Today, I present the first part of a special article written by a guest contributor. Enjoy.
The Music ofIron Chef Japan, Part I
by William “Blissey” Raymer
A few months ago, I submitted a post on the “Kitchen Stadium” message board (partner to this site), asking for any assistance possible in locating music used on the original Japanese and Food Network U.S. dubbed versions of Iron Chef. I did this in preparation for an audio adaptation of my fan-produced Faith of the Heart: An Iron Chef America Movie script. Little did I know that it would lead me into writing this article.
For this article, I have viewed all 24 of my dubbed Iron Chef episode video tapes (each containing 4-6 1-hour episodes per tape), plus separate tapes for the 2000th Plate, New York Battle and France Battles specials as well as downloaded episodes from the Iron Chef Collection File House in order to compile this article.
For each movie/TV series I have detected, I will describe which cues are used where (to the best of my knowledge), including Iron Chef Collection episode database code numbers. For the purposes of identification of the used sections of each track, the track number and an acronym of the track’s title will be shown (i.e.: [9SMYF time code-0:22 to1:12; extend to 1:37 for special battles]).
A word of warning: the list in this article is, in no way, definitive! If you find some information I have missed, please e-mail me at Blissey01@yahoo.com. If your information is proven accurate, I will properly credit you in a future update of this article.
Now, let’s get down to business. Or, in other words, Allez Cuisine!
1ST CONFRONT: THE “TRIPLE CROWN”
When you discuss music used on Iron Chef, you must first mention the three films comprising what I refer to as the “Triple Crown” of Iron Chef music. The first leg, of course, is Backdraft, the 1991 fire-fighting drama.
Composed by Hans Zimmer and conducted by the late Shirley Walker, the soundtrack to Backdraft provided the majority of music heard in a regular episode of Iron Chef. (Click here to purchase this soundtrack.)
Track 2, “Fighting 17th”
Track 2, “Fighting 17th,” is primarily heard in the prologue and pre-tasting battle review only seen in the original U.S. dubbed version of Iron Chef . (2F17 time code: 0:00-1:26)
Another segment of the “Fighting 17th” track (2F17 time code: 1:26-2:31) is used as the end credits music for special battles. Examples of this include: the U.S. version of the “King of Iron Chefs Grand Finale” (ICC episode number 736c), the U.S. version of the “Mr. Iron Chef 1995” Final (Michiba’s Retirement Special (ICC episode number 401b) and the 21st Century Battle(ICC episode number 901). The “special battles” end credit music was also used in the U.S. version of the 1994 Lamb Battle between Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai and challenger Mario Nakagawa. (ICC Episode number 215)
Nearly the entire 0:00 to 2:31 sequence of “Fighting 17th”was used in the “Iron Chef Data File” seen exclusively in the original Japanese version of the “King of Iron Chefs Grand Finale” (ICC episode number 736cOA).
Track 3, “Brothers,” is often heard during segments in which Chairman Kaga has a wise statement (or two) regarding the day’s theme ingredient. (3B time code-0:00 to 1:06)
A clip from track 4, “The Arsonist’s Waltz,” is heard over the Brillat-Savarin quote (you know, “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you what you are”) on the original U.S. dubbed version only. (4TAW time code-0:30 to 0:38)
Now we arrive at track 6, “Burn It All.” This track provides cues for multiple sequences on the show.
First, the entrance of the challenger into Kitchen Stadium. (6BIA code-0:02 to 0:41; looped as needed)
Next, the overtime declaration cue-the music heard when the Chairman declares an overtime. (6BIA time code-2:55 to 3:17) A sequence from earlier in the track (6BIA time code-2:14 to 2:34)is sometimes used as the overtime declaration cue.
And finally, the unveiling the theme ingredient music(6BIA time code-5:01 to 5:16, at which point, the track ends).
Track 7, “You Go, We Go,” provides cues for two sections on the show.
First, the “tale of the tape” cue as I call it. This section plays prior to the Allez Cuisine start call where it shows Challenger’s Name vs. Iron Chef’s Name XXXXXXXX Battle (7YGWG time code-0:34 to 0:55; extend to 0:58 as needed).
On the original Backdraft OST, “You Go, We Go” shifts next to the Iron Chef’s profile cue. This plays as Fukui-san reads the profile of the Iron Chef selected to do battle on this day (7YGWG time code-1:00 to 1:28)
Track 8, “Fahrenheit 451,” contributes two cues as well.
