Music Monday: Banjo-Kazooie

In the latest issue of the Cane and Rinse podcast dedicated entirely to Rare’s bear and bird we feature some of and celebrate Grant Kirkhope’s wonderful Banjo-Kazooie music.

Music plays a huge part in that game’s atmosphere, charm, theme – you collect 100 musical notes (well, technically 200 I think as each is a quaver) on each world for a start – and title.

Oh yeah, and the lead characters are named after musical instruments. If you can call the kazoo a musical instrument. Which I suppose you can.

Anyway, I loved the B-K OST from the minute I started playing the game back in 1998 and still love it to this day having just been back through it on Xbox Live Arcade and done everything – and I mean everything – all over again in 2014.

I wasn’t the only one and where I lack the skill (and equipment) to express my affection for Kirkhope’s jolly, funny and eminently catchy tunes, plenty of talented people out there have performed terrific covers for us to enjoy.

Banjo, Kazooie, Tooty and Mumbo are rendered redundant as multi-instrumentalist SquidPhysics capably takes on every part of the intro theme and even ropes in his mate to provide some comedy character impersonations.


Here’s the immaturely but appropriately (given some of the chortlingly childish lowbrow humour present in Banjo-Kazooie) named PoopPoopFart playing Spiral Mountain on a quartet of stringed instruments on top of which he adds his own rather delightful accordion counter-melody.


Next up is FamilyJules7X who kicks off with his thrashin’ metal interpretation of the famous intro hoedown, before moving on to a medley of several of the game’s memorable level themes. Would Avenged Sevenfold approve? Who cares? Not FamilyJules7X.


Finally for this week, The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra turns Freezeezy Peak’s Christmassy flourishes into the grand symphonic piece I’ve always heard in my head.


Thanks to the brilliantly talented people featured in this week’s Music Monday for their efforts in keeping Banjo-Kazooie’s music fresh in our minds. And readers, please be sure to check out these guys’ individual channels for many more videogame-related musical treats.

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