Yamato Sound Almanac: The Second Half

Starting in July 2012, Columbia Japan provided a great gift to Yamato fans both new and old with this newly-remastered and upgraded reissue of the Space Battleship Yamato music catalog. Assembled with new packaging and numerous bonus tracks, the set comprised 30 albums released bimonthly through March 2014. Some had never been released to CD before while others were augmented by previously-unreleased sound treasures.

The first 15 albums were examined here. Now we continue to the end with the second half of this monumental series. Liner notes were written by Producer Masaru Hayakawa and mastering supervisor Tomohiro Yoshida. More historical information and additional liner notes can be found at the many discographies elsewhere on this site.

Note: Fans who purchased their discs from the Yamato Crew website got free trading cards as bonus items; several of them are pictured below.

1980-IV Be Forever Yamato BGM collection

COCX-37394, released May 22, 2013

This disc collected the music actually heard in the movie (as opposed to rearrangements heard on the symphonic albums) along with three bonus tracks that were recorded for Be Forever but not used until Yamato III.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

This series began in summer of 2012. As you may have noticed, the changing of the jacket’s basic color to blue marks a turning point in the releases. It could be said that after the brutal planet bomb attacks turned the Earth a miserable red, this is symbolic of Earth regaining its former glory.

This disc is a reissue of the BGM [BackGround Music] collection of music that was completed prior to Be Forever Yamato. This was a new Space Battleship Yamato movie, the second highly-anticipated work after Farewell to Yamato. Both the iconic title and the music of this epic declared Yamato as an immortal warship, which makes this a symbolic beacon to start the second half of the Sound Almanac series.

Be Forever was released on August 2, 1980, the third summer since the explosive boom of Space Battleship Yamato, the first feature film after the story branched into Yamato 2. At the beginning, the Dark Nebula Empire, the big enemy which appeared in The New Voyage, gains control of Earth’s capitol. The story unfolds with the reveal of a hyperon bomb with the power to destroy a planet.

Thus, Yamato departs on a voyage to save Earth from danger once again. The distance of the route this time is 400,000 light-years to the home planet of the Dark Nebula Empire where the hyperon bomb’s control device resides.

The music of this work includes five major noteworthy elements.

First, the music expresses a large-scale view of the world that is unique to Yamato. When Yamato arrives at the area of space where the enemy planet is located, the screen expands from Vista size to Cinemascope size, and the sound also adopts this Warp Dimensional method to expand from monaural to a fully-dimensional 4-channel system. This musical side of this idea was boosted by weaving together an orchestra, scat vocals, a mixed chorus, and synthesizer to create a colorful motif of “new space.”

Second, there is the theme of love that is essential to Yamato, with songs expressing the feelings of “belief in each other” that is the film’s premise. Along with others, the virtuoso pair Yoshio Kimura (on guitar) and Tsugio Tokunaga (on violin) play the rich motif of love in the mellow, emotional melodies of Hiroshi Miyagawa.

The third motif is that of the Dark Nebula Empire, a mysterious melody combining scat and synthesizer in unison, which changes its form in various ways throughout the work.

The personal theme song written for Sasha/Mio who serves the important position of resident alien beauty this time has a group of variations that becomes the fourth element.

And of course, the subject of Yamato itself is shown in a new style. In the first [Symphonic] Music Collection album, a track titled Yamato Travels Through Unknown Space contains some of the best up-tempo, dynamic battle music of the entire series.

This edition is the third album to be crowned with the term BGM for Be Forever Yamato. Because the 1995 release of the Be Forever Original BGM Collection was a strong collection of variations that reproduced the flow of the story in music, it was inherited by the Eternal Edition version. This time, the inclusion of a 4-channel stereo mix was finally realized. It also includes unused tracks that were repurposed in Yamato III, which makes it the ultimate Be Forever album.

I hope you enjoy this finished product that was completed over 30 years after the movie premiere.

Commentary by Tomohiro Yoshida

This disc contains the BGM heard in the movie Be Forever Yamato, which premiered August 2, 1980 and drew an audience of 2.2 million people. In the film, Earth is occupied and Kodai and Yuki are split up; breaks in the standard pattern can be seen everywhere in the story.

In addition, there was also a large quantity of events prior to the premiere. In the “Voyage of Adventure Roman,” a car ferry painted up like Yamato made a round trip from Hyuga to Kawasaki. The “Yamato Festival in Budokan” drew an audience of about 20,000 people for a special concert that was later released on the LP ’80 Yamato Festival in Budokan Live (CQ-7059~60, Dec 25, 1980) that is recommended to all people of interest.

Also, a technical gimmick called Warp Dimension was included in the presentation in which the first part of the movie was projected at Vistavision size (1×1.85) with one channel of monaural sound, but for the latter part the screen enlarged to Scope size (1×2.35) during the crossing through the dark nebula, and the sound shifted to 4-channel stereo. Widening the screen and going to three-dimensional sound at the turning point of the story had a great effect.

It was next shown in a double feature with The New Voyage from March 14 to April 3 in the following year, 1981. While the BGM for Be Forever mainly focuses on music made for this work, some music is selected from pieces heard in previous works.

One characteristic of the music for Be Forever is to continue the use of synthesizer for the theme of the enemy Dark Nebula Empire, which previously appeared in The New Voyage. Extensive use of a chorus brings great scale to the Dark Nebula, the Black Galaxy, and the Double Galaxy, expressing the grandeur of what is called the New Galaxy. Also, classical music is heard on the enemy home planet; Act 3 No. 17 (Allegro and Waltz) from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake was used from an existing record.

Furthermore, several insert songs were made: Isao Sasaki’s Pendant of Stars, Mitsuko Horie’s Face in the Stars, Life of Love and Galaxy Legend by Hiromi Iwasaki, and Until The Day of Love and Galaxy Legend [an alternate version] by Akira Fuse. Six songs were released on three record labels, a big topic at the time.

It should be noted that there are multiple version of the audio in Be Forever. When it was released on VHD video disc (along with Space Battleship Yamato and Farewell to Yamato), the sound was redubbed in stereo. Pseudo-stereo processing was applied to the monaural recordings of Part 1 and minor changes were made, such as the removal of a track, but the music itself was not re-performed. Also, there are some variations in the mix of the film. Differences in mixing and timing can be found, but the basic BGM configuration was not changed.

