2019/09/29

Song Collection: Dai Sentai Goggle V


It's the second half of my CCLemon99 Song Collection Double Feature for September. If you haven't checked it out yet, I've also reviewed the strangely normal song collection for THE⭐ULTRAMAN. The theme this month? There is no theme...but now that I think about it... The Goggle V logo has a star right in it...maybe I subconsciously brought these otherwise unrelated series together this way?

I've always maintained that this song collection was woefully underrated. Sure, it has it's duds, but it isn't a overrated stinker of a song collection like Chodenshi Bioman (someday...someday you'll get my thoughts on that one). Maybe this one needs an advocate. When was the last time you thought about Goggle V? How many times in this review will I write Google instead of Goggle?

For this review I'll be listening to my copy of the Dai Sentai Goggle V Complete Song Collection from 1996. It has some nice little goodies at the end. I talked about this disc previously on this page.


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01. Dai Sentai Goggle V / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

MOJO's second Sentai theme song and is my second favorite of the trio that he ended up doing. The energy is awesome and it's a genuinely fun song, but it feels like a giant leap backwards in style. The Sunvulcan theme was exciting and a big move into the new 80s style. Goggle Five's theme song just feels like a weird step back into the 70s...and somehow it sounds remarkably similar to the Sunvulcan theme song. This is such a confusing theme song. I like it, but it's whack at the same time. It also doesn't help that the final version of the song is kinda messed up. More on that later...

02. Goggle V Action! / Yoshiko Hidaka, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

A weird disco song that really doesn't line up with the title it was given. I like it, but 1982 was the last year that something like this would have been acceptable. The music is definitely the star here. I don't know anything about Yoshiko Hidaka outside of her more famous tune later on this disc, but nothing here really compelled me to look her up further.

03. Neppu Shadow / MOJO, Norinobu Sugai, Koorogi '73

Awesome song. I wouldn't even know how to accurately describe it. Disco...scatting? Listening to this, just remember that MOJO is the same dude who did the Segata Sanshiro theme song. Yeah...it's such a weird contrast.

04. Flash! Goggle V / MOJO

The build on the intro of this song is just so great. Whenever I hear this one I get fond memories of my early Youtube days. Before the dumpster fire that it became...

Yeah, this is a great song. It's fast-paced and a decent action song. I'd say that this one would be more fitting of the Goggle V Action! name, but then we wouldn't get the "Flaaash-Flash!". Love this one.

05. Goggle V no March -We are Goggle V- / MOJO, Norinobu Sugai, Koorogi '73

I typically hate songs with "March" in the title, but this one is actually a lot of fun. MOJO and Koorogi '73 are a great match here. The music is pretty interesting as well. Maybe the disco beat saves it from being a dud. I like it.

06. Electric Magic Comboy / Yoshimi Niikura, Columbia Yurikago-kai

Oof. Yeah, this song sucks bad. I don't have anything else to add. Ugh.

07. Dancing Goggle V / MOJO

Alright, we're back on form here. This is another great MOJO action track. I almost wrote "don't let the name fool you" but then I remembered that this is Goggle V we're talking about. Fighting style? Gymnastics!

08. Shutsugeki! Goggle Robo / MOJO, Koorogi '73

By this point I think the Sentai mecha theme song was officially a thing. This one has an awesome and quite memorable intro, but it's a smidge flat throughout. It's a great theme, but I kinda prefer pretty much every mecha theme that followed this forever and ever.

I think my number one gripe with this one may be Koorogi '73. They're pretty unnecessary here... Maybe I'd like this one more if it were a solo MOJO effort.

09. Moeru otoko Goggle Red / MOJO

Speaking of great MOJO solo efforts, this song rules. It may not be the most exciting song, but I am a sucker for the theme song for any Sentai leader.

10. Hanasaku Goggle Pink / Yoshiko Hidaka

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not the biggest fan of Hidaka, but this song is actually pretty decent. It's a bit choppy and somewhat old-school sounding for '82. It's kinda like the theme song from a revenge woman film.

The horn is what sells it, though. It's undeniable.

11. Stop The Battle / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

Speaking of undeniable horns...

This is the series ending song. I can never tell if I love or mildly dislike this song. It has some really good ingredients, but it just doesn't gel right for me. The bass isn't mixed in as well as it could be. Koorogi '73's humming is obnoxious, but they have value elsewhere in the song. It's good, but it isn't great. I know a lot of people love this one...but I only like it.

12. Dai Sentai Goggle V [Original Karaoke]

13. Goggle V Action! [Original Karaoke]

14. Neppu Shadow [Original Karaoke]

15. Flash! Goggle V [Original Karaoke]

16. Goggle V no March -We are Goggle V- [Original Karaoke]

17. Moeru otoko Goggle Red [Original Karaoke]

18. Hanasaku Goggle Pink [Original Karaoke]

19. Stop The Battle [Original Karaoke]

20. Hanasaku Goggle Pink ~Megumi Okawa Version~ / Megumi Okawa

Ehhh. The slooooooooow and terrible cover by Megumi Okawa. She can't sing. I know this is meant to be the sad version, but it's just sad in an unintended way.

21. Dai Sentai Goggle V ~Alternate Version~ / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

OK, so this Alternate version of the theme song... I wrote about it in the past. The synth intro actually matches the synth outro that is still present on the normal version. Did you ever notice that the intro/outro don't match in the normal version? I did a supercut of what I feel is the best version of the theme song. (Matching intro/outro, omission of the "Goggle V, Go Go" in this Alternate version) and usually just listen to that one when I need a Goggle V theme fix.

It's nice that this was included so that I could make the CCLemon99 edit of the theme. Hehe

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Like I mentioned in the intro...I am quite fond of this song collection. I can't imagine it has too many fans, but what isn't to like about it? MOJO is on point and there is only one truly awful song. If you haven't given this one a go, I definitely recommend it. I always kinda feel bad for it since it's attached to a weird series.

One day I'll have to give my Dynaman disc a whirl for the site. It's practically the MOJO sequel to this one...so how does it stack up? That's for another time...

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That's all for now. THE⭐ULTRAMAN is waiting for you right now...so be sure to check it out.

Bye!

-CC

Song Collection: THE⭐ULTRAMAN


Welcome to another CCLemon99 Song Collection Review Double Feature. In my continued efforts to build up my library of song collection reviews I am bringing you two new reviews today. As there is zero theme this month, Dai Sentai Goggle V is the other brand new review that is live right now.

So why did I pick THE⭐ULTRAMAN as my Ultraman debut for the Song Collection series? No idea. It's the first of many oddities in the Ultra series until things kinda leveled out following the unfortunate passing of Noboru Tsuburaya. THE⭐ULTRAMAN was a fifty-episode animated Ultra series featuring Ultraman Jonias. You've probably seen the suit and wondered where the hell he fit in...well now you know.

Honestly, I've always been intrigued by this song collection for one major reason. Battle Fever J was the first Sentai Song Collection to not be lead by Isao Sasaki. He did pop in to drop two songs for Skyrider in 1980, but in 1979 he was the lead singer of this new, weird Ultraman anime. It did make way for MOJO and Ichiro Mizuki to get their hands on Super Sentai, so it all worked out in the end.

Anyway... I'll be listening to Disc 3 from my copy of the Ultraman Complete Song Box for the purpose of this review. I reviewed the set previously here, but only summed this song collection up in two paragraphs.


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01. THE⭐ULTRAMAN / Isao Sasaki, Columbia Yurikago-kai

I've always loved this theme song...

While it may be a weird disco jam, it's still one of those incredible earworms that you need for a series theme song. Listening to it gives you a wistful feel for Tokusatsu theme songs of old. Legit, I think this may be the last classic theme song. I had to stop myself from saying Tokusatsu theme song. Honestly, it's good enough to be one though.

I would peg this firmly beneath the Skyrider themes, but better than Battle Fever J's disjointed mess of a theme. The only complaint I have with this one is it's painfully short length. It doesn't even make it to two and a half minutes.

02. Ai no yuushatachi / Isao Sasaki

This is the series ending song. The first ending song to an Ultra series, in fact. An opulent sounding ballad that is somewhat reminiscent of the ending song to JAKQ Dengekitai.

03. THE⭐ULTRAMAN Disco Fever [Instrumental]

The name pretty much says it all. It's a disco instrumental track with the theme song melody woven in. I dig it. Unlike the Disco Rider medleys, this one is synthless. It's lead by a guitar and some crazy drumming. It's kinda hard to describe, but it's a chill track.

04. Ultraman Sanka / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

A very soft Ultra ballad. I want to sleep.

I will say this...it's definitely a rare side of Sasaki. He is legit singing in this one. I mean, the anison hamminess isn't here, he's putting his skills down on this song. Ballads are a great talent test for any singer I suppose. They may not be your cup of tea, but you'll get an appreciate for the singer's effort.

Even if he is singing "Ultraman Joe"...

05. Ultra no Hoshi / Columbia Yurikago-kai

...on the other hand you get ballads featuring the Children Choirs. Meh, this one is alright...but it's pretty generic.

06. Matsumi no uta / Mitsuko Horie

As chipper of a song as you can imagine. This is the type of song that Mitsuko Horie was created for in the 70s. I like it.

She was always a good singer, but she definitely honed it in a little better following her more recent Himitsu Sentai Goranger/Kamen Rider Stronger efforts.

07. Super Murdock / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

I love this one. Such a chill jam for the big ship of the series. It has a smidge of majesty dropped in at random, but this is just a cool jam from start to finish. Comparing this to some of the previous big ship themes will give you whiplash.

08. Warera kagaku keibitai / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

Ehhh...this song is a little bit boring. Sasaki is just average in effort, but the male chorus is just bland. The blatant key changes are fun at least.

09. Robot Pig no uta / Junpei Takiguchi

Awesome...AWESOME title to a lame song. This song is a folksy sounding mid-tempo jam. Ehh, it's alright. This type of song literally did not make it into the 1980s.

10. Ashita ni... / Kei Tomiyama

Hey, a character song. This is Choichiro's theme song sung by his seiyuu, Kei Tomiyama. It's a decent ballad, to be honest. He's isn't a bad singer. I honestly thing he sounds like a weird cross between Masato Shimon and Hiroshi Miyauchi. He can mostly hold a tune!

11. Kaijuu Requiem / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

Something of a downer to end on, but the title kinda gives that away. Sasaki goes deep on this one as well. Again, I think the nasally voice that you hear in like 98% of his songs is an act. There is no doubt that he is a talented dude, but this song collection has his range on full display.

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While this may be the song collection to an anime series, it is structured as if it were a Tokusatsu song collection. It may not be as fun as some of the previous Sasaki-led efforts like Himitsu Sentai Goranger or JAKQ Denkegitai, but it's just as good to listen to. I genuinely think the late 70s had better variety, which works in Sasaki's favor. Goranger had too many folk songs and JAKQ's songs were all a little too similar. This is fun, though.

Give this one a try. It might not be for everyone, but the OP/ED themes and Super Murdock theme are undeniably get tunes.

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That's all for now. More to come in the future and there is also more available on the CD Collection page.

Later!

-CC

2019/08/30

The CD Collection--Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack


Welcome to a CCLemon99 CD Collection review. It's been awhile since I've taken a look at a CD release...and I definitely have an interesting one here. This is my look at the Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack. It isn't the only thing I've posted today, though. I also had a listen to the related/unrelated Tokusou Robo Janperson Song Collection.

I can't say that I'm a fan of Tokusatsu GaGaGa. I know it's meme status, but this type of parody with edge type thing never attracts me. This type of endeavor always screams "Hey you, dork. This is for you! You'll like that we acknowledged these tropes that we noticed too!". Feh. I didn't really care when Toei did it with Akibaranger, either. Being the consummate Tokusatsu music collector, however, has forced my hand at snapping up the Original Soundtrack.

All of that out of the way, let's dig into this CD!


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NHK Drama 10 Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack
OMR-0018
2019.02.27

As I mentioned above, I've never seen the series. I love obscure Tokusatsu music collections, though. Do you know anybody else that owns the soundtrack to Evolver? I don't. I try to snap up these obscure releases when they come out. Funny story... I didn't preorder this one, but I ordered it like a week after it was released. Amazon kept giving me shipping updates ("Your item will ship within the next month") over and over. Yeah, after six months of waiting I found someone in Wisconsin, of all places, that was selling a sealed copy. Weird. I have it, though. If you plan on ordering from Amazon, it says it's available but I think that claim is dubious.


The artist behind this soundtrack is Akio Izutsu. This is his lone Tokusatsu series composition, but hardly his first overall. His TV soundtrack resume is enormous for someone that has only been at it for just over a decade. I don't recognize a single title, but damn...

I guess I should start with the bad news. This CD doesn't contain the series theme opening song GaGaGaGaGaGaGa by Golden Bomber. That song is available on a separate CD single, which I may cover in the future. Considering the nature of this independent release, I guess the labels couldn't come to an agreement. On the upside, this CD is packed. Clocking in at a whopping seventy-six minutes, it would probably mean that something would have to be cut to make space for the OP. I guess it made more sense to omit it in the end...

The music... Hey, you know what? This CD is actually really good. Toei, Tsuburaya, and Toho have infinite money poured into soundtracks that are increasingly sounding similar by the year. Sometimes it takes a scrappy independent production to have a unique soundtrack. Granted, a lot of the time soundtracks of this nature sound exactly what they are...one guy playing 90% of the instruments. It's the level of care that the composer puts in that makes the difference. Izutsu really put in the effort... His credits on this include...

Electric Bass, Guitars, Mandolin, Ukelele, Melodion, Percussion, Whistle, Voice, Keyboards (and other instrumental programming)



There are only a handful of other credited artists that cover the orchestral bits, but most of this album is Izutsu. It's all very good considering that this was for a very limited-run series. Like any Tokusatsu soundtrack, it has it's pieces for every situation. There are also two vocal songs. Maybe I should talk about those...

