Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Left-Handed Ghosts and Familiar Music

Short version: the right idea, but the wrong video game franchise.

More than two years ago, I posted here on this blog about a Japanese disco track that sounded to me like something I’d heard in a video game — specifically something dire and commanding and urgent, like you might hear during a boss battle. It’s the 1978 song “Southpaw” by Japanese band Pink Lady, and the part I’m referring to happens just in the first few seconds.



Did you hear it? It’s the part that starts around the nine-second mark. I always heard it, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why it sounded familiar. And then just this week, someone pointed out to me why: Ghosts ’N Goblins.



Again, did you hear it? Just right at the beginning.

“Southpaw” predates Ghosts ’N Goblins by seven years, so if anything, the composer of the game’s score would have been paying tribute to the Pink Lady track. I’m not sure it’s any more than a coincidence, but at least this settles why a Japanese pop song from before I was born sounded like something I should already know.

To end your day on a highest of possible notes, here is Pink Lady performing their 1977 hit “UFO” in a video that seems to have been filmed on their apartment complex stairs.



And here’s a talented sight reader playing the Ghosts ’N Goblins theme in a ragtime style so naturally that you’ll have a hard time believing he’d never laid eyes on the sheet music before.



Video game music, previously:

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