Need For Speed II Music -Excessive Speed!-

Need For Speed II Music -Excessive Speed!- Album Title:
Need For Speed II Music -Excessive Speed!-
Record Label:
Electronic Arts
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
April 28, 1997
Buy Used Copy


Need for Speed II serves as the sequel to the game which started up this successful racing game franchise. The music from the game was released on this album (Excessive Speed! The Music from Need For Speed II), to which a large number of composers have contributed. Rock and electro fans will be pleased to hear that the album features both styles, and moreover, each is blessed with some stand out themes. With so many contributors and collaborations, the score to the game is both diverse and enjoyable, for reasons which I’ll now go ahead and explain.


Saki Kaskas is one of the largest contributors to the album, having both solo tracks and collaborations with the game’s other composers, namely Jeff van Dyck. In regards to his solo tracks, Saki Kaskas has two rock themes (“Siwash Rock” and “Feta Cheese”) and one trance theme “Sanoqoua.” While “Siwash Rock” is typically fast paced and explicit with its jutting guitar lines and slamming dreams, “Feta Cheese” is a bit more unique, and is just as tasty as it sounds. It takes upon a rock form, but it also adopts some less intrusive characteristics, touching upon a pseudo-flamenco style in places with an acoustic guitar. “Sanoqoua” seems a little boring in comparison, but nevertheless features a pulsating bass beat and infectious melody that all good trance themes should have.

Kaskas’ collaborations with Jeff Dyck further reflect upon his expertise, with these themes being the strongest on the album. To point out just one of the four tracks they composed together, “Headless Horse” is my favourite. Though it starts off a little cheesy with its vocals, over its five minute course of playing we are presented with multiple sound effects and taken down lots of different (and intriguing) developmental channels. Out of all of the tracks on the album, “Headless Horse” is the one which is musically explored the most, the result of which is a very strong trance and rock fused ominous theme.

Jeff van Dyck’s compositions very much relate to his collaborations with Kaskas, in that his themes are amazingly well developed as well. The funky vibe emanating from the impressive “Corroboree,” the bizarre appearance of an organ in “Heinerklingle,” and the fast paced melody in “Pavlova” are just some of the things which make his compositions special. In regard to these three themes, “Pavolva” is certainly my favourite. The trance style adopted by the track really helps it to blossom, with all of the energy focused on the sustained interjecting bass beat and the melodic highs of the speedy synth. Ideally it would have been nice to hear a few more tracks from both Dyck and Kaskas, with each producing some high quality themes.

Even so, Rom Di Prisco’s trance tracks are a good contribution in the absence of further themes from Dyck and Kaskas. The main criticism comes from the fact that two of his three themes barely reach 40 seconds and are hence dramatically underdeveloped and could be so much more. Due to this, “Espirit” and “Mclaren” are two tracks which I suggest you skip over. Di Prisco’s “Menu” theme is much more entertaining though, taking advantage of its four minutes of playing time to explore some nice and ambient trance avenues. In further disappointment though, the other contributions from Alistair Hunt, Crispin Hands, Jay Weinland, and Robert Ridihalgh are all hit-or-miss, with none of the themes standing out as being especially striking.


I’m impressed by this album’s collection of musical styles, fusions, composer collaborations and the overall journey which it creates. In all, it is a good collection of tracks, and although there are a few weak themes here and there, it’s got a high listening value. In terms of how it competes with the series’ other soundtracks, it’s certainly amongst the ones which I would suggest are worthy of adding to your collection.

Need For Speed II Music -Excessive Speed!- Dave Valentine

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Dave Valentine. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

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