Falcom Neo Classic: From Studios In London City


Review by · May 27, 2001

This album is, by far, the rarest King-Records-printed Falcom releases known to man. It is worth about the same as any one CD in the Orchestral Game Concert series…in fact, this CD is often referred to as “Falcom’s own OGC”…but with some unexpected bonus music.

The first track, an ode to all those ballad-like Ys tracks, is a great and memorable opening. Featuring melodies from Lilia, Feena, and The Morning Grow, this 11-minute track (well, almost) makes some good symphonic euphony. It’s a favorite of mine.

The cheese stands alone, Josephine is the only track I didn’t sample. It features only piano, violin, and cello, and while it’s a great relaxing tune, there’s nothing musically impressive about it to me. I feel like I could pick up any of those instruments and play their parts with little-to-no time in advance to learn it, which is boring for the musician in me. Though, of course, I’m a big fan of the Josephine track in general (and most Sorcerian music)…just not this version, it’s not too exciting.

Next up is a big good happy medley. We have some Xanadu, some Dragon Slayer, it’s all good here. See, there are two Symphony Ys CDs, and a Symphony Sorcerian CD, but here’s the rest of the symphony (and there’s some on a couple of Special Boxes, but nothing like this great great stuff). LA VALSE POUR XANADU builds up to this one really great climax, and it uses drag triplets and it’s high and it’s loud…and it’s sampled. Great musical genius comin’ through here.

And Ys III gets some good good orchestra (strings-only) in track 4. I really don’t have much to say on this one. It’s as much quality as the others…just listen to the sample.

The next track is great. The first half of this track (Desert – Cursed Oasis) has this one melody-line in it that sounds JUST like the pre-chorus to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”…(something something something, if you wanna get tough, just beat it!). Now, with this orchestrated versions, I can brag to my friends that I have some Michael Jackson symphonic music at my house, and they all love it. The rest of the track is great too, but that part just makes my day.

And so disc 1 ends with an 11-minute medley of Legend of Heroes music. The track opens with the only piece of LoH music I can recognize, “Legend of Heroes”. However, there may other melodies woven throughout this last track that I can’t identify (I’m just not sure…I can’t see this 5 minute song being spread out into 11 minutes). This track features some great xylophone work (and I’m a huge xylo-fan). It takes a good long time until the droning brass comes in (this part’s great, it sounds like bad synth in most versions, but it’s GREAT here). The entire brass section shines in this entire track, really. It’s an amazing piece to end the CD with.

Before talking about disc 2, let’s get straight on what this bonus 8cm actually is. It’s just some directors and musicians talking (in English) about the music, playing the music, trying to decide how to play it. They’re not talking to the CD like they’re recording it as some sort of documentary, it’s there just to give you an idea of how recording went. So I give you a minute sample of this as confirmation that I tell the truth. Enjoy!

Disc 2: LOGIC SYSTEM VERSION…huh? Just what I thought. Well, it just so happens that you’re never gonna find another Falcom arrangement like this one. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s synth, but it’s GOOD synth. It’s sorta techno, and it has voice samples, but it’s not Provincialism Ys. It’s just a great little disc. I was definitely surprised with the quality of this CD.

Case in point – Oh! No! Feena…what the heck? You’ll never hear such a fast version of Feena again. It’s not mellow, it’s not melancholy…it’s just good. Every track has that euro-beat feel, but it isn’t the stereotype annoying euro music. It’s the good stuff. Americans just don’t know how to make music this good…neither do Japanese apparently because they sent this over here to London. And if you’re wondering what the “Oh! No!” is about, the last second of the track they sample a standard sound file from early Macintosh that says “Oh! No!”…heehee!

This collection has only sold on eBay once…ever. It went for $107, and this was during a sort of VGM depression, so expect prices to soar during midsummer when all the teens have jobs. Otherwise, the price will range around $100 for this one. Good luck finding this almighty and ultra-rare Falcom collection!

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Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and guinea pigs.