Virtua Racing & Out Runners

Virtua Racing & Out Runners. Front (display). Click to zoom.
Virtua Racing & Out Runners
Front (display)
Composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi / Takayuki Nakamura / Takenobu Mitsuyoshi
Arranged by B-univ / Hiroshi Kawaguchi / Hoppy Kamiyama / MST / Naoki Kitajima / Takayuki Nakamura / Takenobu Mitsuyoshi
Published by Futureland
Catalog number TYCY-5365~6
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 2 CD - 61 tracks
Release date December 15, 1993
Duration 01:42:43
Genres
Rate the album!

Overview

Virtua Racing & OutRunners is a three part album. There are the original scores for Takenobu Mitsuyoshi's Virtua Racing and the collaborative effort OutRunners on the second disc. On the first disc, there are arrangements of both scores by a few artists, including Sega's in-house jazz fusion group B-Univ composed of Koichi Namiki and Takenobu Mitsuyoshi. While none of the individual components quite justify a purchase, the collective whole likely provides enough to satisfy your musical needs. Time to look at each of the three sections.

Body

Put simply, the original version of Virtua Racing doesn't have many highlights. The music for the game is used during the menus and passing through checkpoints, though there isn't any background music during the main gameplay. As a result, listeners are left with only a few modest highlights. The thematically continuous "Waiting Your Entry" and "Course Select" are enjoyable enough with their respective rock and new age emphasis. The reflective "Name Entry" and "Congratulations 2" are also nostalgic pieces at the end of the game, though they don't exceed a minute each. What might be described as filler themes on most soundtracks are actually the main highlights here. The rest of the soundtrack is a series of fanfares between ten to select lap used for the class, extend time, and best lap. Mitsuyoshi certainly has a flair for jingle writing, but most won't find them worthwhile listening to outside the game. This is the case for the rest of the score, in fact, which is best purely a contextual experience.

Fortunately, there are more highlights in the OutRunners soundtrack. For one, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi offers remixes of the classic OutRun stage themes featuring a bouncy old-school flavour. There are also several original racing themes. Takayuki Nakamura shows his flair for soft nu jazz soundscapes on "Blow Your Cool", creates a colourful big band theme on "Looking for the Rainbow", and offers some dynamic rock infusions on "Sonic Control". Mitsuyoshi also returns with the groovy jazz improvisation "Adventure". The rest of the soundtrack features 18 short stage themes for the various locations in the game. It's impressive how the individual locations are characterised, for example the country influence of Grand Canyon, the pentatonic melodies of China, or the new age soundscapes of Niagara, though the tracks are still little more than jingles. Even "Stage Final" is a pretty underwhelming and underdeveloped fusion. There are more highlights than the Virtua Racing soundtrack, but it's still pretty much a mixed bag.

The arranged version on disc one is definitely the highlight of the disc. It's really impressive how B-Univ managed to elaborate on the sparing original material of Virtua Racing's "Waiting Your Entry", "Beginner", and "Course Select" to create accomplished jazz fusion arrangements in "Polygonic Continent", "Stream", and "Center Run". These tracks all offer convincing instrumental interpretations of the melodies and extensive solos from various live performances. The game's score is also impressively remixed into a medley blending stage themes, electronic beats, and sound effects. As for the OutRunners arrangements, there are some twists on the conventional jazz fusion format with the evocative piano use on "France" and blaring big band brass on "Adventure". Even more experimental is "Sonic Control" with its eerie use of electronic distortion, modernist piano runs, and martial rhythms. Then again, not all will find it as awesome as me. As if an OutRun disc could exist without them, there are also jazz fusion interpretations of "Passing Breeze" and "Last Wave" plus a crazy raving remix of "Splash Wave".

Summary

This album is a tricky one to sum up. On the one hand, probably neither original version is worth getting on their own. The Virtua Racing soundtrack is basically a jingle collection while the OutRunners score features both highlights and filler. That said, the original scores might be more worthwhile when bundled together and they could bring back some memories for those who have played the game. The real swayer, however, is the arranged version. If you enjoy jazz fusion or B-Univ's other works, then this should be a worthwhile purchase. If not, there are only a few remixes outside that style. Overall, this album is a solid commemoration of two game scores, though it's a pity neither quite stand up on their own.



Album
7/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

CD-1
Composed by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (M1,2,3,4,5,7)
Hiroshi Miyauchi (M6,9,10)
Takayuki Nakamura (M8)

Arranged by B-UNIV (M1,2,3,5,10)
Naoki Kitajima (M4)
MST (M6,7)
Hoppy Kamiyama (M8,9)

CD-2
Composed, Arranged & Programmed by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (M1 to M20)
Takayuki Nakamura / Hiroshi Miyauchi / Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (M21 to M51)
->Composed & Arranged by Takayuki Nakamura (M21,M25,M26,M27,M28,M30,M33,M44,M51)
->Composed by Hiroshi Miyauchi, Arranged by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (M22 to M24)
->Composed & Arranged by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (M29,M32,M34,M35,M36,M38,M39,M40,M42,M43,M45,M46,M47,M49,M50)
->Composed by Hiroshi Miyauchi, Arranged by Takayuki Nakamura (M31)
->Composed & Arranged by Hiroshi Miyauchi & Takayuki Nakamura  (M37)
->Composed & Arranged by Hiroshi Miyauchi (M41)
->Composed & Arranged by Takayuki Nakamura & Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (M48)

-Musicians-
Guitars: Koichi Namiki (並木晃一)
Keyboard: Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (光吉猛修)
Bass: Naoyuki Irie (入江直之), Paul Jackson
Drums: Hisanori Kumamaru (熊丸久徳), Shuichi Murakami (村上秀一)
Sax: Shigeo Fuchino (渕野繁男) 
Percussion: Pecker (ペッカー)
Turn Table: Otomo Yoshihide (大友良英)
Tp: Youichirou "Yokan" Mizue, Junichi Kawasaki 
Tb: Takashi Kudo (工藤隆)
Album was composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi / Takayuki Nakamura / Takenobu Mitsuyoshi and was released on December 15, 1993. Soundtrack consists of 61 tracks tracks with duration over more than hour. Album was released by Futureland.

CD 1

1
Polygonic Continent
04:56
2
Stream
03:30
3
Center Run
03:44
4
France
04:36
5
Adventure
04:43
6
Passing Breeze (1993)
05:25
7
VR Medley
04:18
8
Sonic Control
03:33
9
Splash Wave (1993)
04:55
10
Last Wave (1993)
05:54

CD 2

1
Waiting Your Entry
00:26
2
Course Select
01:23
3
Beginner
00:16
4
Medium
00:21
5
Expert
00:20
6
Extend Time - 1
00:11
7
Best Lap - 2
00:15
8
Extend Time - 2
00:11
9
Best Lap - 3
00:13
10
Extend Time - 3
00:13
11
Best Lap - 4
00:14
12
Extend Time - 4
00:15
13
Best Lap - 5
00:15
14
Extend Time - 5
00:14
15
Pit Out
00:14
16
Pit In
00:15
17
Goal
00:06
18
Game Over
00:11
19
Name Entry
00:34
20
Congratulations - 2
00:37
21
Mega Driver
00:45
22
Magical Sound Shower (1993)
03:54
23
Passing Breeze (1993)
04:06
24
Splash Wave (1993)
03:31
25
Picture the Rivers
05:01
26
Blow Your Cool
03:48
27
Looking for the Rainbow
03:02
28
Speed King
03:35
29
Adventure
02:24
30
Sonic Control
03:08
31
Last Wave (1993)
03:17
32
Meaning of the Light (game over version)
00:47
33
Dream Flying
00:34
34
Stage 0 -Start
00:59
35
Stage 1 -Grand Canyon
00:33
36
Stage 2 -San Francisco
00:39
37
Stage 3 -South America
00:40
38
Stage 4 -Niagara
00:43
39
Stage 5 -Hawaii
00:22
40
Stage 6 -Pacific Ocean
00:44
41
Stage 7 -Spain
00:42
42
Stage 8 -Atlatic Ocean
01:02
43
Stage 9 -Switzerland
00:44
44
Stage 10 -China
00:26
45
Stage 11 -Japan
00:36
46
Stage 12 -Hong Kong
00:26
47
Stage 13,20 -Egypt
00:28
48
Stage 14,19 -Mediterranean Sea
00:40
49
Stage 15,18 -France
00:46
50
Stage 16,17 -Germany
00:54
51
Stage Final
01:09
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