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The Best of LucasArts Original Soundtracks (2002)

"20 Years of LucasArts"
Review by
Steve Townsley

 

The Best of LucasArts Original Soundtracks (2002)

The Best of LucasArts
Original Soundtracks
7/10

 

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Soundclips Available!

LucasArts

 

 

 

Category  |   Score

Originality 9
Music Selection 6
Composition 8
CD Length 9
Track Order 6
Performance 8
Final Score 7/10
 

 

 

 

 

 

Composers
Michael Land,
Peter McConnell, Clint Bajakian,
David Levison, & Mark Griskey

 

 

Music composed by Michael Land, Peter McConnell, Clint Bajakian,
David Levison, & Mark Griskey.
Released by LucasArts Entertainment - 2002

I grew up playing computer adventure-games, like King’s Quest and Space Quest—games so simple and yet so complex. Then Lucasarts came along, and really carried me away with storylines that were thick with action, adventure and humor with all the in-jokes that a generation who grew up on Star Wars and Indiana Jones could appreciate. (In fact, I’m still disappointed “The Secret of Monkey Island” hasn’t made the transition to the big screen! Maybe the hold-up is trying to sell a hero named “Guybrush Threepwood” to a wide audience….)

Beyond the ever-improving graphics and quirky storylines, these games featured an amazing music, improved even further by the departure from computer sounds for that of live instruments. The rest, as they say, is history…

Now, for the 20th anniversary, of Lucasarts, a compilation of LucasArts “greatest hits” have been compiled on CD for your AFK experience. And it sounds great—but what’s the catch? Well…here’s the thing: The soundtrack features great clips from some of the best games in the gaming genre. However—many of these clips were previously available. “Outlaws” (Clint Bajakian’s stunning western score for a first-person shooter) and the wonderful “Secret of Monkey Island” were available on the game CD itself, played as extra tracks beyond the first data track. “The Dig” (also a hauntingly beautiful, atmosphere score by Michael Land) was commercially released through Angel records. For a time, you could also purchase the teriffically jazzy, South-American flavored “Grim Fandango” through the Lucasarts website. So, for those avid game collectors, the CD itself may seem like much ado about nothing.

What you do get, (that hasn’t been widely available), however, is pretty decent, and kicking it right off is Track 1, LucasArts’ “20th Anniversary Fanfare”, which is at least a minute and a half of pretty decent—full of a little musical taste of everything: music, adventure, wonder, terror.

From “Escape from Monkey Island”, five additional tracks of goodness, of which, my favorites are a delightfully pirate-y “Scumm Bar” (track 14) and closely by “Underwater Lagoon” (track 12), which seems to evoke that pleasant background scoring with which you’ve hopefully had the pleasure of becoming familiar in the games. “Mystes of Tyme” (track 16) is certainly atmospheric and moody, and the latin-flavored guitar in “Marco de Pollo” (track 6) is oozing with attitude. [If I take these a bit out of order, please excuse me—they’re in chronological order as far as game play is concerned.]

Tracks 21 and 22 are “bonus” tracks, from upcoming LucasArts games, “RTX Red Rock” and “Gladius”, respectively. “RTX” sounds a bit like the latest James Bond music, with plenty of techno-rhythms. “Gladius”, at 3:39, is a little more epic-sounding, in comparison, and there’s plenty of “battle” music herein. Track 23, (Finale), is a nice, if short, capper to this eclectic collection of music.

Overall, I’m going to dock the CD itself a little for not being *more* noteworthy with musical choices--falling back mostly on previously released CD material. But I’m not going to fault the composers for that, because the group represented here are clearly brilliant and talented composers who are at the top of their field, and who have made--for me and more than a few other players out there--a simple game into a memorable experience. If you haven’t heard their work before, this will be a good sampler. For those of you that have, let’s hope to hear more from them soon.


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track

Title Time

Rating

1 20th Anniversary Fanfare 1:31  ***
2 Outlaws Theme 3:17  ****
3 Monkey Island Theme 1:40  ****
4 Hector Steps Out 0:55  ***
5 Smooth Hector 2:00  **
6 Marco de Pollo 2:25  **
7 Hector’s Blues 1:58  **
8 The Ballad of Dr. Death 4:41  **
9 Temple Gate 1:44  **
10 The Monument 2:50  **
11 TMission to the Asteroid 2:27  ****
12  Underwater Lagoon 2:29  ***
13 The Train 3:44  ***
14 Pegnose Pete’s Hideout 1:27  **
15 Scumm Bar 1:40  ****
16 The Mysts of Tyme 3:26  **
17 The Enlightened Florist 1:24  **
18 Bone Wagon 1:29  ***
19 Tango 2:15  **
20 The Sawmill 3:25  ***
21 Laser Drill 3:31  **
22 Gladius Sketches 3:39  ***
23  Finale 0:55  ***
 

Total Running Time

55:18  

The Best of LucasArts Original Soundtracks (2002)

 

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.

 

Referenced Reviews
 

 

 

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