Ah, soundtracks. A good idea in theory, to gather up all of the music heard within a movie, television show, or other production, and release it in a format which people can listen to at their leisure, all without the hassle of having to watch said production to hear certain songs, and typically without background noise running over it. A good idea... in theory.
Unfortunately, there are some who miss the point entirely. Sometimes you get soundtracks where lines from a movie or TV show are played over parts of some songs; other times, the music you want to hear is discarded in favor of something you didn't even realize was there in the first place. And, almost as an extension of that, there are those soundtracks which are basically just songs taken from the ending credits and padded out with some other stuff you didn't care about in the first place.
And that brings us to Mega Man, one of the few genuine American soundtracks to bear the Blue Bomber's name. Rather than a collection of the video game series' iconic tunes, this is a soundtrack for the then-popular animated series from Ruby-Spears. Hey, it had that awesome-- albeit repetitive-- theme song, so that should make it a winner right there, right?
Not so fast.
Over at Destructoid, our friend Tony Ponce has managed to pry open an ancient vault and dust off this interesting piece of franchise history by taking a look back at the songs which comprise the soundtrack. As it turns out, though, those songs-- while technically used in the show-- are not what one would expect.
Instead of the cool background themes which ran throughout each episode of the show, these are the songs which played during the end credits of season 2. And while Ponce is kind enough to at least credit them as being "inspired by" the show, we cannot even muster that sort of faith-- even if being sarcastic about it. With the exception of one song, "Mega Man Theme" (which isn't at all what you think), none of these songs seem to even remotely have anything to do with Mega Man at all. If anything, it seems more like a strange cross-promotion by the record label for other albums by the artists involved.
I'm super grateful that I picked this album up as an adult, because I can only imagine how heartbroken 10-year-old me would have been had I received it when it first came out. At least now I can laugh at its absurdity and novelty, but I feel bad for kids who were duped into thinking a Mega Man CD would actually have anything to do with Mega Man.
Er, yes... pity the poor suckers who got roped into this back when it was released... *sobs*
But really, though some of the songs aren't necessarily bad, "misdirection at its finest" is indeed the best way to sum up this release.
However, that's not all-- Ponce has actually found a second soundtrack called Mega Man Dance, which features the nifty German techno version of the cartoon's theme song, which you might have heard around at some point. Plus, there's music from... Sonic the Hedgehog?
The article is full of YouTube embeds from both albums, so if you have any curiosity for an obscure piece of Mega Man history such as this, we strongly encourage you to check it out.
Thanks for the tip, Tony!