Download Episode 96: “Follin Back in Time II” here!
One year after exploring composer Tim Follin’s early works on episode 69, Mike and Ed are back with the long-awaited followup! In this show, they explore the latter half of his career, featuring music from the NES, SNES, and beyond. You’ll hear some old favorites, and maybe some material you weren’t aware even existed! Join us as we fall for Follin all over again!
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Format: Game Title (System, Year) – Track Title – Composer(s)
Intro – Pictionary (NES, 1990) – “Main Theme” – Tim Follin
1 – Target: Renegade (NES, 1988) – “Downtown” – Tim Follin
2 – Sky Shark (NES, 1989) – “Stage 2” – Tim Follin
3 – Pictionary: The Game of Video Quick Draw (NES, 1990) – “Mini Game 2” – Tim Follin
4 – Silver Surfer (NES, 1990) – “World Theme 1” – Tim and Geoff Follin
5 – Spider-Man/X-Men Arcade’s Revenge (SNES, 1992) – “Cyclops Stages” – Tim and Geoff Follin
6 – Rock N’ Roll Racing (SNES, 1993) – “Highway Star” – Deep Purple, arranged by Time Follin
7 – Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (SNES, 1994) – “Play Ball!” – Tim Follin, Geoff Follin, Chris Jojo, Paul Tonge, Matthew Cannon
8 – Ultraverse Prime – (Sega CD, 1994) – “Theme Song” – Tim and Geoff Follin
9 – Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future (DC, PS2, 2000) – “Credits” – Tim Follin, Attila Heger
10 – Starsky & Hutch (GC, Xbox, PS2, 2003) – “Funk 5” – Tim Follin, Dave Sullivan, Matthew J. Costello
11 – Future Tactics: The Uprising (GC, Xbox, PS2, 2004) – “Enemy Attack II” – Tim Follin
12 – Lemmings (PSP, PS2, 2006) – “Earth Tunnels 2” – Tim Follin
Bonus! – Moto-X (SNES, Unreleased) – “Title Theme” – Tim Follin
Great episode, guys. The music is fabulous, of course. You made some really good points in your discussion at the end. I think the reason why we probably all prefer his chiptune music to the later stuff is because of how much it stood out from the crowd in its mastery. His later work was very, very good, to be sure…..but Tim Follin excelled at breaking down the tech and software barriers present in that early hardware, to make something musically beautiful and technically excellent. As time went on, there was a lot more effort in the music and games industries to make tools easier and more user friendly. As an non-programmer, I think about the difference between recording/sequencing hardware made by companies such as Roland, versus later DAWs like Cakewalk, versus super user-friendly programs like Fruityloops and FL Studio. By taking out the barriers of a challenging user interface, composers with a modicum of talent and tenacity were gradually able to make better music. This ease-of-use took away the advantage Tim Follin had in the chiptune days, where every facet of the user experience was a challenge to the composer/sound designer.
It touches on something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately: we as game music fans(and curators) have given entirely too little credit to the sound designers as having a crucial role in the quality of a particular soundtrack. Now, in the days of small dev houses, the sound designer/programmer and the composer were often the same person. But by the early 90’s, the dev teams were large enough that the composer was oftentimes a different person than the one who composed the music. By way of example, I think about Konami, which had a signature sound, oftentimes in spite of having multiple composers on each game. I also think about Hitoshi Sakimoto, who is often wrongly credited as composer on MD games that used his phenomenal Terpsichorean drivers. Even though he didn’t compose much of that music, it still bears his unmistakeable mark because of the type of instruments that were available with those drivers.
Again, awesome music and discussion. I love Follin’s work; Akrillic is probably my favorite game track of all time. So with that, it’s off to listen to the Time Trax OST…..which, as the Diad informed me, is the work of Dean Belfield.