ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog "Live at the Springyard" 4:44

By Harmony

Artist Links
acoustic-guitar jazz lyrics-original piano singing vocals-male
Arranging the music of one song...

"Spring Yard Zone"

Primary Game: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega, 1991, GEN), music by Masato Nakamura

Posted 2005-04-27, evaluated by djpretzel


There's good mixes, great mixes, and then there's tracks that might be good or great but are first and foremost memorable due to being... singular. Unique. Something that probably would never have had a remote chance of being brought into this world, in any vaguely similar form, were it not for the ReMixer in question. Regardless of its reception, I'd like to think my recently completed arrangement from the anime Gilgamesh is such a piece, but moreso in that case because it's an anime very few people have even seen. But I digress (self-promotingly so, no less); with his second submission, Harmony not only proves that his initial Secret of Mana mix was no fluke, he one-ups it with a superb Sonic the Hedgehog ReMix that's got technique a' plenty, style to spare, and is just such a singular, unique work, featuring vegas vocals (somewhat reminiscent of some of the singing from Nilsen's incarnation of Sonic CD), acoustic guitar and piano soloing, dynamic drumming, bookended live ambience complete with applause and trusty nightclub atmosphere, and a dramatic ending that's got a tasty mini-drum solo of sorts. And hey, just for kicks, he even sings the Sega logo music at the mix's outset - a detail that should truly ingratiate him for life with us sega fanboys, even though Brandon himself admits to the heresy of having preferred the SNES:

"I was always an SNES man myself but I can’t deny the greatness that was Sonic 1. That soundtrack has been stuck in my head for years and the Spring Yard Zone is one of my favorite VG themes of all time. Some of the WIP forum comments on this remix mentioned that this is a nice change of pace, but honestly this is generally my style. Acoustic sounding stuff is always fun to do to me. Drums, keys and bass were all “played live” on the keyboard then lightly quantized and tweaked. I think that this allows for some levels of humanization and variety that’s really difficult to get with just a mouse, even though some of the better remixers on this site who only use mice have accomplished it beautifully.


Equipment used on this Remix:

- Casio CTK-551
- Cakewalk Sonar 2
- My trusty acoustic guitar
- gotta mention the egg shaker...good stuff"

Egg shaker indeed. This is just a fun piece of music - it doesn't take itself too seriously, but at the same has some seriously competent arranging and performance going on, and the entire concept of a live performance works perfectly with the jazzy, already sorta Wayne Newton vibe of the original. Production is smooth, and vocal processing well-attuned to the showy "doo-wop" nature. Everything sits well, there's nary an off note to the respective guitar articulations and piano performance, and I'd say the mixer succeeded greatly in efforts to humanize and polish the mix, especially the keys and drums. Brandon's first mix was a great track, but I think there's more of a clearly identifiable (metaphorical) voice present with this composition, in which his musical skills are matched with a two-scoops helping of gusto and pure, undiluted imagination.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Skinner3D
on 2010-10-30 12:18:39

Very well put together :) Not really my style of music to listen to, but its totally worth downloading for those who want a chance of pace.

OA
on 2010-05-05 14:28:02

Haha, I really enjoyed this one; high-caliber musicianship with a sense of humor is both rare and for some people, difficult to comprehend. Excellent playing, and the vocals were smooth and fun. Harmonies were tight (of course they were, it'd be false advertising otherwise), and the solos were solid and tasteful.

Pretty much everything you'd want in a remix. 3

MojoHamster
on 2010-01-15 01:24:42

It looks like people have been over-thinking this remix, looking at the post archive. I can certainly agree with statements like 'production isn't everything'.

But this remix does exactly what it sets out to do and does it very well. It will live long as an MP3 on my hard-drive. Don't skip it just cos you scan read a few bad comments. That would be your loss.

metalsnakejuice
on 2009-09-29 12:02:20

What a brilliant song, the whole mellow theme to it is great.

Really love it.

Poga
on 2007-03-21 15:58:22

It has come to my attention that I had misheard a part of the song's vocals and, as such, the lyrics that I posted here awhile back contain an error. The last line should not read "Sonic, Sonic, oooh" but, rather, "Sonic's our herooo".

Nateon
on 2006-11-27 23:19:49

Lounge music! One of my favorite genres and nailed it spot on. I love this remix and is one of my favorites, Hell all of Harmony's tracks are amazing.

