The soundtrack to classic Super Nintendo Entertainment System Mother 2 gets a vinyl release (and indeed a non-Japanese release) for the first time ever. Hirokazu Tanaka and Keiichi Suzuki worked wonders with the limited range of the SNES chips, producing bold tunes that still delight today. Deluxe double LP from Ship To Shore PhonoCo., including proper Japanese obi strip.
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9/10 Tom Customer review, 17th May 2018
If you've never played the Super Nintendo RPG Mother 2 (released as Earthbound in the rest of the world) you have missed out on one of the greatest (and weirdest) video game experiences of all time. More importantly, you've also missed out on one of the catchiest original soundtracks of all time too.
Released in Japan in 1994 and the rest of the world in 1995, Mother 2 is the charming but bizarre story of a boy named Ness who must travel the world to collect 8 melodies in order to defeat a group of evil aliens. It's a funny story of childhood adventure full of strange, quirky characters set in a world which is best described as small-town America as seen through the eye of a Japanese kaleidoscope.
The soundtrack is truly befitting of this unusual premise. Composed by Hirokazu Tanaka & Keiichi Suzuki, the music of Mother 2 spans multiple genres; rock and pop melodies give way to lounge jazz; big band numbers segue into chilled out reggae and dub. The composers were heavily inspired by the Beach Boys, John Lennon and Frank Zappa which is apparent throughout – pop melodies are given subversive, psychedelic twists. This was supposedly the first video game soundtrack to make extensive use of vibrato and this gives many of the songs a woozy, dreamlike feel which marries with the overall experience of the game perfectly. If you've ever heard Aphex Twin's unreleased classic Melodies from Mars (which coincidentally was released the same year that Earthbound made its way to the UK) you'll definitely hear some parallels.
Now regarded as a classic, Mother 2 wasn’t always easy to get hold of and so it’s still somewhat underappreciated and underexplored, but this double LP is the perfect introduction to Ness’ weird and wacky world.
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