Welcome to the definitive listing of the greatest C64 game music ever created!
The top Commodore 64 games music reviewed and rated.
|Main table||Game music reviews||Best arcade conversions||Top 50 C64 Demo/Scene Tunes||Survey||Forum|
Top 50 scene/demo music overhauled!
Top C64 scene/demo music
reviewed and rated. Main C64 music reviews are now on separate reviews page Full C64 Cavern tune now available for download!
Do you wish that more music could be made in the style of the C64 and Amiga greats? Well, with the exciting new Eclipse of Mars CD production, chip and synthesizer music is back - and taken to the next level.
Click here to stream the music directly to Winamp...
|1||Monty on the Run||Rob Hubbard|
|2||R-type||Chris Huelsbeck & Ramiro Vaca|
|3||One Man and His Droid||Rob Hubbard|
|5||Ocean Loader v3.0||Pete Clark|
|6||After the War||Charles Deenen|
|7||Ghouls 'n' Ghosts||Tim Follin|
|9||Auf Wiedersehen Monty||Rob Hubbard and Ben Daglish|
|10||Bionic Commando||Tim Follin|
|11||Turbo Outrun||Jeroen Tel|
|12||Batman The Caped Crusader||Fred Gray|
|14||Battle Ships||Mark Cooksey|
|16||Ocean Loader 4/5||Jonathan Dunn|
|17||DNA Warrior||Thomas Petersen & K. Christensen|
|18||Rubicon||Jeroen Tel & Reyn Oeuwehand|
|19||The Last V8||Rob Hubbard|
|23||Super Hang-On||Steve Barrett|
|26||Black Lamp||Tim Follin|
|29||Turrican||C. Huelsbeck & R. Vaca & S. Hartwig|
|30||Gauntlet III||Tim and Geoff Follin|
|31||Startrash||Ramiro Vaca & Chris Huelsbeck|
|32||Flimbo's Quest||Reyn Ouwehand & J. Bjerregaard|
|35||The Last Ninja||Ben Daglish & Anthony Lees|
|36||Blood Money||Fredrik Segarfalk|
|37||L.E.D. Storm||Tim Follin|
|38||Thing on a Spring||Rob Hubbard|
|40||Trivia The Ultimate Challenge||Jeroen Tel|
|42||Hollywood or Bust||Rob Hubbard|
|44||Peter Pack Rat||Tim Follin|
|45||International Karate||Rob Hubbard|
|46||Last Ninja 3||Reyn Ouwehand|
|47||Gerry the Germ||Rob Hubbard|
|48||Battle of Britain||Rob Hubbard|
|49||Agent X II: The Mad Prof's Back||Tim Follin|
|51||Revenge of Doh||Jonathan Dunn|
|52||Stormlord||Johannes Bjerregaard & Jeroen Tel|
|58||Cybernoid II||Jeroen Tel|
|61||Mr. Heli||Charles Deenen|
|62||Yie Ar Kung Fu||Martin Galway|
|63||The Way of the Exploding Fist||Neil Brennan|
|64||Crazy Comets||Rob Hubbard|
Best Arcade Conversions
The top 10 C64 titles whose tunes are direct covers of the arcade. We have kept these intentionally separate from the top 64 list above as they weren't originally designed with the SID chip in mind. If you are wondering why there are still some conversions present in the top 64, this is either because those are either vastly improved over the arcade version (e.g. R-Type) or only loosely based on the original theme (e.g. Commando or Ghouls 'n' Ghosts).
1: Wonderboy in Monsterland James Smart (original - Sega)
Expertly recreated from the Sega arcade game, these tunes bring about a real sense of atmosphere as you progress through this action adventure. This is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but special mention must go to tune 10 "Life on the Ocean Waves (!)" and tune 12, with its clever construction and sense of 'finality'.
[This was originally placed 17th in the top 64 tunes].
2: Slap Fight Martin Galway (original - Taito)
Although lacking some of the channels of the arcade original, Galway did a sterling job of converting Slap Fight's diverse range of tunes. The synths are somewhat basic, but everything else is magic. Interestingly, the mysterious tune 6 is noticeably better than the somewhat flat arcade equivalent.
[This was originally placed 28th in the top 64 tunes].
3: Dragon Breed Martin Walker (original - IREM)
Martin Walker was one of the C64's most technically accomplished composers, as this flawless coin-op conversion testifies. Mystical and imaginative.
[This was originally placed 56th in the top 64 tunes].
