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LONG BLOG

Phils Game/Pop Music Similarities #100 - Lonely Kong

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Featuring Donkey Kong Arcade and Johnny Cash / Masa Takagi.

Greetings fellow game music lovers,

as my head is starting to get clearer again I'm starting to face the prospect of a world increasingly coming to a still. Which isn't a bad thing for someone who has the shelves full of old cartridges from all times and consoles. So you start strolling through the NES cartridges, eventually arriving at the letter D which includes, among others, the Donkey Kong games. You see the cartridges of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. and also of Donkey Kong Classics, which features both the first and second game. Then a thought suddenly pops up in your head: "Wait a sec! They had enough space to include two games on a cart. Did they bother to include the cement factory in this one since space didn't seem to be a problem anymore?" So you pop it in and it turns out: They didn't. You also remember, that the NES version of the first game has a title theme which the arcade version hasn't. Thus, today's feature is the title theme for the NES version of Donkey Kong (1983) composed again by Nintendos (other) composer, Yukio Kaneoka:

I suspect that the general source of the theme might be the folk/country pop genre due to several songs from that area with a similar progression. The best so far I know is a song by Johnny Cash from the year 1970 called "The Devil To Pay". Aim for the backing:

There is also a song by J-Pop artist Masa Takagi from 1973 titled 『ひとりぼっちの部屋』 ( "Lonely Room" ) that has a recurring progression that also reminds me a lot of the beginning of the Donkey Kong theme:

I heard a significant number of japanese folk groups that did structurally similar stuff in the 70s, so we may eventually hear more from that direction regarding this topic.

I still don't know whether to start the next month on sunday as I found some interesting traces I'd like to examine first. Well, we will see when we arrive there.

Phil out.

Update 11/04/2020:

I would like to add one more entry: The song "想い出の渚 / Omoide No Nagisa" by the japanese band "The Wild Ones" (1966):

02/05/2020: Ok another one. The song "Sora ni hoshi gar aru noni" by Araki Ichiro (1966), covered by multiple people throughout the years:

- 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