With the series now in its eighth year since the broadcast of first episode of Dragon Ball, the plan with this CD set is to, once more, look back on the world of Dragon Ball, which is now rich with history, through its music.
If I were to summarize the music of Dragon Ball in a few words, as a series that has gone on for eight years now, the sheer number of its musical pieces is nothing to sneeze at. Without even going into the main theme songs for both TV series and the theatrical films, the Hit Song Collection CDs, released at regular intervals ever since Dragon Ball Z first started and which already number 15 in total, are first-rate concept albums, all centered around unique themes, that have had a lot of ardent fan support, something we are deeply grateful for. The track number is already considerable just by looking at the songs, but we also cannot forget the music that played during each episode of the television series and each of the theatrical films (otherwise known as background music, or “BGM”)4, which has served to heighten the tension of the story. The one in charge of providing these wonderful pieces is Shunsuke Kikuchi-san, who has also provided the score for so many other animated series and television films that it’s impossible to count them all. Regarding the music for the television series, normally, the music is composed and recorded in batches before broadcast and then selected from stock and combined with the finalized footage. With long television programs like Dragon Ball, the music isn’t recorded all at once; further recording sessions are held once the series hits important milestones. And in the case of this particular series, we also cannot forget the habitual theatrical films. Each new film has music recorded specifically for it, but that music is later reused for the television series. I believe that you can now see the vast amount of music that has been composed for Dragon Ball, right? This is just one piece of trivia, but a fitting one for a series that keeps on achieving ever-greater popularity all over the world.
Well then, regarding this CD set, from among the vast number of pieces used throughout the series, we selected the ones that are bound to have left the deepest impression and distributed them across five CDs. Discs 1 and 3 are vocal collections. Disc 1 includes all songs made for Dragon Ball, whereas Disc 3 is a vocal collection for Dragon Ball Z. Besides the obvious inclusions of the opening and ending theme songs of the television series, there are also the songs used in the theatrical films and TV specials, resulting in the lineup you now have in your hands. And there is no questioning the overwhelming presence of songs by Mr. Hironobu Kageyama. It’s just impossible to not be enthralled by his powerful performances.
In the remaining three discs, there are plenty of background music pieces, something which, until now, we hadn’t been blessed by often. Disc 2 is a music collection for the Dragon Ball TV series. The truth is, there’s already an extremely rare music collection for Dragon Ball5, one that was put on sale right after the series first started airing6. Back then, it was the golden age of LPs. The vinyl disc included the pieces produced during the first recording session, which were then compiled into suites, but its main selling point was that it used the stereo versions of the various pieces. This is because even Toei did not possess the stereo versions of the pieces of the first recording session. And for that reason, we have decided to replicate the entirety of that collection in this CD set. All the tracks from the original, from number 2, “Setting Out”, to number 12 [sic], “The Wild Boy”7, are also present on Disc 2. Now, in addition to the replicated tracks, we have also included for the very first time the pieces from the second recording onward, resulting in the lineup you now have in your hands.
Disc 4 is a collection of music from the Dragon Ball Z TV series. Two CDs with “Z” music had been put on sale before, but they consisted entirely of new music made for the theatrical films8; there had been no releases with the music composed for the actual TV series. This CD includes not only that, but also the new music composed for the new TV series9. Though of course, we also included the theatrical film music that also made a deep impression when it was reused in the TV version.
Lastly, Disc 5 consists entirely of musical score composed for the theatrical films of both TV series: there’s the musical score of the three old Dragon Ball movies and it’s the first time that the score for the latest “Z” movie, The Galaxy at the Brink!! The Super Incredible Guy, has been released in CD form. And while it’s true that you could listen to the independent music track included in the LaserDisc release of the Dragon Ball movies [sic]10, it’s impossible to surpass the simplicity and convenience of a CD. Furthermore, recent productions have had their music recorded in stereo format, so to be able to enjoy the music in a way that resembles the original recording as much as possible, the CD format really is indispensable, and this is why we have decided to make the CD set you now have in your hands.
Also, regarding the “M” numbers assigned to the music of the Dragon Ball series, there are two separate numbering systems: the one used during the recording, and the one created by Mr. Shigeru Miyashita, who supervised the music selection for the TV series. In order to avoid any confusion, we hereby inform that the numbering system used in this booklet will uniformly be the latter.
All of us here in the production team strove to make a CD set that told Dragon Ball‘s history through a musical perspective, but with a world this detailed, there was absolutely no way we could have told it all with a mere five CDs. As long as the Dragon Ball series continues from here on out, through both the comic and the animated series, there will also probably be plans for further CD sets. We here at the production team will continue to pray for the good health of the Toei Animation staff, such as Toriyama-sensei [sic]11.