Bye-Bye Jupiter - Original Soundtrack
International Title
 Bye-Bye Jupiter
Music By: Kentaro Haneda
Record Label: Universal EMI
Running Time: 51:25 Discs: 1
Release: September 2013 CD Number: TOCT-11610
Anthony Romero
Teaming up with EMI, in September of 2013 Universal reissued 100 different soundtracks in Japan at a budget price of around ¥999 (~$10). One of those was the highly sought after soundtrack to Bye-Bye Jupiter, which had been out of print since the original 1984 pressing by Toshiba EMI (CA35-1073). While the subject matter sounds a little dated in parts, its an interesting effort from composer Kentaro Haneda that is buoyed nicely with some stellar songs from Jiro Sugita and Yumi Matsutoya (aka Yuming).

Now Kentaro Haneda has a reputation for being a very contemporary composer, employing techniques like obvious synth effects that date his material. While that still applies to Bye-Bye Jupiter, the film's score is actually one of his more timeless ones, and certainly less dated than his work on Formula 2 Grand Prix (1984) released that same year. There is synth work here, and the worst offender being the fairly awful "Panic: Jupiter at the Beach" that sounds like it belongs from a low budget TV show, but also a surprising amount of full orchestration, such as the wonderful and majestic "Funeral on a Small Planet" which is, itself, a take on the almost as pleasing "Main Theme". While I haven't heard a ton of Haneda's soundtracks, I can say his work on the large scale Bye-Bye Jupiter score is certainly one of his better efforts.

As for the songs, more than a third of the CD is dedicated to vocal work, which is partly because there are four songs from the production and also because the runtime is a little low on this disc. Of the two artists involved, the one that will turn heads is Yumi Matsutoya who is credited as one of Japan's most popular singers of all time. Her work on the film is pretty solid, as "At the Blue Ship" has a great beat that keeps the song in your head while her stellar vocal work carries the tune. "Voyager", which closes out the disc, is the most popular of the songs on this CD and on one hand its easy to see why as Yumi does a fantastic job with the lyrics, while on the other hand I prefer the "At the Blue Ship" due to the background music which is a bit more engaging. Finally, artist Jiro Sugita, who was featured in Horror of the Wolf (1973), also contributes two songs for the film. To be frank, Sugita is on the top of his game here. While Yumi might have him beat in popularity, the songs "Bye-Bye Jupiter" and "The Four Seasons of Earth" are the ones that really steal the show, having just the right chemistry with great vocal work and an amazing beat. In fact, after hearing "Bye-Bye Jupiter" it's hard not to really yearn for an instrumental version, as the background piano and other orchestration work for this tune is spot on.

Now, in regards to this reissue, it contains the exact same material as the older Toshiba EMI (CA35-1073) release. So that means the same eighteen tracks and that the vocal songs are all the record versions instead of the movie versions, which is notable as the "Bye-Bye Jupiter" song in the movie sounds a lot different and frankly not even close to as good as its record counterpart. The overall packaging is also a faithful reproduction of the original. This includes the back insert, which lists the tracks and is still incredibly dull looking with a single tone color and text on it. About the only thing that has changed is that the CD number has naturally been updated on the packaging and the glaring "Compact Disc" in the lower right on the cover has been removed. Shockingly given that its a budget release, while the music selection is the same, the audio quality has been improved here. The difference is not night and day, but Universal has done a good job remastering the themes and making the instruments sound more distinct and breathing a bit of life into the material. This applies to the songs as well, which have been re-released before yet even those sound a little sharper on this 2013 disc.

Bottom line, the disc is a recommendable release if one is willing to overlook a couple of weak tracks and a short runtime. The budget release brings this disc into the very affordable range, meaning its no longer a soundtrack reserved for just the hardcore collectors. Speaking directly to the collectors who might have had the original release, this one is narrowly better thanks to improved audio quality. All said, that alone is probably not enough to merit "upgrading", which had the disc contained at least one or two bonus tracks of unreleased content it would have easily rocketed there, but is worth noting that this 2013 edition is the superior release.
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