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The Sound of Gran Turismo :: Review by Dave

The Sound of Gran Turismo Album Title: The Sound of Gran Turismo
Record Label: EMI Records
Catalog No.: 7243-4-95063-29
Release Date: November 17, 1998
Purchase: Buy at eBay


One criticism I had of the Gran Turismo Original Game Soundtrack was that it failed to feature all of the in game popular music, and that it focused solely on the original content created for the game. The Sound of Gran Turismo produced by EMI Records effectively resolves this issue, in that it is a collection of all of popular music featured within the game from Ash to The Dandy Warhols. Considering that the tracks featured on this album are very much 'tracks to drive to', I would imagine that this soundtrack would therefore be fairly enjoyable for nearly everyone who has actively played the game. The album features a great deal of adrenaline pumping tracks, and explores a mix of rock and electronic styles in doing so.


Post-Britpop band Feeder with tracks like "Shade" and "Sweet 16" and crossover band Cubanate with "Skeletal" and "Industry" take the lead with the more hardcore tracks on the album. Screaming vocal melodies and a loud drum and guitar accompaniment accommodate the more aggressive driver. Fans of each of these bands will be pleased to know that no other bands on the album have more than one track featured, perhaps showing their prevalence in the late '90s. Critics of these bands, on the other hand, will be pleased to see the appearance of other bands, with styles perhaps more to their taste!

One pieces which may appeal to fans of electronic music, especially, is "Atom Bomb" by Fluke — apparently created for the second game in the Wipeout series, Wipeout 2097. Fluke seem to be connoisseurs in the racing game scene, with tracks also featuring prominently in Need For Speed Underground. Other tracks which embrace the electrophile are "Conspiracy [Hexadecimal 7"]" from Terrorvision, "Resistor" from Radiator, and Garbage's not so rubbish "As Heaven is Wide." Each track has otherworldly sounds and textures, but aren't at all out of place on this album.

Not all of the tracks on the album are fast-paced or confrontational — in fact there are a fair few relaxed tracks in this compilation which create inviting soundscapes and enlightening textures. "Wide Open Space" by Mansun, "Not if You Were the Last Junkie on the Earth" by the Dandy Warhols, and "Sister Sister" by Philadelphia Bluntz are each creative pieces for the more relaxed game player. Again, they provide some alternative approaches to what we would consider 'driving music', and provide the thematic diversity and variety which would normally expect to see on a game music album with wholly original music.


Although many would have preferred for this music to be included within the Gran Turismo Original Game Soundtrack, there will be a vast number of people who would much rather listen to these popular music tracks without the original music from Masahiro Andoh and Isamu Ohira. In many senses, this album as a compilation of already famous tunes is a success. For example, it has a wide stylistic variety and it has provocative tunes which are perfect within the game. In other ways, though, it is a needless accessory (maybe not so much to you drivers who have dice in the mirror) which acts a promotional tool for EMI Records. Overall though, it is just the same as any other compilation album, just that it has the added touch of being inspired by a great racing game, and created for racing fanatics.

Overall score: 7/10