Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Re-Arranged Album
- "A welcome addition to the rather un-arranged Nintendo game music library."
- "An excellent arranged album that no one expected."
- Title Theme
- Lost Woods
- LonLon Ranch
- Zelda's Theme
- Middle Boss Battle
- Temple of Time
- Kotake & Koume's Theme
- Hyrule Field Main Theme
- Great Fairy's Fountain
- Last Battle
- Released Dec 22, 1999 (catalog no. TKCA-71824).
A welcome addition to the rather un-arranged Nintendo game music library.
Reader review by Michael Alfera (2000-12-31)
The music in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Re-Arranged Album is really good dance music. I mean, *really* good dance music. "Dance music, Michael?" you say. "How in the world could Zelda music be dance-able?"
And here's my reply: drums. There is a drum set beating some cool rhythms in almost all the tracks of this CD. The drums make the songs less serious and less symphonic, to the point where they almost (and I stress *almost*) sound like pop music or something like that.
Is this good? Well, it all depends on your personal tastes. Do you like Breath of Fire 3 OST, Brink of Time, and Mario 64 OSV? Or are you more of a fan of soundtracks like FF6 Grand Finale, Chrono Cross, or Final Fantasy 7? If you like the latter (more serious, classical songs), you won't like this CD as much as those who are into the former. Now, that's not to say that fans of serious or classical music should not touch this soundtrack. LoZ:OoT RAA (long acronym, huh?) covers lots of styles. All I'm trying to do is associate it with other soundtracks.
This re-arranged album takes the example set forth by CDs such as Final Fantasy 5 Dear Friends and takes it to the next level: real instruments played on a synthesized background. And when I say "real instruments", I mean *real* instruments. The people playing the trumpet, guitar, violin, etc. on this soundtrack *know* their instruments. They play with incredible tone and range. It's a real treat.
Most of the songs on this album are really good, but there are a couple of puzzlers. For "Temple of Time", all they did was take the original song and intersperse it with some soprano-synth. It's boring. In addition, "Battle" song is little more than a cacophony.
Aside from those, the rest of the tracks are great, and really worth listening to. For instance, take track 1, "Title Theme". It is a really good example of what this album does to most of the songs: change the synth, add a drum beat, make it more upbeat, and intersperse it with some instrumental solos. This formula, in my opinion, spells success.
"Lon-Lon Ranch" is a vocalized piece sung by Emiko Shiratori, the same person who sang "Melodies of Life" for Final Fantasy 9. The part I like most about this track is the piano. (Is it synth?? I can't tell.) "Great Fairy's Fountain" is one of the slower songs in this CD. It uses real string instruments to create a nice effect. The only problem I have with this one is the strange synth that they chose for the melody in the first part of this song.
"Last Battle" is a great finale to this CD. The drum beat is cool, fast, and syncopated. The song would drag were it not for the incredible trumpet soloist playing little licks and solos throughout. Like I said before, the instrumentalists in this album are incredible.
That's about all there is to say about this re-arranged album. Definitely get it if you like Koji Kondo's compositions or have played Zelda 64. Even if you haven't, it's still worth a try.
An excellent arranged album that no one expected.
Reader review by Kenny Peeples (2002-09-16)
About little over a year ago, when I first saw that another arranged album based off of the music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was available for purchase, I didn't know what to expect. I had no idea who arranged it, or more importantly, what type of arrangements the songs had undergone. All I knew about the release was the tracklist. Many of my favorite pieces were arranged for the album, so I went ahead and picked it up. The fact that I loved the OST and the previous arranged album, Hyrule Symphony, didn't hurt either. Upon receiving the CD and giving it a listen through, I was surprised. This album was nothing like I expected.
For some reason, I automatically assumed that this would be some kind of classical arranged album, though I didn't see the sense in that, being as though Hyrule Symphony existed. So what we have here is basically Ocarina of Time remixed. In all of the songs, the original melody is kept intact, but it plays over loops and other electronic house beats and different synth. The thing I really love about this album, is that while the songs are remixed, they don't forsake their classical roots, which is very important. You'll hear many acoustic instruments throughout many of the songs, which I think was the way to go.
Of course, it just wouldn't be right if the album didn't begin with an arrangement of the "Title Theme". But that it does, and the arrangement is superb, and very different from how you're used to hearing it - which is a good thing! Of all the songs on the tracklist, I think "Lost Woods" and "Middle Boss Battle" had 'remix' written all over them. Both songs had rather simple melodies. "Lost Woods" is cute little techno arrangement of the original song. But "Middle Boss Battle" is incredible. The song has increased tempo and the beat is great. Have a listen to that totally original interlude inserted between 1:10 and 1:37... Yes, MOKA officially killed it right there! That's probably my favorite part of the entire song. "Battle" is almost a totally different song entirely (and now, a bit more interesting than it previously was!). Every now and then the original melody will come in, but other than that alone, one probably wouldn't recognize it upon first hearing it. "Shop" is definitely the oddball of the album. It doesn't really fit in well with the rest of the music in my opinion. The Spanish 'cha-cha' arrangement is really good, but I prefer the version from the OSV. The song that really surprised me was "Temple of Time". Upon first listening to it, I wish that maybe a real choir would've been used, and I was slightly disappointed. But when the sopranos came in, all was forgiven! I really wasn't expecting that at all. Both the tenors and sopranos sing harmoniously together, but toward the end of the song, when they both join briefly to sing the main melody together, is what really did it for me. And as far as the Asian/African arrangement of "Kotake & Koume's Theme" goes, that song will always rock no matter what.
