TheGreatness25 wrote:Fun Fact: Shuki Levy did the music for Spider-Man The Animated Series... and Dragon Ball Z (the original Ocean run, including "Rock the Dragon").
I think Shuki Levy gets more credit than he should for DBZ, to be honest.
He's credited in a lot of Saban shows as he seems to have been their main in-house musician but he didn't seem to do as much music for DBZ as you might think. Ron Wasserman (musician on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers & X-Men '92) has stated in this interview
that he worked on the early DBZ music in his apartment alone and with no input from Saban, specifically; "It was after I left Saban, and they just go, “Hey do you want to score this thing? We’ll just pay you per episode, you can do it at home and just do whatever you want.” So, I’m sitting with my Mac, I think it was an LC-3 that’s got a disk drive, those hard-floppy drives. I remember I just scored midi, and I had two small speakers. I remember sitting in front of my 27 inch tube television and scoring that thing in the living room of the apartment I was living in at the time, and just getting these massive, dark, ethereal, building sounds. I would deliver it and they would go like, “Cool, we’ll have another one for you in a week.” I mean there was never a single note, I don’t think they ever watched anything I did, I think they just mixed it and delivered it. I never even knew the show was big until a couple years ago. I loved the show and when it got yanked from Saban, I asked Funimation if I could still score the show, but no response. Nothing. That was a shame, but I had a blast! That crazy ass fighting animation, I loved it!"
He even goes as far as to say "they [Saban] didn’t give a damn about the show" and If you take a look on Levy's website he seems to mostly take credit for intros and opening songs. I suspect the "Rock the Dragon" opening might've been the extent of Levy's involvement in DBZ, to be honest, and that would be as a writer/composer, not the performer. Ron Wasserman and Jeremy Sweet were supposedly the uncredited musicians behind that intro as well.
In regards to the Spider-Man '94 cartoon, Udi Harpaz was the orchestrator/conductor
of the music while Levy seems to have only written the music (Udi does not take credit as the composer). If you pay close attention to the of music in Spider-Man
close in both style and instrumentation to the Digimon US score
, both of those were Udi Harpaz doing the music although, like I said, Levy probably at least wrote the music for Spider-Man but Udi takes full credit for composing the Digimon tracks. The intro for Spider-Man, was performed by Joe Perry who was the lead guitarist and occasional lead singer of Aerosmith. Levy might've written it and the lyrics but I doubt it was any more than that.
Something else worth mentioning is what Ron Wasserman said in this interview
about his work on the '92 X-Men cartoon. He says "One of the things Saban did was isolate me. They isolated us intentionally from the network because you talk to them and then they go, “Hey, we have this other show,” which leads to you getting the gig. Saban was incredibly protective, holding on to their property and talent so nobody else would. In my four years of scoring [for ''X-Men'], I never met a single network person or producer outside of the Saban corral." The interviewer even finds this surprising to which Ron replies "I think this might be specific to Saban because I have a friend who scored Baywatch and 90210, and he was going to sets and talking to whoever was directing. That’s how it’s normally done. But Saban, everybody was “work for hires” where they’re taking a majority of your rights. I knew this going in. It was paid college for me, and it gave me a huge break and I wouldn’t have the career without it. But they kept tight reins, like the old studio days, people signed under exclusive contracts and kept on the lot. I left in ‘95. I said, “I’d like a fair deal and a contract.” I had written X-Men, Sweet Valley High, VR Troopers, and of course Power Rangers. They said, “No, your position stays.” So I left."
It seems that this is likely the reason Shuki Levy got as much credit as he did as well as the reason so many “work for hires” went uncredited. Saban didn't want their smaller musicians getting snatched away by rival studios.
8000 Saiyan wrote:I still prefer CDB and Rino Romano to Josh Keaton, whose performance I always found overhyped.
This show, along with the PS1 games made me the Spidey fan I am today.
Rino Romano was also Spider-Man in the Spider-Man: Unlimited cartoon from 1999. That show contained quite a few Ocean voice actors funnily enough, including Brian Drummond as Venom.