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Favourite Music Track?

posted by 1nky on - last edited - Viewed by 150 users

So, we can all pretty much agree that Jared Emerson-Johnson is quite an amazing composer. His shifts in music genres, his variety of tunes, but ultimately, the characteristically jazzy sounds that grace the Sam and Max series.

So this thread here's for posting up your personal favourite tunes from the soundtracks. Granted, this thread isn't limited to Telltale games alone - I was just fangirling, up there. Got a favourite tune from 'Hit the Road?' The cartoon series, even? Post it.

I'll start off:

Cruisin' - People will probably better know this as the "Soda Poppers theme song sans lyrics", or the song where "Sam and Max run over fifteen parking meters in a row." I personally like to think of this track as Sam and Max's theme - it's just got this energy to it that I think describes them best when they're off on their crazy escapades. I only wish it was longer.

Skunk'ape Action - I kinda think of this track in three stages. All the while, starting from the top, there's this underlying bassline that already kicks up the pace, but in a quiet, almost sneaky kind of way. The second phase kind of jacks up the tension, layering on percussion and more ensemble, like there's a sense of danger. The third phase comes around, and suddenly, everything's chaotic, but fun - Sam and Max are in danger, but they don't really give a damn about it. I also like how each track is layered on as the music progresses, kinda allows me to think up a scenario, as you see in that monstrous paragraph up above.

The Office - A nice, low-key tune. It always sets the stage in seasons 1 and 2, which has probably earned it some kind of familiarity - "Okay, this is our nice, run-down, bullethole-ridden home away from home. Now, let's start the adventure." This is also pretty much what I like to think of as a Sam and Max theme, except definitely more relaxed. It fits them more as characters than "Cruisin'," I guess, but I still find the former track preferable.

There are plenty more tracks I'd like to talk about, but I think this post is getting a tad too long.

Anyhow, TL;DR - What are your favourite Sam and Max songs/tracks?

17 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • The street music in 301 and most of the soundtracks in episode 305.

  • it's really hard to tell, i think I love them all the same way :D

  • I am horrible at remembering track names, since we have different internal names than the ones that go out on the CD... But I really like


    The Office / City Streets / Driving suite from Culture Shock
    They all have the same basic structure, or at least they all reference the same chord progression for their chorus, and while none of them specifically serve as the "official theme" for Season One, those three tracks mange to collectively provide the musical underpinning of the whole season, and maybe the whole series. I listened to them on loop forever when the first episode was being built and didn't get tired of them.

    The music that plays in the Mariachis' ship's Soul Crushing Room ("El Molcajete De Almas")
    Not the musical number but the environment music that plays after it. It's so happy and so menacing from moment to moment.

    Bosco's Inconvenience, season two ("T.H.E.M.")
    A weird mix of a Coltrane track and something that sounds like it came out of the original Hobbit animated film with a healthy dose of creepy thrown in, plus it covertly references the Season One bosco theme in super slow speed in places.

    Moonscape
    It starts out conveying the epic vastness of space, and then settles into sounding like something out of the incidental music in Get Smart. This is one of those tracks that I don't see cited that often, but its super solid.

    All the Reality 2.0 stuff
    I'm not a big chiptune person, but I thought the music in Reality 2.0 was great. Secret fact: Jared's initial music delivery for the episode was far more faithful to old technology and a lot less stylized. Here's an original version of City Streets 2.0, which sounds a lot more like it came straight off a NES cartridge, or an old PC Speaker-using adventure game. It's still a simulation, but its a lot more deliciously grating sounding, which I like. It was decided that going that literal would be jarring to listen to, and didn't fully jive with the smoothed out and stylized graphics of the episode, which weren't truly retro but were retro inspired, so the style was changed for the final game.

    The Planetarium theme and variants, Season Three
    Season Three has a lot of crazy spacey stuff, but the planetarium tracks (especially the main track, and the all synthesizer alt cue that plays when Max's brain talks to Skunkape) was really fantastic. I like it for similar reasons to my liking Moonscape.

    Skunkape Action 1 and 2
    Both Skunkape themes got me really psyched to work on the game when they were first delivered. I think at the time, Jared and Chuck's description of the Skunkape action stuff was "what if Charles Mingus had been commissioned to write the theme music to Doctor Who?" and that nails it pretty closely. I also like that you can play those two tracks back to back and it sounds like one crazy long, really varied, piece.

    Papierwaite Action
    Crazy 30s Egyptian Adventure Action Serial music meets the score to North by Northwest. Hard to complain. Hard to stop listening to it.

    Everything inside Max's body in 305
    When the four tracks which play in the various rooms inside Max were first delivered, I listened to them on loop for an hour. The brain and the arms set the pace and tone for the space, and then the stomach and legs themes just go crazy with it.

    The Clone Chamber
    It reminds me of the score to Flight of the Navigator or something. Most of the Beyond the Alley of the Dolls soundtrack had that 80s VHS sci fi vibe in a pretty intense way, but the clone chamber cues hit it home the hardest for me.

    Flint Paper Action in the clone chamber
    It's totally a cheesy James Bond type cue but I love it because it gets it so right. It was also great to hear Flint's little jingle from Season Two get developed into a whole theme. Jared is super attentive to keeping people's themes and styles consistent across episodes and even seasons, and I'm not sure if people always notice it, but its one of my favorite things about the music. The melody that plays in the opening cutscene when Flint is revealed in Ice Station Santa is the same one that plays when he crashes through the window in Night of the Raving Dead, and then its the environment's theme music when you encounter him killing the infinite minions in the clone chamber. Details!

    Aaaand a lot of other stuff. I probably shared too many favorite tracks already.

  • It asks for a password, Jake :D

  • @Jake said: It was decided that going that literal would be jarring to listen to, and didn't fully jive with the smoothed out and stylized graphics of the episode, which weren't truly retro but were retro inspired, so the style was changed for the final game.



    Yeah, I couldn't listen to more than about 15 seconds of that before shutting it off. Good decision!

    (Psst...Season 3 Soundtrack on CD!)

  • @Jake said:
    Papierwaite Action
    Crazy 30s Egyptian Adventure Action Serial music meets the score to North by Northwest. Hard to complain. Hard to stop listening to it.



    Can't believe how I forgot that one. It's downright awesome.

  • That chiptune takes me back!

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