Fatal Fury -Real Bout Special- Arrange Sound Trax

Fatal Fury -Real Bout Special- Arrange Sound Trax Album Title:
Fatal Fury -Real Bout Special- Arrange Sound Trax
Record Label:
Pony Canyon
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
March 5, 1997
Buy Used Copy


Following SNK’s customs, an arranged album was released shortly after Fatal Fury -Real Bout Special- came to arcades. It featured arrangements of nine character themes from the title from SNK’s sound team and external artists alike. While it features numerous highlights, the album also has some very memorable lows…


Listeners are given excellent rock band performances of Geese Howard and Kim Kaphwan’s themes — probably the best incarnations of their themes in the entire series’ history. “It’s Seoul” sports a retro rock vibe, with its heroic melodies and glamorous solos, but backs it up with solid performances and clear recordings. Meanwhile “Soy Sauce on Geece” gets the balance right between between being intimidating and exciting, blending fast-paced guitar riffs with an unforgettable melody and numerous elaborations. While much of the album was internally produced, the arrangement responsibilities for these two tracks was actually outsourced to veteran guitarist Jun Kajiwara. Less impressive is the opener “GOLI-Rock”, which focuses on generic hard rock riffs. It’s largely let down by its original, which never had much melody or originality to speak of.

Some of the biggest highlights are those tracks that stray from SNK’s signature sound. Industry veteran Nobuyuki Nakamura did an excellent job conveying the wise character and Chinese heritage of Tung Fu Rue — interweaving mature orchestration with gorgeous guanzi passages. The Jin brothers are depicted with a march-like orchestration, “Determination”. Neither the arrangement nor implementation are quite as lavish as their equivalent tracks on Fatal Fury 3‘s arranged album. However, the track is still a vibrant and memorable example of SNK’s hidden orchestral talents. Among other outliers is Laurence Blood’s flamenco-influenced arrangement, another arrangement benefiting from both the lyrical guitar writing and virtuosic performances of Kajiwara.

As with Fatal Fury Special before it, SNK decided to treat Mai Shiranui’s theme to an ‘idol’ arrangement. With jarring girly vocals, tacky pop beats, and superficial lyrics, it’s unlikely to have a widespread appeal. In fact, it couldn’t be more of a departure from “Wandering on a Piano and Harp Fantasy” from Fatal Fury 3. Towards the end of the release, listeners are also presented with “Blue Mary’s Blues”, for the series’ other idol. It’s considerably more listenable, thanks to Harumi Ikoma’s more mature vocals and the lounge jazz stylings. However, it’s still horribly generic with its soprano saxophone solos and dated R’n’B backing. Perhaps these tracks would have been better in the hands of a more experienced pop arranger. The ending theme restores the album back to form with a hyper-catchy old-school rock piece.


The Fatal Fury -Real Bout Special- Arrange Sound Trax is hit-and-miss, with some excellent orchestral and rock pieces being let down by some cookie-cutter tracks and terrible vocal themes. It is also somewhat frustrating that many popular fighters — including Billy Kane, Joe Higashi, and Andy Bogard — aren’t represented here. It’s not a bad album, but shouldn’t be one’s first port of call. After all, there are more consistent and encompassing arranged album in the series.

Fatal Fury -Real Bout Special- Arrange Sound Trax Chris Greening

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

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