Yoko Kanno / Seatbelts - Cowboy Bebop CD-Box [Victor - 2002]This is something different from our Japanese friends. Cowboy Bebop is a popular anime show in Japan and currently is being released on DVD in the rest of the world. The music is one of the things that makes this show quite unique.
Most of the soundtrack is composed by one person: Yoko Kanno and her band called the Seatbelts. This super extremely pricey limited CD-Box is a compilation of 50 pieces of music, of which approximately 20 are previously unreleased pieces or unreleased versions.
The anime show Cowboy Bebop has already spawned several other music releases. OST 1, OST 2: No Disc, OST 3: Blue and the mini album Vitaminless all feature songs from all the 26 episodes. This 4 CD-Box adds another whopping 93 tracks to it. But not everything is music on the CD-Box. The first three CDs concentrate on the TV-show (there is also a movie out) and some tracks feature shorts excerpts from the dialogue on the show. All obviously in Japanese, but this doesn't really matter because they are pretty short. The fourth disc features a live concert by the Seatbelts. You will also get a seperate 8cm single with the box including the song Wandering Cowboy, which is actually the opening theme from the show (Tank!) with vocals.
For such a short-running show with only 26 episodes, Cowboy Bebop sure has a lot of music available. And that's a good thing because a lot of the soundtrack and the additional tracks are really interesting. Ranging from bebop to jazz to rock and pop, and even hard rock and some more experimental electronic songs. It's quite diverse and you can hear they put a lot of work in it. Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts also hired a lot of additional musicians from all over the world. I do think that the third disc is not as interesting as the other three. It features more short experiments and less interesting tracks. The other discs are great, and with the Seatbelts live show on the fourth disc the set is completed.
I can recommend this box to everyone. I'm not a huge fan of the show actually, I'm more into the music. So even if you've never seen the show, this is something you could like. But I do think that it's better to start with the (cheaper) original four soundtracks. I might review them in the future. The box is definatly worth your money and should be still available at Amazon. Niels van Rongen