Four collections of Be Forever Yamato music have been released so far. In addition to two albums released before and after the movie – Be Forever Music Collection Part 1 (LP: CQ-7051, July 10, 1980) and Music Collection Part 2 (LP: CQ-7052, Sept 10, 1980) – there is also the Original BGM Collection (CD: COCC-12872, Sept 21, 1995) and Eternal Edition New Voyage/Be Forever (CD: COCX-31157~8, Dec 30, 2000).

Music Collection Part 1 contains representative theme music, Part 2 contains medley pieces mainly from the latter half of the film, the BGM Collection includes tracks not heard in the Music Collections, and the Eternal Edition contains further unreleased tracks, which makes it the best disc to revisit the work in one place.

Here, I can explain Music Collection Part 2 in a little more detail. BGM music recorded for the movie was mixed with newly-recorded music to create something completely new. Tracks 1 (Be Forever Yamato), 2 (Earth battle) and 7 (Mio’s March) are three pieces in which new recordings are mixed with BGM. In track 6 (Collapse of Mother Planet Dezarium) the first half is new and the second half is BGM. Track 8 (Big Decisive Battle) is a new recording, except for about 40 seconds. The first half of Track 9 (Birth of the New Galaxy) is BGM and the second half is newly-recorded. Track 3 (Tragic Love), Track 4 (New Space II – Double Galaxy), and Track 5 (Two Who Believe in Each other) are only BGM. The BGM portion of tracks 4, 6, and 8 were heard in the film. They were collected for this disc and mixed down to stereo from 4-channel masters. Although we have avoided overlaps in the Almanac series before now, we decided to preserve the mixes for the disc since they are part of the scripture.

This disc presents the BGM recorded for Be Forever Yamato. 34 pieces were recorded that were not included in Music Collection Part 1. Unfortunately, Swan Lake is not included because it wasn’t clear what master was used. The music on the disc basically follows the development of the story, but as mentioned above, the sound source of the latter part is based on 4-channel masters and newly mixed down to stereo.

However, as it was, in BGM meant for theatrical use, the mix on the 4-channel master was mainly concentrated in the center. So while appreciating it as music only makes the stereo mix feel a little out of place, it still respects the original mix.

When united with the previous Almanac discs, the entire BGM of Be Forever can be completed. Incidentally, nine tracks from Music Collection Part 1 were used in the film: Track 2 (Yamato Advances Through Unknown Space), Track 3 (Hyperon Bomb), Track 4 (Two Who Love Each Other), Track 5 (Wounded Soldiers), Track 6 (Earth Conquered), Track 8 (Dark Nebula Empire), Track 9 (Sasha [Mio]), Track 11 (Black Galaxy) and Track 12 (Lieutenant Alphon).

Although the Eternal Edition disc was the best that could be done at the time, I regret that some BGM material couldn’t be completely excavated, but I think you can enjoy the music world of Be Forever Yamato, which finally reveals the full picture after 33 years.

Lastly, at the end of this disc are three pieces that were recorded for Be Forever but not used, instead making their first appearance later in Yamato III.

1981-II Yamato III BGM Collection Part 1

COCX-37398, released September 18, 2013

The Yamato III BGM albums do for Series 3 what the Yamato 2 albums did for Series 2, bringing a significant number of tracks out of the vault for the first time and almost filling out the Yamato III catalog. Seven tracks are still missing for some unexplained reason, but they can be found on earlier albums. For the sake of completists, these missing tracks are as follows:

Yamato III BGM album: tracks 9, 19 and 21.
Yamato III Eternal Edition CD: tracks 3, 5, 9, 20, and 30.

Those tracks, plus various pieces that were recorded earlier and ended up in Yamato III (found on other Sound Almanac discs) add up to about 40 minutes. That’s on top of the two hours of BGM found on these discs, an enormous library that was worth the 34-year wait.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

This pair of discs contains the plentiful background music that was combined with existing score by Yamato Sound Supervisor Tomohiro Yoshida to support the TV series Yamato III.

Yamato III was produced as the third TV series, broadcast six years after the original and after four long-form movies including a compilation and a telefeature. It was supervised by Eiichi Yamamoto, who helped to conceive and write the first series. One year remains until the sun goes supernova and destroys Earth, so Yamato must leave on a voyage to find a suitable planet for emigration in a story that can be said to revisit the starting point of Yamato‘s origin.

Although 25 episodes were broadcast, about the same as the previous two series, the initial plan was for 52 episodes in four story arcs, so the master menu of general-purpose music is extremely rich in variety. Prior to this work, the music of the Yamato series was made with what can be called two pillars: pre-scoring (music produced before storyboarding) and post-scoring (music produced to fit a finished film). The exception to this was Yamato 2, which inherited its score from the Farewell to Yamato sessions.

In this work for Yamato III, since the music work completely maintains the style established by the previous recordings and song selections made since the first series, enormous energy was poured into it from the pre-scoring done by those who came before.

The approach of creating a music library in advance for later selection has the advantage of allowing a composer to more easily spread his creative wings. This characteristic shines in the music of Yamato III, from the orchestral expression of majesty in The Sun to the heroism and romanticism that strongly co-exist in the new crew, to the concerto piano for Dessler’s Palace. It allows you to thoroughly enjoy the wide world of Yamato music in a unique period of influx.

To focus on music that could be self-supporting at the time of Yamato III‘s broadcast, some of it was collected as the Symphonic Suite Yamato III. Afterward, the Yamato III BGM Collection and Eternal Edition File No 7 were released with an emphasis on the flow of the story in the track list. This time, taking advantage of the full capacity of two CDs, it becomes the first “total music collection,” configured so that you can relive the epic story of Yamato III‘s 25 episodes through music

Let’s venture out into space of the 23rd century, with Earth facing a crisis once again.

1981-III Yamato III BGM Collection Part 2

COCX-37399, released September 18, 2013

See the track listing here.

Commentary by Tomohiro Yoshida

This disc collects BGM used in Yamato III (25 episodes) which was broadcast from October 11, 1980. A stray shot from an interstellar war hits the sun, igniting an abnormal buildup of nuclear fusion. The story begins as the sun starts to gradually expand. The sun will disappear in three years, but humans can only survive on Earth for one more year, so Yamato must go on a journey to find a second Earth. Moving away from a concept of simple enemy attack, a solid story develops as Yamato‘s voyage becomes entangled in an interstellar war between the Galman-Gamilas Empire and the Bolar federation. In addition, the activity of Yamato‘s new crew is also depicted to make it a work with fresh appeal.