Audity
on 2006-11-02 23:41:12
Am I one of the few who thinks that production quality isn't the only thing that matters? I mean' date=' [i']sure this song sounds great but... c'mon, the vocals are all so damn cheesey and I find it almost grating to listen to. Is that just me? I'm not against vocal ReMixes by any means (I absolutely love Harmony's "Dragon's Song") but I totally put this on the same level as "A Frog, a Sword and a Spoony Bard" (which I find to be one of the worst mixes on the site by the way).

I honestly wish I didn't feel this way, I tell you. The song sounds so damn good.

And what about the rest of the song besides the vocals? There are many other parts of the song. Regardless, I would say they are a little bit excessive at times, but they really give the whole song its structure, since the instrumental breaks that follow them are so well done.

I like that part at 1:07 that sounds like this Cave Story song, which just so happened to also have a smooth jazz remix by Rexy. Sonic Story.

Chickenwarlord
on 2006-07-14 01:44:12
I totally put this on the same level as "A Frog' date=' a Sword and a Spoony Bard" (which I find to be one of the worst mixes on the site by the way).[/quote']

I totally agree with your assessment there.

Only the arrangement here is more likeable than aFaSaaSB.

Bummer
on 2006-07-13 10:27:49

Well isn't this nice, it's good to eventually see some 100% homemade remixes around here, and in this case, also performed live. f I think about it now, turning the Spring Yard Zone Theme into mellow and smooth blues/jazz was a good idea, since the end result worked real nice.

Instruments like paino, keyboards and drums are well appreciatd,but I can't really hear much of the acoustic guitar, except for the moment at 1:47. The voices sounds very cheezy, and they didn't necessarily need to sing so often as in this song since you don't hear the music in the background as good. However, when it comes to mellow live performances such as this one, you really do need a choir to add some reality to it. And the opening with SEEEEEEGAAAAAA was pretty humorous. :lol:

you call that a remix??? i hated it. needs to be more upbeat and techno.too slow for my taste.

I think you've missed the main idea with this site. It's about re-arranging videogame music into any type of music style, not just techno.

Aristobulus
on 2006-01-26 13:30:29

This really isn't bad at all. Lyrics are kindof corny, but it fits so I like it. Nice atmosphere, too, really sounds as if I was at some lounge listening to it performed live.

I'm glad you didn't go overboard with it, like some people would, and add in background shouting/clapping every few seconds; which ruins it. You did it only at fitting moments.

If I had one complaint, it's the beginning recitation of the Sega sound..It's good, but if you're listening to the song on repeat, it's kindof grating.

Defend
on 2006-01-03 14:19:51

Amazing piece..

The vocals are the icing for me.. "Doooctor Robot-nik nooooooooooo.....".. So good...

Shhteve put it well:

Something OCR can never have enough of: Smooth jazz mixes. Especially ones like this. I think it's safe to say you've set the standard for smooth jazz pieces, and set it high, I might add.
DJ Skratch 'n' Sniff
on 2006-01-03 03:23:16

Am I one of the few who thinks that production quality isn't the only thing that matters? I mean, sure this song sounds great but... c'mon, the vocals are all so damn cheesey and I find it almost grating to listen to. Is that just me? I'm not against vocal ReMixes by any means (I absolutely love Harmony's "Dragon's Song") but I totally put this on the same level as "A Frog, a Sword and a Spoony Bard" (which I find to be one of the worst mixes on the site by the way).

I honestly wish I didn't feel this way, I tell you. The song sounds so damn good.

Poga
on 2006-01-02 03:58:23

I'm not sure if I've jumped to conclusions, or perhaps missed some crucial announcement or discussion recently, but I was somewhat saddened when I heard that Harmony was withdrawing from the judges panel due to time-constraints. I hope it doesn't mean that we've heard the last from him remix-wise. But, if so, he has already given many (me certainly included) three wonderful remixes to enjoy.

As for this remix, I haven't been to one of these in ages. …Ahem. But all contextual kidding aside, this one might not have the trickling instrumental textures of his first, or the scale and production of the third, but I still think it's his best.

Its biggest strength, I think, is its creativity and interpretation. Though it arguably doesn't switch genres from the original "Spring Yard Zone" tune and, retrospectively, it seems like that track was screaming for this very sort of arrangement all along, it certainly brings a great deal of life and atmosphere to it. The way in which this remix was done results in what I think is one of the most fitting and unique video game music arrangements available so far.

