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Game Music Revue: Toy Music – Dancing Super Mario Brothers

  • Credited Performer: Akihabara Electric Circus
  • Released September 15, 1988
  • Label: Eastworld/Toshiba
  • VGMdb Information Page

In 1988 a group by the name of Akiharbara Electric Circus released two arranged game music albums. One featured nothing but reworked version of music from Super Mario Bros. 3. It’s a weird record.

The other is this, Toy Music: Dancing Super Mario Bros.

It’s fucking batshit. Continue reading

A Visit to Game On – A Gaming Museum Exhibit

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Game On is a touring exhibition designed to chronicle the history of video games, and ask why they have continued to endure as a medium for so long. It started in 2002 in the Barbican Center in the UK in 2002 and has since found its way to several cities across the globe.

Now, the exhibition has finally made its way to Tokyo, debuting at the Miraikan (a science museum) earlier this month. It’s actually kind of amazing that it’s taken this long for the exhibition to come to Japan when you consider just how much the history of video games is tied to Japan and Japanese companies.

While Japan didn’t invent the video game, companies like Nintendo and Sega certainly helped perfect it, and without them the gaming landscape would look drastically different than it does today. Gaming, especially home gaming, had nearly died in the the early 80s thanks to Atari glutting the market with countless pieces of shovelware, and it wasn’t until Nintendo released the Americanized version of the Famicom hardware, dubbed the Nintendo Entertainment System, that the gaming market would be revitalized, sowing the seeds for the juggernaut is it now today.

That is just one of many facts you won’t find at Game On. Continue reading

New Order: Music Complete Box Review

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This is not a review of a box set. This is not a music review. This is not even an audiophile review judging the audio quality of a product.

This is a review of a box.

Yes. Just a box. Nothing else. Because I feel this box is a box worth talking about.

Now, for an object like a box to merit a full-length review, it must obviously be exceptional in some way. Either it’s exceptionally good, or exceptionally bad.

I am not known for being a positive person, so I can assume you know where this is going. Continue reading

The Complete Guide to Madonna Remixes – Part 2

Part one of this guide was difficult because of the multitude of rarities and exceptions. Some mixes were only on the LP version of an album, others were exclusive to digital and CD releases. And of course some were on original pressings of records only to be replaced later on with different versions. Keeping track of all of it was incredibly confusing. It was a difficulty due to complexity.

Part two proved to be difficult due to scale. Madonna was active during the entirety of the 90s, which means more songs. Not only that, the 90s were the golden age of the dance remix. In the 80s, most of her songs got half a dozen remixes at most. In the 90s, some got well over a dozen, and sometimes those mixes themselves were remixed into single edits, many of which were exclusive to radio promos and test pressings.

Basically what I’m saying is that this list was hella hard. So if I missed something I wouldn’t be surprise. As always, let me know (kindly) in the comments!

Part three will cover the 2000s. But don’t expect it until December.

“Keep It Together” (1990)

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Album Version [5:03] – Available on Like A Prayer.
12″ Remix [7:50] – On most 12″ and CD singles.
12″ Extended Mix [7:20] – On most 12″ and CD singles.
12″ Mix [6:50] – On most 12″ and CD singles.
Bonus Beats [3:27] – On most 12″ singles and the Australian and Japanese maxi-singles.
Dub version [7:00] – On most 12″ singles and the Australian and Japanese maxi-singles.
Instrumental [5:52] – On most 12″ and CD singles.
Single Remix [4:32]  – On nearly all 7″ singles and most 12″ and CD singles. Continue reading

Record Store Review: Vatican City Vinyl

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Florida.

I used to hate Florida. The voting public of Florida are primarily responsible for pretty much every horrible thing that’s happened to America since the turn of the millennium after all. It’s fair to say that they started it.

But I’ve mellowed on my opinion of the sunshine state a very slight bit, thanks in part to my recent visit there, where I discovered a wonderful little record store by the name of Vatican City Vinyl. Located on 404 South Washington Blvd. in the heart of Sarasota, the store opened in 2013 and, as of this writing, remains the only record store in the entire city.

So yeah, no pressure for it to be awesome or anything. Continue reading

I Am Literally Big In Japan

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Earlier today I was sitting in my new apartment in Tokyo, steaming my suits and listening to Yes when I realized that my life has taken some pretty unexpected turns as of late.

I mean, I never thought I’d be listening to Yes.

Seriously though,  just six months ago I was an underemployed bum slacking off with various lazy writing jobs and with almost no ambition or drive to really do anything – working from home and sitting in front of a computer, barely talking to anyone in the outside world all day. Tomorrow I have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and put on a suit for my first day at “the office!” I would have never imagined I would be doing anything remotely like that, let alone looking forward to it.

My point is that things change. In the past year I’ve changed, my life has changed, and now this site is going to change.

When I started this site a few months back, my goal was to have it be something dedicated to covering everything I like – which is mostly retro (see what I did there?) games, music and movies. But I just don’t have the time to do that anymore, nor the drive. Let’s be honest, this site pretty much became “audiophile nerd review weekly” within just a few months time anyways, and while I’m hopefully going to continue to write those types of reviews, I think it’s time to expand my horizons.

From this point forward, Mostly-Retro is going to be more of a personal blog recounting my experiences, lessons and adventures living in Japan. As it’s MY personal blog, it’s probably going to have a heavy pop culture focus, with plenty of reviews, but don’t be surprised to read a lengthy post about something like walking around Shibuya, the perils of Japanese apartments, or the highs and lows of being a six and a half foot tall giant living in a country populated with exceptionally tiny people.

Anyways, I hope it will be interesting! Both for you and me, and expect more content here coming soon!

My Weirdest Record: Hey Everyone! Let’s All Interview David Bowie!

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I have quite a few interview albums, but this one is pretty unique.

First, a backstory on interview LPs. You have to understand that 99% of these were never meant to be released to the public. Instead, they were given out to radio stations, that were then encouraged to play them as if they were live interviews or pre-taped segments. They were frequently called “programming aids” although a more apt title would have been “blatant commercials.”

Continue reading

CD Review: The Warriors Limited Edition Soundtrack

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When soundtrack to The Warriors was originally released, fans of the movie were kind of getting a bum deal. That’s because while it did include all the original songs that were composed for the film, it only featured a brief eight minutes of the movie’s iconic score, spread out across three short tracks. For a film with such a memorable and unique original score, it always seemed like a missed opportunity.

Thankfully, after 30+ years, La La Land Records have stepped up to fix this historic oversight with their new limited edition re-issue of The Warriors soundtrack. This new expanded and remastered edition features the original soundtrack album in its entirety, as well as the complete original score, with some unreleased material thrown in for good measure.

It kicks ass.

Continue reading

Ryan Davis: 1979-2013

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Rest in peace duder. I hope there are plenty of stupid movies on laserdiscs wherever you are.

Sony Wins

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