Author Topic: The Original Original Soundtrack  (Read 6151 times)

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Offline Prob Lem

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The Original Original Soundtrack
« on: December 18, 2014, 11:52:14 pm »
Recently, Mindless found the original soundtrack for Lemmings on a demo disk. This was not the "original soundtrack" as in the soundtrack that the game shipped with, but rather the *original* original soundtrack - the one from before Tim Wright was brought in to replace the copyright-infringing tunes with new compositions. The initial soundtrack, if you will.

I haven't had the time to make MP3s of the .mods in the usual fashion (i.e., two loops and then a fade after the next playthrough has begun) just yet, but I did want to start a thread about this soundtrack, because I think it's quite the find - well done, Mindless!

I'm sure all of us have wondered at some point or other what the initial soundtrack sounded like, and of course now we know that, apart from a couple of themes that survived the transformation of the music into what we all know today, it would have been enough to get the game lawsuited off of the face of the planet several times over. Let's take a look at the tunes and their source material...

Filename: addamsfamily.mod
Song: The Addams Family theme tune
Info: They're green-haired and they're cutesy, suicidal and quite kooky, when they splat they're gloopy, the Lemmings Family!

Filename: ateam.mod
Song: The A-Team theme tune
Info: We Lemmings players love it when a plan comes together, right? I wonder if that catchphrase is why this is in here? It would certainly fit.

Filename: batman.mod
Song: 1960s Batman theme tune
Info: This is probably in here due to the campiness of it, I would imagine. I remember that this was still airing in the UK in the late 1980s, which may also have been an influence on its presence here. (Note that this is quite distinct from Betmeh, who has a similar theme tune that is absolutely not the same.)

Filename: birdie.mod
Song: The Birdie Song, by The Tweets
Info: This was a 1981 novelty record that sold a hell of a lot of copies in the UK (apparently more than 1.6 million), and which was always a goofy classic at school discos. This one is known by almost every Brit of a certain age, including a great many who weren't even born when it was released - that's how long-lived it was!

Filename: cancan.mod
Song: Infernal Galop, from Orpheus in the Underworld
Info: In spite of its origins, this is, without a doubt, best known as The Can-can! One of the few tunes from the initial soundtrack to make it into the retail version's soundtrack.

Filename: daysnight.mod
Song: A Hard Day's Night, by The Beatles
Info: If even just one copyright-infringing tune could've gotten Lemmings pulled from shelves due to its presence, I'd venture a guess that it would have been this one. Those lemmings sure do work hard, though!

Filename: doggie.mod
Song: How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?, by Patti Page
Info: Another tune that made it into the retail game, this one based on a novelty record that was itself loosely based on the folk tune, Carnival of Venice. This one is an unusual survivor, in that I'm pretty sure that the version in Lemmings is not licensed in any way, and the song is still in copyright now, just as it was when the game was released. It also uses (and retains, in the final game) a sample of famed voice actor Don Messick in possibly his most famous role as Scooby-Doo, from a tune that didn't make it from the initial soundtrack to the retail one.

Filename: entertainer.mod
Song: The Entertainer
Info: I'm actually not sure why this one didn't make it in, whilst the above tune did! Any ideas, anyone?

Filename: hogan.mod
Song: Hogan's Heroes theme tune
Info: I'm honestly not familiar with this tune or the show that it's from, short of seeing claims that the popular 1990s cartoon series, Recess, was inspired by it, so I really don't have anything useful to say here. ;P

Filename: matchespana.mod
Song: Match of the Day theme tune
Info: The theme tune from the long-running football (soccer for North American readers ;) ) TV programme, Match of the Day. The theme tune is very well-known in the UK, which is likely why it's here.

Filename: missionimpos.mod
Song: Mission Impossible theme tune
Info: I'm almost certain that I know *exactly* why this one's in here, and it made me laugh the second I saw the filename when I was going through these tunes originally. At the time that Lemmings was being made, home video clips of squirrels performing daredevil feats, set to the Mission Impossible theme tune were becoming very popular on UK television clip shows (so much so, in fact, that an advertisement was made, capitalising on the phenomenon). It works so well in the context of Lemmings, that it's almost a shame that they were unable to use this tune in the retail game!

