CD: Lupin the 3rd: Jam Trip 1800

 

Lupin the 3rd: Jam Trip 1800


Japanese CD Title

ルパン三世 Jam Trip 1800
[Rupan San Sei Jam Trip 1800]

Music By:
Record Label:
CD Release:
Run Time:
CD Number:

Akira Ishikawa
Nippon Columbia
October 1993
38:06
COCC-11079

Based On:

Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro / Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo / Lupin the 3rd series

CD

Review

By: Anthony Romero

Before I begin, would like to thank Jessica Stan for sending this release in for review!

Released in 1993, this CD features music around the Lupin the 3rd series. It pre-dates the film revival of the character that happened with Lupin the 3rd: Farewell to Nostradamus (1995), although the disc focuses on the 1970's work related to the series anyway. In fact, what this release offers is a lyric-less jazz session that reworks ten themes from the Lupin the 3rd series to okay, if not consistent, results.

Artist wise, this CD was created by Akira Ishikawa, with his second band the "Count Buffaloes" (who also go under the name "Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffaloes"). The group is responsible for a variety of rather odd albums, although a number of them are related to media properties as well. For example, there is another entry in the Jam Trip series for Macross Frontier. They even got to take a crack at Marvel Comics, with their "The Eccentric Sounds of Spider-Man" release. Based on the Toei show, their work reimagining this is actually pretty lively.

Now starting from the top, the Lupin the 3rd: Jam Trip 1800 CD first reimagines the Lupin theme. This theme itself has been reworked so many times that even if someone isn't familiar with the original version, they will recognize the theme from one of the later movies or shows. Ishikawa's version of this is okay, but doesn't stand out too favorably compared to the original. Next up is "Magnum Dance", a Play Cosmo like theme that evokes that lounge feeling before kicking up the big band.

Track three is where it finally starts to get related to Toho, with the track "Mysterious Journey" from Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979). Unfortunately, the track is pretty dreary at the start, and doesn't really kick in the soothing element until about a minute in. To the song's credit, it's recognizable from its source material, but needed to be just a bit more consitent to be really enjoyable.

Following this is "Super Hero", which had a short variant from Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978) although there is a full song which this track is based on. Now this jazz version is the complete opposite compared to track three, as it's actually better, more lively than the original. It's got a great energetic start and keeps the momentum going for its three minute duration, placing in tons of horn work that really clicks.

Next up is "Love Squall", another Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978) inspiration, although I suppose I should asterisk much of this as many of these themes were also used in the show. Anyway, this theme is rather slow, and actually suffers from the lack of the overly 1970's vibe that the original had. The lack of the accordion, which harks back to old Europe in the original theme, is also missed and its loss leads to basically turning it into a fairly forgettable melody.

Track 6 is a heavy weight, as it's one of my favorite Lupin themes in the form of "Fire Treasure" from Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979). An alternate translation of this could be "The Treasure of the Flame", but we will go with their English translations in this scenario. Now Ishikawa's version is instantly recognizable for its source material. However, it really lacks the magic and mystic of the original due to the jazz format. This is followed by "Love in San Paulo" and "Lovin' You (Lucky)", which are both from the show. "Love in San Paulo" has a slightly more energetic vibe that makes it enjoyable at moments, although is on the forgettable side. "Lovin' You (Lucky)" is back to the lounge vibe, although this one sounds unintentionally comical and is a misfire because of that.

Next up is the "Love Theme", which appeared in Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978) and frequently on the show. This version here is okay, feeling like its on auto pilot and never really manages to be either energetic or soothing. Finally, the disc concludes with "I Miss You Babe (Yes, I Do)". The original song was by Sandra Hohn, and was dated, in English and not particularly great. The jazz version is more subdued, is also forgettable... but almost by default is easier to listen to than the original English song.

Overall, I enjoyed Ishikawa's version of "Magnum Dance" and "Super Hero". Are they worth buying the album for? Probably not, although at least all of the content here is original and if found for a good price this might make a nice addition to someone's collection who is a big fan of the Lupin the 3rd music.

As a side note, the booklet contains both English and Japanese titles for all of the tracks. These titles are largely the same as one another when translated, or close variants. The one glaring exception is track 10. In Japanese, this has the title of "Embrace, Lupine" (???,??? - Dai Te, Rupan). The English title, though, is "I Miss You Babe (Yes, I Do)". While I would generally favor the Japanese titles, this track is actually based on a song with the lyrics "I miss you babe" in them. As a result, went with the English title on this one.

Rating: Star Rating

Tracks

  1. Theme from Lupin the 3rd
  2. Magnum Dance
  3. Mysterious Journey
  4. Super Hero
  5. Love Squall
  6. Fire Treasure
  7. Love in San Paulo
  8. Lovin' You (Lucky)
  9. Love Theme
  10. I Miss You Babe (Yes, I Do)