JDK Specials are on the lower end of Falcom arrangements, being somewhat close to an OST release. The Legend of Xanadu JDK Special, thus, is nothing to get too excited about as far as arrangements go.
However, the sheer genius in composition is what makes all Legend of Xanadu music stand out. Take a listen to one of my favorite tracks, “The Legend Begins”: there are many arrangements of this song, and they’re all good, and that’s because with a song like this, you cannot go wrong. Those opening fifteen seconds are some of the best syncopated melodies Falcom’s ever brought to our ears. I love it, and so do you. End of story.
The problem with this soundtrack is that, for the most part, the only enjoyable tracks are the ones that were later selected to become better arrangements on other albums (such as LoX SAV or JDK Band 4). You’ll notice that I generally chose to sample the more well-known songs from the game’s soundtrack: the other tracks can definitely be pegged as filler music. Whether it’s slow or fast, it isn’t worth remembering. In that regard, the soundtrack suffers greatly.
Of course, you do understand that my review of this soundtrack has very little to do with your possible purchase of the item. Unless you live in Japan and can shop used CD stores, you will probably never find this CD. It comes around eBay every now and then, but usually for a high price. Even as a collector, I don’t think I feel it’s worth taking the trouble to get this one (unless you really really like Legend of Xanadu, or Falcom in general). If it were still widely available for $20, I’d say “sure, go for it, why not?” As it is, however, I’d recommend you just enjoy these audio samples and then give it a rest. This is the nature of Xanadu: an elusive paradise that you can never have…same goes with the music, I guess.