04. Kyuukyuuki Emerjason no theme / Kenichi Suzumura

This is half of the reason I am also reviewing the Janperson Song Collection today. Check it here.

The show-within-a-show in Tokusatsu GaGaGa is Kyuukyuuki Emerjason. Aesthetically, Emerjason is a a thinly-veiled homage to Tokusou Robo Janperson, Toei's Metal Hero series for 1993. They even got weird little details down like the look of the 3" CD Single sleeve and the near-nonsensical portmanteau of a name.

The only thing that isn't a clear send-up to Janperson is this theme song. It isn't bad, but it could have emulated the 90s style to make the connection just a little bit better. Remember in the movie Zebraman when they showed a clip of the fictitious 1970s Zebraman series?

It definitely embodies the spirit of a Tokusatsu theme song, just not a 90s one. That said...I do dig it.

15. ♥Ni shot! MAX Power! / Natsumi Kawaida

I guess context is important. I dread songs like this... If there is one upside, Natsumi Kawaida does does the irritating singing voice very well...and I mean that in a good way. Sheesh, that was the most backhanded compliment ever.

Anyway...

I guess it's also worth mentioning the presentation. Yes, this is absolutely an independently released album. Can you tell? The only thing official in the artwork is the show's basic manga-esque logo and backdrop. You won't find a single photo anywhere on this disc. Even a small image on the back cover would've given some the appearance some life, but I guess in the world of digital music the CD release is superfluous.

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The best way to describe this soundtrack is that it's a very easy listen. It's surprisingly dense for what is mostly a one-man show. It's over an hour of some solid tunes with two songs from the series thrown in for good measure.

I definitely recommend this CD purchase if you can find it. It's a quality album of some extremely competent soundtrack music.

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That's it for this CD review. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you soon!

-CC

Song Collection: Tokusou Robo Janperson


Welcome to another double-feature! This time around I am doing something a little bit different. As you probably noted by clicking on this link, you are about to read my review of the Tokusou Robo Janperson Song Collection. Instead of a related song collection, I am also taking a listen to the Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack. What's the relation? Check it out over there.

This post actually does serve another great purpose. I've previously reviewed the song collections from Winspector, Solbrain, Exceedraft, and Blue SWAT. The gap between the last two? Consider it filled! Even better...I actually dig this one. 

For this review I'll be listening via my trusty Super Hero Chronicle Metal Hero Shudaika Sonyuuka Daizenshuu III. I previously took a look at the entire CD series in this woefully incomplete post. I'm running out of things to review from this set...finally...!

Janpserson is the center of the universe

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01. Tokusou Robo Janperson / Susumu Ooya

This is a killer theme song. The tragedy behind some of the more underrated Tokusatsu series is that their theme songs tend to go under the radar.

Susumu Ooya is a perfect fit for this somewhat glum, yet energetic series opener. The guitar work is killer from beginning to end with the perfect amount of brass lashings in the background. As a Tokusatsu theme song, this is about as wonderfully standard as it should be. Hopeful, yet drab. Really, I wouldn't change a thing here. Even the Children's Choir is delightfully ignorable.

02. Ore wa Gunman ~Gun Gibson no Theme~ / Hironobu Kageyama

Like any classic Tokusatsu series, a bad guy is created in the image of our hero. I feel that more often than not we see that baddie becoming the sidekick. Yeah, well Gun Gibson is no exception.

We're kicking off the image songs with the theme to Gun Gibson. This upbeat theme song is the very first Metal Hero song by Hironobu Kageyama. Hard to believe it, but it was definitely overdue to have our boy Kageyama join the Metal Hero anison club. He delivers his excellent vocals in the fun action song. Really, I dig this song.

03. Seigi no tame ni / Susumu Ooya

This is easily my favorite song from the collection. Ooya's vocals are great, but this song REALLY rocks. It has a slight tinge of "this was the rejected theme song" as it has some similarities to the OP. While the theme plays it a tad safer, the somewhat desolate mood mirrors that of this song. The layering is incredible. I appreciate how dense everything sound from the oscillating feature of the guitar and to the very slight backing vocals. Seigi no tame ni is such a well-balanced and perfect song. 

For Justice!

04. Kimi wa nemure soshite utae / Hironobu Kageyama

Our next track is a ballad by Kageyama. I actually dig this song quite a bit thanks to it's interesting structure. It has it's slow bits, but it definitely picks up at the right times. There are even little bits of synth thrown in to keep things more lively. 

Kageyama can't sing songs like this any more...but we can certainly look to the past and appreciate gems like this.

05. Omae ga iru kara ~JP & Gun Gibson yuujo no theme~ / Hironobu Kageyama

Another Gun Gibson song by Kageyama...? OK!

Well, it's the theme of their friendship. It's an oddly specific premise, but here we are. Great song, though. The horns will be stuck in your head all day. The horns are just one element, though. Everything just flows along at a great, fluid pace. It has a bit of feeling of a Space Sheriff image song...

06. Hello JP! / Susumu Ooya

Another ballad, but this one is by Ooya. Like Kimi wa nemure soshite utae, this song is a perfectly balanced ballad with highs and lows. Even if the structure is similar to the previous ballad, this is a totally different song. 

07. Murasaki ookami densetsu / Hironobu Kageyama

To finish out the image songs, we get a more traditional power ballad. Really, this is such a beautiful tune. I really don't like to rail on the guy, but Kageyama used to be this amazingly diverse singer. The only thing he doesn't do on this song collection is rap...and there is proof that he can do that pretty well (better on the studio version, I promise). He was such a great singer...until he kinda switched to just yelling.

Amazing ballad. It's really too good for a show about a purple robot.

08. Asayake no Lullaby / Susumu Ooya

The series ending song. I didn't care for it as a kid, but I actually really like it now. The selling point of this is the eerie-sounding reverb when Ooya sings Janperson's name. It's a basic song, and probably the weakest on the set, but I really like it.

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This song collection was woefully short thanks to the Forte curse. Eight songs including the themes is way too brief. The lack of character songs is welcome and the two singers featured, Ooya and Kageyama, do a fantastic job. Kageyama is still in top form in 1993 and Susumu Ooya, in my opinion, isn't a bad singer at all. Beyond Janperson he has a handful of decent Dragonball Z songs under his belt before disappearing. 

If I could change one thing, it would probably be the tracklisting. Ending the image/insert songs with Seigi no tame ni would've been a great change of pace before slipping into Asayake no Lullaby

Short and sweet. I definitely enjoy this song collection and recommend it!

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Thanks for checking out my latest song collection review. Be sure to check out my review of the oddly rare Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack

Bye!

-CC

2019/07/31

Song Collection: Ninja Sentai Kakuranger


Welcome to the second in two new song collections for the day/month. The theme of the month is 1994...for better or for worse. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the month the song collections from the Blue SWAT and Kakuranger were released...let's take a look at them!

