The Mega Man 1 ElecMan Stage Music Faithfully By Journey & All The Right Friends By REM Coincidence

The Mega Man 1 ElecMan Stage Music Faithfully By Journey & All The Right Friends By REM Coincidence

Articles, Blog , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


There’s a a lot of game lore out there that,
thanks to the internet, really goes through the rounds. Some of it gets proved or disproved
(e.t. Landfill) and others just never go away (madden curse). In this episode let’s take
a look at one strange alignment of the planets involving Megaman 1 and Journey. Open Megaman, also known as Rock Man has had a
long rich history. It recently passed the 30 year mark, and thanks to Megaman 11, the
series may never end. But let’s rewind back to the first game for a bit. Upon release,
one of the key features of the game was the ability of the players to choose the order
of stages in whichever way they liked. In essence there was no “Stage 1” and at
the same time “Stage 1” could be anything you wanted. To go along with that, each stage
was designed around the central theme of the Robot Master’s ability. And the music was
set to match that theme as well. Though it’s near unanimous that everyone’s
favorite stage music is Dr. Wily Stage 1 from Megaman 2, the music in the first Megaman
holds its own and the clear standout track from that game is Elec Man. In interviews,
The director of the game, Akira Kitamura has disclosed that one of his instructions given
to composer Manami Matsumae aka Chanchakorin was the set the music according to the theme
of the Robot Masters and their weapon’s powers. In Elec Man, you can certainly feel
that as there are pulses, beeps, and charges, that carried that feeling through music as
best as possible. After the first game, Rockman took off as
a series and as the games got more popular and gamers grew older, some fans started to
notice something in that little game from way back when. That the stage music from Elec
Man bore a strange resemblance to a song by Journey. Journey, which had gone through different
incarnations in the 1970s reached superstar status by the beginning of the 1980s with
the hit songs Don’t Stop Believing and Open Arms dominating radio and their 1981 Album
“Escape” becoming the first video game / rock crossover.
In 1983, the follow up “Frontiers” peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart
and eventually sold over six million copies. The second single from the album was “Faithfully.”
A touching balled about a musician who is always on the road, but remains faithful to
his family at home. But could Faithfully have actually been an
influence on Chanchakorin’s Elec Man theme? Journey was popular enough to hold arena sized
concerts in Japan in the 1980s so it’s not too far fetched to think she heard the song
somewhere. Or it could be the phenomenon of Multiple Discovery, where two different people
produce nearly the same thing without either being aware of it. A famous example of this
is Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray filing the patent for the telephone on the same day
in 1876. In the music world, it happens all the time. All Day and All of The Night by
The Kinks and Hello I Love You by the Doors is a great example of this. In fact the Elec Man coincidence isn’t the
only one associated with Faithfully. Comparisons of Faithfully and Purple Rain are sometimes
made. Prince even ran the song by Journey before it was released to make sure there
wasn’t any legal trouble. Jonathan Cain who wrote the song, gave it the all clear. And then there’s REM. The contributed a
song for the Vanilla Sky soundtrack in 2001 called All The Right Friends, which sounds
just like Faithfully and Elec Man. Music The thing about this song though is that REM
originally wrote, recorded and performed the song live before Journey’s Frontiers was
ever released. Personally I don’t think REM likes Journey anyways. So there you have the case laid out before
you. A lot of songs seem to sound just like Faithfully. It is a simple song and there
are only so many sounds the ear can register, so what is the answer to the burning question
you’ve had all this time….? Is Elec Man inspired by or flat out stolen from Faithfully? I did the one thing no one else has ever done.
The one thing that will settle this question forever. I tracked down Chanchakorin and asked
her myself. The answer, simply put is NO! To elaborate, she says… その事は、色々な人から聞いて知っています。でも、当時作曲をした時は、全くジャーニーの曲を知りませんでした。もし知ってたとしても、そんな大胆な事はしないと思います。だって、すぐバレてしまうでしょ。 一部の人に盗作とか言われている事に対してちょっと傷ついていますけど、今となっては確かに似ているので仕方がないのかなと、思います。 So there you have it. The whole thing WAS
a coincidence! I never thought it was plagiarism, maybe an homage, if she liked the song. But
now we know that Journey wasn’t even on her radar and trying to imitate any existing
work was never on her mind. Now that that’s settled, there’s still
one more coincidence involving Journey left to be solved. Are keyboardist Jonathan Cain
and WWE Superstar Shawn Michaels twins separated at birth??

