OK. I need to take a deep breath and steady myself, because what I’m about to tell y’all has me vibrating with excitement. The vast majority of Cowboy Bebop soundtracks just hit Spotify..
That’s a lot of Bebop music.
Of course Spotify has your staple soundtracks — Cowboy Bebop, Blue, Future Blues. But! And god bless whomever at Spotify HQ managed to get this, they also have Cowboy Bebop: Tank! the! Best! which includes songs from the Japan-only 2005 PlayStation 2 game Cowboy Bebop: Serenade of Reminiscence. And they have Cowboy Bebop Remixes: Music For Freelance which contains all kinds of funky-arse remixes of Bebop classics including a 4hero remix of “Space Lion” that brings me to tears.
Cowboy Bebop is god’s own gift to anime. But I’m not here to talk about how it’s still the best of the best 20 years after the last episode aired. We have other articles for that.
I’m here to take you on a musical journey beyond the beaten path of “Tank!” and “The Real Folk Blues” into the deeper cuts of Bebop’s soundtracks — the tracks you may have missed or never knew about at all.
“Wo Qui Non Coin” / Blue
For a long time I loved this song because of its chill, relaxing vibes and because the Japanese voice actress for Edward, Aoi Toda, sang it. Later, when I was an adult with a dog (a Welsh Corgi I named Ein which should give you an idea of how serious I am about this music), I made the mistake of looking up the lyrics. Do not look up the lyrics. I’m warning you for your own health and safety. Here’s a small snippet to show you what I mean:
Boku no ko inu ga Inaku natta
Shiroi ashi shiroi shippo
Zutto isshou datta no ni
My puppy is gone
He has white feet and a white tail
We were together all the time
It gets sadder. Don’t look up the rest of the lyrics. Need to take a puppy-petting break.
“Too Good Too Bad” / Cowboy Bebop OST
I used to be an alto saxophone player in my high school’s jazz band. When kids brought Britney Spears and Pearl Jam CDs to music class, I brought in Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” — and was immediately laughed out of the room. Jazz has been an integral component of my life and personality since I was seven years old. So all the big-band jazzy songs of the Bebop canon — “What Planet Is This?,” “Rush,” “Piano Black” — spoke directly to my heart and cemented my eternal love for this show. “Too Good Too Bad” is my favourite of these kinds of Bebop songs.
All of Cowboy Bebop: Tank! the! Best!
The brilliance of Yoko Kanno and her band The Seatbelts was spread out over several Cowboy Bebop soundtracks. It’s hard to choose only one. Choosing Cowboy Bebop OST gives you “Tank!” But you don’t get “The Real Folk Blues.” You get the picture. That said, if I had to choose, I’d choose Cowboy Bebop: Tank! The! Best!. It has the best concentration of the best songs and includes three completely new songs exclusive to Serenade of Reminiscence — all of which, especially Einstein Groovin’ — are excellent.
“Gotta Knock A Little Harder” / Future Blues
Avid Bebop fans will recall this song as the closer to the Cowboy Bebop movie. I still have my original DVD from when I forced my father to buy it for me at a Blockbuster the day it came out. Do you wanna go to church, reader? Because this song will take you to church, up the altar, into the choir stand, around the pulpit, dunk you in the baptismal pool, and you will emerge feeling fresh and brand new. It’s such an inspiring, cleansing song.
Gave it all that I got
And started to knock
Shouted for someone
To open the lock
I just gotta get through the door
Whenever I felt depressed or bad or just down, this song with its lyrics gave me the shot in the arm I needed to keep pushing. If I could have theme music that played whenever I entered a room, it’d be this song.
I have to stop myself now, because if I don’t I’ll literally go on for 1,000 more words. But there’s still more songs you need to know! So it’s time for the lightning round!
“Black Coffee” Vitaminless
“Want It All Back” No Disc (Excellent breakup get your groove back song! It’s literally about wanting to be compensated for all the wasted money invested in an ain’t-shit ex!)
“What Planet Is This?” Future Blues
“American Money” No Disc (It’s the song from the bounty hunter TV show!)
“Space Lion – 4hero Remix” Cowboy Bebop Remixes: Music for Freelance (oh my GOD! OH My GOD! OH MY GOODDDDD!!)
[Ed. note: Gonna stop the piece here. It was just variations of “Oh my God” for several additional pages.]