For this review I'll be using my copy of the Kakuranger Complete Song Collection from 1998. Normally the CDs in this CD series feature one half vocal and one half Karaoke songs. This one is very unusual, hence the longer review.



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01. Secret Kakuranger / Tou Chi Chen

Does anybody else hear a little bit of Motown Philly in this one?

Ah yes, the glorious theme to my beloved Kakuranger. It's easily my favorite theme song from a Ninja-themed Super Sentai (by default, honestly, since I can't remember how the Ninninger theme goes...or Shinkenger for that matter...and listening to the Hurricaneger theme song is a fate worse than reconstructive dental surgery). 

I rarely talk about lyrics, but this one always gets me as one of the more amusing Super Sentai theme songs. It is totally on the same level with the accompanying music track and the series itself. You want your theme song to represent the series...this song does it just a little bit better than most. 

02. Kiai hyakuhatsu! Kakuranger!! / Nobuhiko Kashihara

A catchy action song that I think was criminally underutilized in the series. The intro is incredibly memorable from the first time it blasted on screen in episode sixteen (everything Kakuranger is seared into my memory--no regrets). The weird thing is, this version of the song never made it on air. Skip down to track fifteen for more on that.

The slick instrumentals on top of Nobuhiko Kashihara's janky vocals make for a surprisingly good pairing. The "Super Henge! Doron Changer!" is incredibly well-placed too. Love this one!

03. Into Danger Kakuranger / Takayuki Miyauchi

...but not as much as this one! The very next episode (seventeen) we got another great taste of the Kakuranger song collection in the series. Saizo launches his attack on Yokai Amikiri and this awesome fight song bursts in. The combination of fast-paced music and smooooth Takayuki Miyauchi vocals make for one of the best action song in years, truthfully.

04. Tsuruhime! Tsuyosawa me ni mo utsukushii / Mari Sasaki

You know, I never really got into this one. I really like Tsuruhime, and she tended to get some of the better plotlines/episodes, but her theme is kind of a snorer. Mari Sasaki does a great job on the singing end, but I prefer her Ohranger song over this. The music here is just generic. It's probably the first good Sentai Heroine song since Fiveman's Kung Fu Dance, but that's hardly an accomplishment.

05. Hisatsu Fighter Crash!! / Nobuhiko Kashihara

The title may be a little coy on the subject matter, but this is one of the forgotten Mecha theme songs. Yeah, for some reason the first set of mecha in the series to have a song released are the Jusho Fighters. This one swings from lame to great quite a bit. It's a tad on the jazzier side with the focus being the bass of all things. Of the three mecha themes (sorry Tsubasamaru, none for you) I would probably peg this as the weakest...but it's still decent!

06. Hashire! Nekomaru / Goji Tsuno, Pythagoras

The only song on this song collection that is legit bad. I don't know which is worse, the vocals or the shrill music. How could they do this to poor Nekomaru? When I did my video on the Pladera Nekomaru toy, I steered clear (ha!) of this song entirely and went with BGM instead. 

The only merciful thing about this song is how it appeared in the series. It briefly showed up only being sung by the Kakuranger cast without music. It's easily the best version of the song...ugh.

07. Hoshi yo, nijimu na! / Takayuki Miyauchi

Another great Takayuki Miyauchi jam--and one that got primo airtime, essentially closing out the first half of the series, to ensure it's memorability. It's a smooth song that I suppose serves as the series' ballad. It's an incredibly upbeat ballad, but it serves the same purpose. 

It's worth noting once again that this specific version of the song wasn't used in the series... The version used appears later on the disc.

08. Kuro no kikoshi / X10

The infamous Junior/Gasha Dokuro theme song. It showed up a couple of times in the series including a Bandora-song-style extended performance in episode twenty-three. I definitely prefer the time Junior was once playing a suspiciously flawless rendition of 1999 SECRET OBJECT in episode fifteen, but if Columbia was going to create an in-house knock-off of Seikima-II through this song, they did a fine job.

Ohh...and if the singer, X10, sounds a little familiar in this track, just imagine him singing "TENSHIN DAAAA! KIRYOKU DAAAA!" and he may sound just a little more familiar.

09. Ninja de iko!! De-Den no Den / Takayuki Miyauchi

Another great Takayuki Miyauchi action song. Like a lot of insert songs from this series it appeared only once, left a decent impression and scuttled off into the black hole. Like a ninja...

10. Ninja! Matenro Kids / Tou Chi Chen

The series ending song. For a decade of absolutely awesome ending songs, this one has it's own little thing to make it memorable. It's rap...or rappish at least. Besides the ending video (which is how an ending song dance SHOULD be done, assholes) it actually made some really appropriate appearances in the show proper.

The full-sized version of the song is a treat. While it's great in it's TV Size form (and accompanying video) the full-sized version really goes in some weird places and still manages to sound coherent. Even better, the super-rare instrumental is extra delightful.

11. Detazo! Kakure Daishogun!! / Hironobu Kageyama

After the song collection was released, a single containing the theme songs of the two main mecha were released. I talked about it previously on this page.

The theme song for Kakure Daishogun by Hironobu Kageyama is clearly the highlighted mecha theme of the series. I may have been kinda hard on it in the past, but I do enjoy it's overall energy and hype. It's a tad out of place here for Kakuranger, though. This could be the theme song to Ohrangerrobo if you reworked the lyrics.

Generic sound aside, having a mecha theme song by Hironobu Kageyama is like getting an anison stamp of approval in the 90s. 

12. Muteki Shogun, tadaima sanjo! / Takayuki Miyauchi

This one has kinda grown on me a little bit. It's still a really strange mecha theme song, but at least it has the kind of majestic stoicism that Muteki Shogun embodies. Honestly, I can't think of a better theme song for Muteki Shogun. The two theme songs on this single definitely fit the mecha that they represent perfectly...right down to the singers.

13. Secret Kakuranger  -Original Karaoke-

14. Ninja! Matenro Kids  -Original Karaoke-

15. Kiai hyakuhatsu! Kakuranger!! -Serifunashi Version- / Nobuhiko Kashihara

This version is actually what was heard in episode sixteen. The biggest difference is that the "Super Henge! Doron Changer!" vocals were removed from this version. It sounds a little weird without them since there is a slight pause to fit those little chants in. Ah well.

16. Tsuruhime! Tsuyosawa me ni mo utsukushii -Karaoke Short Version-

Just like the title says. They were super-stingy here...why not give us the Karaoke version of the FULL song? Why a short version??

17. Hoshi yo, nijimu na! -Vocal Betsu Version / Takayuki Miyauchi

This is the version that ended up on the air. Like the alternate version of Kiai hyakuhatsu! Kakuranger!!, the differences are verrrrrry subtle. There are some additional backing vocals added in over select lyrics. 

18. Detazo! Kakure Daishogun!! -One Chorus- / Hironobu Kageyama

A rather pointless inclusion to this disc. Instead of giving us the Karaoke version of the song, which was previously released elsewhere, we are given this truncated version of a song that is already on this disc. .....K.....

