Supermarioland -- Ambassadors Of Funk Featuring M.C. Mario
Produced by Simon Harris (who has worked with everyone from Norman Cook to Simon Cowell via Boys II Men), Supermarioland features one of my favourite rap lyrics, simply because if ever there was a set of words filling a gap in the middle of a record, it's these. Whereas everything else is about Mario’s adventure …
“Well I'm back off my Lisa Stansfield trip
And I'm rejuvinated and I'm remixed
I took planes, trains, and automobiles
And for real got ill in Brasil (c'mon! c'mon!)
I'm the Wizard of Oz when on tour
And got poor in Singapore
And I've eaten sushi in Japan
But there ain't no place like Super Mario Land.”
Lord knows what they made of that in Japan were the record was re-exported. Clearly some of the composer’s youth was spent reruns of Ted Roger’s gameshow 3-2-1 on Challenge TV. I wonder what he'd make of it?
“Now then lets see what you’ve won. A Lisa Stansfield trip – well Lisa Stansfield sang All Around The World which would suggest a round the world trip, but it says you’ve already been on one of those and that you’re rejuvenated and remixed – a health spa or a hi-fi? “I took planes, trains, and automobiles” could suggest that you’ve won a car but again there are locations and bad things happening, losing your money, the leftovers from the sushi meal, being ill in Brazil. That’s right, sorry folks, it’s Dusty Bin….”
The rest of the record is as you’d expect, Kōji Kondō’s music for the Gameboy version of Mario underscored by a rather familiar sounding drum beat with a range samples which have since become cliché and these rap asides probably designed to break up the potential monotony. Everything else is on message, attacks by killer bees, becoming lost in dark passages and collecting coins – which are still weird subjects for a rap and dance record, but multi-media marketing always takes existing genres to strange places.
None stranger than the version orchestrated and recorded by the John Williams & Boston Pops with its Blue Danube mid-section. But that’s another story …