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Retro! Computer game music

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One for those who remember..

Back in the day, there was always the same "debate" as to which was the better machine. The Commodore 64 or the Spectrum.

Not sure why. The Spectrum was crap and outclassed by the C64 in every respect. And not least the decent 4-channel synth chip. Which with a bit of manipulation and clever effects could sound like more than four channels. It was rather capable for its time. It didn't just make beeping noises.

And it led to some real computer game music masterpieces. Like Rob Hubbard's wonderful theme for Monty on the Run.

.. subsequently re-recorded by a stack of people. Here's a guitar based version.

I love the way that this does not deviate one bit from the original. It's just played on guitars. And it's wonderful.


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Yes - Rob Hubbard changed the face of chip music on 8-bit systems back in the day.

For those of you who want to recreate the experience of working within the limitations of the day; it is possible to emulate this using an arduino. But like my first forays into working with a MIDI sequencer back in the late '80s and more recently with Sonic Pi; the one thing I've learned is that I'm rubbish at composition.

So, here's a contribution to the thread - moving into the heady days of 16 bit computers with a couple of attempts to bring something seen as essentially nerdy into the mainstream by tying in popular musicians of the day

Bomb the Bass and the music for Xenon 2 - Megablast; & Jean Michel Jarre with the music for Captain Blood (I was pretty rubbish at both these games too - but the fractal landscapes in Captain Blood intrigued me).


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I used to have a game called 'LED Storm' for the ZX Spectrum. It was a monochrome top down car racing game that was pretty addictive back in the day - 1988ish. The theme tune for it was pretty epic. I think it only worked on the more powerful 128k versions.

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I was lucky enough to have an Atari st back in the day.  I was only into the games at the time but think it was regarded as extremely proficient at musical stay composition/ sequencing.

Anyway I fondly remember bomb the bass featuring on xenon.  A lot of other titles had good sounds albeit not necessarily soundtrack level.  There are whole genres now reimagining those Amiga/ outrun/ late 80s neon tinged days.  Will try to find some examples at some point.  Case in point, I was listening to a something on YouTube a few days ago and somebody commented that it sounded like the game Strider.

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