Although it was initially planned as a one-year broadcast of 52 episodes, it was unfortunately shorted to 25 episodes by diverse circumstances. Also, after the theatrical release of Final Yamato, a compilation TV special was broadcast on December 28, 1983. It was a simple edit with no special sound processing.

Instead after the TV series closedown, an album titled Yamato III Drama was released (LP: CZ-7111~2, June 11, 1981 / CD: COCC-12485~6, April 1, 1995) which presented the story in about 1 hour, 47 minutes with newly-recorded narration by Goro Naya and a very high-quality finish. The music heard on this album was selected from BGM used in Yamato III and other selections from the vast series library that had been created so far.

The musical characteristic of Yamato III comprises pieces from various genres. Symphony of the Sun is a major symphony suite representing the sun’s grandeur, Bolar Empire uses the style of a Slavic folk song arrangement using cembalom, and other music with different tastes was recorded for Galman-Gamilas, Planet Shalbart, and Princess Ruda.

As an aside, the musical instrument called cembalom is indicated as “cembalo” in the sheet music, but it is also referred to as a cimbalom. It has the same origin as the harpsichord, but it is a different instrument. Incidentally, a synthesizer was actually used to record the tone of the cembalom.

Since many characters and moods were incorporated in various ways for Yamato III, a lot of tracks contain comparatively small formations of guitar, piano, and violin. Some of the mood music made use of vibraphone or Latin percussion, and scat vocals are used abundantly. However the recording schedule at the time was a severe one. Since the broadcast would start just two months after the premiere of Be Forever Yamato, the composing for Yamato III had to begin immediately after the Be Forever recordings were finished. Although the same can be said for the period of Farewell and Yamato 2, both of those productions used the same BGM. After Be Forever, a completely different BGM was needed for Yamato III.

In an unusual situation, the recording had to be split into three sessions. The first was done just 12 days before the broadcast launch (!) on September 29, the second happened in late October, and the third in late November. Music from the second session was heard starting in Episode 6 and music from the third session was heard starting in Episode 10. To compensate for shortages in the beginning, tracks from previous works filled the gap, both used and unused. Previously unused tracks that were first heard in Yamato III can be found on the Sound Almanac discs Yamato 2 BGM Part 2, New Voyage BGM, and Be Forever BGM.

As for Yamato III music released so far, there are three albums: Symphonic Suite Yamato III (LP: CX-7015, Feb 25, 1981 / CD: COCC-12232, Jan 1, 1995), Yamato III BGM Collection (CD: COCC-12873, Sept 21, 2005 / CD reissue: COCX-33204, May 18, 2005), and Eternal Edition File No. 7 (CD: COCX-31159, Feb 1, 2001). Symphonic Suite is a representative collection of theme music, the BGM Collection contains tracks from the series not used in Symphonic Suite, and the Eternal Edition contained tracks not heard on the previous two titles, basically arranged to follow narrative order.

This two-disc Sound Almanac BGM Collection incorporates the previous releases to constitute a new album. Rather than including the unused tracks from other works, it collects only the 57 pieces of BGM specifically recorded for Yamato III. (Since the actual recordings used a monaural mix, there may be differences from track to track.) Part 1 covers the first half of the story (Episodes 1-17) and Part 2 mainly covers the second half (Episodes 18-25).

Please enjoy the many gentle and beautiful melodies that reflect the personality of Hiroshi Miyagawa.

1982-I Prelude to Final Yamato

COCX-37403, released September 18, 2013

When it was initially released about a year before the film it related to, this album was an interesting experiment in stage-setting. Yoshinobu Nishizaki often indicated that he could “hear” a film before he could “see” it and that the music in his head helped him find the story. This album explored that literally with compositions by Hiroshi Miyagawa (some arranged by his son Akira) that were based on the concept of Final Yamato rather than the film itself (which was still in the script stage at the time).

Some of these compositions would be rearranged for the film score while others remained on this album. Two of the tracks include spoken narration, and appear as bonus tracks with the narration stripped out.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

This disc, Prelude to Final Yamato, delivered a unique experience with a sound preview of Final Yamato. The original album also commemorated the tenth anniversary of Space Battleship Yamato with a chic matte-black jacket and the brave figure of Yamato in gold foil, a luxurious presentation that communicated the character of Final Yamato.

Its contents, spanning a decade-long journey of Yamato, are a worthy symphonic love letter from the producer to the fans during the last moment of refrain before the final voyage.

This major overture begins from The Story of Water to look back on the meaning of the name Yamato that was given to the immortal warship. Its many motifs travel in a number of directions, weaving the warps that will come together in the big pageant called The Final Chapter. The narration of Osamu Hazama from the writing brush of Eiichi Yamamoto is delivered as if in a song, and in the final track about the history of Yamato‘s battles so far, and the Battleship before it became the Space Battleship, Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki himself talks about the excellent music of Yamato.

From the Yamato [Japanese] race to the Battleship Yamato and the Space Battleship Yamato. The Prelude to Final Yamato, at once commanding a view of past, present, and future, passes as a symphony made for Final Yamato, moving on to meet the Grand Symphony as the finale. The molding of the Final Yamato music to include this sequence of related music and melody could be called Wagnerian and operatic, boasting a scale that was historically unprecedented in Japanese movie music history.

Through this Almanac series, we can relive the great taste of Space Battleship Yamato, traced through music more than 30 years later. Finally, with eternal roman[ce] spreading across space, the time of excitement for Final Yamato is drawing near.

1982-II Guitar plays Yamato Rhapsody

COCX-37400, released July 24, 2013

The three “Rhapsody” albums contain full-throated and elaborate rearrangements of Yamato score from Series 1 through Yamato III. Despite the emphasis on individual instruments, the entire Yamato orchestra is present and accounted for, which makes these an indispensable part of your collection.

The bonus tracks this time are something very special: 29 tracks of piano solos by Hiroshi Miyagawa and Kentaro Haneda covering the entire saga. These recordings were previously available only on a limited-edition cassette tape sold through the Yamato Fan Club in 1983. This is their first time on CD, evenly distributed across all three Rhapsody discs.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

The Yamato Rhapsody series consisted of three consecutive monthly releases in 1982. This is the music of choice from Space Battleship Yamato, well-planned albums that each featured a different solo instrument on a collection of instrumental pieces. It was a result of arranging for the three sacred treasures that symbolize the Yamato sound: guitar, piano, and violin.

They were released in 1982 during an interval with no new anime work, when Final Yamato was still due to be shown the following spring. In May ’82, it was announced that The Final Chapter was about a year away, and a unique experimental album called Prelude to Final Yamato would be released in the meantime. Following that, these three “solo” works fed the cravings of Yamato fans across the country.

