Super Mario Yoshi's Island Original Sound Version

Artist Credits

Tracks

36 minutes total
  1. Nintendo Mark
  2. Story Music Box
  3. Yoshi's Island
  4. Yoshi Start Demo
  5. Training Course
  6. Game Start
  7. Flower Garden
  8. Goal & Score
  9. Underground BGM
  10. Castle & Fortress
  11. Kamek's Theme
  12. Mini-Boss
  13. Athletic
  14. Overworld
  15. Player Down
  16. Game Over
  17. Room Before Boss
  18. Big Boss BGM
  19. Big Boss Clear
  20. Map BGM
  21. Bonus Game
  22. Powerful Infant
  23. Koopa
  24. Koopa Clear
  25. Luigi Is Rescued
  26. Ending
  • Released Nov 25, 1995 by NTT Publishing / Polystar (catalog no. PSCN-5040, retail 2000 yen).

Reviews

Koji Kondo has done it again!

Essential Listening

Reader review by Jon Turner

From playing many Nintendo games featuring music from Koji Kondo, I have the hunch that he knows how to make fun scores. Super Mario Yoshi Island (Yoshi's Island, to us Americans) continues the legendary trend of his previous works. The music here has a typical Mario-esque feeling (although the classic theme is not used), but in a youthful, innocent schtick to keep the Mario universe afloat, while inviting us to join in with the whimsical world of the Yoshis. The score occasionally screams treacliness (in tracks like "Story Music Box"), but it is not completely overdone, unlike its semi-disappointing N64 sequel, "Yoshi's Story". It keeps the saccharine feeling to a mild level, which allows this score to be more enjoyable than its sequel was.

In fact, this score is more snappy than cute. The main title theme, "Yoshi's Island", in particular, is very cool! It has a great dance beat and it's enhanced by calypso instruments. The other stuff on here is equally great, too. "Flower Garden" is a nice frolic song, "Underground BGM" is funky, "Athletic" is appropiately athletic... all the songs are great fun. Best of all, it has an extended version of the famous "Invincible" theme, entitled "Powerful Infant".

If there is any weakness in the soundtrack, it would probably be the boss battle themes. They are mostly noisy cacophonies that get irritating instantly. However, this is only two out of 26 tracks, and does nothing to take away the entertainment value of the music.

The highlight of this score is the end title theme. It sounds a tad bit like the end title theme from Super Mario World, but instead is played in a lullaby manner. And when the song almost becomes too treacly, Kondo throws in elements of the end title theme from "The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past". I wish I could hear a concert arrangement of this song, because of those elements from the finale of Zelda.

All of this makes Super Mario Yoshi Island a very entertaining listening experience, but it hasn't had much of a life on its own. In other words, not too many people are raving about Yoshi's Island, and most have probably forgotten about it by now. This is a shame, because Yoshi's Island is one of Kondo's best scores so far.

Don't be fooled by its cute appearance; this is a soundtrack that is jam-packed with more fun and pleasure than one can possibly imagine. All in all, if you can ever find it anywhere, Super Mario Yoshi Island is a must-get.

Short but sweet!

Reader review by Michael Alfera

From my own point of view, this OSV serves one, and only one, specific purpose: it brings back wonderful memories of the 2-D sidescrolling era. Though it wasn't really that long ago, it seems like an eternity since us gamers then only thought about up-down and left-right!

Of course, it should not come as a surprise that the music is rather synthy, as this soundtrack was created, in my opinion, right around the peak the synthesized game music era. From here, the industry turned more toward the idea of realism.

Yoshi's Island OSV is only 36 minutes long. It's not *really* all that short, but not long, either, compared to other OSVs of today. Now, I'm not saying that the shortness is a bad thing. In fact, I really don't think it negatively affects this soundtrack at all. It manages to cover a wide variety of styles on a short amount of time. Is that a good thing? I, for one, love it.

Most of us are familiar with Koji Kondo, the primary composer of Nintendo's video game music. This is the epitome of the turning point in his own compositional journey: bleep-blips (Super Mario World OSV) to less synthy, more orchestral arrangements (Zelda 64 OSV). Most of the music follows Kondo's format, with a couple of obvious exceptions. What do I mean by "Kondo's Format"? Well, if you listen to his songs as much as I do, you notice the following things:

1) His music generally has three parts (bass, melody, and accompaniment), with some trills or short instrumental solos throughout. 2) There are simple yet long, non-repetitive chord progressions. 3) The main melody is, strangely enough, not the part that sticks out in your head at the end of his songs. What do I mean? Listen to track 13, "Athletic". For me, the clarinet accompaniment in the background is the most memorable. 4) In his earlier OSVs (including this one) chords are an integral part of the melody.

This formula has worked for Mr. Kondo as most can see, and is incredibly apparent throughout the OSV.

There are a couple of songs that use the pyramid scheme, as I like to call it. They start out with one instrument playing a simple melody. Then, every couple of phrases, a new instrument/percussion beat/accompaniment is added to the song. I, for one, like this idea, but I'm glad it wasn't used excessively.

Don't get the impression that the tracks are "cutesy", like Yoshi's Story for N64. The songs are catchy, with recognizable, memorable two or four measure phrases. This is the reason why none of these songs would orchestrate too well - it would simply clash with the upbeat, happy-ish theme.

I guess it boils down to this: if you've played through the game, get it for old time's sake. If you're a fan of Kondo, get it, as this is 100-percent him. If not, you should still consider checking it out, especially if you generally like this kind of music.

More from 1995