The little ambient touches with the audience were pulled off well, and seem both comical and serious at the same time. Rather than merely sounding cliché and unconvincing (as such approaches are often prone to), they are largely responsible for imparting much of the aforementioned atmosphere, as if we are all being treated to the performance. The opening cleverly incorporates the "SEGA" soundbite most of us are so familiar with, and the subsequent lounge vocals are nearly perfect. The lyrics, which some might denounce as corny, are (in my opinion) very appropriate and tie the remix more closely in with the game in a serious yet light-hearted way.

The instrumental voicing is soft and nicely laid-back. The drums would be better served if they were actually played live and not just sampled (which I imagine is an obvious and unreasonable criticism given the assumed limited resources of Mr. Bush in this case), but the programming is still done well. (I especially like some of the semi-subtle flourishes, like the ride cymbal bell on the off-beats from 3:51 to 3:54.) The vibraphone has a similarly MIDI-ish sound, but I actually kind of like it in this piece. It works. The jazz guitar playing is simple but great, and reminds me of Pat Metheny in many parts.

Fortunately, with all of these strengths, the structure and pacing of the arrangement brings it all wonderfully together. Blending some of the prototypical techniques of smooth jazz with Harmony's unique take on the source track, it stays fresh and maintains an easy forward drive from beginning to end. It keeps a cohesive groove and consistent style, all while wandering about with pretty melodic lines and textures, and at the same time not taking itself too seriously. My minor gripes are ultimately not really even gripes at all. Creative and stylistic. Excellent.

… … …

By the way, I didn't see the lyrics posted anywhere (I apologize if I overlooked them), so I went ahead and had a quick couple of listens and jotted them down myself. Most of it was pretty straightforward, but the scatting was pretty tricky to discern accurately. I think I got it down fairly true-to-form, though:

SEGA!

(Oooowaahoooo)

(Oooooooooooo)

(Oooowaahoooo)

(Oooooooooooo)

Oh let's go, Sonic

Dr. Robotnik, nooo

C'mon let's go, Sonic

Don't let Robotnik go-oooh

[vibraphone solo]

(daht-dow, zaht-dow)

Oh let's go, Sonic

Dr. Robotnik, nooo

Oh let's go, Sonic

Don't let Robotnik go-oooh

[guitar and piano break]

(yaah-daht-dow, yaah-daht-dow, yaah-daht-dow)

(yaah-daht-dow, yaah-daht-dow)

Oh let's go, Sonic

Dr. Robotnik, nooo

C'mon let's go, Sonic

Don't let Robotnik go-oooh

(yaah-daht-dah-daht-dah-daht-dah-daht-dow)

(naah, naah, naah)

(daah, daah, daah)

(naah, naah, naah)

(naah, naah, naah)

[break section]

(shoobwah-doo-bwah-doo-doo-zwah-daht-dah-dow)

(shibbity-bop-boo-doo-zwhee-daht-doo-doo-daht-doo)

(zooboobity-bop-bah-doo-doo-doo-dit-doo-doo)

Come on, Sonic, gooo

[drum fill outro]

Sonic, Sonic, oooh

MisterBiggler
on 2005-06-08 15:23:38

Wow. This is the first of it's kind for me. I've really enjoyed this remix since getting it. So smooth, and eloquent, makes you wanna break out the good scotch and just chill out. The jazz/samba/Vegas hotel lobby musak thing is really just nice, I can't comment on that enough.

Good flippin' stuff, Harmony

Shhteve
on 2005-05-22 02:40:59

Something OCR can never have enough of: Smooth jazz mixes. Especially ones like this. I think it's safe to say you've set the standard for smooth jazz pieces, and set it high, I might add. :D

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega, 1991, GEN)
Music by Masato Nakamura
Songs:
"Spring Yard Zone"

Tags (6)


Genre:
Jazz
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Singing, Vocals: Male
Additional:
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original

File Information


Name:
Sonic_the_Hedgehog_Live_at_the_Springyard_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
5,762,631 bytes
MD5:
d93469f7a3ea830b62888fe08da2632d
Bitrate:
160Kbps
Duration:
4:44

SEGA

(One, two...)

Oh, let's go, Sonic
Dr. Robotnik, no
Come on, let's go, Sonic
Don't let Robotnik go

Oh, let's go, Sonic
Dr. Robotnik, no
Oh, let's go, Sonic
Don't let Robotnik go

Oh, let's go, Sonic
Dr. Robotnik, no
Come on, let's go, Sonic
Don't let Robotnik go

[scatting]

Come on, Sonic, go
Sonic's on a roll

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