Like Disney Afternoon before it, I made a point to watch Toonami every weekday afternoon. While Dragon Ball Z was certainly their anchor, they still had a plethora of shows to offer. Toonami was a great cartoon block. There was a subtlety to the bumps (breaks between shows) that many networks didn’t get, or bother with. One of the best elements of the bumps were the intros and outros to the shows. Each show had their own original music to introduce them. Cartoon Network eventually released an album of these songs called Deep Space Bass. You can bet I picked it up the day it came out.
If you grew up watching Toonami, listening to this album now creates a wave of nostalgia that rushes over you. Like nearly any song that’s sampled, there are bits of oddities when listening to the full versions. Sometimes the sample of the a song is no where near an accurate representation of the whole. Not so here. I recognized every song almost instantly.
The opening credits for all the shows were removed for time constraints. Instead, a quick intro from host Tom the robot along with a few quick clips and one of these songs played. Listening to them now brings back memories of the clips they used along with the songs.
Tension, which opened Tenchi Muyo, was a simple melody featuring chords from a shamisen, making it fitting for the Japanese centric show. Outlaw Star was preceded by the aptly named Starwind, which left at home with the space esque themes. Though I didn’t care for Gundam Wing, I loved Gundams are on Earth which promoted the show. I can still here Peter Cullen ordering me to watch it. Not every track is a hit though. I found myself skipping past Anvil Snare Remix and Depthcharge, which preceded Sailor Moon and Blue Sub respectively.
Surprisingly, some of the best tracks came from the regular songs the didn’t accompany a specific show. Prayer, Broken Promise, and Spacetime were all ones I found myself coming back to. Out of that group, Crashgroove was my favorite. I don’t remember exactly where it fell into the show block, but it was familiar all the same.
Unsurprisingly, my favorite song was Arabic, which opened from DBZ. I can hear every macho declaration from the characters while this awesome track looped in the background. The song features a decisively middle eastern flair that makes the title appropriate.
Deep Space Bass was a smart idea. Toonami was incredibly popular at the time and this album perfectly captured its essence. I still have my original copy sitting in a binder on my shelf. Listening to this brought back so many happy memories that I can’t stop listening. While I thought this would be a fun topic to write about, I was happier for chance to listen and rediscover this again.
Did this bring back as many memories for you as it did for me? What was your favorite track? Comment below!
What was that revolution crap about?