WARNING: Long-ass post coming up! I love ranting about this album.
Definitely have you to thank for introducing me to these guys.
Glad to be of service! Passing on great stuff like this to someone else who appreciates it is it's own reward.
Your line-up was pretty nice as well. The album is pretty flexible and allows for many different combinations that work well, since all of the material is so strong.
I left Dragon Warrior and Duck Hunt together as is, because the boys' quips at the end and beginning of each track respectively seemed to flow into something of a singular conversation
Exactly my thought with putting Guerrilla War right before Duck Hunt! After listening to the tracks in that order so many times, it sounds like they're engaging in some playful banter a few seconds after Guerrilla War finishes, then start playing Duck Hunt immediately. It fits so well together when you hear it.
Hey, at least we both agreed Zelda II should end the album.
Actually, I'm not sure if you did it intentionally or not, but I appreciate the 'come full circle' mentality of placing Mega Man II as the very first track, and then Zelda II as the last. The MM2 trademark "Dead!" phrase makes a nifty album finisher as the final spoken word in Zelda II. ^_^
Yeah, Zelda 2 is a great finisher. When the track first came out, I thought it was a pretty weak effort for them, but it grew on me, and now I just love it. Like Mak pointed out above, the schizoid lyrical switches between BrandO "playing the game" and Link narrating his adventures is just ingenious. And it works well at the end of the album since its a fairly long song (I like the finishing number to be lengthy), and the final rap battle between Link and Link's Shadow is such an epic conclusion with a fierce and great performance by both guys.
And yep, putting Mega Man 2 first and Zelda 2 last was indeed intentional. The Dead! part at the very end creates a great throw-back to the opening song, and when I've got the album on repeat and MM2 comes up immediately after it creates a feeling of "OK, let's take it for just one more spin!" The two book-ends are also very symmetrical, MM2 being 6:42 and Zelda 2 being 6:43. It just seems so fitting.
If I'm to sum up the reasoning behind my line-up, it goes like this:
I started with MM2, because it was the first song by them I found and fell in love with (I guess that goes for most people, it seems to be their most popular number). MM2 is in many ways their quintessential hit, incorporating most of the elements that make the album so good. As I've discovered their other stuff and completely overdosed on MM2, that track kind of fell into the background, but its still a great opener, the first fast-paced section introducing the story just screams "Let's go!" I decided to keep up the tempo a bit with Bomberman after MM2, its a short and very intense song (the profanity-count is high in this one even by DnB standards!). Then I decided to slow things down a bit and get more serious with Castlevania, and Kung Fu's short and sweet interlude builds a fine bridge to the savage assault of Ninja Gaiden (seriously, the new remixed/remastered version is so freakin' intense and epic! Motherfucker I'm dangerous, spontaneous. And there ain't nobody gonna handle this. I don't give a f---, man I'm serious. Shit, I'm outraged and I'm furious! ). Ninja Gaiden and Mario 1 flow into each other great, since NG finishes with a NES-synth fanfare and SMB1 begins with one, it just fits so well. Metroid and Battletoads are both intense, and the short-song-medium-song placements forms a upward staircase to the 10-minute rap-opera of Final Fantasy. FF is more like a journey than a song with many calmer parts, so the short and intense bursts of Guerrilla War and Duck Hunt (joined together by banter, as mentioned above) work wonders to get the adrenaline pumping again.
I decided to put Sonic at mid-point in the album (track 12) for a number of reasons: 1. to honour the only Sega song on the album by having it open one of the LP's "sides", 2. like MM2, its a long song, incorporating many of the themes and characters from the games, so both MM2 and Sonic feel like good "panoramic" introductions, and 3. the songs have similar feels, the main characters have the same attitude, they both have abused and submissive side-kicks (Roll and Tails), both are fighting evil "doctors" (Wily and Robotnik), so they seem like two sides of the same coin, and 4. one is headlined by Duane (Mega) and the other by BrandO (Sonic), so its fitting that they each get to open a section of the LP as main characters. I put Zelda 1 after Sonic mainly because I wanted some distance between it and Zelda 2 (like with Mario 1 and 2, it crates the impression that "some time has passed" and its time to embark on an adventure again, hehe). After Zelda 1, I decided to put in some intense action with Double Dragon and Punch-Out! back-to-back, two of their arguably best-crafted and most intense songs. I love how they end up fighting each other at the end of both DD and P-O, so it just seemed fitting to put them side-by-side to create one of the fiercer portions of the album. After the brutal fighting games, Mario 2 (I'm back in this bitch, throwin' turnips and shit. This ain't no 'Doki Doki Panic', deal with it. It's Super Mario, in the motherfuckin' house. Gonna blast the sunglasses off that bomb-throwin' mouse. ) and Little Nemo calms things down a bit with their lighter atmospheres, Pac-man picks up the pace again while still keeping the mood playful, Dragon Warrior slows down the pace a bit again before we get plunged into the heaviness of Cheetahmen 2. Tetris with it's shorter track-length and weird, nonsensical mood provides the final bridge between two longer pieces, and Zelda 2 finally finishes things off with an epic grand finale. The last minute of Zelda 2 with the slow ending music from the game seems almost like a "credits roll" for the entire album, and the I am Error, I've got nothing to say-Dead! bit is the perfect teleportation-point back to the beginning with Mega Man 2. The circle is complete!
......................Yes, I'm a complete nerd, fan-boy, and bitch for this album, can you tell?
I was just made aware that Final Fantasy's Matoya was played by BrandO's mother. With his sister Ally and his brother Jordan also having contributed to the project, that's one seriously cool family effort.
Yeah. I loved the dopey interpretation of Matoya, and Ally as Samus Aran was just awesome (SO MUCH better with a female vocalist than having Duane do the track from a third-person perspective!). Ally is quite talented, one of my dream choices if they ever get back together again is an epic Phantasy Star 1 track with Ally as Alis. That would blow my socks right off.
Oh, and Cheetahmen II ROCKS. Gotta admit it was a game I didn't even know existed before hearing it.
Yeah, an odd choice, but I'm glad they made it. Another obscure NES gem that they picked is Guerrilla War, great game with an awesome chiptune soundtrack, a download of the NSF-file is highly recommended by me.
I see you're gangster. I'm pretty gangster myself.
Jimmy Lee and I'm bad for your health.
Selflessly devoted member of the f--- You Club.
Clubbin' you like a baby seal and cuttin' you up in the tub.