Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Soft Music Side of Gran Turismo

John Marine | 12/12/2010 04:01:00 AM | | | |
(UPDATED: Dec. 12, 2010 with a link to Gran Turismo 5's complete music list.)

Some people would question why softer melodies are in Gran Turismo games. Many just think that all racing games should have seriously hard rock music (or some classic rock). The most diverse Gran Turismo (music-wise) is Gran Turismo 4. With its blend of many different songs spanning multiple genres, Gran Turismo games have delivered some memorable tunes other than from the world-class rock and non-rock groups and artists. This blog entry won't feature exact melodies, but I will touch up on some of the different songs that spiced up Gran Turismo's musical appeal, especially of the softer variety. This blog post is a look at some of the softer tunes of Gran Turismo.

WARNING: This blog post contains multiple YouTube videos. You may not be able to view this blog post and all of its content matter if on a slow connection.





--- Soft Music in Gran Turismo... Why? ---
There is an unwritten rule some people have with racing games- racing games should NEVER have soft music of any kind. As if every racing game needs the hardest music to get you in the mood. Some prefer rock. Some prefer electronica or electronic dance music. Regardless, there aren't many who would be cool having some softer songs prior to racing or even during racing.

A classy touch to Gran Turismo games is with some of the soft music. Even lounge-style music and cool instruments make for an inviting touch to Gran Turismo titles.



--- Softer Music in Gran Turismo ---
It's now time to describe some of the different soft songs in GT games.

Soft Music: Gran Turismo 1.

Gran Turismo 1 doesn't have much in the way of soft music unless you hear two beautiful songs not found in the Western version of Gran Turismo 1. One song is totally beautiful while another is a soft rock ballad. "Like the Wind" is a beautiful song done by Masahiro Andoh. A vocal version of "Like the Wind" is performed by Pauline Wilson, but I think the instrumental version is slightly better. The rock ballad is called "Second Chance," done by Masahiro Andoh with vocals from Joseph Williams.

In case you've never heard it, here is a look at my favorite soft song in Gran Turismo. You will be treated to the instrumental version of "Like the Wind" by Masahiro Andoh in this YouTube video:




Soft Music: Gran Turismo 2.

Gran Turismo 2's menu music was a lot more different than the rock/electronica music that made up most of Gran Turismo 1's music. A lot more blues influences were added. You heard more organs and blues guitars than you did rock guitars. The menu music has more organ and blues guitar play. Perhaps it isn't racing-worthy music or getting you in the mood to race, but it was a different atmosphere to have so many blues-style songs. Personally, I love the theme to West City more than the other cities in GT2. North City has its own groovy track. East City, while having more of a light dance feel, has a nice overall feel to it.

Gran Turismo 2 infused more blues-style music more than any real traditional jazz. A lot of organ play went into most of the music for GT2. Here is the album version of "From the East," the East City theme in Gran Turismo 2...



...and below is the vocal version of "From the East." Have a listen:




Soft Music: Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec.

The musical quality is lovely and a boost up from GT2. One of the first lovely songs I've heard was the in-game version of "Concentration." "Concentration" is the song played when you visit the License Center in Gran Turismo 3. I mentioned the in-game version because the real song doesn't sound as lovely and soft as the in-game version. The subtle tunes also carry into other menus. GT Auto's theme is a nice little tune called "Take a Break" that's pretty funky. "Light Velocity" is the song you hear when shopping for cars in Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec. "Slipstream" is the song that plays when you race in Arcade Mode or enter the "Go Race" menu. A song that I don't think appears in the North American version is "An Endless Journey," which is a melodic and smooth song from Isamu Ohira.

The song below is the album version of the theme you hear when taking a license test. This is "Concentration," by Isamu Ohira:




Soft Music: Gran Turismo 4.

The variety of soft music in GT4 was fairly impressive. GT Mode featured five different GT Mode songs that were pretty soft and very melodic. GT4's menu music was mostly soft and subtle. Nothing bassing or bumping- just more of classy and soft music. If anything, even including classical music in GT4 added extra softness to GT4's musical lineup. I personally found the classical music to be beautiful to listen to for the classic car races or quiet drives in Time Trial. A lot of the menu songs were remixes and remakes of past GT menu songs.

Here is my personal favorite of the five GT Mode songs. Not sure what the name of it is, but have a listen:




Soft Music: Gran Turismo HD, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, and Gran Turismo 5 Demos.

The softer lineup of songs get a kick of lounge-type melodies for upcoming titles. The songs would go from beautiful piano melodies to more lounge-type music. You will get that impression checking

In the earliest days of the PlayStation 3, I've longed to play Gran Turismo HD. GTHD featured three menu songs. All three songs were subtle and sweet songs featuring pianos, some bass guitar, and a light drum set. The third song in order is my favorite. It just has a beautiful melody to it. Here is the song so many of us are used to from Gran Turismo HD (apart from the three menu songs many of us are used to):




Two of my favorite songs from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (based on songs I've heard on YouTube) are "When the Rains Come" and "Farewell." The "When the Rains Come" song is a song of Masahiro Andoh that is just great to listen to. "Farewell" by Satoshi Bandoh is so great to listen to that it can also double as a love song. When you hear "Farewell," you will hear a romantic song that you could easily devote to whomever you love most. I also love "Current of the Times" by Yudai Satoh. "Current of the Times" plays once you buy a car in GT5 Prologue.

