November 2004 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings / November /


Battle of the Planets  
Music composed by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma
  Available on Silva Screen Records (SILCD1167)
Total running time: 117.29
CD1:59.50
CD2:57.39
Amazon UK   Amazon US

battle of the planets

A curious release from Silva Screen Records, bestowing a two disc set upon this apparently cult animated TV series. The sleeve notes tell us that it was the first Japanese animation to be screened in America (original title: 'Science Ninja Team Gatchaman') but being British myself, perhaps it was a big hit over there and that's why I'm not very familiar with the show. The two discs are each given over to the work of a different composer, the first by Hanna-Barbera stalwart Hoyt Curtin and the second devoted to original Japanese composer Bob Sakuma.

Sadly the Americanised music termed by Curtin as 'Hero Rock' is rather redundant seventies background scoring, the kind of thing all too familiar within TV animation and frankly pretty bland. The fact that I have absolutely nothing further to say about it actually speaks volumes. The work of Bob Sakuma on the other hand is certainly more interesting but still lacks any truly notable quality to warrant meaningful discussion. Ultimately, it rarely becomes anything more than what one might expect from this era and this medium. Although I am aware that there must be a strong fan base out there for the series and by association its music, I find it difficult to see much appeal for this extravagant release beyond die hard fans. The music just doesn't stand up very well on its own and ultimately all you have left is nostalgia at best.

Mark Hockley

*(*) 11/2

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