Filename: mountain.mod
Song: She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain
Info: Another familiar tune that made it into the final game. This is a traditional old song that fits due to its cheery-sounding nature, so there was no reason for it not to.

Filename: oblasuper.mod
Song: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Life Goes On, by The Beatles
Info: Um-diddle-iddle-iddle-um-diddle-aye! This one was probably chosen due to its delightfully ridiculous nature. It was also doubtless ejected due to the fact that the song belongs to The Walt Disney Company, who wouldn't have taken kindly to its inclusion. I'm not too sure why the filename is "oblasuper", though - I wonder what's with the "obla" bit?
EDIT: I've been informed that this tune is actually made up of two songs (the other has now been added above), and the other one, which makes up the first part of the tune, is Life Goes On, by The Beatles, which features the lyric "Ob-la-di Ob-la-da" in its chorus. That explains the "obla" part completely!

Filename: panther.mod
Song: A Shot in the Dark
Info: I'm actually a bit confused by this one. I'd expected this to be the well-known theme from The Pink Panther, but whilst it sounds like it's in that style, I can't actually identify the tune. Does anyone know it, please? Our very own möbius, who is a fan of the Pink Panther series, has identified this tune as the theme from the second film, A Shot in the Dark. Ironically, given the original .mod file's name, it's actually the only one that doesn't have anything about panthers of any sort in the title! ;)

Filename: petergunn.mod
Song: Peter Gunn theme tune
Info: This music was also famously used in the arcade game, Spy Hunter.

Filename: raindrops.mod
Song: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Info: This song's really well-known, which I guess is why it's in here. It kind of makes me wish that Lemmings had some rainy-looking levels, for some reason.

Filename: richman.mod
Song: If I Were A Rich Man
Info: This is from the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. It was also used in an early release of the classic ZX Spectrum game, Jet Set Willy, and supposedly caused that game to be briefly pulled from shelves in order for the music to be replaced with In The Hall Of The Mountain King instead (as was used in the game that Jet Set Willy was the sequel to, Manic Miner). Given this anecdote, it surprises me that this one was ever considered for Lemmings at all. Come to think of it, Jet Set Willy's popularity and status as an all-time classic in the UK is probably why it was picked... ;)

Filename: scoobydoo.mod
Song: Scooby-Doo & Scrappy-Doo theme tune
Info: This is an arrangement of the Scooby-Doo theme tune, complete with a heavily-used sample of Scooby himself (which actually remains in the final game, in the tune How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?), mainly derived from the theme tune from Scooby-Doo & Scrappy-Doo, which was still airing on UK television at the time that Lemmings was being made, and which was massively popular. (Fact-fans will note that this dates to quite some years before the time of the utterly bizarre rewriting of history that has taken place surrounding the character Scrappy-Doo, who was actually massively popular for decades; During the time that Lemmings was being worked on, this continuing popularity even spawned two different computer games in which he was the hero.)

Filename: tenlemmings.mod
Song: Ten Green Bottles
Info: Another survivor that made it into the retail Lemmings soundtrack, which isn't surprising because it's a traditional tune. An interesting fact is that in the UK, we typically say that the bottles are "sitting on a wall", rather than "hanging on a wall". The video linked here represents another variant, where the bottles are "standing on a wall", because for some reason the version where they're sitting seems to have fallen out of use over the last couple of decades.

Filename: twist.mod
Song: Let's Twist Again, by Chubby Checker
Info: I'm unsure as to why this tune would have been picked for Lemmings' initial soundtrack, aside from just plain catchiness and the fact that it was still a pretty well-known song by the time that Lemmings was being made, but here it is.

And that's all of them. All in all, it's a pretty eclectic and largely nostalgic collection of tunes - or, at least, it definitely is for Brits of a certain age. I hope this was as much fun for you guys to go through as it was for me to go through while putting this post together. :thumbsup:

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 12:29:07 am »
Hmm, I kinda wonder now why they didn't have the same person who did these MODs to do the kind of music that Tim eventually did for the game.  I don't remember exactly how many of the eventual 17 are transcriptions as opposed to original compositions, but it's quite the majority I think.  So unless the person who did these MODs simply don't have familiarity with folk tunes (um, really?  Who doesn't know "London Bridge is Falling Down"?) or classical tunes (slightly more plausible, but shouldn't be that hard to find some recordings of them anyway), it feels like he could've done the same work that Tim ended up doing.  After all, his MODs are just as much transcriptions as most of Tim's, except basing off of tunes that fall under very active copyright protection.

