Game music of the day: Jet Grind Radio

Game: Jet Grind Radio

Song: Sneakman

Composer: Hideki Naganuma

Above: Sneakman from Jet Grind Radio

Few consoles define having a cult following as well as the Dreamcast has, and few Dreamcast games define it as well as Jet Grind Radio (aka Jet Set Radio everywhere outside of North America). It sold like crap, with new copies widely marked down to $10 within a few months of its release, but its fans will passionately defend it to this day as one of the greatest games Sega's beleaguered system ever saw. It's not too hard to see why: JGR was a pioneer of cel-shaded graphics, and its gravity-defying, rail-grinding in-line skating/graffitti action was wildly enjoyable (even if it doesn't hold up quite as well today). The game's rebel-delinquent attitude painted skate punks as heroes and cops as the buffoonish tools of evil corporations, something that was almost unheard of back then. 

And its soundtrack was one of the most memorably eclectic of its time, with an assortment of rock, J-Pop, hip-hop and dance tunes (as well as Rob Zombie's Dragula, of all things) that conspired to make the experience of high-speed vandalism and police-dodging even more awesome than it already was.

Amid all the licensed music (which varied between territories), there were three standouts, with the first being in-house Sega composer Hideki Naganuma. Also known for his work on Sonic Rush, Naganuma composed eight of the game's tracks, including the frenetic Sneakman (above), Let Mom Sleep (JGR's title-screen theme), Sweet Soul Brother and Humming the Bassline, the game's comparatively mellow character-select music:

The second standout was Deavid Soul, a two-piece group that contributed five tracks to the game, including On The Bowl and the unforgettable Yappie Feet:

Finally, the third standout act was Guitar Vader, responsible for the somewhat grating Magical Girl (grating mainly after you'd heard it a few dozen times) and Super Brother, below:

There are plenty of other great tracks on Jet Grind's list (like Funky Radio, heard frequently as the theme song of the in-game Jet Set Radio pirate station), and they're all better when heard in their intended context – which is to say while executing a rocket-propelled somersault over a cel-shaded rooftop. Sadly, that isn't really an option for those without Dreamcasts... unless, of course, all those rumors about a downloadable re-release eventually bear fruit.

Dec 7, 2010

Game music of the day: Incredible Crisis
Incredible Crisis Theme by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra 



Game music of the day: Panzer Dragoon
Flight by Yoshitaka Azuma 



Game music of the day: Streets of Rage
Beatnik on the Ship by Yuzo Koshiro


Game music


  • CaptainSalmon - December 15, 2010 1:02 p.m.

    Damn, just been listening to this constantly for about 2 hours now. Awesome song, awesome game. Thank you Wikiparez.
  • Spybreak8 - December 9, 2010 9:31 p.m.

    Ok I was liking everything until i got to the Super Brothers song, augh.
  • rxb - December 8, 2010 11:10 p.m.

    I admit to skipping alot of game music of the days, but skipping this would be criminal. The sound track on this game was amazing.
  • philipshaw - December 8, 2010 3:44 p.m.

    This has to my favorite dreamcast game, love the soundtrack. Why Sega haven't brought this out on PSN and XBLA is beyond me at this point
  • CARDYKEV - December 8, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    Don't forget Dj Professor K span some wicked beats on JSRF
  • 435 - December 8, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Miller Ball Breakers is totally my favorite on this OST. I can't help but dance listening to it. \@_@/
  • SideOfBeef - December 8, 2010 6:47 a.m.

    I have to say I'm rather disliking this music. I get that people have their nostalgia, and I've certainly enjoyed other pieces of music with a similar style, but this seems like it's trying too hard. You can only go off-key so often before it stops being cool and starts grating.
  • Curtis_Stone - December 8, 2010 6:10 a.m.

    Mikel, you're the GREATEST thing ever for doing this!! I lost SOOO many hours to this game as a kid, and it's sequel, which I hope also makes GMotD!! I have no doubt it'll make it, hopefully sometime soon!! Hideki Naganuma, you're the greatest!!
  • KaiokenKid - December 8, 2010 4:16 a.m.

    I would love for them to re-release this on PSN/Live.
  • venture - December 8, 2010 3:06 a.m.

    Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!!!
  • OneToBoner - December 8, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    God I love this games soundtrack, but I feel like Futures soundtrack is just as good and overlooked a lot. You should include some of that as well.
  • G0D - December 8, 2010 2:14 a.m.

    wow i love this soundtrack! I cannot believe this one has not been done before!
  • Letter11 - December 8, 2010 2:06 a.m.

    Nice Article! I loved this game!
  • PlainLikeVanilla - December 8, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    Perfect choice Mikel. This game had the best soundtrack ever.
  • Pytor - December 8, 2010 1:42 a.m.

    This is my fav DC game and one of my favs of all time. The gameplay, albeit a bit slow, is still fun today Mikel. GREATEST SOUNDTRACK EVER!
  • Chevapravatdumrong - December 8, 2010 1:40 a.m.

    Alright finally I loved this game's music it's the Monty Python of music. Extra sugar extra salt extra order off ENERGY!
  • talkraider - December 8, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    alright, I guess
  • asspills - December 8, 2010 1:28 a.m.

    SHIT YEEEAH!!!!! JET- GRIND- RADI-O!!!!!!!! This games entire soundtrack has been stuck in my head since I played the game.
  • nemesisuprising - December 8, 2010 1:22 a.m.

    "know as jet set radio everywhere outside the U.S." uhh what? I only just heard the name jet grind kinda name is that? lol
  • batmanboy11 - December 8, 2010 1:20 a.m.

    Really good stuff.

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

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