Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to take on the age-old challenge of choosing one piece of music they would like to have with them if they were stranded on a deserted island. It’s an absurd notion, but also irresistible. See all the different approaches they took to the challenge right over here.
Oh boy, this was a tough one.
To rise to the Desert Island Disc challenge, I had to make a difficult choice. Would I choose the nostalgia-laden epics of Sabaton’s The Art of War? The thrash metal goodness of Testament’s First Strike Still Deadly? 80’s synth-laden Turbo by Judas Priest? Even 2 Bullet’s slab of Japanese electronic aggression, Marching to Disorder was a contender.
But a shadow was cast on all of these amazing albums. A shadow in the shape of a 1986 Toyota Sprinter Trueno.
Super Eurobeat’s Super Eurobeat Presents Initial D ~D Selection won this challenge. This album — and the Trueno on its cover – is nowhere near as clunky as its name. Not only is this one of my favorite albums, but Initial D, one of my favorite anime shows, features tracks from this album throughout the show.
Super Eurobeat Presents Initial D ~D Selection~ is a compilation of 15 Eurobeat songs, including some of the most iconic songs from Stage 1 – the first season – of the series. Each song on the album follows the order in which they appeared on the show. Featured in the first episode, Dave Rogers’ “Space Boy” serves as the introduction to the series.
Starting with a brief acoustic guitar riff before the hyper-energetic synth chords kick in, it provides a taste of what’s to come on the rest of the album. The next song, “No One Sleeps in Tokyo” by the Edo Boys, is featured in a cornerstone scene of the show: “Kansei Dorifto” – Inertia Drift. This scene is now a popular meme, where vehicles and objects ranging from bicycles, to buses, to airplanes drift through a variety of locations.
One perfect example:
“Spark in the Dark“ by Man Power features solid guitar solos throughout the song, while “Don’t Stop the Music” by Lou Grant has an electrifying ’80s-style synth intro and a chorus as catchy as the common cold.
Dance Around the World by the Delta Queens is the most disco-influenced song on the album. It sounds like a forgotten 70’s hit.
Despite featuring the theme from Dracula in the intro, “Back on the Rocks” by Mega NRG Man is anything but a parody. The track features an extremely catchy riff, it’s also the standout theme for one of the show’s rival drivers. The most recognizable song on the album, by far, is “Running in the 90’s” by Max Coveri. The track created a massive space in the meme world for itself, with creations like “birb in the 90’s.”
This album is desert island disc for a few key reasons: 14 out of 15 of the songs are some of the catchiest earworms I have ever heard. Songs like “Heartbeat” by Nathalie and “Save Me” by Leslie Parrish are featured in key scenes of Initial D. While “Get Me Power” by Mega NRG Man doesn’t match the fun and pulse-pounding tracks on the rest of the album, 14 out of 15 is an extremely good ratio, ranking this album above my other top choices.
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