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Phils Game/Pop Music Similarities #84 - Super Christmas Land


Featuring Super Mario Land and several.

Greetings fellow game music lovers,

christmas is in full swing and the year is nearing its end. And what could be the best way to celebrate than paying a visit to a red clad guy that brought you countless hours of happiness for almost all your life? No, the other one. The one who does video games. As a main job. 

Although it's more like grey tones in this case, because today's feature song is from a handheld game, the first Mario game on Gameboy from 1989 and its Stage 1 theme:

Some people compare this to the song Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra from 1977. And while it does give a similar vibe, I think the actual origins are much older.

Now, let me describe you my personal journey to this song:

Like many people in western (and some eastern) countries where christmas has a certain popularity I spend a lot of time on christmas markets. You know, the type of place where you stop by after buying santa themed garden-decoration and dozens of sweaters with reindeer motives from three different department store floors and suddenly get an urge for unwarranted bodily proximity, fatty food and alcohol. Consequently, this kind of establishment would not be complete with dozens of booths blasting christmas themed music in your ear. Sometimes, however, it happens that it plays music that is of interest for me. In recent years, it has occasionally happened to me that a song appears that features progressions eerily reminiscent of certain sections of the Mario Land Stage 1 theme. Of course, every time something like this happens I pay a visit to the clerk at the counter to ask what the song playing is, but usually they send you off explaining that they just use a christmas themed radio station and have no clue what is currently playing. This year was the first time I met someone who could actually check what they were playing. And thus, for the first time I can present you a song that reminds me a lot of the first part of Mario Land Level 1. It is called "There Will Be God" and was released by the UK folk group "The Joystrings" in 1966:

Disclaimer: Given the number of times I heard similar progressions and the relative obscurity of above song I suspect that there is an older, more famous song, likely 60s/70s RnB, that served as inspiration for all of them. If anyone from the anglosphere could give me a hint I would update this entry with credit.

For the second part starting at 0:18 I can offer an excerpt from the 1971 song "Flying High" by the UK progressive rock band Paladin:

The song has been described as "clichéd late 70s AOR" by several review sites, so I assume that the origin of this sequence is not much different from the first sequence.

100th overall blog entry! Hooray! Thanks for everyone who attended so far! And everyone else still a merry christmas and a happy new year.

Phil out.

Update 04/05/2020:

Ok, it was about time I added a japanese song. This one is from Onyanko Club from 1986 and has the title "Osakinishitsurei" (Rude first). Aim for the backgroud melody:

- https://www.destructoid.com/blogs/PhilsPhindings/ https://www.reddit.com/user/PhilsPhindings

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About PhilsPhindingsone of us since 5:50 PM on 01.21.2019