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Inspirography: FAR WEST Music

For this Inspirography article, we decided to have a little fun. Music has been a big part of the Far West experience. I’ve assembled a playlist of hundreds of tracks — more than 15 hours of music — that I’ve used not only for background when playtesting the RPG, but also for accompaniment while writing. The playlist features soundtrack material from Spaghetti Westerns and Wuxia Films; Classic Rock tracks, Folk, Outlaw Country, Electronic, Chinese Pop songs, Hip-hop and more. Anything that struck a Far West mood in my head.

In coming months, we’ll be releasing new music specifically composed for Far West: score for the webseries, among other things. Composition of that music has already begun… but to tide you over, I figured that I’d provide the following links to tracks that are part of the current Far West playlist.

A seminal spaghetti western theme — I have three different versions of this: English vocals, Italian vocals, and the Japanese version used in Sukiyaki Western Django. This is the English version: “Django (main title)” by Luis Bacalov.

Taking one of the most famous western themes and viewing it through a modern electronic lens, here we have a track from the album “Morricone RMX”, which (as you might have surmised) is full of remixes of Ennio Morricone spaghetti western music: Ennio Morricone – “For A Few Dollars More (Terranova Remix)”.

Chinese pop star and wuxia-film actor Jay Chou gives us this title track to a Jet Li movie, which combines traditional Chinese instrumentation, western pop, and hip-hop… in Mandarin: Jay Chou – “Fearless (Huo Yuan Jia)”.

Embrace the cheese. I like the film, and I like the song. Jon Bon Jovi – “Blaze of Glory (theme from Young Guns II)”.

Spaghetti Western by way of European trance electronica: Juno Reactor – “Pistolero.”

We’ll be covering the HBO TV series in a forthcoming Inspirography, but in the meantime, the theme tune is definitely part of our playlist: David Schwartz – “Theme from ‘Deadwood’.”

The most famous theme in martial arts film — a Chinese folk song that is as associated with the character of Wong Fei Hung as “The William Tell Overture” is with The Lone Ranger: Wong Jim – “Nan Er Dan Zi Qiang (Under the General’s Orders).”

Classic outlaw-country folk, from the concept album “The Red Headed Stranger” – Willie Nelson – “Time of the Preacher.”

More cheese, but damn fine cheese it is. Couldn’t decide whether to post this, or “Seven Bridges Road” by the Eagles. Went with this. Styx – “Renegade.”

Another classic from Ennio Morricone: “Navajo Joe (Original Main Title).”

The Others took a track from the soundtrack of House of Flying Daggers, and built a dubstep-ish electronic track around it. The part that annoys me is that they took a Chinese song, from a Chinese film, and gave it a Japanese title. Ah well. The Others – “Bushido” (For those that care, it’s based on “Jia Ren Qu (Beauty Song)”)

So there you go. Keep those sorts of sounds in mind when you look at what we’re doing here… and stay tuned for original Far West music, coming down the trail.

Gareth-Michael Skarka
July 6th, 2011

 
 
 

15 Comments

  1. wandering blade says:

    awesome music, thanks for sharing,i do wanna play Far West with this music in the background, looking forward to the origina soundtrack and hopefully more chinese inspired music, its funny but a lot of traditional chinese music sounds very “western” all the best

  2. “Overland Blues” by the Yoshida Brothers.
    On youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2G-JHmiNhw

  3. Twila Price says:

    My, my, my. Very tasty soundtrack, and so evocative of what I hope the game will be like. I am enjoying this immensely. Thank you for sharing it. I hope that you’ll publish the whole list of fifteen-hours-plus of music as an appendix sometime.

  4. Argent says:

    I really like these suggestions – “Pistolero” is an old favourite (as Juno Reactor has provided a lot of soundtrack music for various campaigns), but I made a whole nbunch of pretty finds here. I think that this crossmedia pollination is a very interesting thing for RPGs at large – and doubly appropriate for Far West, I guess.

  5. Twila Price says:

    I’ve been listening to this “Far West” soundtrack ever since you put it up. I’ve added some Jackie Chan vocals (did you know he could sing?! I didn’t!) of “Nan Er Dan Zi Qiang” and the Yoshida Brothers referenced here — it makes a really nice playlist, though I’d love to expand upon it.

  6. I also recommend the OST from Bastion, which has a fantastic mashup quality to it. I plan to run Deadlands using that very soundtrack.

    I would imagine it would suit Far West down to a T.

    • admin says:

      I’d actually not heard the Bastion soundtrack until you suggested it. I immediately picked it up and added it to my FAR WEST writing queue.

      Thanks!

  7. Interestingly enough, I happened to hear a few snippets of the Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer music the other day – again – this is going onto my list for Far West for definite.

  8. Dr. Ford VonFitch says:

    There is one band out there that that fits this project very well. At least from the Western angle.

    Ghoultown

    http://www.ghoultown.com/

  9. Ras Vagrant says:

    Please consider “Spinner” by Brian Eno and Jah Wobble. It’s very “Sixgun Dubstep”.

    • admin says:

      Cool! I hadn’t heard that — I already had Jah Wobble’s “Chinese Dub” album on my FAR WEST playlist, but now I’ll be getting this as well! Thanks!

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