collection, 99 no uta not so much...but it did come out in '89). Also, and this is a big one to me, they really should have included the vocal variation version of the Kamen Rider BLACK RX theme song that played in the middle of the first episode. If you listen closely when Kotaro is first transformed into RX, you can hear that the lyrics are sung noticeably different in the version of the song they used. Yeah, I know we're getting into super nerd territory...but this would have been the perfect place to finally release this version. Oh, yeah, and the packaging is still boring.


Kamen Rider 99 no uta / Mahou Tsukai Sally 99 no uta

This is the first of the disputed RX CD singles. It only contains two tracks, both of which contain lyrics that mostly consist of the multiplication tables.


While the Kamen Rider version has been released many times over the years, the Mahou Tsukai Sally version remains a pretty rare song. It's much slower than the Rider version--which Ichiro Mizuki sounds funny trying to sing.

This CD is extremely uncommon. It took me years of searching and waiting to finally get this one, but I was really happy to have this small piece of Rider history in my collection. Oh yeah, it was also nice to finally hear the sweet Mahou Tsukai Sally version too!


11 Rider Dai Sanka / towa no tame ni kimi no tame ni

There are many, many reasons why the 11 Rider song belongs in the  BLACK RX song collection. One--it WAS in the RX song collection for quite some time. Two--it covers Rider 1 up to RX. Three--the coupling song on this single is a genuine song from the RX song collection. So what gives? Why was this song not included?

My theory is that, well, since it covers eleven Riders it is quite a long song. They just didn't want to sacrifice the disc space for this song and it's Karaoke version. Like 99 no uta, this one did end up being released several times over. The most recent release was on the 2011 "EXTRA" CD, which I covered awhile back. That disc even includes the very rare Karaoke version (along with 99 no uta).

Basically...this CD Single is pointless to own today, but it's nice to have when you're an insane completist like me. It's cheap enough and has some cool artwork. Heh.


There it is, the newly released BLACK and BLACK RX 3-Disc Sets. I highly recommend purchasing them if you're new to the game and want to get into collecting some excellent music. If you are a fan with an established music collection, you might want to think long and hard if you really want to get this set when you probably already own 80% of the music.

If you want to get them, Amazon Japan and CDJapan are probably the best places to get them quickly and safely. I would go even further to recommend Amazon Japan since they have recently upped their game in a big way by introducing points. 10% back on ¥9000 worth of Rider CDs gave me ¥900 to play with on my next purchase. CDJapan also has a points system, but it's structured a little bit differently and less conveniently.

Sets like this really should be purchased since it is letting Toei and Columbia know that people want them to dive into the vault and re-release classics with new material. Save the downloading for crap like Ninninger. : p

Oh! Be sure to check out my CD Collection page on my blog. It is badly in need of some updating, but atleast I am still churning out the articles! Please let me know either in the comments below or on Twitter is there is anything special you would like me to talk about--CD related or otherwise...

Thanks for swinging by this week!



  1. Nice new entry to your collection.
    These two series has such a memorable music of the era.

    Let’s discuss with BLACK.
    As much as I enjoyed the series, I do agree that Kurata wasn’t a good singer.
    I can sort of understand the logic behind this, consider the fact Toei were hyping up for return of Rider.
    I guess this must have been a trend back in the day (80s), where main character sang OP song (Kamen Rider Super-1 (1980) and for sentai (Red); Liveman (1988) and Turboranger (1989)).
    At least, you can’t say he tried.
    Sad to say, this marked the last time that main character sang the OP in Rider franchise, not only for Columbia era, but rest of the franchise; then again, avex would have made it worse IMO.
    Regardless, the overall music is pretty solid.
    I’m also a huge fan of Kawamura work as well, since he made such a great and memorable music in those eras.
    I do agree about the packaging.
    I really wished they used better artwork; especially for disc art where they are generic silhouette.
    I would have put BLACK on Disc 1, Shadow Moon on Disc 2, and BLACK fighting Shadow Moon on Disc 3 OR Batta Man (bit too maniac eh?).

    Next is BLACK RX.
    While it wasn’t as good as the predecessor, it was still a decent series.
    I do think Kurata overstayed his welcome at this point and should have appointed new character to play RX (have Kurata played the mentor), but that’s beside the point.
    Regarding the music, I personally think it’s a huge improvement from predecessor.
    I really like that they got veteran singers of Miyauchi and Mizuki this time; such a great choice for last Showa Rider series.
    Like BLACK, this one also has lackluster packaging.
    At least they could have easily used 3 Riders (Black RX, Robo Rider, and Bio Rider) for Disc artworks.

    It’s also nice that you covered two singles.
    That was a nice bonus.
    It was interesting they put Sally in 99 no uta with Kamen Rider; I guess because they were owned/aired by same company (TV Asahi)).

    Overall, great review.
    Looking forward to see what to come in future.

    Take care.

    1. Thanks.

      Columbia is notoriously lazy with packaging and artwork. I guess it would've been stupid of me to expect better, but the thing that kills me is the stupid font they went with on the cover. Atleast it isn't comic sans I suppose. Maybe one of the discs for BLACK could have featured a silhouette of the Gorgom priests. That would have been pretty cool. The lack of a decent picture of him on Battle Hopper is kinda mind boggling.

      I like the idea of a cross-franchise CD Single with a theme. 99 no uta is a fun concept. Hehe.

  2. I'd love to see your review for the Music Collections for Ohranger onwards (I LOVE Megaranger's score).

  3. I was thinking about doing all of Ohranger's CDs in one entry next. The trouble is...I can't find my copy of the first music collection for the life of me. Once it turns up, I'm on it.