Sunday, May 22, 2011

The House Where Throats Are Slit

     A few months ago I was browsing Yahoo! Japan Auctions (YJA) in order to find a replacement for my bad CD-R copy of an early Data East album. I did find what I was looking for, and here are some scans:

 Front Cover Art

Back Cover Art


     I had thought it would take $100 or more to get an original, but it was more like $50. I got very lucky. Bear in mind that I have never seen one of these on ebay. Most surprising of all was the condition. Data East Game Music Scene One was released on 9-23-1988, which makes this CD 23 years old. The previous owner kept it out of sunlight, and apparently, rarely touched it. It's about as clean as a CD can be.
     I originally got a CD-R copy of this album about 10 years ago and I never knew it was a bad copy, since there wasn't any official information about the album posted in English. A few tracks were cut short. Now I can finally listen to this gem, which contains music from old Data East arcade games and a few pinball machines.
     So what does this have to do with a house where throats are slit? Well, as I was browsing YJA a few months ago, I stumbled across the cover art of a CD that looked vaguely familiar. I browse YJA in Japanese, which I can't read, and I rely upon the cover art of albums for identification. I recognized one such cover art from my wish list at vgmdb; it was some old album that no one knew anything about. The title of the album is:

Chikudenya Toubei: Hiroku Kubikiri Yakata

(The House Where Throats Are Slit) 

     The seller had a pretty high starting bid at 7000 yen, which was $85 at the time (it changes daily). I placed a bid of 7500 yen and thought for sure that it would be crushed. But no one bid against me and I managed to get an original of an extremely rare CD that exceeded my expectations. One fellow user on vgmdb stated of my find: "I've been on the lookout for this one for a couple years and to this day, never saw one listing in that time. Consider yourself lucky for finding this and having had no competing bidders." Here is what it looks like:  

Front Cover Art 

 Back Cover Art


     It is a full arrange album, meaning that it does not contain any actual video game music, but arranged music based on music used in the game. Out of curiosity I have been searching YJA for another listing. No such listing has been found over the past 2 months. My guess is that a complete listing, one that includes the obi, would sell for in excess of 10000 yen. The obi is a spine card and is not necessary for enjoying the music, but it is a piece of paper that fanatical collectors will pay extra for. A similar situation is in the world of collecting books, in which a dust jacket can greatly increase the value. One might surmise that I am fanatical, since I was willing to pay $85 for a CD. But that is not the case. If I could trade for this CD, that is, get a CD-R from someone, then I would have done so. But no one has it! I don't even know of anyone that has it in the mp3 format! So I was left with no choice in the matter.

     I bought this CD without having heard any samples first, due to the inability to even get samples. This CD was released on 1-21-1990, and is one of my favorite arranged albums. I have listened to it more than 10 times over the past two months. This is a classic and one that I will enjoy for the rest of my life. I had to make a translation request in order to get the track list, since, as you can see, almost everything is typed in Japanese. You can get more album details here: VGMDB official page.

      Honestly, some of the music on this album deeply affects me; I find myself not humming, but replaying, it in my mind. It cuts right into the core of emotion, especially the track where the shakuhachi (Japanese flute) is played. I am left with a feeling that is not suitable for words, as the words don't exist. This makes me wonder: Is it correct for me to say that I "love" this music? No, I don't think so. The word "love" has become overused and misused and used to explain anything from slight adoration to maniacal dedication. The best I can say is that my emotions are aroused when I listen to this music. I don't know how to explain in words what that means. I could cheat and act like everyone else and use the word "love". 

     It's unfortunate that this music is so difficult to obtain.


  I have no idea why the text suddenly became double-spaced. I tried to correct it, but was unable to do so. This site is free, and anything free is worth what you paid for it. Lol.

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