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.
A special challenger, for a special Christmas battle:Philippe Groult, who studied under Joel Robuchon at Jamin from 1981-84.In 1982, at age 28, Groult won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF, a prize also awarded to Robuchon, and to Claude Le Tohic, currently head chef at Robuchon’s restaurant in Las Vegas).Groult went on to open his own restaurant, L’Amphycles, in Paris.He earned two Michelin stars in two years.
Robuchon himself has a few words for the Chairman:“Although it’s going to be an uphill battle, I trust his talents.I want him to proudly represent the true flavors of French cuisine.With his depth of knowledge, skill, and experience, I’m sure he can win.”
Groult challenges Sakai — a strictly French battle.The unveiled ingredient is “what the French go crazy over on Christmas Eve, with champagne glasses in hand–”
Actress Fumie Hosokawa (After seeing some of her other work, a special BKS edition may be needed. -Keith) and Honorary Chef French Yutaka Ishinabe join Kenji Fukui and Dr. Yukio Hattori on the commentators’ panel. (more…)
Some theme ingredients in Kitchen Stadium were things found in kitchens around the world like chicken or carrots, but some of the themes were uniquely Japanese. This weeks Episodes of the Week theme ingredients are items that are somewhat common in Japan but maybe not so much in other countries.
Natto (Fermented Soybeans) (221) – Iron Chef Rokusaburo Michiba vs. Kuniyuki Ishikawa
Mochi (Japanese Rice Cake) (302) – Iron Chef Chen Kenichi vs. Toshiyuki Nakagawa
Umeboshi (Pickled Ume fruits) (332) – Iron Chef Rokusaburo Michiba vs. Kenji Kaji
Mochi (Japanese Rice Cake) (501) – Iron Chef Sakai vs. Kan Kasahara (This episode did not air on Food Network)
Natto (Fermented Soybeans) (638) – Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto vs. Tatsutoshi Kumamoto
Sushi (722) – Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto vs. Keiji Nakazawa – The ingredients for this battle are: Tuna (Maguro), Anago (Eel), Kanpyo (Dried gourd shavings), Egg, Kohada (Japanese shad).
The following episodes may be found by searching our video database: 221, 302, 332, 638, 722
Shigeru Miyamoto never made an appearance on Iron Chef, but his most famous creation would have been right at home as a judge on the episodes featured in this week’s Episodes of the Week. (For those of you who do not know, Shigeru Miyamoto is the designer who created Mario for Nintendo.) This week’s episodes of the week theme is Mushrooms. I don’t remember any of the judges suddenly growing larger or gaining an extra life after eating any of these mushrooms, but I’ll probably watch the episodes again just to make sure.
As one might expect from a cooking show based in Japan, a country that is a group of islands, fish was an often used theme ingredient on Iron Chef. It was used more than 15 times during the run of the show. Here are some of the highlights.
Salmon (101) – Iron Chef Ishinabe vs. Go Maruyama – The very first episode of Iron Chef. (This episode did not air on Food Network)
Sea Bream (204) – Iron Chef Michiba vs. Tanabe (This episode did not air on Food Network)
New in the Database this week: 222, 607, 620, 630, 640
We also would like to bring your attention to a new addition to Beyond Kitchen Stadium. It is a clip from the Daily Show that features footage from the Red Snapper (607), the debut episode of “Naughty Morimoto.”