Looks like I'll have to get the ball rolling on this one too. That's okay; if there's anything I like better than listening to music, it's raving about it.:D
To save myself some typing:
And the band...Quote:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Besides the three original soundtracks, Cowboy Bebop, No Disc and Blue, there is a mini-album, Vitaminless, and a greatest-hits collection, TANK! The! Best!. The remix compilation, Music for Freelance, purports to be a broadcast from the pirate radio station Radio Free Mars. Finally, there is a 4 CD box set, which includes a variety of tracks from the first original soundtracks, as well as rare/new/live in concert versions of certain songs and dialogue tracks from the Japanese version of the show.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Seatbelts (also known as SEATBELTS) is a Japanese blues/jazz band led by composer and instrumentalist Yoko Kanno. The name of the band, according to the fictional description given in the Japanese anime Cowboy Bebop, derives from how the performers wear seatbelts to be safe while they play hardcore jam sessions.
The band performed the whole soundtrack of the anime series Cowboy Bebop and produced a total of seven albums and one live DVD. Their style is very diverse and ranges from a straightforward big band jazz to rock 'n roll ballads.
Since the band is focused mostly on instrumental work, The Seatbelts have no lead singer. But Steve Conte (from The Contes and Crown Jewels) and Mai Yamane participate and sing in many of their songs. The lyrics of these songs are written mainly by Tim Jensen and Yoko Kanno herself. Singers Soichiro Otsuka and Gabriela Robin (rumored to be a pseudonym for Kanno) are responsible for the back vocals on songs such as "Blue".
The music in Cowboy Bebop fits perfectly the overall feel and theme; what else would you expect from an anime with episodes named after songs, lyrics, or musical genres? Yoko Kanno creates a work that could stand on its own even without the anime. Jazz and blues, rock, and even soft, sad torch songs, are played with just the right amount of enthusiasm or melancholy.
These are some of my favorites from the 4-disc boxed set:
The opening theme and one of the best songs ever. Funky bass plays over a deep male voice in the beginning (3,2,1 Let's Jam!), and then explodes into a jazz-meets-swing pace. Like being in a speakeasy at the high point of the night (usually 2 a.m.). The box set has the T.V. edit and a full live version.
Played during the Spike's fight scene with Asimov in the first episode, this song is on the same level as "Tank!"; quick-paced, and focused on the horn section. Unfortunately, the box set does not have the same song that was played in the episode, but a mellower version called "NY Rush". Still pretty good though not nearly as energetic.
An odd song played in ep 5, "Ballad of Fallen Angels", while Spike is falling out of a cathedral window after a fight with Vicious, and having flashbacks to his past. It's reminiscent of "Bells are Ringing" in that it's sung in rounds with a very simple piano melody. Gabriela Robin does vocals, which are either in French or gibberish. Hauntingly pretty, once you hear it, it just sticks in your head.
"Adeiu (Long Version)"
Imagine a woman draped over a piano in a smoky bar, and you pretty much have the feel of this song. Emily Bindiger's vocals are perfect here; soft and sweet, with more than a hint of sadness. The short version is "Memory", a music-box song that plays over the next episode scenes for the last episode.
"The Singing Sea II"
This one took some getting used to, but now I play it at least two or three times in a row before moving on to the next song. Tulivu-Donna Comberbatch's voice seems to be an aquired taste; deep and warbling, but with a definite feminine quality. This song is more blues than jazz, but has a great sax solo in the middle.
On disc #4 of the set (which contains live versions of the more popular songs), this piece is actually a mix of several songs-"Farewell Blues","Piano Black", a Tori Amos-like song I didn't recognize,"Green Bird", and "Piano Bar I" played live by a sole pianist (hence the title). Due to the nature of songs contained in it, "piano solo" switches tempos and moods, and although it doesn't always flow seamlessly from one song to the next-"Green Bird" and "Piano Bar I" are too different to blend into one another without pause-the overall result is a piece that one could really relax to.
I can't believe I almost forgot this one, it's the song played by my namesake! This is but one version of the song Gren plays in the bar on Callisto, and I think it's the longer version of the one actually played in the episode ("Jupiter Jazz, Pt. 1"). Fully instrumental, this sax and piano song is fairly simple, but quite expressive; it really does sound like the musical equivalent of saying goodnight to someone you care about (maybe even goodbye?). Other versions are "Space Lion" (much longer, no piano, but some synthesized sounds and a weird tribal thing going on near the end) and "Space Lion (Orgel Version)"(a xylophone, I think, and about the same length as "Goodnight Julia")
Okay, I'm tired of typing, so it's time for someone else to take over!