Here is "Farewell" by Satoshi Bandoh. Dedicate this song to someone you love! :)




From the GT5 kiosk demo and of other GT5 demos, most of the menu music is soft and sweet, but with a kick of electronica. The music is classy. The Gran Turismo series seems to outdo itself with classy music. Here below is the main menu song used in the Nissan GT Academy demo:




Soft Music: Gran Turismo 5 (based on impressions).

I do not have a PlayStation 3 or Gran Turismo 5. Therefore, I will only go on impressions from other people and sources.

Gran Turismo 5 has some great-sounding menu music. More jazzy tunes have been complimented with chill-style music for a unique blend of soft music. A lot of the heavy-hitters of easy jazz and chill style music are included. The likes of Masahiro Andoh, Satoshi Bandoh, Yudai Satoh, all among others provide some amazing music. One of the pre-race songs is turning out to be one of my favorites- the Breakbot Remix of PNAU's "Baby" song. This song is what I will consider a soft song despite its very cool style when the drums and deeper instruments begin to roll in.

Here are some of the many different soft songs featured in Gran Turismo 5 (my comments on certain songs are in parentheses, including if I recommend you listen to these songs. They are represented by "recommended!" and highlighted in yellow):

* Satoshi Bandoh - Dark Line
* Satoshi Bandoh - Afterglow (recommended! - beautiful overall flow)
* Satoshi Bandoh - Mesmerium (a delightfully offbeat song)
* Yudai Satoh - Gently, the Moon Always Watches You
* Yudai Satoh - Get On!!!
* Yudai Satoh - Rain and Lady's Heart
* Mitsutoshi Satoh - FULL COURSE CAUTION
* Mitsutoshi Satoh - Christmas Tree
* Mitsutoshi Satoh - Second Driver (recommended! - a beautiful, happy melody)
* Norihito Sumitomo - SOLITUDE
* Norihito Sumitomo - Side of You
* Norihito Sumitomo - Tracks of Dream (recommended! - beautiful and calm)
* Norihito Sumitomo - Reminiscence
* Norihito Sumitomo - Path Finder
* Daisuke Kawai - Park Side Café (recommended! - romantic with a beautiful melody)
* Daisuke Kawai - City Circuit
* Daisuke Kawai - Modena
* Daisuke Kawai - Madeleine (recommended! - beautiful song that's kind of cute)
* Daisuke Kawai - Sunrise Ocean (recommended! - relaxing and refreshing)
* MAKOTO - Boogie Back
* MAKOTO - After the Rain
* MAKOTO - Places and Spaces (the menu music in the GT5 kiosk demo)
* MAKOTO - Winter Dreams (kind of reminds me of Tourist Trophy's Arcade mode song)
* Kemmei Adachi - Casino Drive
* Kemmei Adachi - Dream World (recommended! - great beats with nice instruments)
* Kemmei Adachi - Like a Bird (recommended! - similar to GT4's Arcade Mode song)
* Taku Yabuki - 7 Days Reminiscence (recommended! - a beautiful and fast song)
* Yuki Oike - Globe
* Yuki Oike - Passion (recommended! - a sexy urban song with a hint of Rhythm and Blues)
* Tyme. - Let Me See Your Mind
* Pnau - Baby (Breakbot Remix) (recommended! - not exactly soft, but great to listen to!)


I got to hear a lot of these songs for the first time by searching around on YouTube for people posting videos of GT5's soundtrack. That's how I got to hear of some of these songs. Some of the jazz and lounge songs from GT5 are just beautiful and sophisticated to listen to. I know I labeled the Breakbot Remix of PNAU's "Baby" as a soft song (though it isn't any soft song), but the softer tunes of GT5 are some of the best in Gran Turismo history. Never heard of the Breakbot Remix of "Baby?" Have a listen here. It's one of two pre-race songs in Gran Turismo 5:




(ADDED: DEC. 20, 2010) Some people want to know what "Let Me See Your Mind" sounds like. Well, here you go. Enjoy:


To check out the complete song list for Gran Turismo 5, read Complete Gran Turismo 5 Song List on Playstation.com's forums. GT5 allows a custom soundtrack with your own music. However, the link I've provided is something you should check out if interested.





Through these iterations of Gran Turismo, a lot of these softer songs apart from the rest of the songs give Gran Turismo a classy character on the music front. Some people would rather hear more exciting and pulsating music. The soft and subtle music offers up a delightful backdrop when traversing in the Gran Turismo universe. I think Gran Turismo 5 (based on what I've seen and heard in YouTube videos) has a just-right blend music-wise. You have soft-style songs that still have a kick of electronica and still sound classy. Many of these songs are surely spectacular from the ones I've been able to hear on YouTube so far.

You can search around on YouTube and look up some of the songs I've mentioned in this blog post for all the aforementioned titles. Hear some of these songs for yourself and see just how classy some of Gran Turismo's softer songs can be. They offer an interesting diversion from the mostly electronic dance music and rock. I would like to thank all of the YouTube channels I got the music from and that I was able to embed. Now you have an idea as to the soft music side of Gran Turismo!

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