Game music of the day: Banjo-Kazooie

Game: Banjo-Kazooie

Song: Spiral Mountain

Composer: Grant Kirkhope

Above: Spiral Mountain from Banjo-Kazooie

Ah, the sweet country pluckins of Banjo-Kazooie. For a game filled with irritating noises and characters who never shut the hell up, it's got a surprisingly catchy, borderline heartwarming soundtrack that'll soothe even the most burningest of rages.

This particular song, which plays just outside of Banjo's house, will one day save me from having a heart attack. Something about the pleasant banjo sound and down-home melody calm my nerves and bring me back from the edge of pure madness. It may be early in the game, but I daresay it's the best song of the whole soundtrack.

Above: The game's opening is a right hillbilly hoedown! Take it away Mumbo

Above: Click Clock Wood sounds like they lifted pieces of Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64, but hey, it's still a great track

Interesting note about the BK music that you've likely noticed by now - there are a lot of animal effects throughout. Not sure why Kirkhope used shrieking animals as instruments, but it's certainly a unique choice. Something that doesn't immediately come across in YouTube videos, however, is the "interactivity" of BK's music. When you swim underwater, for example, the area's music will slightly change to convey a more aquatic, lightweight feel.

Above: Spiral Mountain, as heard while swimming underwater

FASCINATING! I still think Banjo Kazooie holds up, even if Tooie and then Nuts & Bolts never did anything for me. In fact, I still recommend downloading the XBLA version and having a quick run through the whole thing. It's kind of a relic and doesn't stand up to severe scrutiny, but in a time of mascot-filled, collectible-heavy platformers, nobody did it better that Rare. Well, other than Nintendo.


Game music of the day: Ninja Gaiden III
Lava Cave by Miya, Nakabai and Shigeno



Game music of the day: Snake Eater
Snake Eater theme by Hibino and Harrell



Game music of the day: Guitar Hero
Even Rats by The Slip


  • Spybreak8 - December 20, 2010 3:10 a.m.

    That brings me back, like a few months when I played the game on XBLA again haha.
  • TeslaVonMagnus - December 16, 2010 4:37 a.m.

    I LOVE love love Banjo-Kazooie's music! It still remains one of my favourite games!
  • Bitmun - December 16, 2010 2:20 a.m.

    Great song. Personally, though, I think that DK64's soundtrack is far superior. *puts up flame shield*b
  • philipshaw - December 15, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    This brings me back to 98, thanks Brett
  • CaptainSalmon - December 15, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    Even though I only played Banjo-Kazooie off XBLA (and loved it), I'm still going to pretend this is from my childhood. Thank you for bringing back all these memories.
  • KidKatana - December 15, 2010 9:31 a.m.

    About time this game's music got some love! Every single track in this game is burnt into my brain. Surely Freezeezy Peak would have been the best choice for this time of year? It makes my normally Scrooge-like heart melt with festiveness...
  • veryweirdguy - December 15, 2010 9:18 a.m.

    I recently played through this and Tooie and you're right, it is excellent music! I approve.
  • goochbiscuit - December 15, 2010 5:44 a.m.

  • Crimmy - December 15, 2010 5:43 a.m.

    Now use N&B's Banjoland theme. Good choice, though I would have chosen the lair theme. So good!
  • rickrossthaboss - December 15, 2010 5:25 a.m.

    awesome. one of the top games of '98. what up?!?
  • TwoFirstNames - December 15, 2010 5:07 a.m.

    Brett! Thank you so much for recognizing(?) Banjo's great music. One of my all-time favorites. So good in fact, I've used it as background music in some home videos of trips out west I've taken. Well done Brettleston!
  • DHokat - December 15, 2010 3:55 a.m.

    I think you can get most of the Rare Music online from both Banjo games, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark and Diddy Kong Racing for free.
  • DHokat - December 15, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    Oh hell yes. I basically grew up with this instead of Super Mario 64. This, Conker's Bad Fur Day and Super Smash Bros.
  • YES - December 15, 2010 3:11 a.m.

    Thank you for spreading the BK love. I hope they make a true sequel someday.
  • Aeshir - December 15, 2010 3:04 a.m.

    I LOVE YOU. Even though you don't care for Nuts & Bolts, you should still definitely get your hands on the soundtrack. Hearing the music from the original in full orchestral form is pretty magical, and it has some great tunes of its own.
  • batmanboy11 - December 15, 2010 2:58 a.m.

    Totally awesome.
  • CancerMan - December 15, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    It could just be my netbook's speaker, but the underwater version sounds ridiculous, are the sound effects actually part of the song?
  • mahtehthew - December 15, 2010 2:51 a.m.

    Thank you! the game of my childhood (I'm only 16 k' deal with it)

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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