With that in mind, I've decided to start a new feature here at RPS. I am a big music person as well as being a big movie person and I am not surprisingly obsessed with soundtracks and scores to movies (and other things). Therefore I have a lot of them on both CD and vinyl and what with so many neat labels putting out so many interesting scores and soundtracks on LP these days, I thought it might be nice to write about some of them here.
On of my other big obsessions is arcade games from the 1980s. I've calmed myself a little, but not long ago, my obsession resulted in me having something like twenty-five or so classic 80s arcade cabinets in my home. It used to be that the minute you stepped in the front door, you were immediately in one part of my game room. We had ten or so games in our front room and it became sort of a litmus test for people when they came over. They would either ignore the games altogether or they would have a nostalgic moment and start talking about how much they used to love them. It was an interesting social experiment. Anyway, I had a few driving games in my garage (they were too big for the house) - TURBO and RACE DRIVIN'. There were so many great driving games back in the day but these were the only two that I could get during my "collecting years". OUT RUN was one of those games that I always liked, but was never very good at. I was better at POLE POSITION, but I always loved playing OUT RUN whenever I had the chance. There was something more relaxed and less intense than the racing fury of POLE POSITION.
I never used to pay as much attention to video game music back then. It was everywhere and at a certain point it became just background noise. But as I've gotten older, and video game scores have gotten more and more sophisticated, I've begun to miss that old music that used to accompany games like OUT RUN. There's something just electronically pleasant about the music from these games. Especially in the case of OUT RUN, I had never noticed just how fitting the music is. It's just like going for an afternoon drive (albeit a fast one). It has this'll kinetic energy about it, while remaining slightly innocuous and yet oddly pleasurable to listen to. It's kind of mesmerizing in a way. Perfect for putting on in the background when you have some people over or even when you are working on some writing (I'm listening to it right now as I write this). It really is a remarkably calming listen end to end. Just really soothing stuff. And not in that way that it puts you to sleep either. The music has a lot of energy like I said so it keeps your mind moving. It also obviously makes me feel like I'm hanging out at an Alladin's Castle or a Shakey's game room thirty years ago, so that's nice too. I've heard the album all the way through probably four or five times since I got it and I know I'll come back to it over and over. This is my first record from Data Discs, but if you're like me and you're into this kind of music - I highly recommend checking them out. Their previous releases of STREETS OF RAGE, SUPER HANG ON and SHINOBI III have all sold out now, but they most assuredly have more cool game soundtracks up there sleeve (and you get still get STREETS OF RAGE II & SHENMUE). So keep an eye on them for sure!
(And if you're at all interested in getting it, don't hesitate as it is a limited pressing that will sell out).