Offline mobius

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 12:53:09 am »
@ProbLem; your mysterious "panther" theme is from the one Pink Panther movie which did not actually have "panther" in the title: "A Shot in the Dark" It's the second film in the series. While every other movie theme was basically a variant of the original theme, this one was different.
[The Pink Panther is one of my favorite movies series]  :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5enOsT3kdVc

funny coincidence; in this song is a little cameo of "can-can"
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline Prob Lem

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2014, 01:01:43 am »
Hmm, I kinda wonder now why they didn't have the same person who did these MODs to do the kind of music that Tim eventually did for the game.  I don't remember exactly how many of the eventual 17 are transcriptions as opposed to original compositions, but it's quite the majority I think.  So unless the person who did these MODs simply don't have familiarity with folk tunes (um, really?  Who doesn't know "London Bridge is Falling Down"?) or classical tunes (slightly more plausible, but shouldn't be that hard to find some recordings of them anyway), it feels like he could've done the same work that Tim ended up doing.  After all, his MODs are just as much transcriptions as most of Tim's, except basing off of tunes that fall under very active copyright protection.
The other chap was Brian Johnston (I'm unsure if he was related to Scott Johnston, whose mother provided the iconic voice clips for the lemmings, or not), and my only guess as to why this wasn't done is that perhaps he was by then working on other projects.

That said, Tim Wright's compositions are uniquely-flavoured, and, as far as I know, mostly original (it's why he was brought on board in the first place), so I'm glad they *did* get him in on it.

@ProbLem; your mysterious "panther" theme is from the one Pink Panther movie which did not actually have "panther" in the title: "A Shot in the Dark" It's the second film in the series. While every other movie theme was basically a variant of the original theme, this one was different.
[The Pink Panther is one of my favorite movies series]  :D
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058586/
That's fantastic - thanks so much for this! :thumbsup: That would certainly explain why I recognised the style but couldn't find the tune through searching on YouTube for the Pink Panther soundtracks using the famed title. I've updated the parent post accordingly.

Offline Mr. K

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2014, 05:50:25 pm »
I suspect that they might have known which of these were going to get cut way ahead of time.  It seems like the ones that made it the final game are a lot more solid compositions.  The other songs sound really "thin", like they're missing something, or even have really inaccurate transcriptions of some notes.  Copyright issues aside, they just don't sound as high quality as the songs that made it into the final despite using the same sample set.  I wonder if they were just made as quick placeholders.
 
Regardless, this is one of the most interesting prototype finds I've seen all year.  Thanks Mindless!

Offline Prob Lem

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 07:44:52 pm »
Aye, jaycee900 is correct, here - by all DMA accounts I've seen, this is actually how the game was originally envisioned to sound!

I need to get my old WinAmp-under-WINE setup sorted out again before I can deal with the MP3s (it's the quickest method, but I just never got to it after my previous computer went boom), so I'll get that sorted once all the Christmas craziness is out of the way. :thumbsup: If I can find a moment beforehand, though, I'll do it then!

NieSch

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2014, 09:21:42 pm »
Wow, what a great find this "original original soundtrack"! :thumbsup: (So many great tracks!)

Offline Prob Lem

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 04:12:21 pm »
Brilliant stuff! :thumbsup: (And sorry that I couldn't get to it sooner!)

Offline NaOH

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 09:17:43 pm »
Thanks Prob Lem, for tracking down all these sources and providing such a nice description of their relevance. And thank you Jaycee900 for the mp3s.

My thoughts while listening (just reached mountain.mod as I type this): some of these are real gems, some of them seem like fairly lazy transcriptions of sheet music into .mod format. The mission impossible theme and richman.mod theme seem a lot of work was put into them. On the other hand, some of them could have used more thoughtful volume control (I don't know if the atari was capable of that, though.), such as tenlemmings.mod and entertainer.mod.

I'm a real fan of raindrops.mod, though. I love the percussion; it's so whimsical.

Listening to petergunn.mod, I suddenly sense what the inspiration was for this song from Mega Man X. (That game has a fantastic soundtrack, by the way).