59 thoughts on “The Mega Man 1 ElecMan Stage Music Faithfully By Journey & All The Right Friends By REM Coincidence

  1. What say you, YouTube audience? Did you know of these songs? Do you think its possible more could be out there? Ever since I hear the REM song, I always sing those lyrics whenever I play Elec Man!

  2. I have a best of Journey CD that I never listen to. I wonder if the song is on it, cuz now I wanna hear it. But yeah, musical coincidences are very common. Agnostic Front's 'The Eliminator' and Exodus' 'A Lesson in Violence' both begin with almost the exact same riff, and both songs were released in 1985. I asked Exodus guitarist Gary Holt about it 11 years ago and he said it was straight up a coincidence. By the way, Iceman's theme is my favorite song in Mega Man.

  3. As a fan of both Megaman and Journey, I've always thought ElecMan's Theme sounds just like Faithfully, and I like the cool coincidence between them. My favorite song by Journey is Separate Ways. Also, on the invention of the telephone, did you know that American-Italian Antonio Meucci actually developed a working model before Bell patented it?

  4. It's incredible that we actually got an answer! You can also add Fist of the North Star 2's opening song 'Tough Boy' to the list of songs that sound similar to Elec Man / Journey / REM.

  5. I seem to recall thinking the theme to "Mask", the cartoon with flying cars, sounded a lot like Elecman's theme. But, for some really obvious inspiration, check out Wild Arms. A few homages to Ennio Morricone are obvious. A lone bird in the shire/ The Extacy of gold come to mind.

  6. Now I've got a lot of respect for Matsumae-san and I think there's a lot of song structures which people are far too eager to say they're copies when they're just shared motifs. I certainly think in this case that it's just a normal sort of songwriting thing. But, do you really think that composers, especially those in Japan who are very legally careful, would admit to homages like this? It's hard enough to get them to name influences, let alone what specific media influenced their creations.

    Even obvious stuff like Johnny B Goode in Earthbound, I don't think you'd ever get the composers to admit they had ever heard that song despite being one of the most well-known rock songs in the world (maybe Tanaka would, but he's an unusually talkative kind of guy). As you get further away from conventional song structures, it's also less likely to have no influence. I have a harder time believing, for instance, that Yasunori Matsuda had never heard Never Gonna Give You Up before writing Robo's Theme. Rick Astley's work isn't exactly a typical song structure and the instrumentation is very similar.

    The famous case of My Sweet Lord by George Harrison versus He's So Fine shows that you can write something fully in the belief that it's original yet were influenced by forces beyond your permanent memory. I personally rewrote "My Sharona" once believing that I had done something different, quickly rectifying that. These sorts of similarities are something we should be examining, not because we are searching for plagiarism, but to find links that would not be admitted to otherwise.

    Again, I do believe Matsumae-san on the point that she was not directly homaging. However, I do think a possibility must exist that she got the tune from hearing something similar, both because it's a pretty regular chord structure and Rock Man was built by a bunk of rock freaks after all. It's fully possible that somewhere in the Capcom office there could have been a Journey record she picked up on unconsciously, or a billion other things.

  7. Aside from the 2600 game, there was also an Arcade game, released by Midway in '83 that included the use of a looped audio cassette of "Don't Stop Believing" that plays if you get to the final stage of the game.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P1f1po9EKw

    To get to the music! https://youtu.be/_P1f1po9EKw?t=27m7s

  8. The chorus from the Fist of the North Star 2 opening always reminded me of Elec Man's theme.

    https://youtu.be/2Y2VzSY1HIg?t=52s

    Anyway, really cool that you got in touch with Manami Matsumae. You really put a lot of effort into your videos!

  9. Holey moley, K.J., I am just gobsmacked that you actually reached out to Matsumae-san herself and asked her this! All I expected was a pleasant little video about video game soundalikes, but man, you really upped the ante at the end. Great job!

  10. There's stories of musicians stealing music from games before, the most famous is probably Kernkraft 400 stealing the music from the C64 game Lazy Jones for their song "Zombie Nation".

    Also Yuzo Koshiro's Baseball arena stage music from Streets of Rage 2 IS The Shamen's "Move any Mountain", he didn't even try to hide it.

  11. Another instance of this happening is the amiga game Agony’s title theme and Dimmu Borgir’s Sorgens Kammer. The similarities ended up causing Sorgens Kammer to be cut from subsequent releases of Stormblaast.