In hindsight, while listening to the new arrangements of these famous Yamato masterpieces, every fan recalls the war history of Yamato at random, which seems to give them the role of preparing for the moment of the last voyage. Therefore, the Yamato music products released during this interval time were purely acoustic rather than character songs or new drama recordings. They adopted the form of mood music, called “Beautiful Music” in Japan, which got its start in Europe and America in the 1940s by bringing a relaxing effect to the mind of the listener.

The word rhapsody was used as the series name for these albums. The word was made famous by Hungarian Rhapsody and Rhapsody in Blue to denote the arrangement of an existing melody into a freeform ethnic style. To descendants of the Yamato tribe who took this album in hand, that would be an exquisite choice of names.

This guitar album was the first release of the series. As the English title Mellow Guitar Yamato indicates, it highlights the mellow playing style of guitar virtuoso Yoshio Kimura, whose work became a cornerstone of the Yamato sound throughout the entire series.

At the time of its ’82 release, Final Yamato was near at hand. When it first came to CD in ’95, it tended to be swallowed up in a wave of Yamato music that was released in a rush. So couldn’t it be said that the time has finally come for us to surrender to the rich sound of this work?

About the bonus tracks

The Space Battleship Yamato Complete Music Works Model Performance was released on a limited-edition cassette tape. It accompanied a collection of sheet music titled Space Battleship Yamato Complete Music Works, published by Tokyo Music Academy on August 20, 1983. It could only be purchased by direct mail order from the Yamato Fan Club headquarters for 5400 yen (4500Y for the score and 900Y for the tape). In all, 29 songs were carefully selected from the score and performed on piano by Hiroshi Miyagawa and Kentaro Haneda. Since the total running time of about 90 minutes does not fit onto a single CD, this body of work has been divided into thirds as bonus tracks on the Rhapsody trilogy.

1982-III Piano plays Yamato Rhapsody

COCX-37401, released July 24, 2013

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

On the second disc in this series, the lead is played by Toshio Suzuki, a musician who has played an active role in the Japanese jazz community as an expressive jazz pianist. As the English title Fascinating Piano Yamato indicates, we hear through piano a theme of fascination for planets and the universe that becomes the stage for Yamato. These choices of English titles for the Rhapsody series represents the special character of each solo instrument with a wonderful jazz taste.

On the occasion of the first analog release, the Yamato Rhapsody series was considered mood music (later referred to as easy listening), and the album jackets followed the custom of filling the entire surface with a still photograph of a beautiful woman. Although it was tasteful in its own right, fans who resisted picking it up in a record shop in those days made their voices heard, and the jacket art changed to use the majestic figure of Yamato when the first CDs were released in 1995.

For this reissue on CD, the extremely precious bonus tracks are derived from a collection of piano performances by Hiroshi Miyagawa and Kentaro Haneda titled Space Battleship Yamato Complete Music Works Model Performance. This was a cassette tape released by mail order through the Yamato Fan Club along with sheet music titled Space Battleship Yamato Complete Music Works. It is really gratifying to bring this masterpiece within reach of more Yamato fans.

1982-IV Violin plays Yamato Rhapsody

COCX-37402, released July 24, 2013

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

This violin album brings the Yamato Rhapsody series to a glorious conclusion. The leading role this time belongs to Tsugio Tokunaga. He was the concert master of the NHK Symphony Orchestra at the time and later participated in the Yamato Grand Symphony. Appropriately, this final album also featured the luxurious lineup of Yoshio Kimura on guitar and Kentaro Haneda on piano. No English title other than Romantic Violin Yamato could be considered. The motif of each piece colors the variety of love depicted in Yamato, performed with full feeling by Tsugio Tokunaga.

The bonus tracks on this Yamato rhapsody series are divided into three parts from a collection of piano performances by Hiroshi Miyagawa and Kentaro Haneda titled Space Battleship Yamato Complete Music Works Model Performance. It was published by Tokyo Music Academy and released by mail order through the Yamato Fan Club. I want you to enjoy the full banquet of the musical gods who presided over Space Battleship Yamato.

1982-V Digital Trip Space Battleship Yamato Synthesizer Fantasy

COCX-37408, released January 22, 2014

Columbia’s Digital Trip series was a product of the synthi craze of the early ’80s. The gimmick was to rearrange anime soundtrack music for synthesizer – an ambitious experiment with mixed results. In other words, some tracks age better than others. Yamato got two Digital Trip albums out of the lineup, this one being the first. Its content derives from Series 1, Farewell to Yamato, and Be Forever.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

When technopop jumped to the forefront of pop music in Japan thanks to the popularity of YMO [Yellow Magic Orchestra], the Digital Trip Synthesizer Fantasy series was added to the lineup of Nippan Columbia, featuring covers of anime themes and title tracks performed on synthesizer. The first title summarized the entire film score of Adieu Galaxy Express 999 with electronic music. Osamu Shoji composed it for synthesizer and it was released in late 1981 as the Adieu Galaxy Express 999 Synthesizer Fantasy. One release after another brought maturity and success to this Columbia series, which gained the title Digital Trip for synthi albums of popular works including Triton of the Sea, Space Pirate Captain Harlock and tokusatsu works such as Ultra Q. As the arranger for most of them, Mr. Shoji could be called a pioneer of Japanese electronic music, but Nobuyoshi Koshibe and others added their names to the list of arrangers as the lineup expanded.

Both of the Yamato Digital Trip albums were arranged and performed by Jun Fukamachi (1946-2010) who was active in the music community as a fusion keyboardist. He also performed on synthesizer for Prelude to Final Yamato. The most beautiful melodies from Space Battleship Yamato were chosen for this album, and one of the things that makes it special is that relatively few musicians have taken up the poetic sentiment of Hiroshi Miyagawa’s Yamato music in this way.

Since this album was reissued as a priced-down CD in the past, the special bonus track this time is from a 2-CD album titled Space Battleship Yamato Best Collection, which was offered as a bonus item with the mail-order purchase of Yamato Series 1 on VHS in 1989. This album is noteworthy as the first release of a Yamato theme retrospective from Musical Academy. In this way, a missing link of Yamato music is reconnected. [Translator’s note: the second disc in the Best Collection was a reissue of the Series 1 BGM.]

It should be noted that in a Digital Trip, the performer arranged every point of the original piece himself, and it was characteristic for the liner notes to discuss the equipment that was used. This became good teaching material for young listeners of animation music to set sail into a wider musical ocean.

