I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Akihiko Matsumoto -- Odoru Dai Sosasen Soundtrack

Well, a year after its debut on the big screen in Japan, the final chapter of the long-running "Odoru Dai Sosasen"(踊る大捜査線) is finally making its way to TV Japan tomorrow night. So, on that note, it was time to go over the original first soundtrack for the 1997 TV series by Akihiko Matsumoto(松本晃彦) to complement my article on the famous theme song.

I didn't find out about the series until it was basically over. But catching it in reruns in the afternoon made me appreciate not only the show with Yuji Oda and Toshiro Yanagiba, but also the techno-influenced soundtrack by Matsumoto. I did end up getting that original CD along with a couple of more albums from the movies. Just like Toshifumi Hinata's(日向敏文)classic soundtrack for another Yuji Oda series, "Tokyo Love Story", "Odoru Dai Sosasen" (aka Bayside Shakedown) also has some very recognizably strong themes. Unfortunately, it was actually a bit more difficult than expected to track some of these on YouTube, but I managed to glean a few. The above video contains the music for the original TV series including the dance version of "CX".

"CX" is the theme for the institution that is supposed to serve and protect, and has that officious heroes-in-everyday-action march feeling to it. The dance version, which also popped up throughout the franchise, is the one placed in the original soundtrack CD, though.

Track 7 is "G-Groove", which fits in hand-in-glove with Yanagiba's character of the stiff-necked Inspector Muroi, just like "The Imperial March" does with Darth Vader. With all that thunder and guitar pounding the ears, one just knows that there's gonna be trouble when Muroi comes into the Bayside Precinct.

Then there is the mysterious "Moonlight" which pops up whenever something is afoot while Aoshima and his motley gang of cops are investigating some malfeasance in their zone of Odaiba.

This track doesn't actually exist on the original soundtrack but I decided to put it up anyways. It's "Kiki Ippatsu" (危機一髪....Critical Moment), and just like it's title, the timpani signal some major action about to take place.

(from 00:36)

The above video is "Otoboke", the theme song for The Three Amigos, namely the three sycophantic senior officers who denigrate the real good guys while sucking up to the superior suits whenever they invade Bayside. It kinda reminds me of a goofier cousin to "El Condor Pasa".

Actually, the one track that I couldn't find but wish I could've put up here with its fellow tracks is "Ding Dong". Used in the more comically frenetic scenes of the show, the original version on the soundtrack has a certain Mexican cachet just like the main theme with a trumpet going on like a mariachi band. There is another version of the track used in the very first movie of "Odoru Dai Sosasen" which takes on the larger atmosphere of the Rio Carnival.

Well, there is one more track that would've made a nice addition. I find that in a lot of J-Dramas and anime, there will always be some version, orchestral or otherwise, of the opening or ending theme. The original soundtrack has the "Sweet Love Version" of "Love Somebody", the Yuji Oda-sung ending theme for the franchise. The jazzy sax in there makes this version something to be played in a bar in one of the hotels that the Bayside Precinct would be protecting in Odaiba.

In any case, I guess I managed to get a nice sample of songs from the Matsumoto soundtrack after all. I've enjoyed listening to it since he just throws out a variety of tracks that don't seem to take themselves too, too seriously....kinda like the show at times, and the album cover.

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