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Game music of the day: What Bayonetta, Frank Sinatra and EVA have in common

Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements.

May 11, 2010



Game: Bayonetta
Song: Fly Me to the Moon (Climax Mix)
Composer: Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Singer: Helena Noguerra

       
Above: Fly Me to the Moon (Climax Mix)

Bayonetta’s “Fly Me to the Moon (Climax Mix)” just might be the perfect battle ballad. This is a good thing, because a heroine with shotguns strapped to her boots and a bad habit of licking lollipops needs a soundtrack that truly rocks. Whenever Bayonetta’s busy sending angels to hell, the electrifying tune refuses to sit quietly in the background. Like Bayonetta, the song really stands out and fights for your attention as you try to focus on chaining hair whips and pistol punches together to punish anyone stupid enough to look at you the wrong way. But how did an American jazz standard from the 1950s evolve into one of the best musical companions to lusciously long combos? Find out as we track the history behind Bayonetta’s powerfully poppy battle song.

“Fly Me to the Moon” was written in 1954 by Bart Howard, a composer from Burlington, Iowa. The original title for the piece was “In Other Words,” and was first performed by singer Felicia Sanders. The song continued to gain popularity over the years. An instrumental version titled “Fly Me to the Moon – Bossa Nova” by Joe Harnell snagged a spot on the US pop singles charts in 1962. But the most recognizable mainstream version of “Fly Me to the Moon” goes to Frank Sinatra.

By the mid-60s, “Fly Me to the Moon” was already internationally known and a popular standard for many jazz bands. But once the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion picked it up, the tune began to earn the geek cred it enjoys today. Many different arrangements of the song were created for Neon Genesis Evangelion’s soundtrack, introducing Sinatra’s signature song to a new audience of otaku. The most show’s most popular non-instrumental versions were voiced by the actresses who played the show’s main female leads.


Above: “Fly Me to the Moon” was originally titled “In Other Words,” and was first performed by singer Felicia Sanders

The song’s melody could not have been lost on Hiroshi Yamaguchi, the composer for Bayonetta’s soundtrack. In a post on Platinum Games’ blog, he expressed an interest in creating a “nice up-tempo” beat, and goes on to explain that he used instruments like pianos, electric pianos, organs, vibraphones, flutes, double bass, and a female chorus to “express the idea of femininity.” Maybe this explains the violent undercurrent riding beneath the otherwise soothing melody in the remix featured in the game. The song’s softness is still there, but there’s an edge to it that mirror’s the ultraviolent action scenes that take place whenever the song kicks in.

From past to present: Fly Me to the Moon




Above: “Fly Me to the Moon – Bossa Nova” by Joe Harnell


Above: “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra


Above: One of the many versions of “Fly Me to the Moon” featured on Neon Genesis Evangelion


Above: Returning full circle to see/hear the first appearance of “Fly Me to the Moon (Climax Mix)” in Bayonetta


Above: A more classical take on "Fly Me to the Moon" from Bayonetta with a pole dancing twist


Above: Also, there's this recent NSFW take on Bayonetta's battle song with lots of naked men

May 11, 2010


Game music of the day: Plok
A surefire cure for the Monday blues



Game music of the day: Super Castlevania IV
GR’s ongoing tribute to the beloved world of videogame music

14 comments

  • Tenfey - May 12, 2010 3:29 p.m.

    I'm skeptical that Jupiter and Mars even have seasons such as spring. Are their axis even tilted?
  • rxb - May 12, 2010 11:56 a.m.

    Killing angels to this song never gets old.
  • philipshaw - May 12, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    I loved this game and I couldn't get the Bayonetta "Fly Me To The Moon" mix out of my head for a week after beating this game
  • ChuckB - May 12, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    Can't find the original song anywhere besides the credits to Bayo. =/
  • AFTERLIFEJOSH - May 12, 2010 3:43 a.m.

    Weird to hear to song done many different way.
  • Grif - May 12, 2010 1:28 a.m.

    I love the Infinite Climax mix and the rest of the Bayonetta soundtrack. Enough so to import the soundtrack. Great choice of music Tyler. An interesting thing to note, the Frank Sinatra version had the lyrics "baby kiss me" and the infinite climax had "darling kiss me".
  • mEgAzD - May 12, 2010 1:14 a.m.

    LOL nice one T-Nag. And ret me pray amonst the stars?
  • Amnesiac - May 12, 2010 1:04 a.m.

    Eva is my favorite anime as well. Although hearing "Fry Me to the Moon" at the end of each episode made me lol more than anything.
  • Kisokuiki - May 12, 2010 12:46 a.m.

    Evangelion's one of my favorite anime! I knew where it came from, but I had no idea that its ending song was used in any games. There was a different recording of it used in every episode.
  • ChuckB - May 12, 2010 12:37 a.m.

    Makes you want to sigh in bliss...
  • NathanXplosion - May 11, 2010 11:48 p.m.

    Loved this song in Bayonetta. I had no idea it was "Fly Me to the Moon" until I read the credits.
  • OnyxOblivion - May 11, 2010 11:47 p.m.

    I adore that song. Hell, I wish they'd make it the battle track for EVERY. SINGLE. FIGHT.
  • Cyberninja - May 11, 2010 11:47 p.m.

    good job and why do people want to go to the ball of chesse in the sky anyway
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 11, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    I would fry any of you to the moon.

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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