If Digital Trip Space Battleship Yamato gets you interested in similar Columbia titles in the series, low-cost CDs are currently available, and you should definitely check out an interesting limited-edition compilation of masterpieces titled Digital Trip 80’s Anime Synthesizer.

Final Yamato music commentary

by Tomohiro Yoshida

Final Yamato premiered in theaters March 19, 1983, and attracted approximately 1.6 million attendees. Counting from when planning began for Space Battleship Yamato in 1973, this work marked the milestone of the tenth year. Since this work was planned to glorify the end of Yamato, various story ideas were poured into it in order to complete the series, such as the revival of Yamato‘s first captain Juuzo Okita, the death of Daisuke Shima, and the wedding of Kodai and Yuki.

Kentaro Haneda, who supported the Yamato series for many years as pianist, participated as a composer. He was mainly concerned with music for the Dengil side and created great works including Symphony of Aquarius, which exceeds nine minutes. The music of the enemy Dengil Empire utilizes Gatto guitar for a Spanish taste, and the piano concerto in Symphony of Aquarius was created by both Miyagawa and Haneda to decorate the deep life of Yamato. They both worked strenuously to make close to eight hours of music up until two weeks before the movie premiere. In addition, Conductor Naoto Otomo brought the Yamato Grand Symphony to fruition the following year.

Initially, the screen size for Final Yamato was 70mm, and the sound was produced with the assumption of 6-channel, stereo, but because of the tight schedule, the theatrical release was monaural in 35mm. However, a 70mm, 6-channel stereo edition with modified picture and sound was shown at the Shibuya Pantheon in Tokyo on November 5 of the same year. It was also shown in Osaka in February of the following year. [Translator’s note: this is the version that endures on home video.]

A total of nine Final Yamato music albums were released from two record labels. First, about a year before the theatrical premiere, there was an image album titled Prelude to Final Yamato (LP: CX-7055, May 21, 1982). It contained new recordings by Hiroshi Miyagawa constituted from the beginning of the Final Yamato story with narration by Michio Hazama (the narrator from Be Forever Yamato), and is a very high quality album. Three compositions from this album were incorporated into the film’s BGM.

Five albums were released before and after the movie from two record labels. Three came from Nippon Columbia: Final Yamato Music Collection Part 1 (LP: CX-7081, Jan 21, 1983), Music Collection Part 2 (LP: CX-7095, April 21, 1983) and Music Collection Part 3 (LP: CX-7114, Aug 21, 1983). Two more came from Tokuma Music: Final Yamato Theme Music I (LP: ANL-1001, Jan 21, 1983) and Theme Music II (LP: ANL-1004, April 21, 1983). During the CD era, Nippon Columbia released two albums: Final Yamato Original BGM Collection (COCC-12874, Sept 21, 1995) and Eternal Edition File No. 8 & 9 (COCX-31160~1, March 1, 2001).

The Music Collections were representative of the theme music pieces arranged for the highest maturity, whereas the BGM Collections contained works heard in the film. The Eternal Edition added six more representative tracks that were previously unreleased, and configuring the music to follow narrative order had the effect of making it the best overall album.

1983-I Final Yamato Music Collection Part 1

COCX-37404, released November 20, 2013

The three Music Collection albums contain symphonic interpretations of the film score. Part 1 includes three of the six variant tracks that were first released on the Final Yamato Eternal Edition discs.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

1983 was a milestone, ten years after the start of planning for Space Battleship Yamato, and the story reached its conclusion with a monumental work. With the literal Final Chapter, Yamato reached its maximum scale as a feature film.

In the year 2203, another galaxy emerges through a dimensional fault into our own, and many planets are extinguished in the galactic collision. The Galman-Gamilas Empire, lead by former ally Dessler, falls into destruction. On the other hand, the legendary planet Aquarius, which brought life-giving “water” to Earth four billion years ago, is thrown out of its orbit by the collision and floods the planet Dengil, 3,000 light years from Earth. Emperor Lugal of Dengil fixes his eyes on Earth for emigration and starts an invasion with his mechanized army. Under the command of the revived Captain Juuzo Okita, Yamato meets the Dengil forces in battle.

The mission of this work was to complete the story of Space Battleship Yamato in the truest sense, and as a result of incorporating ideas on a grand scale, it became an epic with a running time of two hours, 32 minutes. The initial goal of production was to release it in the summer of 1982, but for various reasons it was postponed to spring 1983. In addition, the original concept was to make it for 70mm with 6-channel stereo sound, but this was implemented only in a limited re-release with significant alterations after the premiere in March.

To make it live up to the character of a super dreadnought, the lineup of Yamato sound became more luxurious than ever. The biggest characteristic was the introduction of a twin composer system. In addition to Hiroshi Miyagawa, who had produced many famous musical pieces as the Yamato maestro, Kentaro Haneda was added as a composer after his long tenure as a pianist. They carried out their work in parallel to the images, which is one of the reasons the end of Yamato had the best musical fit and became something special. By introducing a form that put two composers in friendly competition with each other, better and more diverse music was produced.

This Music Collection disc was the first step, released two months before the movie. It was made prior to the sound production work, and had the image of a colorful pilot album. Miyagawa developed the motifs related to Aquarius, and co-wrote others with Haneda. Haneda independently wrote Yamato Grievous Sortie, which made impressive use of the Yamato theme and was heard the trailer.

This was the beginning of the great Final Yamato music saga.

1983-II Final Yamato Music Collection Part 2

COCX-37405, released November 20, 2013

This second volume contains the original 1983 album and three of the six variant tracks that were first released on the Final Yamato Eternal Edition discs.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

The story of The Final Chapter begins in 2203 when the curtain opens on a huge galactic accident. An unknown galaxy suddenly emerges from a dimension fault to collide with the Milky Way and cause serious damage to the central star systems. While investigating this, Yamato becomes witness to the flooding and destruction of Planet Dengil. Under the command of Susumu Kodai, Yamato carries out a water landing, heedless of the danger, but only succeeds in rescuing one boy. The cause of Dengil’s flooding is a close pass by the water planet Aquarius. And now, Aquarius’ course is taking it to Earth!

Yamato sends news of the emergency to Earth as a massive, rocky space fortress escapes from the mother planet Dengil: the militaristic City Satellite Uruk. Yamato is attacked by Dengil’s powerful Hyper Radiation Missiles and goes silent. Meanwhile, the Dengil forces decide to take over Earth for emigration and use Aquarius as a means to exterminate the Earthlings. The super-science of the demonic Dengil gives them the power to warp Aquarius continually closer to Earth. Can Yamato save Earth from this crisis?

