Like gears in rain…

Wahh! Today my heart aches for us all. Because ultimately everything will be lost. Every last damned beautiful thing. “Like tears in rain.”

Why do I bring this up, do you ask? What is the context? There is none.

Maybe it’s ‘coz I was playing Top Gear the other day on my friend’s Super Nintendo, and I realized for the first time that the soundtrack is charming as all hell, despite the fact that the game came out like 16 years ago. And I almost missed it completely!

Glory days I nearly missed

It’s a good thing I’m a poor, sorry sumbitch because I go through obsessive phases during which I scour the landscape of ebay with a pile of cash in hand, looking for old-school videogames that I loved or missed or read about in old issues of Game Players (Which reminds me, when the hell am I going to get around to scanning my old GP mags?! Time, it is simply not there, I tell you what!). For instance, a few years back I made the jump and finally secured a copy of the Arc the Lad trilogy boxset for PSone. It was worth every penny, and the collection is so long I didn’t even finish the whole thing! *Chaos holds his head in shame*

I also got a bunch of now classic stuff: old Squaresoft releases from SNES and PSone, the Lufia games on SNES, the Lunar box-set* re-releases for PSone. The thing is, I’m not some avid collector. I don’t like to hoard stuff. Not even love or power or life or music. I only buy games that are really solid games: they meet a classic aesthetic pinnacle of console videogaming, possess a significant factor of charm or inspiration, and have great stories, characters, music and/or environments. ‘Course, everyone says those are their standards, so whatev. But examples of my taste includes the above and anything I’ve discussed on this blog (though there are exceptions).

Alas, the only reason I am hesitant to lend my stuff out is because people just rarely take good care of things. Lending things out is a sure way to degrade their quality as soon as possible. I think a lot of this process is a result of the transport of the possession in question, but… ah, it pains my heart to see delicate rare copies of old video-games dilapidate because I’m lending them out to people who lead aesthetically disheveled lives or habits.

But don’t judge! I swear I’m not some crusty nobleman with a library. Plus this is all besides my intended point: to praise the Top Gear soundtrack!

When I hear the “Las Vegas” theme I feel like a kid going to a party or gathering with peers, but I just can’t get there fast enough. Even though I know I’ll be there soon, I’m still just too slow. Given my emotional analysis of the song, it’s funny in context that the track is called “Las Vegas”, since I can never get away from Las Vegas fast enough…

Barry Leitch – Las Vegas – Top Gear OST

And what about the track “Frankfurt”? Dude, that does not remind me of Germany or Frankfurt (although some of the aesthetic sound choices, and the borderline melancholy could perhaps be compared to newer Ulrich Schnauss?). It might as well have been titled, “Freedom of the Spheres” or a similarly themed title about spiritual infinity. But I guess it’s a good thing they didn’t do that, since that would’ve been dumb.

Barry Leitch – Frankfurt – Top Gear OST

The soundtrack here was composed by a guy called Barry Leitch. You can check out his resume and a list of all the games he’s done work for on his website. Pretty impressive stuff, although I notice a lot of his things are movie-to-game releases from the ’90s. I was surprised to see he did the soundtrack to the Commodore 64 Double Dragon and Silk Worm. Also, his Eeek! the Cat and Lethal Weapon 3 soundtracks are rather charming and interesting. I don’t think Top Gear is his most complicated or rewarding work. But it was an extremely early SNES release and the arpeggiation here would have blown my mind like 10 years ago. Plus, racing games these days all have lousy music: smooth jazzy store music or boring grimy heavy metal. Boo! Boo-urns!

As per usual, get the whole thing at the SNES Music Archive.


*Speaking of the Lunar games and the Arc the Lad set: you know what’s a serious internet crime? A callous, careless decision on behalf of whomever has done it? The failure to archive the old Working Designs website; the forums and in particular, the writings of the RPG Critic. That’s one of those things that really puts me in an emotional tailspin sometimes. It’s an illogical conundrum that causes blackout and high levels of emotional jade.

But I’ll rant about that later. When I got the juice.


~ by chaosrexmachinae on May 8, 2008.

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