There's so many songs I wanted to do before the year is up, it's going to be impossible to squeeze them all in. However, there's one thing I just can't simply allow, and that is the fact we haven't had a Bowser song yet this year. Completely unacceptable!
The 'normal' Bowser battle theme from Super Mario 64 (originally titled Koopa's Theme) is one of my personal favorite Bowser songs. It doesn't seem to get a lot of official love for some reason, only appearing, to my knowledge, in SM64.
This has always saddened me because I feel this song did a perfect job of representing Bowser. When I hear this song, I think of one word: Gigantic. And in Super Mario 64, Bowser was gigantic. A bit goofy looking, but a massive beast nonetheless.
I have actually covered this song before back in the 2009 Bowser Medley, but those remixes are garbage so we're going to pretend like it never happened. I wanted to get it right this time.
Even though this song is really easy to play, it proved to be quite a large mixing challenge. I wanted this song to sound massive and heavy. For starters, my normal 2016 prog-metalish drum kit wasn't going to cut it. The drums in the original sound huge, so I went with a much larger sounding kick and snare. The enormous kick, snare, and ride cymbal were one of the most important parts in the original, to me. This drum line is also one of the first drum lines from a game that I learned, so you'll probably notice it's pretty close to the original.
I tried several different things with the rhythm guitar line(s). I tried doing it in just standard, and also with an octaver effect applied. I eventually settled with a 3 guitar blend: the usual rhythms (which I pan one left and right), and bass, play the main line in drop A tuning, while a 3rd guitar down the middle plays the line an octave higher in standard tuning. I felt this was a perfect blend to get a sound similar to the heavy riff from the original version.
Lastly, I threw in a little bit of Koopa's Road for the bridge section, with a rhythm line similar to the Koopa Battle theme and a choir. It was mostly experimental at first, but I really liked the way it sounded once I had it put together.
Oh yeah, one more thing: Everytime I've heard this song by itself, the absence of the footsteps and laugh always bothered the heck out of me, so I threw those in the intro as well. It's always sounded super empty to me without it!
Also, in case you're wondering, I do plan on covering Ultimate Koopa eventually. Some people were wanting it in this remix, but I feel it's a song that deserves its own full cover. So it will happen eventually. :)