Need for Speed II Soundtrack, Rom Di Prisco / Jeff van Dyck / Crispin Hands / Alistair Hirst / Saki Kaskas / Koko Productions / Robert Ridihalgh / Jay Weinland, 1997
The number of composers that worked on the Need for Speed II soundtrack approaches a dozen, and listening to this sprawling magnum opus, that’s immediately obvious – in the best possible way. In that rarest of occurrences, it feels like all composers were free to add any musical idea they could think of, and still managed to somehow mold a coherent album that probably ranks as the most creative Western racing game score committed to album. Broadly speaking, Need of Speed II is a mix of electronic and hard rock/metal rhythms and textures, laced with psychedelic elements, but that’s a hugely reductive description. Firstly, the composers audibly have fun throwing in unexpected ethnic influences, such as a Greek bouzouki or a Bavarian accordion. Secondly, and more importantly, each track keeps developing and transforming, with dazzling consistency finding new ways to reshape its wildly inventive genre mixing. And throughout all these dozens of changes in colour and tempo, the music still retains the white-knuckle intensity required for a great racing game score. All in all, quite a triumph.
Not commercially available anymore – try music streaming services or second hand stores.