First, the dish description cue (8F451 time code-0:28 to 2:02; loop point 1:16 to 2:02-repeat as needed).A variation of this cue (8F451 time code 0:00 to 0:59) is also played in the original Japanese version of the “King of Iron Chefs Grand Final” (ICC episode number 736cOA) as the Iron Chefs “go to sleep” during the closing ceremony.
And finally, there is the victory cue, which plays after the Chairman declares the winner of the battle (8F451 time code 2:09 to 2:58, at which point the track ends).
At last, we arrive at the key track from the Backdraft score when it comes to Iron Chef… track 9, “Show Me Your Firetruck.”
First, the main theme of the show, which I call the “Iron Chef March” cue (9SMYF time code-0:22 to1:12; extend to 1:37 for special battles). As indicated, the track normally goes from 22 seconds into the track to 1 minute and 12 seconds in for a normal episode. However, when the cue is used for a special battle introduction, such as the summoning of the Honorary Iron Chefs, the ICM cue is extended by an additional 25 seconds.
Then, there is the “post-match interviews/end credits” cue (9SMYF time code-1:38 to 3:32, at which point the track ends), which plays over the post-match interviews with the judges/challenger/supporters/Iron Chef, if any. If an episode has no post-match interviews, the end credits (9SMYF time code-2:43 to 3:32, at which point the track ends) begin after the scores are shown.
Next up is the second leg of the “Triple Crown” of Iron Chef music-the 1987 U.S. Civil War drama Glory, composed and conducted by James Horner. (Click here to purchase this soundtrack.)
Prior to 2001 (for the original U.S. dubbed version) and up until the Japan Cup 2002 special in Japan, the Glory cue “Charging Fort Wagner” (10CFW time code 0:00 to 1:23, omitting sequence from time code 0:15 to 0:27) was used when the Iron Chefs are summoned into Kitchen Stadium. This music is also used as the Iron Chef’s profile cue when an Iron Chef is making a solo ascent.
And lastly in the “Triple Crown” is the 1993 bio-pic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, composed and conducted by Randy Edleman. (Click here to purchase this soundtrack.)
In addition to miscellaneous cue segments used in various ways throughout Iron Chef‘s 1993-1999 run, the cue “The Challenge Fight Warm-Up” (5CFWU time code 0:00 to 0:27) was used (prior to 2001 [for the original U.S. dubbed version] and up until the Japan Cup 2002 special in Japan) as the introduction to who was on the week’s tasting panel.
(If you can offer any information on specific episodes of Iron Chef in which cues fromDragon: The Bruce Lee Story are heard, please e-mail me at the e-mail address above. If your information is proven accurate, I will properly credit you in a future update of this article.)
In the next installment, we will focus on more films whose music was used on the original Iron Chef. We will also focus on items from other media, such as TV shows and video games, whose music was also used.
The challenger is a chef specializing in Chinese cuisine. He earns praise from both Iron Chef Chen and Dr. Yukio Hattori. The Chairman calls him the future of Chinese cooking in Japan. This episode did not air on Food Network.
It’s finally time for a new ICC Exclusives episode. This week, I have another 1997 Nakamura episode for you. The challenger trained in France, but he now specializes in Vietnamese cooking. This episode did not air on Food Network.
The chairman’s theme reveal is kind of clever this week. He talks about Vietnam being having the most motorcycles in the world. He then says something about people wanting their cars, then about the car of the sea. The Japanese name for the theme is kurumaebi. (“Kuruma” means car in Japanese.”) (And if that is way off, someone please correct me and my less-than-stellar knowledge of Japanese.)
I will try to catch up this week with the Japanese language episodes I have missed by not having TWICH the last few weeks. TWICH will return next week, and will continue on its regular schedule after that. Thank you to everyone who has been patient these last few weeks.
I know it has been a few weeks since I have put up anything new, but I promise it is coming soon. I’m wrapping up the second of two big projects at work in the next couple of days. I will then be able to get some new episodes posted and return to my somewhat regular posting schedule. Thanks for being patient.
(This might be a good time to bring up the fact that I will always welcome guest posters. Write something for the site. Send it to me, and I’ll put it up for all to see.)