Bye-Bye Jupiter - Original Soundtrack
International Title
 Bye-Bye Jupiter
Music By: Kentaro Haneda
Record Label: Toshiba EMI
Running Time: 51:57 Discs: 1
Release: April 1984 CD Number: CA35-1073
Anthony Romero
First off, a big thanks goes out to Robert Storch for sending this disc for review!

Generally regarded as the first Toho science fiction release on the CD format, this disc from Toshiba EMI for the 1984 production of Bye-Bye Jupiter was given a simultaneous release alongside its LP and audio cassette counterparts. Today, the CD is incredibly rare, commanding very high prices when it does manage to emerge. Part of the reason for this demand is the age of the disc, and the unavailability of the music elsewhere on the format up through 2013, while another is the inclusion of songs from two successful singers in Japan: Jiro Sugita and Yumi Matsutoya (aka Yuming).

Composed by Kentaro Haneda, probably best known internationally for his work on G.I. Samurai (1979) and Virus (1980), the score here is, although with its charm, fairly dated in a few places. A couple of these themes are synthesized, giving it a smaller budget feel. This benefits some tracks, such as "Recollection of Love", while holding back others, such as the corny sounding "Panic: Jupiter at the Beach" which fittingly plays during the lackluster scene of Jupiter (the dolphin) versus the shark in the movie. Surprisingly, though, Haneda tends to favor more traditional orchestrations for most of the cues here. This manages to produce a few rousing tracks such as the "Main Theme", which utilizes a lot of violin work, and the march-like "The Spaceship Fleet Prepares for Battle". Haneda, overall, creates a pretty good body of work here that shows his range and does very well with crafting themes such as the wonderful "Parting with Carlos".

In terms of the songs, the disc features a total of four vocal tracks, all of which are the record versions. Two are by Yumi Matsutoya, one of the most popular singers in Japan who has been active since the 1970's. Having a large fanbase, who have consumed over 40 million of her records, it's likely this is a large factor in why this disc is so hard to find today. In regards to the two songs, "At the Blue Ship" and "Voyager", both are pretty solid. "At the Blue Ship" has a very nice, slow beat while the lyrics work to make it a very soothing song as Yumi has a wonderful voice to carry it. "Voyager" is also nice, although with things like an echo effect sounds a bit more contemporary.

Artist Jiro Sugita, who also contributed work for Horror of the Wolf (1973), rounds out the other two songs present here. "The Four Seasons of Earth" is a pretty nice folk song, utilizing an acoustic guitar to good effect along with a few moments with backup singers. The second song, the self titled "Bye-Bye Jupiter", is simply wonderful. It's hard not to get wrapped up by its lyrics as it swells during key points, supported by piano, drum, and violin work. It's a departure from the normal acoustic guitar songs that Sugita is known for, and the marriage between his vocal work and the more traditional orchestration ends up being a great combination.

Now, in terms of this release in particular, it sadly does not contain the full score. This is especially sad given the fairly low runtime here, which would have easily permitted more tracks to be added. Hopefully, at some point, a company decides to revisit the score and give it a much deserved full release.

Bottom line, this is a pretty solid body of work. Its few faults, like "Panic: Jupiter at the Beach", are easily overlooked by the rest of the content available. It's a shame, though, that the release is so hard to come by today. Thankfully the material was re-released, and remastered for slightly better audio quality, by Universal and EMI (TOCT-11610) that makes this original release really only attractive for collectors.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. Bye-Bye Jupiter - Main Theme
  2. Bye-Bye Jupiter - Sub Theme
  3. Dark Reunion
  4. Recollection of Love
  5. The Four Seasons of Earth
    By: Jiro Sugita
  6. Approaching the Giant Red Spot
  7. At the Blue Ship
    By: Yumi Matsutoya
  8. Nazca Base Discovery
  9. Space Arrow Disaster
  10. Hoger Kinn's Death
  11. Panic: Jupiter at the Beach
  12. Bye-Bye Jupiter
    By: Jiro Sugita
  13. The Spaceship Fleet Prepares for Battle
  14. Carlos Finishes the Explosion Preparations
  15. Parting with Carlos
  16. A Hero's Death
  17. Funeral on a Small Planet
  18. Voyager
    By: Yumi Matsutoya