19. Muteki Shogun, tadaima sanjo! -One Chorus- / Takayuki Miyauchi

Same as the previous track. Why??

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After a string of somewhat lackluster Super Sentai song collections, Kakuranger was a return to form that really continued on through the rest of the decade. Subsequent song collections like Carranger though GoGo Five were good due to the sheer number of songs, but series like Kakuranger and Ohranger were concise--ten or so solid songs with a single dud dropped in. Kakuranger's song collection is almost a secret, though. You have a dude you've never heard of singing the theme songs with the fluff in the middle done by some well-established singers.

Massive thumbs up to this song collection, even if the CD itself is kinda questionable. Is it nice to have the slightly different versions of the two songs that had variants on-air? Yes, definitely. Should we be denied the Karaoke versions in exchange? No. What's up with the useless One Chorus versions? The shorter Tsuruhime theme Karaoke? Ugh. Poor treatment of a gem of a song collection.

Overall I have to give this song collection a massive big thumbs up.

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Thanks for dropping in for this post. It's been awhile, but I'm enjoying building up this new series I started. You can check out some of the others on my CD Collection page.

See ya!

Song Collection: Blue SWAT


Welcome to a Song Collection double-feature! This time I am looking at the song collections from both of Toei's Tokusatsu series from 1994! In addition to Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, I am also looking at Blue SWAT! Oh boy...! *shakes fist* Forte!!!!...!!!!

For this review, I'll be listening to the Blue SWAT song collection through Super Hero Chronicle Metal Hero Shudaika Sonyuuka Daizenshuu III. I previously took a look at the entire CD series in this woefully incomplete post.


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01. TRUE DREAM (Album Version) / Tatsuya Maeda

I've talked about TRUE DREAM a number of times at this point, but I suppose one more boost of support couldn't hurt. 

This is easily one of the greatest Tokusatsu theme songs of all time. I can see how some people out there wouldn't like it, but I love the complete randomness of it all. Does it deserve to be a fight song? No, and I think that may be the only demerit it may be guilty of earning. It's just...such a solid song.

If you want to read more, I wrote a post breaking down the two different versions of this song and even made a quick'n dirty video highlighting the differences.

02. Tabidachi no sain / Tatsuya Maeda

An action song, and an extremely cheesy one at that. The synth tone that they selected is just...bad. The drum machines surely burst into flames once the recording wrapped up. It's similarly bad to a lot of Forte-era Dragonball Z songs, so I can't say it's random. The only saving grace is Maeda's smooth vocals.

03. THEME OF PLATINUM / Ryo Ito

I'm not entirely sure how to size this song up. Gold Platinum's theme song is...moody? Why is this song so tragic sounding? Granted, I don't remember too much about Gold Platinum outside of giving Sho his Hyper Sho ability and drum gun. 

Weird character theme song that just kinda drags on for awhile. It isn't bad, just strange.

04. Power Up Blue SWAT ~Aisuru kokoro ga areba~ / Tatsuya Maeda

This isn't the same song as Tabidachi no sain

Everything I said about that song can be applied here...except I like this one a little more. It's just a little bit more memorable.

05. Jaaku no junrei ~GET THE WAR~ / Tatsuya Maeda

The best of the lot. It's easy to see why this song was chosen to represent Blue SWAT on Toei Metal Hero Karaoke Vol.2. It's the most normal sounding song on this disc--almost as if it were a Janperson Song Collection leftover.

Really, a much-needed breath of fresh air.

06. Yuujo Cho Fighter / Soji Masaki, Yuka Shiratori, Ko Domon

Oof. This could have been a good song. It was *so* close. If they just let Tatsuya Maeda sing it with some fresh lyrics, it could have been a nice follow-up to the previous track. But no... This song is by our series leads. All of them. At once. It's awful. 

The worst thing about it is that no particular actor sounds like a terrible singer. They just don't mix in the slightest. I'm just baffled. 

07. Heishitachi no kyuusoku / Tatsuya Maeda

I guess this series needed a ballad-ish song. It's alright. Maeda is a versatile singer, so it is a perfectly serviceable song. I'm pretty sure every Tokusatsu series is required to have a ballad...and this one passes the test.

08. HELLO THERE! / Tatsuya Maeda

The strange, strange ending song. While it's generally agreed upon that TRUE DREAM is a classic, this one is a big more divisive. I happen to be fond of this turd. Random piano solo? Yes. Workout montage? You got it! Stock footage of a high dive? I'm there!

Who says the upbeat ending songs have to suck? For the detractors: Let me remind you that the Kabutack ending song is a thing. HELLO THERE! isn't so bad now, is it?

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This song collection is largely pathetic. The two things that it really has going on is TRUE DREAM and Tatsuya Maeda's vocals on the majority of songs. Everything else oscillates between Meh and Feh. The biggest crime of them all is that, including the theme songs, it's only eight friggin' tracks long. Eight! When you have two weird theme songs, you need to have a bunch of normal insert songs to balance it out. 

I suppose if we got more songs, there was always a chance we could've gotten more crap. Given how awesome the Music Collection from this series is, I have to say that this song collection has always been an immense disappointment to me.

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Check out my CD Collection for more! In the meantime, I gotta get the sibling post to this ready...

Bye!

-CC

2019/06/30

Song Collection: Chojuu Sentai Liveman


Welcome to my series of reviews where I talk about Tokusatsu Song Collections. I'm breaking the seal and doing my first Super Sentai review! This time around I am visiting the song collection of 1988's Chojuu Sentai Liveman. I'm especially fond of 1988 as a year for a myriad of reasons... The cars were rad, the Sony D-88 was out, and some of my favorite music was released. You know what else was great? Liveman!

How exactly did I pick Liveman? Well, my Youtube Channel recently hit it's 12-year milestone. I figured...why not hit up the 12th Super Sentai? Coincidentally that series is Liveman, which I am delighted to review. That's not to say there are many subpar Super Sentai song collections in the 1980s...but we are approaching the nebulous early-90s Super Sentai Song Collections. I love the shows, but the songs leave a lot to be desired there...

For this post I'll be listening to my Complete Song Collection disc from 1997. The first twelve tracks are vocal with the remaining seven being Karaoke versions of select songs. I'll denote those song with an asterisk(*).


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01. Chojuu Sentai Liveman* / Daisuke Shima

Was there a bad Tokusatsu theme song in the 1980s? Even the Fushigi Comedy Series had some good ones. Chojuu Sentai Liveman probably goes a step further by being probably the all-time best theme song sung by a lead cast member. It helps that Daisuke Shima has some singing chops versus how they plopped a fresh-faced Tetsuo Kurata in front of a microphone just a few months prior to this to sing the Kamen Rider Black theme song.

This one has a lot of energy and the perfect pacing for a Tokusatsu theme song. The only detraction I can possibly think of is that it isn't different enough from the Maskman theme song. If you listen to theme back-to-back you might feel what I'm feeling with the beat. 

