28/02/2012

10 GREAT CLASSIC SEGA REMIXES / COVERS

Previous remix compliations:
Mega Man - Castlevania - Final Fantasy - F-Zero - Chrono Trigger

I was looking at the previous collections of viddogame remixes I'd pulled together, and I noticed there was something of a Nintendo bias towards the games covered. Is that because the music that appears on Nintendo consoles is simply better? No, it's just that there are hundreds of Mega Man and Final Fantasy games, so there's a lot more material to go at. Sega is hardly short of great gaming tracks, though, so without futher ado here are ten great remixes and covers of classic Sega tunes.

Olivier Sirois - Sonic the Hedgehog - Green Hill Zone



Where better to start than with the first game in Sega's most famous franchise? How about the music from the first stage in the first Sonic game? Yeah, that seems like a good place. In this orchestrated take on the Green Hill Zone, the soundtrack to Sonic's first adventure gains a cinematic quality that seems to promise adventure, freedom and a future where Shadow the Hedgehog doesn't exist.

S.S.T. Band - After Burner - Theme



Sega's very own SST Band perform a live version of the After Burner theme. It is quite possibly the single most "eighties" thing I've ever seen, despite it being filmed in 1990. Eight minutes of wailing synths and crunching guitars - what could be better than that? There's even a guitar duel. In a happier, more caring universe this would have been the soundtrack to Top Gun.

Takenobu Mitsuyoshi - Alex Kidd - Theme



The Alex Kidd theme is one of the catchiest pieces of music ever written. I'm convinced it could be weaponised, you know. Just play it over a battlefield and render the combatants completely unable to fight because they're running around, humming the Alex Kidd theme and generally being cheerful. This cover makes it even harder to escape this theme's charms by rocking up the music and giving you lyrics to sing along to. And you will sing along. You'll accidentaly do it on the bus, and people will look at you funny. Or so I'm told...

Ataraktika - Altered Beast - Rise From Your Grave



Or as it's better known, "Wise fwom yow gwave!" Altered Beast is a strange game with a melancholic, almost depressing feeling that lingers over you as you play, which seems strange for a game about turning into a wolf-man and punching things. Ataraktika also noticed the strange mood of the game and conjured up a heavy, sludgey and very appropriate take on the famous theme that works as a great compliment to the unusual atmosphere.

Diggi Dis - Golden Axe 2 - Battle of Ravaged Village



I included this in the GA2 article, but it's a great remix of one of my favourite ever videogame tracks, it deserves another mention here. A fantastic arrangement, it's filled with many different styles but never becomes muddled or over-indulgent, marrying the rock and hip-hop elements of the original soundtrack with an excellent (and strangely appropriate) piano solo. Definitely one of my personal favourite remixes.

? - Super Hang-On - Sprinter



Sometimes subtlety isn't required. Sometime I just want a cheesy-as-hell, 80s-anime style synth-and-guitar cover. I say sometimes, I mean pretty much all the time. This arranged version of Super Hang-On's "Sprinter" certainly has that feeling, and as music about racing motorcycles goes it's hard to beat.

Avien - Streets of Rage 2 - Slow Moon



Another excellent OCRemix, this time a chilled-out cover of the second-best track in SoR2 (the first being "Dreamer", of course). Well, I couldn't compile a list like this without including something by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro, could I? This is a simple, clean take on the Megadrive original that only has one drawback - it's just too short.

Bayonetta Sound Team - Space Harrier - Theme



Bayonetta has a lot going for it: gloriously over-the-top set piece, fast-paced and thrilling action, and best of all poppy covers of classic Sega themes. I decided to include the Space Harrier theme here because, well, it's the already-excellent Space Harrier but coated in a thick layer of jazzy Japanese pop cheerfulness. What's not to like?

Kiminori Atsuta - OutRun - Passing Breeze



OutRun has one of the greatest soundtracks ever, and as such each track has been remixed eight ways from Sunday, but here's something a bit special - a piano arrangement that takes the sun-drenched charm of the original track and turns in into some really beautiful. A perfect evolution of "Passing Breeze" that has all the laid-back charm of the original but in a brand-new context. Like I said, it's something special.

DrumUltimA, Harmony - Sonic the Hedgehog - Star Light Zone



Let's finish where we started, with another track from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. This time it's the Star Light Zone theme, a track which I'm a little embarrased to admit provokes an odd emotional reaction from me. But hey, if I'm going to get emotional about a piece of videogame music it might as well be something as sweetly haunting as this. This remix starts off with some appropriately haunting percussion and acoustic guitars, before morphing into a joyful, almost scat-style freakout that makes for a fitting tribute to one of Sega's finest ever tracks.

There you go, then - ten great remixes and covers of tracks from Sega's classic back catalogue. The balance is restored! Hope you enjoyed them, and I also hope that watching the After Burner cover didn't somehow teleport you back to 1990.

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