4: Altered Beast Martin Walker (original - Sega)
As with Dragon Breed, an outstanding effort from Walker. The arcade music from this mythical Sega beat 'em up has been converted brilliantly.
[This was originally placed 62nd in the top 64 tunes].
5: Bubble Bobble Peter Clarke (original - Taito)
Ah, who could forget the catchy chirpy ditties from this great game? Will have you whistling in your sleep...
6: St Dragon Andy Taylor (original - Jaleco)
Only covering the first level of the arcade, this is a pretty polished piece with a character all of its own.
7: Pacland Jason Brooke (original - Namco)
As with Bubble Bobble, the theme tune to this game is ingrained in the minds of videogame otakus the world over. This, plus all the sprightly jingles, have been converted quite skilfully to Commodore's little wonder.
8: Rainbow Islands Jason Page (original - Taito)
Bubble Bobble's successor featured a reworked version of the famous "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" theme from The Wizard of Oz, which caused some problems for Taito's legal department apparently! The C64 renditions of the arcade's catchy ditties are pretty much spot-on.
9: Pang Sound Images (original - Mitchell)
Apart from the all-but-ruined Australia level theme (#11), which was actually the original's best, this is a passable attempt to recreate some of the arcade's very memorable tunes. Fans should check out the Amiga version though, which is perfect.
10: Midnight Resistance Keith Tinman (original - Data East)
The arcade Midnight Resistance had some great supporting tracks. The C64 renditions by comparison sound weak and diluted, though the original's essence is still there.
Top 50 C64 Demo/Scene Tunes
Unlike the Amiga, where tunes such as those from Alpha Omega and Phenomena Enigma are some of the best on the machine, the quality of C64 demo music is usually of a lower standard than its professional game counterparts. There are literally thousands upon thousands of tunes to check through and much of it is mediocre. Nevertheless, we have uncovered a few gems hidden amongst the rubble to share with you.
The selection process involved sifting through tracks from the more popular composers as well as those which scored a high number of votes from the Best of VARIOUS archive. Of course, we couldn't possibly have listened to all the demo music out there, so please contact us via email if you know of a fantastic tune we have missed or post your recommendations in the Comments box at the top of the page.
UPDATE 30/05/2008: Since this section was first introduced in 2002, we have been hard at work seeking out new great scene tracks. I am pleased to say the time spent has been worth it: we have a total of 19 new entries (including a brand new number one) pushing the total collection up to 50. There has also been some shuffling within the chart, resulting in greater accuracy in the placements. In particular, Tim Kleinert's multi-channel fest "Graphixmania 2" (part 6) enjoys a substantial rise from 15th position and is now at number 8. Others haven't fared quite so well and have moved down the list or dropped out altogether.
The new leader is Glenn Rune Gallefoss's sensational "Pop". Not much of a name and also fairly short in length, these are the only two criticisms of a blistering track which masterfully blends original chord sequences and stretch-phasing. Still sitting comfortably at two is "The Alibi" - a very popular Laxity track which is well known amongst sceners with its timeless quality and melodious chord sequences. Fans should check out this excellent remix by Jogeir Liljedahl in module format. "Come on Please" is Volker Meitz's finest moment, which though not flawless, boasts great energy and dynamics with some stunning climaxes. Veteran genius Jeroen Tel's comparatively recent release, "Alternative Fuel", has been a big hit among SID fans with its chunky bass line and classic game-style melody. Hein Holt is an interesting and talented composer - his bizarre, somewhat twisted and unique style is encapsulated best in "PMS". "Nibbleman" is just plain funky, whereas "3545_II" is Laxity's very successful attempt to imitate the Hubbard greats. The others featured all have at least one memorable moment and are well worth a listen.
NB. Titles with [NTSC] sound better when played at the faster NTSC speed in SidPlay. Numbers in brackets represent our old (misjudged) rankings.