The original Captain Juuzo Okita takes command of Yamato as his last mission. This surprised fans, but no higher idea was even considered for The Final Chapter.

The most important mission of this work was to successfully complete the story of Space Battleship Yamato, and the samurai of the Yamato production staff gathered together. Longtime participant Tomoharu Katsumata was named supervisor for the first time, and the staff was filled out by leaders on the production side along with the veterans of Toei Animation. Hideaki Yamamoto and Kazuo Kasahara were two of the five principals who wrote the script, Chief Director Takeshi Shirato was primarily responsible for the storyboards, and Yoshinori Kaneda was an animation supervisor who rendered pre-production sketches that became known as “100 poses of Yamato.” This was a proposal for the animation side to draw Yamato from unprecedented angles, along with image boards with many vivid touches by Art Director Geki Katsumata. All of this contributed to increasing the grandeur of the work.

The music was created by the two-person team of Hiroshi Miyagawa, the Yamato maestro who had continuously produced many excellent pieces of music, and Kentaro Haneda who had previously participated as a pianist. This introduced a form of competition to draw different musical replies from two composers to the same menu, and in the end the best musical pieces were adopted into the film. Producing ion-clad results for the finished work became a demanding time for these composers.

This disc was the second in the Music Collection series, released one month after the movie’s premiere. It includes music with many Yamato images that went beyond imagination, such as the galactic collision, the flooding of Dengil, and the majesty of the super-giant battleship Garnholst.

1983-III Final Yamato
Music Collection Part 3

COCX-37406, released November 20, 2013

The third and last album in this series contains the original ’83 release and karaoke versions of three Final Yamato songs as bonus tracks.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

A comment about the scale: the SF gadgets at the core of this work are the mysterious planet Aquarius that orbits the galaxy in a period of billions of years, the sensational new spectacle of colliding galaxies in the introduction, and the activity of Yamato confronting the powerful Dengil forces as the story unfolds.

Yamato, which revived like a phoenix from the rusted red wreckage of the battleship Yamato that sank to the sea floor, is the true protagonist of Space Battleship Yamato. From that point of view, the climactic scene of this work in which Yamato returns to die to the open sea of the universe is a magnificent, poetic image. It came from the thought of the producer to give Yamato a peaceful death in the ocean of space, overlaid with the arrival of lasting peace.

This volume was originally released five months after the movie premiere, becoming the third and final Music collection for the time being. The elaborate Miyagawa melodies, including the emotional insert song Kodai and Yamato, coupled with the unique and brilliant action cues of Kentaro Haneda, make it a supplementary volume that is rich with variety.

Let’s take our third journey into The Final Chapter!

1983-IV Final Yamato BGM Collection

COCX-37407, released January 22, 2014

This is the third release of Final Yamato BGM following the first 1995 disc and the Eternal Edition followup. This one contains four very short bonus tracks, one that is unique to the 35mm cut of the film and three from the Final Yamato LD arcade game.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

This disc contains the recorded music that was used in the soundtrack of Final Yamato, and is suitable to glorify the successful conclusion of this Almanac.

As ardent fans well know, as Space Battleship Yamato reached its finale, magnificent gimmicks were prepared on the music side. In celebration of Yamato‘s 10th anniversary, Prelude to Final Yamato became a sound preview of The Final Chapter. The quest for the music of Yamato‘s final voyage culminated with a huge symphonic store that emerged from a friendly contest between the two great composers, Hiroshi Miyagawa and Kentaro Haneda.

The music of both maestros, which could be called the driving force of the Yamato sound, was gathered up into five music collections during the movie release [three from Columbia and two from Tokuma], and in the subsequent era of digital audio, the music used in the film itself was woven into three supplemental BGM CDs. This is the third of those three discs, following the BGM Collection and Eternal Edition. This final edition was configured via the in-depth research of Tomohiro Yoshida, Yamato‘s current sound supervisor. Combined with the three Music Collection albums in the Almanac series, every piece of music from The Final Chapter has been covered to provide a comprehensive overview of this magnificent music world.

In Final Yamato, the music world of Yamato was not built only by Hiroshi Miyagawa. When it was decided suitably epic music was needed to glorify the finale, a chemical change was induced by the entrance of up-and-coming composer Kentaro Haneda. The emotional, poetic personality of Miyagawa’s musical pieces embrace the feelings of each character, and Haneda’s pieces written in the manner of classical compositions vividly describe the high-tension situations into which Yamato was placed.

Of course, there’s no arguing that the roots of these ideas came from the baton of Producer Nishizaki. This work was the last collaboration of the three leading figures in the Yamato Symphony. I hope you will surrender yourself once again to such exquisite sound.

(Translator’s note: the author here overlooked the fact that Nishizaki, Miyagawa, and Haneda collaborated again just two years later for the soundtrack to Odin. While it doesn’t contain any Yamato motifs, it picks up right where the Final Yamato score left off in terms of scale and quality. Regrettably, this music is long out of print.)

Commentary by Tomohiro Yoshida

This Final Yamato BGM Collection, as well as all the BGM Collections in the Almanac series so far, was configured as a new album in January 2014 by surpassing the quality of sound sources used in the first BGM Collection and the Eternal Edition. Unlike Prelude and the Music Collections, all 29 tracks were recorded for use in the film. Between this disc and the others in the Almanac series, it is possible to cover the music that was recorded for Theme Music Collections 1 and 2, and the BGM that was heard in theaters.

At the end of the CD, we have collected three BGM pieces recorded for Final Yamato that were first used in the Space Battleship Yamato LVD arcade game from 1995. We hope you will enjoy the entire music world of Final Yamato with all five parts of the Almanac series.

Sidebar: Do you need the Tokuma/Animage albums?

When Tokuma Shoten publishing became a sponsor for Final Yamato, it allowed them to release two Final Yamato Theme Music Collection albums on their Animage label in 1983. This was separate from the three Music Collection albums from Columbia (which contained symphonic tracks as opposed to BGM heard in the film). They were subsequently released on a 2-CD set in 1986 (above right), but have been out of print since then. So what are you missing if you don’t have them?

The answer is it depends on how up-to-date you are. Together, the Tokuma albums contain a total of 23 tracks: 14 symphonic and 9 BGM. At the time of release, 8 of the symphonic tracks overlapped with the Columbia albums but 6 were unique. And none of the BGM tracks were released until 1995, so all of those were unique as well. In other words, Tokuma offered 15 tracks that Columbia did not.