I think a lot of these would get irritating pretty quickly, including petergunn.mod... they lack the drive the original lemmings soundtrack had.

scoobydoo.mod -- I don't think I'm familiar with the original theme, and the weird sound effects are pretty irritating, but this seems like it would have fit in just fine in lemmings; kind of like How Much Is That Doggy In The Window.

Okay, I've listened to them all through at least once; these ones stood out:
doggie.mod,
cancan.mod (basically identical to the finished version, as far as I can tell),
missionimpos.mod,
mountain.mod (not as good as the one in the finished version, though),
panther.mod,
richman.mod,
scoobydoo.mod,
twist.mod.

Some of these could use a little touching up, but they're of a decent quality and definitely fit the lemmings feel. The rest are pretty bad, I think. At first, I thought it was because of my bias for the original soundtrack that I disliked a lot of these songs, but tenlemmings.mod sounds pretty bad to me, and that was in the original soundtrack. I think the real reason is that a lot of these are fairly thoughtless copies of the originals, and use some rather annoying sounds in them. The worst offender is entertainer.mod, which is basically what you'd get if you played a midi of the entertainer, but swapped out piano for very synthesized trumpet or accordian or something; the instrument is irritating and the transcription is extremely simple.

But the ones that stood out really stood out. Especially the spy-movie soundtrack knockoffs; those were particularly well done. My overall favourite is richman.mod; I'm sad they had to take it out in the end.

Offline Prob Lem

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 11:08:59 pm »
Thanks Prob Lem, for tracking down all these sources and providing such a nice description of their relevance. And thank you Jaycee900 for the mp3s.
No problem. :thumbsup: And thanks to Mindless for the original find, too - if not for that, we wouldn't even be having this discussion! ;)

Quote
I think a lot of these would get irritating pretty quickly, including petergunn.mod... they lack the drive the original lemmings soundtrack had.
And to add to that, the loops are all fairly short, too. I'm pretty sure that far fewer tunes in the final game have that issue.

Quote
At first, I thought it was because of my bias for the original soundtrack that I disliked a lot of these songs, but tenlemmings.mod sounds pretty bad to me, and that was in the original soundtrack. I think the real reason is that a lot of these are fairly thoughtless copies of the originals, and use some rather annoying sounds in them.
Several of them also feel "weak" compared to the compositions used in the final game, I think. Tim Wright's original tunes in the soundtrack are absolutely iconic, and that's in spite of the oft-repeated myth that all of the music in the game is from the public domain (which, of course, isn't accurate), and they have an impact that some of the tunes in the initial soundtrack don't.

I do love this other soundtrack all the same, though, as it's a fascinating look into the game's history and background, even if it lacks that spark that the final version indisputably has. Just think, this is probably what would've been heard throughout most of the game's development, isn't it?

Offline NaOH

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2014, 11:21:44 pm »
I do love this other soundtrack all the same, though, as it's a fascinating look into the game's history and background, even if it lacks that spark that the final version indisputably has. Just think, this is probably what would've been heard throughout most of the game's development, isn't it?

Definitely a very eccentric score. I'm glad I heard it, too. I think the final soundtrack has more of an overall sinister, serious feel to it, whereas the alpha soundtrack seems playful to me. Personally, I like the sinister style; it meshes well with the gruesome gameplay and dark tileset design. The developers would have seen the game with a very different feel to it...

Offline NieSch

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2019, 07:30:45 am »
I'm sorry to bump this topic, but does someone still have these files for me? The link to the music on YouTube (this one) still works but the link to the seperate FLAC files doesn't.

I'm thinking of using some of the unused songs to build a few levels around. (Or has this been done before?)


Offline 607

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2019, 09:37:06 am »
I'm sorry to bump this topic, but does someone still have these files for me? The link to the music on YouTube (this one) still works but the link to the seperate FLAC files doesn't.

I'm thinking of using some of the unused songs to build a few levels around. (Or has this been done before?)


I don't know anything about FLAC files, I don't think I've ever used them.
But I do have the tracks, yes. They don't have their original names as I used them in my NeoLemmix installation (this is taken from a back-up of that), but the alphabetical order used in this post is retained, so you can easily rename them back.

Offline NieSch

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Re: The Original Original Soundtrack
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2019, 09:58:38 am »
Great. Thanks a lot! :)