below scene/demo tunes
|*WINNER* 1 (NEW): Pop (Glenn Rune Gallefoss)|
|2 (1): The Alibi (Thomas Petersen - Laxity)|
|3 (2): Come On, Please (Volker Meitz - PRI)|
|4 (NEW): Alternative Fuel (Jeroen Tel)|
|5 (NEW): PMS (Hein Holt)|
|6 (3): Nibbleman [NTSC] (K. Røstøen & G. R. Gallefoss)|
|7 (4): 3545 II (Thomas Petersen - Laxity)|
|8 (15): Graphixmania 2 (part 6) (Tim Kleinert)|
|9 (5): Zimx USA [NTSC] (Thomas Petersen - Laxity)|
|10 (6): Ultimate Intro (Volker Meitz - PRI)|
|11 (11): Arcade Intro (Tim Kleinert)|
|12 (NEW): Alien Seahorses Invading Heaven / Double Dodo (Hein Holt)|
|13 (13): Dutch Breeze: The End (Reyn Oeuwehand)|
|14 (NEW): Hamlet (Timo Taipalus - Abaddon)|
|15 (8): Break Free (#1 + #2) (Thomas Petersen - Laxity)|
|16 (14): Sweet and Sour (Volker Meitz - PRI)|
|17 (7): Happy Hour (Thomas Petersen - Laxity)|
|18 (NEW): Spunk (Thomas Mogensen - DRAX)|
|19 (NEW): Pink Alien (Riku Kangas - Flotsam)|
|20 (10): Blackmail Tune 1 (Reyn Oeuwehand)|
|21 (NEW): Sidamp Theme (Hans Axelsson - TDM)|
|22 (NEW): Touch Down (Alexander Rotzsch - Fanta)|
|23 (9): Track'n Sector 2 (Steven Diemer - A-Man)|
|24 (12): Rainbow Shuffle (Volker Meitz - PRI)|
|25 (NEW): Discokeen (K. Røstøen & G. R. Gallefoss)|
|26 (17): M.A.C.C. (Jeroen Tel)|
|27 (20): DMC Demo IV (#4) (Johannes Bjerregaard)|
|28 (16): Telefax (Torben Hansen - Metal)|
|29 (NEW): Swamp Poo (Thomas Mogensen - DRAX)|
|30 (18): Upfront (Thomas Petersen - Laxity)|
|31 (NEW): Slap Mix (Stellan Andersson - Dane)|
|32 (NEW): Escape From Reality (Stellan Andersson - Dane)|
|33 (19): Double Bubble (DariusZ Paliga - Sage)|
|34 (35): Got to Soul [NTSC] (Steven Diemer - A-Man)|
|35 (NEW): Pool Party (Volker Meitz - PRI)|
|36 (NEW): Premature (Glenn Rune Gallefoss)|
|37 (NEW): Jigsaw (Mitch & Dane)|
|38 (22): That's the Way it is (Jeroen Tel)|
|39 (30): Sample (#1) (Jeroen Tel)|
|40 (NEW): Legoman (Mitch & Dane)|
|41 (21): Coma Light 11 (#2) (Volker Meitz - PRI)|
|42 (29): Triiix! (Torben Hansen - Metal)|
|43 (32): Groove [NTSC] (Thomas Danko)|
|44 (28): Blow of Fate (Volker Meitz - PRI)|
|45 (33): Noisy Pillars (#2) (Jeroen Tel)|
|46 (34): Dutch Breeze (introduction) (Jeroen Tel)|
|47 (36): Waste III (Thomas Petersen - Laxity)|
|48 (23): Bit Like Johannes (Matt Simmonds - 4-Mat)|
|49 (NEW): Assatas Song (Michal Hoffmann - Randall)|
|50 (NEW): Tropical Funk (G. Tjelta & K. Røstøen)|
I've heard practically everything! Even most of the demo and miscellaneous tunes you have listed
I've heard practically all of the game tunes, but few of the scene/demo tunes
I've heard almost all of your game tunes, but few if any of the scene/demo tracks
I've heard most of the game tunes listed
I've heard around half of them before
I've heard under half of them
I've only heard around a quarter of them
I'm new to the scene, so haven't heard all that many!
I discovered loads of classics I've never heard before - thanks!
You've found quite a few great tunes I missed!
There were a few gems I hadn't previously heard
You listed some interesting tunes I hadn't heard before
There wasn't much new to me - but then I've generally heard them all anyway
Bah, I sorta wasted my time with this lot, and found nothing new I liked much
I'm new to the scene, so they're all new to me!
Incredible! I agree with practically every choice! These really are the best C64 tunes.
Excellent selection. I see few cool C64 omissions or errors.
Very good on the whole, though maybe some of the tunes should be ranked higher or lower.
Quite good, but you've missed some of my favorite C64 music.
Average. Many of the tunes could do with a shift in placement.
Poor. I disagree with many of your ratings and important tunes were missing
Bah - who likes C64 music anyway?
Good - very good
Also look at people's comments here