ReMix: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior 'The Ken Song'

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Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Though it will sadly never be as ubiquitous or widely accepted into our collective consciousness as The Thong Song, newcomer Joe Darwish's take on Ken's previously-unmixed-on-OCR theme from Street Fighter 2 is a knock-down, drag-out, kickass first mix, a complete rock overhaul with original lyrics and pretty polished vocals, with lots of doubling, harmony, attention to panning. A clean crisp sound - not quite as metal/edgy as Game Over's sound, more of a Top 40/alterna/Foo Fighters bent, with more straightedge vocals. Joe's done a fantastic job of building a vocal line over the original melody, mixing up guitar textures, acoustic drumming, and achieving an overall balanced sound. Now, let's talk a sec about the lyrics - I think they're great, personally - they certainly work for me - but I also find the line "realise your ken" hilarious. I talked with Joe and he said the lyrics were perhaps cheesy but not intended as humorous, so I just consider this an unintended benefit. Let me clarify that, in case it's vague: though I find portions amusing, I LOVE these lyrics, and the cheese factor only adds to my enjoyment of the mix. This has a Star Salzman quality of being VERY catchy and quintessentially listenable and appealing. Perhaps not as elaborate, definitely not as risky, but that "radio" factor is there. I am so... damn.... glad that our first posted Ken mix covers the theme so thoroughly and in such a rock-out, embarassing head-banging + air-guitaring fashion. Articulation, technique, vocal processing, singing, drumming - all come together perfectly. Layering the background vocals over the lead at the end was the clear choice for building out the conclusion. I was gonna mix this theme, but this is almost everything I'd want in an arrangement; I'm not saying I don't think other talented mixers can cover it differently in the future in a way I'd still dig, but I don't personally feel like I'd listen to anything I myself came up with as much as Joe's coverage. Rock fans and Street Fighter 2 fans absolutely, under penalty of death, must download this mix. The venerated group of Ryu mixes is now joined by a blond-haired, American rival in red, and the world just got a little bit cooler in the process. Realise your Ken!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
metamorphosis
on 2014-06-24 19:36:05
Love the production though it's a little bass-heavy, quibbling-wise the autotune on the vox is very noticable. More meaningful lyrics in the chorus would be great but on the whole it's nice.
MindWanderer
on 2012-09-07 15:58:58
Can't believe I missed this one all those years ago. Sounds a little muddy up next to Ryu Next Generation, though--I wonder if a cleaner version might be available?
TillyFun
on 2012-08-11 18:41:39
Ah The Ken Song. ^_^ Such glowing sweetness... like neon and honey! :3
It's been a long and winding road.
Gotta love it, breaking people's bones.

Perfection in a vocal game mix? ;) :D A favoured tribute for Ken, that's for sure! n_n
Crulex
on 2010-12-30 12:55:36
That guitar! Damn, that guitar sounds so crisp and high quality, it's fantastic! I can actually hear the whole Top 40 thing and it really works with this. The lyrics are good and fit the character. Nothing against any other ReMix on the site, cause there are a lot that sound like this, but this one in particular just has that professional radio sound and you can almost picture being played for no reason other than it was good. Absolutely one of the best ReMixes of Ken's theme. Can you say I've enjoyed this? Shoryuken!
jdproject
on 2010-05-13 20:07:44
Hi guys. Joe Darwish here. I am the Creator of the The Ken Song...
after so many years the ken song still lives on ! never thought it would have this kind of reaction. thanks for listening...
if you care to listen to some of my other stuff you can go to....
www.myspace.com/joedarwish
or
become a fan on facebook !
www.facebook.com/joedarwishmusic
Thanks Guys
REALIZE YOUR (or You're) KEN
OA
on 2009-12-07 17:00:52
A super OCR classic- great clean production and some cool lyrics. Doing a cover of this arrangement at last year's Magfest was totally fun. Nice lyrics, good arrangement and additions, and good guitar tone. Consider my Ken realized.
K.B.
on 2009-12-02 18:46:59
Before I read the lyrics, I assumed the singer was saying "Takes nothing to realize you're Ken". I mused on that for a bit, and soon the song gained a rather profound meaning. It was no longer pulling me into Ken's esoteric battle, it was showing me how my trials, while entirely my own, were only superficially different from the subject's. It was as if the song was actually a metaphor for the universality of the human struggle.
Then I read the lyrics. And I lol'ed.
The Orichalcon;52357 wrote: That's one thing cleared with jd. It's meant to be "realise you're Ken." Just a little bit of poor grammar entering the lyrics. ;)

May we continue to realize our Ken regardless. And twice on weekends.
This song is iconic. If you have a playlist, let alone a computer, that this isn't on, then you are wrong. It's one solid rock track, and no matter how you hear the lyrics the whole thing is f-ing awesome.
So... how's that Ryu Song coming along, eh jd?
Lucentas
on 2008-12-06 17:53:28
Totally awesome song, now I really can't hear Ken's theme any other way. The guitar is amazing.
Sayishere
on 2008-06-17 10:37:03
very nice, i usually tend to stay away from remixes with lyrics, this was VERY well done
GOOD JOB
MirkoSon
on 2007-04-02 07:22:56
This is what I've been begging god for, since I was a child.
I'll never be thankful enaugh.
Keep up the good work, Ryu and Guile themes would be appreciated too though... ;)
DrNeedlove
on 2006-09-21 16:21:35
This is the bomb. The music is top knotch, the lyrics are good. When is the music video going to come out?!?!?!
Asher
on 2006-06-15 22:52:47
one of the greatest songs ever next to little macs confession, the rock genre is great and the lyrics are pretty beast good job.
Geoffrey Taucer
on 2006-04-28 15:05:36
This song is made of pure win
Johnmike
on 2006-04-28 00:11:15
The links to the song or jd's site aren't working.
yourmom9500
on 2006-04-03 21:49:28
Pretty good, agreed. Obviously, I love the tune. The lyrics are OK, but overall, it's a 10/101