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Phils Phindings #3 Mario in the Underworld



tonights topic is about a song from one of the most famous video game composers in history: Koji Kondo, Nintendo's number one composer. He started at the company in 1984 and composed the central themes for their most important franchises, including Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong. He is musically known for his interest in jazz, rock and fusion music, especially with latin origin. He also uses modern pop music, but tendencially seems to have a knack for the earlier decades of the 20th century as we'll see.

It is the famous 6-note sample from world 1-2 of the original Super Mario Bros. on NES:

Knowing Kondos above mentioned musical tastes, many people were not suprised once it emerged that this particular tune has an uncanny resemblance to a well known song from this genre, the song "Let's Not Talk About It" by the group "Friendship (1979):

Of course there may be some people asking themselves why this hasn't escalated yet since the Mario underworld theme is pretty well known even outside of gaming circles. We can only speculate, but a large portion of it is likely due to the fact that there are multiple samples throughout the jazz community that have a pretty similar vibe. Like the bassline of Earth Wind & Fires "Serpentine Fire" (1977):

or this section from Cheryl Lynns "Star Love" (1978)

Giving the jamming and collaboration culture in the jazz community it is not hard to grasp that they would be happy to see some of their more well known samples reach into gaming culture.


- Phil

- 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