Streets of Rage (Bare Knuckle in Japan), as a series, is known for its fantastic soundtracks. Yuzo Koshiro was able to wield the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis sound chips like no other, creating what is still some of the best video game music ever. While the general consensus is that Streets of Rage 2 has the best soundtrack of the three games, I personally have a soft spot for the original games music.
The Street of Rage
This track sets the tone for the entire game, playing as the opening story scroll rolls up the screen with the nighttime city shining behind it. With a distinctly 90s vibe, which brings to mind action movies from that era, this title track sets up the atmosphere perfectly. Streets of Rage may get a bit goofier than this dark and moody opening track suggests but the tone of this track sticks with you for a while.
Attach the barbarian
As soon as you heard the throbbing bass from this track kick in you knew it meant trouble. and if you’re me you immediately hit the A button to call in your special attack. It is of course the tension rising theme for the majority of the boss battles in the game. In addition to getting you pumped to fight (or dance) there’s a dangerous edge to the song that lets you know these big guys mean business. A great remixed version appears when you fight the Big Boss in the final level.
If every trip to the beach was accompanied by a beat this good you’d probably never want to leave. The knife-wielding goons and Ultimate Warrior-looking boss might make you reconsider though. Moon Beach has an incredibly catchy melody and an infectious beat that you can’t help but tap your foot to.
Beatnik on the Ship
Another of the more up-tempo tracks on the soundtrack, this one is from the fifth stage, which takes place on a (rather large) boat. It’s perhaps a little too funky for the highsea action but it does have a sting of urgency about it. Which rightfully suggests you be on your toes, with multiple bosses coming your way at the end of the level.
The full soundtrack, including some great unused tracks, is available on iTunes.