Sailor Moon Compact Discs
There have been 3 English language Compact Discs based on Sailor Moon. They are:
The first English language CD contains songs used in the first 65 episodes of the series. A color booklet with the lyrics is included. On the cover was the following offer: "Get $2 Off Sailor Moon Adventure Dolls! See Inside for Details". Later releases do not have that offer.
Although Andy Heyward (president of DiC) is credited as one of the lyricists on every song he did not work on any of them. In the Kids TV business it is customary for the CEO to obtain a credit in order to lessen the amount of royalties due to the actual writers and composers. Since Heyward is the only lyricist credited on the theme song, it is possible that he actually contributed to this one tune.
(The theme song has also popped up on a number of compilation albums.)
When first released, fans marveled at the detail in the music which can't be heard over broadcast television. This was especially true with the theme song--the one song you become most familiar with since it's on every show. (You really haven't heard these songs until you've heard them on a CD!)
Fans also noticed some of the other differences between the TV and CD versions. The most obvious is "Only A Memory Away" which was a sad, slow tune in Episode #56 "Sailor Mercury Moving On?" but has a medium paced almost country twang to it in the CD version. Most of the time such changes are due to when the song is first played with the (in this case, re-edited) picture and found to have the wrong feel. The song will go back to the music studio for changes. The Sailor Moon CD seems to have the original, music studio versions.
True trivia nuts may notice what one of our members obsessed over for weeks. That "Oh Starry Night" in the TV version (episode #60, "Raye's Day in the Spotlight") is just ever so slightly different from the CD version. "WHY?!" they would constantly shriek at our meetings, over the phone and via email. The TV version has the following lyrics (with the changes in capital letters):
Unaccustomed to the terrific sales of a CD, DiC put together this second (very short) album made up of everything they had leftover and unreleased. Included were songs from the additional 17 (and final) episodes of the Sailor Moon R television series and the features. (Since Lunarock was released before the features, fans did not know that they were getting a sneak preview.)
The 2 songs used in the features were "Nothing At All" (in Sailor Moon SuperS on the radio in Serena's dream) and "The Power of Love" (heard at the at the end of Sailor Moon R and at the end of TV episode #81 "The Final Battle").
Since that wasn't enough to sell a CD, DiC took the unusual step of including 2 songs from the original Japanese version of Sailor Moon, "Moonlight Densetsu" (the Main Title track) and "Ai no senshi." It was unusual since American distributors never want consumers to become interested in a foreign version (and start buying them instead). The 2 songs were like a Japanese sampler for English speaking fans. The songs did raise some interest in the originals but did not cause a big, mad rush to buy Japanese versions.
Fans who think that only 3 Voice Artists have portrayed Sailor Moon professionally may wish to consider including Jennifer Cihi. Ms. Cihi has played the interior singing voice of the character for most, if not all, Sailor Moon songs. In "Who Do You Think You Are?" (used in episode #82, "Follow the Leader") she even gets to act out a scene (left out of the TV version of course) with Sandy Howell (Raye/Sailor Mars). Howell is also credited as contributing lyrics & music to some of the songs on all of the Sailor Moon CDs.
In the song "I Wanna Be A Star" (which is not on this CD but is on the first and third CDs) Jennifer Cihi delivers dialogue as Sailor Moon which includes, "On behalf of the moon, I shall sing to right wrongs and triumph over evil!"
Nickelodeon viewers may have even seen the singing voice of Sailor Moon as part of the cast in the videotaped series, Roundhouse.
(Besides professional productions there are also fandubs. Perhaps some of the unused songs, "I Want Someone To Love," "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Daddy's Girl" and [from the next album detailed below] "I'm Not Ready" might pop up in one of those someday?)
The release of Lunarock caused more unrest in the SOS treehouse when our Games Editor began to insist that there were 2 versions. It started innocently enough via an interoffice memorandum: "There are actually two slightly different Lunarock CDs. I made a tape of Anime stuff to play in my car which included a couple songs from Lunarock, and when my friend Josh (who also has the CD) was riding in the car he suddenly said "What the heck!? Where did that intro come from!? What's with that instrumental part!?" Next chance we got, we whipped out our CDs and compared them and the music is slightly different. I forget exactly what the differences were, but I think some examples were a snazzy intro on "Want to hold your hand" (mine starts with "Wa-Wa-Wanna, Wa-Wa-Wanna" and his starts right with the "Oh yeah I, tell you somethin'...") and an instrumental solo in "I want someone to love." (We hope that is all that they "whipped out.")
There could indeed be 2 versions as EMI Canada released Lunarock before Rhino Kids in the United States did. Fans who think they have proof of 2 different sounding versions should write in to our Comments Page and post audio files of clips somewhere on the net--so that we could all hear the evidence!
Lunarock also marked the transition from the kid safe ballads and love song versions (mostly the work of Michael Benghiat) produced for the dubbed anime productions to the more album orientated dance/techno tracks that were to follow.
This third and final CD marked something of a victory for fans of the DiC dub as it includes some of the incidental/background cues from those episodes. But even though such cues were the number one musical request from fans, DiC seemed almost timid in including such cues on a CD. (In fact, DiC & Koch have never publicized the CD.) To our knowledge, DiC has never had so many requests for such cues from any of their productions since the inception of the company over 20 years ago. DiC (and perhaps Koch as well) seemed to have loaded up the release with remixes of earlier songs, old songs and one new song perhaps out of the fear that there was limited interest in the incidental/background cues. The first release of the CD completely sold out.
What agonized some fans is that although the CD runs a hefty 52 minutes and 17 seconds long, it could have easily held another 10 minutes worth of the incidental/background cues (and even more if one of the previously released songs had been dropped). The cues which are included are:
If fans loved hearing the theme song on a CD, they were in heaven with this release. The incidental/background cues sound so much better than on TV!
These cues were mostly the work of Bob Summers, who worked for Don Perry Music which had been hired to provide a score to DiC. Most of the cues were original though (to many fans versed in both versions) seemed influenced by the original Japanese score. Some of the cues (as noted in a full color booklet included with the CD) were adapted versions. It seems so ironic to some of us that after a lifetime of producing mostly unnoticed work that Bob Summers should create such an outstanding and popular score (and that it's for a kid's show)!
As to the remixes, they certainly skew the CD to an older, more mature audience. Some of the remixes are techno themed and reminded some fans of the German Sailor Moon tribute group, "Super Moonies." (To hear a truly decadent techno slant to Sailormoon just listen to any of the "Super Moonies" CDs!) Sailor Moon has also influenced other bands.
Some fans liked the remixes but without usage in a production, these cues have less meaning. Some of the remixes and the one new song ("I'm Not Ready") were the work of "RAW" which is the alias of Ronald Aaron Wasserman, aka Ron Wasserman, best known for his work on the Power Rangers productions.
The CD also included a Sailor Moon screensaver. (For PCs you must have a Pentium II 400Mhz computer with Windows 95 or later; for Macs a PowerMac 300Mhz with MacOS 7.2 or higher.)
If there were to be a fourth Sailor Moon CD, we would encourage DiC (and then Cloverway which is currently scheduled to inherit these rights in Spring 2004) to produce an album with 70 minutes of nothing but the background cues. (We know that neither one of you have ever done such a thing and might find it hard to convince a label to release such a CD but the sales speak for themselves. All Sailor Moon products are about to have a resurgence due to the live action television series, so don't miss out on this next, logical money-maker!)