  12. It also bares a resemblance to "She Don't Know Me" by Bon Jovi, from there first album from 1984. They actually broke in Japan, before they broke North America

  13. elec man's music is good, but the bast music is from mega man 1 stage one from dr. Wily!, but in PAL speed 🙂

  14. I'd assumed the Rockman 1 team must've been cognizant of Journey's Frontiers on account of not just the songs, but because the album art looks like it's sporting the same helmet as Rockman, more or less.

    Anyways, any accusation of any song cribbing from Faithfully — or any rock ballad for that matter — is moot because they're all cribbed from Pachelbel's Canon and Gigue in D.

  15. Thank-you for reaching out to the original composer. That was a special touch that I haven't seen anyone else do when talking about this song, and it's cool to know she's still alive. I hope she's still making music!

  16. It's such a simple phrase. Doesn't really astonish me that various people came up with it. Nevertheless, You're the man for simply asking her about it.

  17. 1:30 Now I want to hear Elecman's theme on a Tesla coil. A cursory search here on YT comes up short. Hopefully someone has or will do it 😀

  18. Elec man didn't just rip off journey. They also ripped off Bon Jovi and other bands. This song has been used by like 5 musicians/bands

  19. I know in Japanese film and tv, it's not uncommon for composers to stretch the definition of musical homage — because film and tv composers are given very little time to work! There's a reason in the old Godzilla movies, every monster has their own theme, and most of the music is just their theme playing when they show up: because it's very quick to write that way

  20. I was shocked the first time I heard Journey Faithfully as I recognised it straight away but had never heard the song before.

  21. THANK YOU, SO MUCH!! Elecman's theme always reminded me of another song which it was very alike, but always when I would look for it, I would never be able to find anything but Faithfully by Journey. Now I FINALLY have discovered what that song is, and it's All The Right Friends!! I had no idea it came before Faithfully, too!!!

  22. Here's my tally:

    Electman-Mega man
    Laura Branigan- Spanish eddie
    Bon Jovi- She dont know me
    Robbie dupree- Girls in cars
    REM- all the right friends
    Cheap Trick – way of the world (Chorus part)
    Paul Laine- Dorianna
    Journey-Faithfully

  23. I find it hard to believe that Elec-Man’s theme wasn’t inspired by Journey. I mean, the entire Mega Man series is full of music references. The main characters are named Rock and Roll, Mega Man’s brother is called Blues in Japan, there are other characters named Bass, Treble, Beat, Rush (the name of a band from the 80’s), Quint (as in “quintet”), Eddie (Iron Maiden, anyone?), etc.

  24. Ok so obviously you're not a musician. While the similarity is striking remember that there are probably thousands of others songs that sound just as similar, you've just never heard them nor are you likely to. Musicians are constantly writing music; coming up with ideas and elaborating on the good ones. So of course something that sounds good to one will probably sound good to another and inevitably many songs will resemble eachother.
    The R.E.M song isn't really close IMO. I mean if THAT'S close then.. well..
    I hear it all the time in songs. Sometimes I think I means one got the idea from the other. But that's not usually the case.

    It's very difficult to write something entirely unique.

  25. It saddens me that coincidences like these, can lead up to some bad judgement. Matsumae is truly my childhood composer, much of her songs are still stuck in my head as good memories, i appreciate all the work she did. Amazing work at this topic too btw!

  26. It always makes me think of that song. But I'm glad it sounds similar because I love MegaMan and love journey.

  27. Is it just me or does the REM song actually sound much closer to the Elec Man stage music? All three songs sound very similar, but note for note the samples in this video from All The Right Friends sounds much closer to Elec Man than Faithfully did to me.

  28. All I needed was to see Steve Perry's Handsome Bastard Mug on this thumbnail to know EXACTLY where you're going with this haha. My fav band (not named The Beatles) and my favorite game series (Not named Star Ocean) it always blew my mind… same key… same time period… hmmmm…

    Ps – Thoughts on Star Ocean The Second Story?

  29. I asked Manami Matsumae about the similarities to "Faithfully" a few years ago. She said she never heard the song before, and that it was just a coincidence. The chorus of the Bon Jovi song "She Don't Know Me" also sounds similar to Elecman's theme, as does the main riff in "Spanish Eddie" by Laura Branigan.

  30. Its like with The Legend of Zelda – Great fountain theme similar tune to Morning Glory by Tatsuro Yamashita https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7M9958enRk

  31. Oh wow, a person accused of theft, denies the theft.

    Well, thank god that thing was settled forever. There you have it folks. Copyright trolls, time to pack it in.

    Not that I personally think she is guilty of anything really. It is just that your statement is too silly not to call out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *