Sunday, 10 June 2012

Healthy Listening Month: Music to Move By Part 2

Special Thanks to Morgan Meryl for the title card. For commissions check out her dA page.

Last week I started the top 20 songs to move to and now it is time to finish said list. Hope you enjoy.

10: Storm Eagle's Theme ~ Mega Man X Team.

There is something special about the team of composers that Capcom had in it's employ back in the 16 and 32 bit era. They have crafted several fantastic albums over the course of the SNES, Genesis and Ps1 era. From the stuff you hear on the game itself to OCRemiX albums to even fan bands, the Capcom composing team have created something special.

Storm Eagle's Theme is one of the first songs you hear on Mega Man X. Instead of a calm melodies it gives the feeling of rock band mixed with synths. Where some songs have peaks and valley, Storm Eagle keeps increasing in energy. It is a testament to the talent at Capcom where they can craft memorable and enjoyable songs.

I had a lot to choose from when I was going through my list, but Storm Eagle stuck out. It is a song that made me want to fight on. It is enjoyable and has a good energy to it. If this is my number 10, then the list can only get better.

9: Flying Heaven ~ Zircon (Street Fighter II Turbo)

I have a special fondness for the Hong Kong martial arts flick. The dub's are as cheesy as hell but they are incredibly fun. The music is also fun because it adds a sense of gravity to the scene. It helps get the audience's attention. These sorts of songs are played everywhere in the movies. From a small, out of the way dojo, to the manor of the corrupt businessman to even down to street level where the most hardened fighters must win to survive.

Flying Heaven, the remix of Fei Long's stage by zircon is a fine example of a classic Hong Kong Fu battle theme and giving it a modern twist. In between the heavy synth and techno sounds lies soft wood winds, making it feel like when a back alley brawl breaks out, this song will be first played. It's a high energy beat and well worth it's spot.

8: Beam-sabre Beat ver 2.0 ~ Darkesword (Mega Man X2)

When I played Mega Man X and I saw Zero for the first time, I thought he was the coolest character of all time. Of course as I got older I saw the flaws in my thoughts, but none the less, I still thought, and still do, Zero is one of the more interesting characters in the Mega Man series.

What makes Beam-sabre Beat a good tune is not just the remixed tune, but what Darksworde had added to the song. Instead of being a basic remix, he has added element's like him speaking as Zero in Japanese, and using several sound effects from the game. It makes the song better and sound more natural.

7: Venice Rooftops ~ Jesper Kyd

A couple months ago, I did an article on the Assassin's Creed II soundtrack and my thoughts still haven't changed. The soundtrack is great and Venice Rooftops still sticks out as the highlight of the album. I feel I would be re-hashing my own work so I will keep it simple.

It starts off slow, which is a good thing and eases you into the song before it speeds up. When it does kick into high gear, it doesn't stop. To those who are more influenced, it makes you believe that you too can climb over buildings like a Renaissance Ninja. It is a great song and a perfect addition to your play-list.

6: Gideon's Wrath Pt 1 and Pt 2 ~ Anamanaguchi (Scott Pilgrim)

I know I am technically cheating here, but these 2 songs belong together. One is a song of facing off against a godlike being, the other is taking on your rival in a no holds barred beat down. The kind of music you would hear when you are working out. They are both high energy beats and don't know when to stop. Very helpful when one is working out.

Like Venice Rooftop's, I have nothing new to add to this. It is a good track to play when you are working out. It is chiptunes at it's finest.

5: Cid's Theme ~ Phil Harmonic (Megaran: Black Materia)

Of all the tracks on the Final Fantasy VII album, Cid's Theme probably lends itself best to be the underlay of a rap beat. Phil Harmonic does an excellent job with this track, even it is less then 2 minutes long. It is a song that seems to exude determination and stubbornness. Much like the cranky pilot himself.

I do wish the song was longer, but I am not going to knock it because it is short. It does its job and does it well.

4: ...Is About to Explode ~ AKIRA (Adam WarRock)

I am not sure why this song is on the list. It is such a stark difference from the other songs I have covered on this article. Where the other songs are about hope, determination and perseverance, Is About to Explode by Adam WarRock is more or less the opposite. It is about war and destruction and the futility of of existence.

What sets this song is it's beat. This is a beat that makes people want to get out onto the dance floor and dance. About to Explode is more of a club song. Something you would dance to with a group of people. Given the subject of the song, this is a perfect fit. If the world is going to go to hell, might as well have fun.

3: Light up the Night ~ The Protomen

Maybe we can bring back the light...

Coming in at number 3 is Light up the Night by the Protomen. This is song starts off racing right at the start. This is a great track because it is about bringing back hope to the people of the city. Another, albeit more cheesy reason why I like this song because it feels like it belongs in a 80's action movie as the musical overlay of a montage.

What makes this song special is that the people of the city is now fed up by the rule of Wily and his robots. Hope once again burns in the hearts of the people and they are ready to take back their homes. This is such an awesome song and brings about so much positive energy that you can't help but move. Be it running, walking, dancing anything, this is a song that moves you both emotionally and physically.

2: Song of the Dragonborn ~ Jeremy Soule

Ahk fin norok paal graan fod nust hon zindro zaan;

Late last year, Bethesda released a small game called Skyrim. I don't know how it did in the sales, but one of it's lasting impacts on the gaming world, aside from the huge ever changing world, dynamic story and painfully gorgeous graphics was a song. Song of the Dragonborn.

This is no ordinary tune. This is a Opera song wrapped as a folk ballad. Like Wagner's Flight of the Valkeryes, or one of the Nordic Eddas, this song tells tales of epic battles and mortals uniting under a common banner against a greater foe. If there was ever a song to make you take up arms and fight along side your fellow man, this is your song. This is no a normal song, this is anthem of unity.

I absolutely love this song. I hate using the word, but to sum it up in a single word. It is epic. But what could top it?

1: Mortal Kombat Main Theme ~ Oliver Adams, The Immortals

Choose your destiny. Flawless Victory.

How about the original fighting theme. This song is engrained in our psyche as the go to theme for Mortal Kombat. It is so important that for every subsequent game, there would be a new remix of this song. The song first appeared in TV ads for the game, but didn't gain fame until the release of the movie back in 1995.

What makes this song so special? Is it the feeling of nostalgia of playing the game and watching Sub-Zero rip Kano's head off for the first time? Or is it because you remember sneaking into the movie when you were 10 years old. Everyone has a special memory of this song and I think it is that memory is what makes this song so special.

Unlike other songs I have listed here, this is the ultimate workout song. There is no feeling of hope or determination. It just makes you believe you are the next winner of the Outworld Tournament. With a high energy techno beat it can make anyone believe that they will become the next Liu Kang. This is a great song and a must have on any workout play list.

These songs I have listed are merely suggestions. Their are hundreds of other songs you can choose from if you so wish. If you find energy from other songs, feel free to use them, as long as they help you.

Next week, we will be taking a break from physical development and start working on the emotional side of things. Until next time, this is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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