Since that time, the Yamato Sound Almanac series has eclipsed the Tokuma albums. The 6 unique symphonic tracks were added to YSA Final Yamato Music Collection albums 1 and 2, and all nine of the BGM tracks can be found on the YSA Final Yamato BGM album (three of which did not appear on previous BGM albums). So if you collect all four YSA albums, you’re covered. But if you’re a completist, you probably never asked the question in the first place.

Album 1

1 Planet of Water Aquarius
Same as Music Collection Part 1, track 1

2 The History of Uruk
Same as YSA BGM, track 5

3 Grievous Sortie of Yamato
Same as Music Collection Part 1, track 3

4 Battle of the Temple
Same as YSA BGM, track 19 (new to YSA)

5 Sorrow of Yuki
Same as YSA BGM, track 8

6 Large Theme of Uruk
Same as YSA BGM, track 17 (new to YSA)

7 Aquarius 4.5 Billion Years
Same as YSA BGM, track 28

8 Moving Fortress
Same as YSA BGM, track 15

9 New Cosmo Zero
Same as Music Collection Part 1, bonus track 11
(newly-added to the YSA edition)

10 Mysterious Planet Aquarius
Same as Music Collection Part 1, track 10

Album 2

1 Two Galaxies
Same as Music Collection Part 2, track 1

2 The Flooding of Dengil
Same as Music Collection Part 2, track 2

3 War of Emperor Lugal
Same as Music Collection Part 1, bonus track 12
(newly-added to the YSA edition) *

4 Violent Attack of Uruk
Same as YSA BGM, track 14 (new to YSA)

5 Thoughts of Shima
Same as YSA BGM, track 22

6 Good, Kodai-kun
Same as Music Collection Part 1, bonus track 13
(newly-added to the YSA edition)

7 Theme of the Dengil Boy
Same as Music Collection Part 2, bonus track 14
(newly-added to the YSA edition)

8 Fight Cosmo Tiger II
Same as YSA BGM, track 11

9 Great Demon
Same as Music Collection Part 2, track 5

10 Unfortunate Dengil Boy
Same as Music Collection Part 2, track 10

11 Okita and Kodai
Same as Music Collection Part 2, bonus track 15
(newly-added to the YSA edition)

12 Grievous Bolero
Same as Music Collection Part 2, bonus track 16
(newly-added to the YSA edition)

13 Symphony of the Aquarius
Same as Music Collection Part 2, track 13

If having so many Final Yamato music options makes you a bit dizzy, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there is a way to sort it all out. See a definitive track listing at the Final Yamato Music Index here.

1983-V Digital Trip Final Yamato Synthesizer Fantasy

COCX-37409, released January 22, 2014

This was the most unusual of Final Yamato‘s many albums, an all-synthesizer concept recording by artist Jun Fukamachi as a followup to the first Yamato Digital Trip from a year earlier. But unlike that album this one was never reissued on CD until this Sound Almanac release. It includes the karaoke version of one last Final Yamato song as a bonus track, the epic Yamato 10-Year Tribute.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

The music of the two Yamato Digital Trip albums was arranged and performed by Jun Fukumachi (1946-2010), who was active as an orchestrator and fusion keyboardist. He played synthesizer on the Prelude to Final Yamato album, and is known for his other performances in The Devil’s Handball Song (1977) and Phoenix (1978). [Translator’s note: these were both live-action films.]

This is the long-awaited first CD edition of a synthesizer cover album that focused on Final Yamato. While changing the flavor of the previous album, which was a collection of beautiful melodies that embodied the Yamato sound, this Final Yamato image sketch album takes up the strong intentions of the orchestra with synthesizer. On the other hand, it was produced by a separate company and so it could cover recordings not published by Columbia, so it is a pleasure to hear rearrangements of the main theme and the insert songs Love of two and Love Supreme. Looking back, one of the characteristics of Digital Trip albums such as Mobile Suit Gundam and Macross was to include covers to tracks for which Columbia did not have release rights.

Jun Fukamachi profile

Born May 21, 1946, Fukamachi became familiar with piano at three years old. He played an active part as opera conductor, choral director, and band leader at Metropolitan Oizumi High School. Afterward, he polished his abilities at the Music Composition Department of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts. However, his great talent could not be satisfied there, so he dropped out 15 days before graduation and stepped into the world of pop music on his own. He became a studio player, TV composer, and stage arranger, making his debut as a composer with You and the Setting Sun.

He worked on many arrangements afterward and continued playing an active part as a central figure of today’s new music boom. He was a top composer and performer in both the Los Angeles and New York music scenes, often working as a session player on albums by The Brecker Brothers, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Eric Gale, and more.

1984-I Yamato Grand Symphony – Live Recording

COCX-37410, released March 19, 2014

This album represents the end of the original era of Yamato music, but became a bridge to the future in several unexpected ways. Read more about the Grand Symphony, including Kentaro Haneda’s own liner notes, here.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

Along with Final Yamato, the Yamato Grand Symphony was planned as a musical work to conclude the first decade of Space Battleship Yamato. It was performed at the Postal Life Insurance Hall on May 4, 1984 by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Naoto Otomo. The audience was invited to attend completely free, and the live recording was released in the autumn of the same year. A video program directed by Akio Jissoji was broadcast on NHK in the summer of 1985.

It is especially noteworthy that it was released on CD simultaneously with Symphonic Suite Yamato prior to the TV broadcast in June, 1985 (with the fourth movement replaced by a remixed version), and the program was released on laser disc on the Emotion label by Bandai Visual in 1994, ten years after its premiere. Since it first went out into the world at the dawn of the digital era, it was suitable for the Grand Symphony of Space Battleship Yamato to evolve in step with the development of multimedia. [Translator’s note: it also came to DVD in 2005.]

The composer of this symphony, which Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki once called “a longtime dream” was not the previous Yamato maestro Hiroshi Miyagawa. After his achievements participating as a musician and as a composer on Final Yamato, this feather was added to Kentaro Haneda’s cap in recognition of his towering genius.

Prior to this, the previous symphonic suites of Yamato summarized the motifs in a particular work, weaving them into new compositions to become special versions of the soundtrack music, similar in position to a movie soundtrack. On the other hand, this work can definitely be called a “symphony,” since the goal was to frame the music for a classical symphony. It can be described as the epic culmination of Producer Nishizaki’s demand for symphonic quality for the Yamato sound.

