It's a big anniversary year with The Legend of Zelda turning 35, but it's also notable that 21st November brings us the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past arriving in Japan. It's one of the greatest games in the series, and indeed gaming history, and of course fans will be celebrating in various ways.
A rather fun project is from The Game Brass, which you can glimpse in the trailer above. This group has been producing brass-focused arrangements of classic game music for three years, and is the latest group to make its next album a little different. A Link to the Brass won't just be an album of the game's soundtrack on various streaming services, but will also be an option for integration into ROMs of the game.
Yes, ROMs can be a feisty topic, our focus is on the cool music project in this case.
Released on 21st November, a purchase of the album on Bandcamp will also entitle listeners to an MSU-1 audio enhancement patch. This can then be added to retro ROMs of your choice, with the intent being that it can convert the soundtrack of Nintendo's iconic game into a live brass band rendition.
This new project is a track-for-track, note-for-note cover of Koji Kondo’s legendary score for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for Super Famicom/Super NES. Every grand call to adventure, every moody dungeon ambience, has been captured and recreated in its entirety by some of the finest brass players in the VGM world. The result is a stunning, stirring, staggering tour de force that’ll have you hearing this all-time great soundtrack in a whole new light.
If you're like this writer and simply want to listen to the album, it'll be on Bandcamp and will at some point (maybe at launch) pop up on streaming services - here is the band's Spotify page.
We definitely like the sound the group is producing with this classic music - let us know what you think in the comments!
I suppose this is just my preference, but I prefer the "baked 8-bit" sound of the original tracks. Cool project though.
Sweet idea. I've always loved the ending theme. Not the pretty one during the credits, but the triumphant march before it played while the camera pans over all the folks Link met on his quest. It's a wonderful track that I've never heard played on real instruments
The Game Brass have done some really excellent brass band covers of popular video game music, I really like their festive Halloween and Christmas albums and listen to them seasonally still.
This album sounds great even before knowing about the MSU-1 support, I look forward to it!
ROMs are a feisty topic?
And 'selling & streaming re-recordings of music by people with no revenue going to the original composer' isn't?
That Bandcamp page is getting nuked from orbit, isn't it? Shame. They're kinda good. Bless 'em.
If they were going to get in trouble for this, they would've already gotten in trouble for their "Horns of Hyrule" album.
Which they didn't.
Good luck to them, I say.
The best game music arrangements band will always be The Consouls
Do you have any idea how much video game music is featured on Bandcamp?
By which I mean covers of popular Nintendo game series like Mario, Metroid, Zelda, Pokémon, Earthbound/Mother.
They will even license the original songs from Nintendo too so it's all on the up and up.
I would think that some of the money would actually go to the original composers through obtaining a Mechanical License. I first learned about it from Insane in the Rain's FAQ about his video game song covers which states:
"Because these songs that I'm covering weren't originally composed by me, I have to get a license that allows for revenue obtained from my cover to be shared with the original composer / rightsholder (as it should be!) To obtain a Mechanical License using Compulsory Mechanical License provision of US Copyright Law, the song in question must be released on a commercial release in the United States. A good example of this for video game music is the Pokémon Super Music Collection series, which is released on iTunes for pretty much every main series Pokémon game. Because this is an official commercial release, I can legally cover and distribute covers from these Pokémon games."
There are distribution services that will set up the proper license (s) needed by the cover artist.
All of that being said, I have no idea whether or not this group is legally covered in that department, I just know that commercially available cover albums of video game soundtracks are not necessarily keeping a portion of compensation from going to the source creator.
Sounds good. Very often I wish these fan projects resulted in the designers or their works being officially hired or purchased to work with the license holders to contribute to new projects... rather than the usual combative responses. Clearly there's talent and an affection/reverence for the source material plus some of the work is already done. A different, mutually supportive and beneficial approach could result in some great things for everyone.
... Wun can only hope.
@Astral-Grain Meh. Live brass is generally a fantastic choice for ALTTP's tracks, actually. A lot of MIDI brass is used in the OST.
A purist of the originals might better appreciate arrangements like this one from Orchestral Fantasy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73CgDnCSEUo
@RevrsblSedgewick All tracks on this are legally licensed as cover songs, including for Bandcamp distribution, which we have to obtain manually. There's a specific process any cover artist can go through to obtain these licenses. I know Bandcamp and other platforms are awash with unlicensed covers, but we make sure all of our albums obtain the proper licenses so the original copyright holders still get their cut from sales!
@Twilite9 Never heard of them, so I clicked the link. Awesome music! Thanks for sharing!
I'll never understand why these bands put stuff on Spotify only when Apple Music literally gives them twice the royalty payment.
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