02. Susume! Live March / Koji Kaya & Koorogi '73

Koji Kaya is a large part of this song collection. Considering he was a large part of Metalder's excellent song collection, I see this as a big plus.  His first appearance here is a little subdued, but a song I genuinely enjoy for it's somewhat brooding instrumentals. It's easily my favorite Tokusatsu song with the word "March" in the title. It may not be above name-dropping some of Liveman's toys, but it is still a nice groove.

03. Knock! Nekkyo no Live* / Koji Kaya

An action song...and a great one! The intro carries the energy through most of the song, but the horns, rockin' guitar, and Koji Kaya definitely assist in it's greatness. It sounds a little bit unconventional for what a lot of action songs of the era sounded like, but this is what makes the Liveman song collection stand out.

04. Utsukushiki Dreamer / Daisuke Shima

The lone non-theme song by Daisuke Shima. While it's my least favorite of his trio of tunes, I love this song dearly. Hell, if you visited my Youtube channel on day one, this is the song that would have greeted you. Come to think of it, it would have greeted you on my 10th anniversary as well. Fond memories...

This is a rock tune that honestly is probably the best-sung of the three Shima songs (note the lack of reverb). He *really* gets into it...and I can appreciate it solely on that merit. The only problem is that his other two songs are the themes...and they're just dynamite. This sweet rock song is easily one of the brightest highlights on the IN/IM songs, though!

05. Dash! Liverobo* / Koji Kaya

I don't remember what I ranked this on my list of Top Seven mecha songs, but I do know it was there and will have a permanent spot on the list. The intro? Perfect. The mood? Epic. It manages to be a favorite in a sea of mecha songs. For perspective, I think the Sentai Mecha song is the one they spend the second most amount of time on outside of the themes. This is the song that sells the toys between the theme songs. It *has* to be great...and this one is!

GATTAI!

06. Seigi wa Fumetsu sa Liveman / Koji Kaya

Ehhhh...I typically skip over this one. It's kinda lame and boring. Listening to it now, yeah... I think I'll continue skipping it. The guitar work in the middle is pretty good, but other than that it's Koji Kaya singing over a synthetically weak beat.

07. Spark! Umi e* / Megumi Mori

Love it. In a disc full of heavy hitters, this one manages to shine a little bit brighter. Like Daisuke Shima, Megumi Mori had the chops for this and does just as well crushing it. Like damn. Honestly, this song is too good for a Super Sentai song collection. It truly is. How this never got a single on it's own is a missed opportunity. If they did that, we at least could have gotten another track from Megumi...

08. Live Century ~Oretachi no Shiseiki~ / Koji Kaya

A strange song that kinda feels like something we would have heard on the Flashman song collection. The structure is just...strange. It's not a bad song, though. It just exists in a weird place...

09. Hop Step Love Jump! / Makoto Kosaka

Another cast member song...but this one is a little unexpected. This is Koron's theme song. I typically hate the theme songs of robot helpers, but this one is pretty solid. The instrumentals are good and the vocals are there as well. This isn't gimmicky like previous songs like Bioman's Peebo or Flashman's Mag. Koron was given the dignity of a genuine ally like Dappu from Carranger with a decent song...and I appreciate that. 

I also appreciate that Kosaka can sing. What's with seiyuu that can't sing? It's shockingly common and, especially these days, they usually end up singing a track on the song collection... Yeah, yeah, yeah... Singing and acting are two different things...

10. Ashita ni ikiru ze!* / Daisuke Shima

Who knew that a Super Sentai ending song could have such a beat? I love all three of Shima's songs, but this one is easily my favorite. This track is a perfect storm of weirdness. Part dance song, part action track. I think early in my CD collecting I sought out everything Liveman first so that I could have every version possible of this song.

The intro is just magic. I know the cool kids these days will say that this one has a "bubble sound", but I always found that to be a bit dismissive when music is described that way. Just enjoy the damn song. Heh. Though, it has taken me a lot of restraint not to call The Beatles "Boomer crap" at times...

11. Makenki Manten! Liveman* / Koji Kaya

A later song that I kinda question. This song is a little too cheesy-upbeat, but it isn't terrible. This song and the Liveboxer theme were released after the initial Hit Song disc were released. For as special and progressive as the rest of this song collection is, this is a step back almost.

12. Liveboxer no uta* / Koji Kaya

A mecha theme song that is *almost* as good as the other mecha song. Liveman? 2 for 2 on mecha theme songs. While it isn't too different from the Liverobo theme song, it is amazingly good. It didn't make the Top 7 list back in 2012 (yeah, I decided to check), but it definitely would have made a Top 10 I think. 

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This is probably as close to perfect as a Super Sentai song collection gets on paper, but I don't know if I can call it my favorite. Immensely great? Absolutely. A regular on the playlist? Definitely. I don't get the greatest amount of pleasure from it, though. It's just a little bit dry. What I will give it massive points for is being incredibly timely. While there is always a childish aspect to soundtracks from, well, children's show, it doesn't mean they can't be contemporary. 

I kinda tapped out of being a hyper fan of Sentai song collections after listening to the dogshit Dekaranger song collection. It's truly the antithesis of great song collections like Liveman's where it can be for kids without pandering to them. The Liveman song collection is a genuine good listen. There isn't a single song that is poorly sung and the duds are scarce. This is definitely a recommended listen.

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Have a good one!

-CC

2019/06/25

12 Years of CCLemon99


It's that time of year...

June 25th is the anniversary of the day that I started my Youtube channel. Usually I have some kind of celebratory video to mark the occasion, but I'm afraid I have nothing this year. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of toys that haven't been reviewed yet. It's all just kinda...waiting.

Last July was something of a wake-up call. Within a week I found myself with two copyright strikes and my channel teetering on the edge of oblivion. I made the conscious effort to preserve my channel as best as I could by setting questionable content to "unlisted" status. What hasn't been struck down over the past year is still available, it's just a little bit less straight-forward than it's been in the past.

Even in it's current protected state, I do find myself losing a random video every few months. I'm currently without any strikes...which is a nice feeling, but one that can change at any moment.

-----

The thing that this year off has allowed me to do is to really observe Youtube.

For all of those years of weekly uploads, I never really caved or buckled to trends. Looking back, I'm glad that I put the blinders up. Content can fall somewhere between dogshit and mediocre and still have unjust exposure thanks to the whims of some pretentious dev implementing new changes to the boogieman algorithm. There are some stellar channels out there like this guy that have some proper quality videos and never really took off despite having some random hits. I know cars aren't everyone's cup of tea, but the auto scene on Youtube is HUGE and it really doesn't take much for some low-end creators to get big. To see a channel featuring basically every surviving Back To The Future car and then some sitting at only a smidge over 65K is genuinely baffling...

The fight for relevancy has become pretty desperate. One MASSIVE channel in particular (that I guarantee you know) is currently living out this godawful zombie-like existence. The face of the channel clearly has zero interest in carrying on with making content to the point where a company has taken over every aspect of production. The creator has the new role of "talent" and no longer contributes his unique voice--which is what made his content special in the first place. What you will see on the channel is his mug in the thumbnail of every video despite his only contributions to said videos are him saying "Yep..." to the bunch of randos who run his business.