As mentioned earlier, many songs feature acoustic instruments, with "Epona's Song/Lon Lon Ranch" being one of them. I still like this song despite the fact that its been turned into pop ballad. I'm not into vocal songs all that much, but this one's tolerable, mainly because I love the melody above all else. This song features a petal steel guitar and an acoustic guitar as well, both of which sound really nice. I'm not too terribly impressed with this arrangement of "Zelda's Theme". It's too up-tempo, and the ocarina is far too high-pitched! The strings are fantastic though. One of my favorite arrangements on the album is "Great Fairy's Fountain". It features a really nice piano, and the use strings in this song (more so than in "Zelda's Theme") makes it so much more grand. There are amazing string solos littered throughout the entire piece, but there is one solo in particular that lasts over a minute - from 2:19 to 3:29 - that is just almost too beautiful.
By far, the two main reasons for owning this album (the shiniest of the gems) are "Hyrule Field Main Theme" and "Last Battle". This album features the very best version of "Hyrule Field Main Theme" we'll probably ever hear - not to mention it pounds the puny Hyrule Symphony version into the dirt. This arrangement has the song in its entirety, along with sweeping strings, a blasting trumpet, and a strong beat. I love how the synths and strings take turns playing the melody, and the violin and trumpet solos at the end of the song just makes an already incredible arrangement even better. I'm not even going to say anything about "Last Battle" (though I do have a lot to say about it). However, I will say, that it is one of my favorite arrangements ever on any arranged album out there. And we'll just leave it at that.
Well, that about sums up my thoughts on this album. This release really did come out of nowhere, but I personally am glad that it exists. I really wish I could read the liner notes, because I'm very curious as to how this album came about. I doubt Kondo conjured this one up himself. I never could have imagined hearing Zelda music arranged in a style such as this, which is another reason why it is so appealing. But in any event, if you enjoy the music in Zelda 5, then you should snatch this album up.
Zelda goes dance music, to good results... as well as bad.
Reader review by Jon Turner (2002-01-17)
Arranged albums are interesting in that they take on many different chances. Sometimes their approaches in taking game music soundtracks and upgrading them to various genres (jazz, classical, new age, etc.) are very delightful and every bit as gracious as the game soundtracks themselves. There are also the kinds of albums that intend to do the original music justice, but end up becoming blasphemous, mainly because they take on too many chances. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Re-Arranged Album, the second arranged album of the magnificent music from Ocarina Of Time, falls into neither category.
From the beginning, I was told that the music of The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time was upgraded to "dance music". I dreaded the thought of hearing one of the most impressive, but grossly underrated, N64 soundtracks being butchered by the transition from classical to techno-dance tracks. I was doubtful, even when I finally talked myself into buying it, that it would ever be any good. Upon listening to it, I rank this album on the same level as another N64 arranged soundtrack, Mario Kart 64 On Club Circuit - a mixture of the very good and the very bad.
The very good tracks are the selling points of this rearranged album. Track 4, an attempt to turn "Lon Lon Ranch" into a pop ballad turns out very well, thanks to the excellent vocal performance of Emiko Shiratori. Lovely and jazzy, with a pedal steel guitar and keyboards backing up the vocal (with lyrics written, interestingly, by Shigeru Miyamoto, the man responsible for the creation of this wonderful game), this track is an absolute delight. I also enjoyed "Zelda's Theme", a slow, lovely track which features lovely strings, an ocarina (of course!), and synthesizers as the instruments. Best of all, the track remains faithful to the original composition, and adds a beautiful bridge, making this treatment another highlight. "Temple Of Time" is also good - although synthesized, the male choral vocals sounds every bit as mysterious and haunting as ever. It is made even better with the inclusion of a humming male chorus, accompanying female chorus, and occasional bell tolls. If you're looking for a pure, heavenly arrangement of "Temple Of Time", this is about as close as you're going to get.
The rest of the tracks made me either bounce or groan. "Lost Woods", "Middle Boss Battle", and "Hyrule Field Main Theme", although fun to listen to, suffer from occasionally wierd sound effects which really hamper any kind of enjoyment. "Title Theme" is a horrible rendition of the lovely opening song, and "Koume & Kotake's Theme" is too quirky for its own good. "Battle" is intolerable and repetitive, and the last track, my favorite battle track in the soundtrack, "Last Battle", is probably the lamest version I have heard of this furious and dazzling battle track, despite strong percussion beats and occasionally good instruments. The choral vocals on this track are not half as powerful as the ones in the original game version. Perhaps the reason why I am so judgemental on the other tracks is that I honor the music of The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time very highly, and to hear it butchered in rock-techno format is probably the worst nightmare Zelda fans can ever have.
In short, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Re-Arranged Album offers shining gems and obnoxious trash. It's not a total failure - the excellent tracks make it worth a look - but unless you are a fan of rocking music with occasionally wierd sound effects and can manage to not groan at your favorite songs being trashed, I'd suggest sticking with the original soundtrack album of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time or even Hyrule Symphony instead. Both albums have a lot more treats to offer than this one does.
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