Battle of the Planets first aired on British TV sets
in 1978. It originally started out in 1972 as a Japanese anime
series known as Gatchaman. Modified for Western audiences,
the show, which was also known as G-Force, mixed snippets
of the original Japanese series with new material to tell
the story of five transmuting orphans, and their guardian
robot, as they fought evil aliens in an intergalactic battle...
two CD digipack set contains almost two hours worth of music
from the cult animated TV series Battle of the Planets.
I have to admit that when I first heard that this album was
going to be released I was really excited - a bit like when
I heard that the episodes were going to be coming out on DVD.
I started listening to this soundtrack and soon realised that
the anticipation had been more exciting than the finished
product. The opening theme and 7-Zark-7's theme where about
all that I instantly remembered from being an eight year old
glued to the television set every Saturday morning.
were too many tracks that featured the (oh, so dated) inclusion
of 'wacca-wacca' guitar rifs. So, I only listened to a couple
of tracks and then decided that I couldn't stomach any more
and put it aside for a few days.
when I put the album on again, apart from the 'wacca-wacca'
tracks, I really enjoyed the music that was included. There
is such a diverse range of tracks here. From pounding drum
based anthems (Fighter G) to battle music (Space
Chase) to mild, mellow tracks (Red Illusion), and
suspenseful scores (Countdown).
was also interesting to learn, thanks to the enclosed 16 page
booklet, that Bob Sakuma wrote and recorded the original music
for Gatchaman in less than ten days. In fact, the music
that would eventually support the show for over 100 episodes
was recorded in just five hours.
Curtin's additional work, that would help supplement Sakuma's
original score, only took 10 days to compose. However, the
entire music library for the project was still not complete
as the first episodes of Battle of the Planets began
to air to a Western audience.
music is split into two CDs. The first includes Curtin's music
and the second showcases Sakuma's. I
was confused as to why Curtin seems to get top billing here
(both on the front of the CD and in the booklet). While I'm
sure most people will remember the theme for Battle of
the Planets, all Curtin really did was take numerous cues,
and expand on them, from Sakuma - at least that's how it seems
listening to these tracks.
is (with the exception of the Battle of the Planets
main theme) Sakuma's work that has aged more gracefully. Curtin's
score is certainly a product of its time and, in places, seems
all of us that grew up on Battle of the Planets, eagerly
anticipating each episode at the weekend, this album is a
great way to recapture some of our youth. It certainly puts
work on some of the more modern kid's shows to shame.
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