Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2014 June 23 • Monday

This CD of music from the six Lone Wolf and Cub movies is the 324th Soundtrack of the Week.

Pretty much all of it is by Hideakira Sakurai. Only one track is by Kunihiko Murai and another track, a song performed by star Tomisaburo Wakayama, has music by Hiroshi Kamayatsu.

Lone Wolf and Cub was an obsession of mine for a long time, beginning when I came upon its first English translations in the 1980s. I've owned all six of these movies in various formats: bootleg videotapes, laserdisc, DVD and now Blu-ray. I have the comic in English and Japanese, a Lone Wolf and Cub cloisonne pin and two copies of the board game. (I used to have a couple of t-shirts also but those have disappeared.)

And of course I'm thrilled to have this CD of the music. This is another soundtrack that ended up on tapes by my recording it directly from a copy of the movie. Much of the music is textural and slightly mysterious, mixing clouds of strings with floating flute lines. There are odd sonorities here and there, some coming from traditional Japanese instruments.

And fans of the fuzz guitar will find much to admire in places. prisingly pleasant with patches of tension and menace. The one track by Kunihiko Murai has a pretty awesome 1970s wah-wah guitar with conga thing going on, perhaps inspired by Curtis Mayfield.