You should never hang up doing something you love. However, when the spark isn't there, you're not fooling anyone but yourself. This section really doesn't have to do with me or my uploads since I was genuine whenever I made a video, but I feel like it was worth stating since the people who work *really* hard to get a foothold never get anywhere while the ones coasting on their past fame are just aimlessly plodding along. Is anybody happy on Youtube anymore? Nobody is having a good time...I'm convinced. Shit on TV all you want, at least cancellation is a thing there. When you have a Youtube series about a group of four people talking about a movie that only three of them watched ("talent" couldn't be bothered...despite the silly face he's making in the thumbnail) it could theoretically go on well past the point where anybody is really watching.

-----

So I may not have uploaded more than a handful of videos since my 11th anniversary last year, but I've tried to understand this void that I've been throwing my videos into all of these years. Yeah, it's really depressing. I did my own thing all this time, but I guess I need to get my personal affairs in order before I return with new content. Viewers can smell the discontent no matter how well you try to hide it...

That said, I really miss making videos. Some things need to be better before I get back into it. You can always catch up with me here on the site at least. Yeah, I know going from Youtube to a personal site is a backwards thing to do these days, but at least I can sit down and enjoy some kind of Tokusatsu thing for the site.

Oh, and hey...thanks for being around all this time. For watching all of the videos, for reading everything on the site...I thank you.

Thank you for these twelve years.

-CC


2019/05/31

Song Collection: Kamen Rider Super-1


Welcome to this installment of my Song Collection review...thing. I was in the beginning phase of writing this duo of posts earlier in May when something happened that made me feel strange about my decision. The new Kamen Rider series for 2019 had it's trademark filed by Toei and the name is...Kamen Rider Zero-One. The fact that started listening the Super-1 Song Collection unprompted was a bizarre coincidence considering how rarely I talk Rider on this site and how rarely I listen to the Super-1 song collection.

Like the Skyrider article before this, I am circling back to my 1996 Kamen Rider Complete Song Collection Series 7 CD for this listen. It's the same deal as before, I skipped over the Super Hero Chronicles release and just stuck with these 90s releases since they have glorious Karaoke versions included.


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01. Kamen Rider Super 1 / Shunsuke Takasugi

Is there a bad Kamen Rider theme song prior to the avex takeover in 2002? No...there really isn't. Some theme songs just aren't up to snuff, though. Super-1's theme song is a good one. It may be a little bit disjointed, but it really isn't a bad theme song. I like the little hints of guitar and the energy is really good. Lead star Shunsuke Takasugi singing the theme song is something that hadn't been done since Kamen Rider V3's theme by Hiroshi Miyauchi. He isn't the strongest singer, but you'd better get used to him if you're going to proceed.

02. Hi o fuke Rider ken / Shunsuke Takasugi

The first ending theme song to the series. It isn't much more than a continuation of the opening theme song. Outside of the "Eh, eh, eh, eh, e-eh" it really doesn't have a distinguishing feature. It isn't bad, at least.

03. Muteki no yuusha Super-1 / Shusuke Takasugi

I really dig this one. While the music doesn't quite escape the grasp of the 70s that Rider composer Shunsuke Kikuchi imposed on all of this soundtracks going well into the 90s, it does sound a little more 80s. The only thing I'm not really fond of here is the kid backing vocals. Meh. Sometimes they work (Solbrain OP is good) but a lot of the time they don't.

04. Kunin Rider eien ni / Ichiro Mizuki

This is the only song from this song collection that anyone seems to remember or care about. While there was never a 9 Rider meet-up, it did get it's very own theme song. I like this one...it's easily Ichiro Mizuki's best contribution to this soundtrack. He even brought Koorogi '73 with him.

05. Five Hand Rock / Shunsuke Takasugi

This song does not rock.

It's no shock that something like Super-1's hand gimmick has it's own theme song, but does it have to be so weak? It's like a bizzaro lame version of Kagayake! 8nin Rider from Skyrider's song collection...and it just goes on and on and on and on and on until all of the damn hands are covered.

06. Yume no nagaremono / Ichiro Mizuki

A ballad. It isn't that bad, even if the music is doing it's damndest to distract at time with the random synth sounds. Getting Mizuki to cover this one probably was the right move since Takasugi probably isn't equipped to do a solo.

07. Hiden sekishin shorinken / Shunsuke Takasugi

I don't know what to make of this song. I like Koorogi '73's backing vocals, but this sloooooow song has no business being on a song collection in the 1980s. 1971? Yes, but not here. It is almost as slow as the Shocker song from the Kamen Rider song collection.

08. Sekai ni hitori / Ichiro Mizuki

A chill song by Ichiro Mizuki, but it doesn't really help maintain (or restart) the momentum of this song collection. It's decent, but it doesn't do much more than just exist.

09. Yuke! Super Machine / Shunsuke Takasugi

I like this one. Outside of the theme songs, this is my favorite of the Takasugi songs. The song is broken up into two halves, one for V Machine and the other for Super-1's second bike, Blue Version. The ban on Takasugi carrying a song on his own is still apparent here as he is joined by the Columbia brat patrol once again.

10. Junior Rider tai no uta / Ichiro Mizuki

I understand the why behind this song, but I don't understand why it replaced the decent ending song that the series had been using for it's first twenty-three episodes. Yes, this is the second ending theme song for the series...and it's a dated borefest. Really, I hate this song. It's a lousy march song. While earlier songs of this ilk had some charm, this just song cold and empty. This type of song had no reason to exist in 1981. Ick.


BONUS 2011 Versions

Just before I finished this post I had a thought: "Wasn't there an updated version of the Super-1 theme songs?". I checked my CD rack and, sure enough, remembered that there was a reason I sprung for the 2011 Complete Song Collection release.

01. Kamen Rider Super-1 [2011ver.] / Shunsuke Takasugi

This is actually pretty fun. Takasugi sings this one on his own and while his voice has lost some of it's luster, he does a really good job thirty years removed from the original. I ESPECIALLY love the henshin break-down. Yeah, the Super-1 henshin sequence is one of my favorite for it's sheer absurdity along with the unmistakable sound effect. Tossing that in here gives the song some extra oomph.

It's certainly better than pretty much any other theme song to come out this decade...

02. Hi o fuke Rider ken [2011ver.] / Shunsuke Takasugi

The music is kinda lame, but I enjoy this cover as well. If they were going to cover either of the ending songs, I'm really glad it was this one.

03. Five Hand Rock [2011ver.] / Shunsuke Takasugi

This is the only one of these anniversary covers that I don't really dig. It's just as boring as the original with worse music. Again, this song does not rock.


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I apologize for the lacking descriptions for a lot of these tracks, but there really isn't a whole lot to say about these songs. This song collection was contemporary with the Taiyo Sentai Sunvulcan song collection, which was fresh and new and progressive to what Tokusatsu songs would become in the 80s. This is just drivel. Composer Shunsuke Kikuchi is fantastic at certain things, but bringing Kamen Rider into the 1980s was not one of those things.