The four movements conform with the format of a classical symphony. Both Hiroshi Miyagawa and Kentaro Haneda are credited for theme and motif, and Yamato‘s excellent melodies are quoted as the material of the musical pieces. The first movement is a sonata using the subject of Yamato and Iscandar as the main theme. The second movement is an allegro of battle music from Final Yamato played by Haneda. The Universe Spreading Into Infinity is at the core of the adagio in the third movement, with a piano performance of Great Love representing love as the grand theme of Yamato, which develops into a concerto of violin and orchestra. Kentaro Haneda himself plays as a soloist at the height of the fourth movement with violinist Tsugio Tokunaga, reminding us that the piano melodies of Miyagawa and Haneda were an important piece of the Wave-Motion Engine that propelled Yamato.

In late 2009, the Grand Symphony was used in the soundtrack of Yamato Resurrection along with a Grieg piano concerto and other classical music. Naoto Otomo returned to conduct a new session recording by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. It was released as the Space Battleship Yamato Symphony 2009, but the version on this disc by the NHK Symphony Orchestra was the one used in the film itself. It was created as a work of pure music, intimately connected to the original piece, but this version was the moment that breathed soul into the film.

Further, on the cover page of Kentaro Haneda’s written score of the original piece is grandly recorded as “Symphony Yamato.” For Haneda, the original was a work he put everything into, so I wonder if that spirit has come through.

1996-I Sound Fantasia Series Space Battleship Yamato

COCX-37411~12, released March 19, 2014

The goal of this special 2-disc album was to combine music and sound effects into an evocative collection of sound-scapes. Despite the hopeful-sounding title, there is as yet no other release in this “series.” The Sound Almanac version is identical to the original.

Read an interview from this album’s liner notes here.

See the track listing here.

From the introduction by Masaru Hayakawa

At last, this series which began in the summer of 2012 reaches its finale. Its successful conclusion is glorified by a work that occupies an important position in the music chronicles of Space Battleship Yamato. This last Almanac release began as a full-fledged Yamato CD under the leadership of Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki in 1995 that was released as an original CD album titled Sound Fantasia Space Battleship Yamato in 1996.

This work focused on the critical element of sound effects that made up the acoustic space sound of Yamato, along with a suite of music to represent the series. It was an ambitious experiment to trace the history of Yamato in pure sound, without narration or dialogue, using sound effects produced by Mitsuru Kashiwabara, the anime sound guru of Japan.

Regardless of whether they come from the east or the west, lovers of film with high animation and fantasy characteristics have a tendency to revel in all the elements of a work, right down to the bones. It’s for this reason that, so far as the study and thorough commoditization of soundtrack is concerned, the trail has been blazed historically from this genre of work.

Along with Yamato‘s music, the sound effects also attracted interest from the fans, who gave them a high evaluation from the beginning. Inspired by the work of Matsuo Ono on Mighty Atom [Astro Boy], Kashiwabara embarked on his acoustic path and made full use of the mini-Moog synthesizer to create very original sound effects. It is not an exaggeration to call it music without a melody, and it can be said that it has always been part of an exquisite concerto with the main Yamato score played by musical instruments. This Sound Fantasia eloquently proves that the symphony of emotional music by Hiroshi Miyagawa and the cool electronic sounds of Kashiwabara are one of Yamato‘s eternal charms. When Kashiwabara’s expressive sounds are heard in The Universe Spreading Into Infinity at the beginning of the disc, it should remind you that this is the first stirring of the Space Battleship Yamato sound.

Another work that uses Kashiwabara’s Yamato sound effects was the Yamato 2 laserdisc set, which offered them in bonus features as epic, freestyle sound poems. Fans of electronic music and sound effects should know that they were revived on the blu-ray versions of the Yamato movies for all the acoustic insiders.

In 2014, the Agency for Cultural Affairs gave Mitsuru Kashiwabara the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 17th Media Art Festival. He left many big footprints with Space Battleship Yamato, and we invite you to taste his work again in the form of a concerto with orchestral music.

Music Addendum

To everyone’s surprise, a followup to the Sound Almanac arrived in October 2015 with three additional discs of material that couldn’t be included in previous releases. What’s on it and why do you need it? Find the answers here.

Bonus Packaging

Fans who bought every disc in the series had opportunities to score bonus items if they saved up the proof-of-purchase tabs and sent them in by specific deadlines. Buying the first 7 of the first half got you a storage box for discs 1-15, and buying the first 7 of the second half got you a complementary box (shown here) for 16-30. When both boxes were obtained, placing them together on your shelf gave you something else to smile about (see below).

Bonus disc

Running concurrently with this offer was another that required the proof-of-purchase tabs from all 30 discs. Saving those up and sending them in to Columbia at the end of the entire run got you a bonus disc, a Sound Almanac reissue of the first Space Battleship Yamato Drama [story] Album from 1977. The packaging is a faithful reproduction of the original LP, ad banner and all, at CD size.

The only alterations are that the inner CD sleeve uses a Naoyuki Katoh painting that was originally inserted as a poster in the LP. The inner LP sleeve previously had an attached booklet that has now been reproduced as a separate item – but is still readable.

The disc shipped out to customers in late August 2014. It has not yet been announced for separate release.

Music albums NOT covered in the Sound Almanac series

See other discographies for disc information

Song collections (all songs in the Almanac are karaoke versions without vocals) / Anime Piano: Yamato & Gundam (1982)
UPDATE: Anime Piano was added to the Sound Almanac Addendum after this article was originally published.

Yamato 2520 Theme Music (1995) / Yamato 2520 Original Soundtrack (1996) / Rail of Fantasy concerts (1998 & 1999)

Great Yamato Symphonic Suite (2000) / Eternal Edition Special Disc (2001)
Playstation 2 OST: The Reminiscences of Planet Iscandar (2004) / Acoustic Yamato (2005)

Symphony Yamato 2009 / Yamato Resurrection OST (2009)
Yamato Resurrection Director’s Cut OST (2012) / Live-action movie soundtrack (2010)

The End

Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.

4 thoughts on “Yamato Sound Almanac: The Second Half

  1. Hi Tim!
    (Slightly) late to this party, but I see that all 30 volumes are available on iTunes as “Starblazers Sound Almanac” releases, so, this triple dip will be slightly less damaging to the bank acct. Not sure if the artwork is included tho….sadly probably not.

    On the upside, my wife managed to save her original LP copy of the first Space Battleship Yamato Drama Album from 1977.

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