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Phils Game/Pop Music Similarities #152 - Bluegrass Island


Featuring Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi's Island and country music / early 20th century pop.

Greetings fellow game music lovers,

as promised, I still have some Mario stuff in the oven, so here it is, enjoy it while it's hot! This time we have something for the second entry in the Super Mario World series on the SNES, Super Mario World 2 - Yoshis Island from 1995. It features on of the more popular level themes - the so-called "Athletic Theme" (not related to the Athletic Theme in Super Mario 3):

As usual with Kondo, I think the first address to look is Bluegrass music / country and so far I haven't been disappointed. There are a lot of songs who have a remarkably similar structure to the main section of Athletic Theme:

Junior Brown - My Baby Don't Dance To Nothing But Ernest Tubb (1990):

Roger Miller - Footsprints in the Snow (1960):

Dick Thomas - Sioux City Sue (1945):

Robert Mitchum - The Ballad of Thunder Road (1958):

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Santa Monica Pier (1975):

Nevertheless as regular readers of this blog probably have noticed there is another genre where you can often find stuff that you associate with Kondo: Early 20th century big band jazz. And indeed, there are also several songs who have a surprisingly similar curvature to Athletic Theme. Note: Some people identified the song as Charleston, but I think the format applies to other music of that time too (Foxtrot, Two-Step etc.).

Rudi Valleé - Come west , little girl , come west (1929):

Jerome Kern - The Last Time I Saw Paris (1941):

Jimmy Grier - One Hour With You (1930):

Something that might be considered a prototype of all these melodies can be found ing John Philip Sousa - Bullets And Bayonets (1917):

and Thomas Bidgood - On To Victory (1917):

Can we find more in the depths of ragtime? If I find out, I'll post it here. Sunday more Final Fantasy!

Phil out.

Update 20/12/2020:

Wildfeuer, Polka Schnell, Op.72 - Carl Michael Ziehrer

- 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