Songs covered by chiptune musicians – Part 1

Welcome to the first of (hopefully) many pages of songs covered (adapted or just inspired) by C64/SID/chiptune musicians. I will mostly cover C64/SID musicians because SID tunes are my favorite chiptunes. There are so many amazing SID musicians, to name a few (not necessarily ordered): Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, Tim Follin, Ben Daglish, Martin Walker, Jeroen Tel, Chris Hülsbeck, David Whittaker, Peter Clarke, Steve Rowlands ,…

As good as they are, not all of the amazing songs they made are their own creations. Some covers are obvious, others are less known. BUT even if they did not originally come up with the tune, their covers are fantastic – sometimes even (arguably) better than original, or at least perfectly adapted and fitting for the SID chip.

I would just like to add that a song being cover does not mean the song loses its value. Sure, it would be even better if it was an original, but in many cases these adaptations are so perfect for C64 that it becomes almost its own song and SID chip gives them a new life.

Obviously, if the game was based on a movie or series then many times they just adapted the MAIN theme to C64 version. In general, I am gonna skip those, unless they adapted a theme that is not the main one, like in our first example.

Let’s start with one of most fantastic tunes, although made for a very average game (quite common occurrence on C64 that music is much better than game itself):

Such a great tune, isnt it? Composed by one and only Ben Daglish (he sadly passed away in 2018) . Well, I guess this one might not be the biggest surprise (because game was based on a movie) but original was written by Sylvester Levay and the song is called Skyline. The track is included in the Cobra soundtrack but is not heard anywhere in the movie. This is because scenes in which this track was used were cut during the re-editing. Too bad, it is the best track of entire soundtrack in my opinion.

Skyline – Sylvester Levay (Cobra soundtrack)

The next 3(!) are from the probably most famous SID composer of them all: Rob Hubbard.

Here is his tune for Zoids. I always loved this tune, a slow burner and slow mover.

C64 Rob Hubbard’s “Zoids”

And this is the original :

Synergy – Larry Fast – Audion. Track: Ancestors

It is really beautiful, although I prefer the C64 version because Rob added some notes to the song to make it move more smoothly.

Now this album is so good that Rob covered another tune from it:

C64 Rob Hubbard’s “Master of Magic”

Such a iconic song. And here is the original song from the same album:

Synergy – Larry Fast – Audion. Track: Shibolet

I have to say that again I prefer Rob’s version, maybe it is nostalgia, I don’t know.

The third one is probably his most famous and best work: Commando Theme for C64.

Oh no, this one is not his too?? Yes, but don’t worry, he improved it a lot, added lots of his stuff and really made it incomparably better than original. Original one is pretty short too, it is also faster. Listen to it here:

Commando (Arcade) Main Theme

Like Mozart said in Amadeus movie about Salieri tune: A funny little tune, but it yielded some good things!

Now listen to Rob Hubbard’s version for C64!

Commando by Rob Hubbard

Incomparably better, a true masterpiece, if one can call it like this. Still, the original composer Tamayo Kawamoto deserves a credit by coming up with the original theme.

That’s it for now, if you like this kind of content, here is Part 2 of songs covered by chiptune musicians