01 - Son Goku's Journey
02 - Searching for the Dragon Balls
03 - Encounter
04 - Cheerful Friends
05 - Bridge 2: Mission
06 - Beneath the Great Master......
07 - Meeting of the Martial Arts Masters
08 - Moment of Terror
09 - Decision
10 - Bridge 1: With One Effort......
11 - The Great Demon King is Revived
12 - Rage! Son Goku
13 - Epilogue ~ Piccolo's Demise
Kenji Yamamoto, not to be confused with the composer of the same name who has produced the soundtracks for Nintendo's Metroid series, has done a lot of work on DBZ-related videogames. One of his earliest efforts was for the Super Famicom game "Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden Assault Chapter." This SNES RPG, obviously the sort of thing that never made it to the US, had some decent music.
That music was only improved upon as this soundtrack came to series fans as an arranged album rather than an OST. And, though one would expect a soundtrack for a DBZ game to be packed with upbeat tunes, it was surprising for me to discover the amount of orchestral/classical influence found on this album.
Oh, there's still plenty of what you'd expect: guitar solos, pumped-up techno tracks, and really cheesy synth leads. But alongside these songs, there are a lot of really impressive songs that were really "ahead of their time" as VGM albums go. Yamamoto took a decidedly classical approach, a la Mozart, to some of the songs, especially their piano parts. Track 11, for example, is an eight minute long medley of beautiful songs: all of them worked well together, flowing from one musical theme to another. I was not only impressed by Yamamoto's skill, but by how much I found myself enjoying the song.
Personally, I prefer this album to Yamamoto's later works in DBZ gaming, such as the soundtracks to the PlayStation 2 fighter/adventure games (known in the US as the "Budokai" series). Give the samples a listen and decide whether or not you agree with me as to the quality of this arranged album.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann