Review: "Tell me what CD to buy!!!"

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:58 pm

  • One of the things I've always had to deal with in my decades of Yamato /Star Blazers fandom is dealing with questions regarding the outstanding music from the show. I've always been happy to help folks, and I figure in this new digital age there are new fans with the same old questions. I propose to write a series of essays to help those questions and maybe try to answer the inevitable new questions that my words will likely generate. Am I an EXPERT on music? Oh heck no. I just like to listen. Others can likely spout off song titles or track titles or artists at the drop of a hat. Not me. But I CAN point out how score (a) on (CD Z) is a variation on score (d) from (CD X) :)

    So, let us begin.

    COMMON QUESTION #1: "Where can I download Star Blazers music for free?"

    Answer: I don't know. I wouldn't promote that concept. Given the vast depth of the Internet I'm sure SOMEWHERE out there somebody has spent thousands of Dollars on CDs so you can steal it. I'll probably need to do an essay on the razor-fine difference in the ethics of 'sharing' back in the old days and digital theft.

    But that question does lead to a particular harsh truth. Buying CDs from Japan is just stupid crazy expensive. Shipping is horrible. The Dollar/Yen exchange rate is pretty bad lately-not as bad as 87 Yen to the Dollar that was a recent nightmare but nowhere near that early '80s 'sweet spot' of 250 Yen to the Dollar. And of course the simple basic truth that stuff in Japan just plain costs more. (discussion of this will require an essay all on its own.)

    And money is not infinite. I understand that. Lord knows I'm not swimming in cash. Buying Japanese CDs is clearly a luxury, so if they are desired choices will need to be made.

    One choice now available is ditch physical media and buy the music from iTunes. I'm not at all in favor of 'owning' a digital ghost, one that can be erased from your computer on the whim of the studio/owner, but that's an entirely different discussion. iTunes is currently offering 15 of the 'Yamato Sound Almanac' releases for only $9.99 each and that's a fairly decent deal. You have to put up with the odd 'global replacement' of 'Argo' for 'Yamato' but really, that's something you can correct once you have it on your iTunes.

    I had a difficult time accessing the iTunes store, as you needed a credit card to set up an account EVEN IF YOU DON'T PLAN TO BUY ANYTHING. But then they changed some rules and you can start an account with an iTunes gift card. It may be worth investing a few Dollars in a gift card to sign on, you can always give them your credit card later if you want to buy stuff.

    And that brings us to the Yamato Sound Almanac CDs. Tim's been writing about this current release from Nippon Columbia for the past year (come on, you're not keeping up with what goes on with the upper levels of this site? FOR SHAME! :) ) and it's a pretty darn exciting time to be a Yamato music fan. Which brings us to ...

    COMMON QUESTION #2: "Do I HAVE to buy all the Yamato Sound Almanac CDs?"

    Yes. Yes you do. It is your duty to Yamato to do so. :)

    No, of course not. See above. This stuff is expensive. Your money likely has better, more important uses- food, shelter, clothing, school, transportation, on and on. It's a LUXURY. Saying that, if you have spare money for luxuries buying some Yamato CDs is a great way to be part of the fandom as a whole, while chipping in (in a small way) to pay for this wonderful show we love.

    And with that I'll pause and let it be pondered. More to come.
    Steve H
    Crewperson 1st Class
     
    Posts: 99
    Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:38 pm


  • I just checked iTunes and didn't see any of them. What should I search for?
    Or... did you mean that they are on iTunes Japan? I did find them there, but they were all listed at ¥1,800.
    JohnStanowski
    OurStarBlazers.com Site Admin
     
    Posts: 31
    Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:38 pm


  • JohnStanowski wrote:I just checked iTunes and didn't see any of them. What should I search for?
    Or... did you mean that they are on iTunes Japan? I did find them there, but they were all listed at ¥1,800.


    It's stupid and wrong how they're listed. Search 'Starblazers' (one word) and they should pop up.

    OTOH, if you're set up and can buy from iTunes Japan (usually this requires some fooling around with settings and having a Japanese iTunes gift card) go for it. Oh, wait, you'd be paying a lot more. Ah, Japan and your crazy pricing policies. :)
    Steve H
    Crewperson 1st Class
     
    Posts: 99
    Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:38 pm


  • Cool! Thanks, I'm gonna look now.
    JohnStanowski
    OurStarBlazers.com Site Admin
     
    Posts: 31
    Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:38 pm


  • Steve, if you'd like to turn your essays into an article, that's fine by me. I'm planning to hit you up for a Final Yamato music index when the time comes anyway.
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    Tim Eldred
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  • Tim Eldred wrote:Steve, if you'd like to turn your essays into an article, that's fine by me. I'm planning to hit you up for a Final Yamato music index when the time comes anyway.


    Dunno what I would write with a FY index, you've got much more data than I have, all I know is time has matured me to the point of thinking Final Yamato has some brilliant music altho I do get a little stressed on how much Miyagawa seemed to be in love with the 'Dengil Child' score. I think there are like 15 variations on that spread out on 7 albums. :)

    (hm. Was the Lugal/Lugal Jr. relationship a mirror of Miyagawa and Akira, or Nishizaki and Yamato? Ponder.)

    Seriously, the stuff you've been putting together is so way beyond what I can do now it's not even funny. Those translations show so much more than I've even suspected, such as Akira Miyagawa actually playing the pipe organ for the Comet Empire themes, or Kentaro Haneda playing piano.

    All I've got left to share is opinion. Luckily I'm swimming in opinions. :)

    but you know I throw my help in when I can.
    Steve H
    Crewperson 1st Class
     
    Posts: 99
    Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:38 pm


  • By "FY music index" I'm referring to the symphonic albums vs. the Animage albums and a comparison of similar tracks. I know you've got the scoop on that.
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    Tim Eldred
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