Following up the Skyrider song collection is an unenviable task. There is very little here worthwhile. As far as whole songs go, the opening theme song, first ending song, and Ichiro Mizuki's 9nin Rider song are all good. From there it's just bits and pieces of songs that are good. Yeah, I would skip this one if you are only curious. If you must get this song collection, be sure to scope out the 2011 version of the CD to get those neat covers of the themes...and Five Hand Rock...which, again, does not rock.

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That's all for now. Be sure to check out my write-up on the infinitely better Skyrider song collection that has also posted.

Take care!

-CC

Song Collection: Kamen Rider [Skyrider]
That Heisei Feeling
CD Collection / Music Articles

Song Collection: Kamen Rider [Skyrider]


Welcome to another installment of my series of Song Collection reviews. I previously kicked off this little project with reviews of each song from Winspector, Solbrain, and Exceedraft. This time around I'm taking a look at a series that I've never covered in the past...Kamen Rider! No, not that Kamen Rider...the other 70s "Kamen Rider" series...uhh...Skyrider! This disco-rific song collection has a grand total of two singers contributing: Ichiro Mizuki and Isao Sasaki.

For this review I'm dusting off my copy of the 1996 release of Kamen Rider Complete Song Collection Series 6. I prefer these releases over the Super Hero Chronicles versions since Karaoke tracks are included for all songs.


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01. Moero! Kamen Rider / Ichiro Mizuki

I've declared this to be my all-time favorite Kamen Rider theme song in the past. It's still my top pick. This is maximum Ichiro Mizuki with the perfect assist from Koorogi '73 on backing vocals. It manages to be an unmistakable 70s Tokusatsu theme song without the corny ambiguity of virtually every theme song before it. That isn't to say I have a problem with theme songs prior to this, but...yeah, just look up the theme song from Zebraman and you'll see what I'm on about. Moero! Kamen Rider sails past the genre of theme song that was made for parody decades later.

Seriously...if there was ever a theme song to get hype over it's this one.

02. Harukanaru ai ni kakete / Ichiro Mizuki

The first ending song of the series. While most ending songs to Rider series prior to this were just as amped as the opening theme songs, this is an uptempo ballad. Mizuki's singing is nothing short of perfect and the assist from Koorogi '73 is just as necessary as it was on Moero! Kamen Rider.

03. Kagayake! 8nin Rider / Isao Sasaki

OK, there is a little explaining needed for this one. If you take a look down you'll see this song makes another appearance on the list. This version is sung by Isao Sasaki making his lone Kamen Rider theme song contribution. This version of the song was used as the theme song to the 8nin Rider movie from 1980.

I love this song. It's short, sweet, and catchy as all hell. You will undoubtedly find yourself singing One-Two-Three-Four-Five-Six-Seven-Eight (Five-Six-Seven-Eight!) for the rest of the week. Sorry. Also......the intro building up Rider as the bravest of all the fighter, etc. is just so wonderful.

04. Ima tatakai no hi ga noboru / Isao Sasaki

Isao Sasaki's only other contribution to Rider songs. While I love Kagayake! 8nin Rider, I think this is *his* better song for the series. Sasaki is really able to stretch his legs and deliver an awesome disco-action song. Hell, this one is really catchy as well.

I have a theory that this was meant to be a theme song to the series...more on that in a bit...

05. Otoko no na wa Kamen Rider / Ichiro Mizuki

The second theme song from the series starting on episode twenty-nine and running for the remainder of the series. While Moero! Kamen Rider is an impossible act to follow, I dig this song almost as much as it's predecessor. Yeah, it was baffling that they had the perfect theme song and felt the need to replace it...but this is a really good one as well. So what if Skyrider's new paint job debuted this episode...bah!

The little bits of guitar thrown in almost give it a little more of an 80s feel. Mizuki's vocals are spot-on, but the lack of Koorogi '73 kinda makes the whole song a little hollow.

06. Kagayaki! 8nin Rider / Ichiro Mizuki

Ichiro Mizuki's version of the 8nin Rider theme was used as the second ending song for the series starting on episode twenty-nine. I kinda alluded to it on my reviews of Isao Sasaki's songs, but I prefer this version of the song. Mizuki's vocals just go with the flow a little bit better...even if the man can't hold a note for his life. Haha.

The big question is...why even record two versions? I know multiple versions were a common thing during the early years of Rider, but bringing in Isao Sasaki was such a random thing. Maybe Mizuki wasn't available to record the movie theme...? Mysteries...

07. Oh Oh Kamen Rider / Ichiro Mizuki

Skip past the weird intro and this is a pretty average song. It's upbeat, but kinda in a non-offensive bland way. Not bad, but not one I particularly seek out randomly.

08. Chiheisen kara yattekita otoko / Ichiro Mizuki

If you told me that this song was from the Kamen Rider Stronger song collection, I'd probably believe you. Maybe this was a little bit dated sounding for 1979, but it isn't bad. It just doesn't flow with the rest of the synth-lashed tracks that we're used to in this song collection.

09. Are wa Kamen Rider / Ichiro Mizuki

I like this one. The funk guitar and background singers are back. It isn't particularly peppy, but it's certainly a catchy tune. In an alternate universe, this could be the theme song. Granted, it isn't as good as the theme songs we have...but it's certainly worth the listen. Miyo!

10. 8nin Rider Medley [Instrumental]

The famous instrumental medley from the series. This is a largely synth and horn-created medley of the Kamen Rider theme songs to date (plus Ima tatakai no hi ga noboru for good measure...which somewhat leads me to believe that it was meant to be the second theme song for the series). A (1980) modern interpretation of the Rider themes, if you will. Of all of the songs here, I probably listen to this one the most. It's a great track to throw on in the background.

11. Henshin! Kamen Rider / Ichiro Mizuki

The intro isn't great, but this is a great action song. It does remind me of Moero! Kamen Rider a little bit, but it is definitely more of an insertion song. It's also the only song here that mentions "Skyrider" by name rather than just Kamen Rider. Way to sneak that in at the very end.

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This has always been my favorite Kamen Rider song collection. It's in that sweet spot between the 70s schlock and 80s...whatever the 80s were. Ichiro Mizuki is really at his peak on this song collection and the two songs from Isao Sasaki are quite good as well. The balance it perfect here. You don't realize how amazing Ichiro Mizuki's singing is until you listen to the Karaoke version of pretty much any song--Moero! Kamen Rider in particular. The songs are just empty without him.

I feel like this is an unpopular opinion, but yeah...I truly like this song collection the best. Black RX and Black are up there as well, but I think something is missing from both of those soundtracks. When I'm in the mood for Kamen Rider songs, this is where I end up.

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That does it for Skyrider. Check out my post on Kamen Rider Super-1's song collection while you're here.

See ya!

-CC


Song Collection: Kamen Rider Super-1
That Heisei Feeling
CD Collection / Music Articles