Rekindling the Nostalgic Flames: X-Men '97's Sonic Evolution to Vinyl

The Resurgence of a Beloved Soundtrack

Amid a landscape of digital streams and nostalgia-fuelled vinyl records, the latest merchandise release by Disney for X-Men ’97 fans draws on the power of nostalgia to offer something both new and familiar, looking to the past even as it opens the future. The music, composed by John Andrew Grush and Taylor Newton Stewart (collectively known as the Newton Brothers), is now being released on vinyl in a score that again invites fans of both the vinyl and the film to seek out new and remarkable experiences. From the digital to the vinyl, the music continues to preserve the CLASSIC feel of the X-Men legacy as part of its wider collection.

A Marvel of Design and Sound

This is no mere soundtrack reissue, it’s an exacting replication of nearly every musical cue created for X-Men ’97, spread over two boldly coloured discs contained in a gatefold jacket imprinted with artwork by Phantom City Creative. And this, like the series, is every bit as visually appealing as it is aurally exquisite. In celebrating Phantom City Creative’s second production art revival of a CLASSIC animated TV series (the company’s first being the excellent Powerpuff Girls ’97, also released on vinyl at the end of last year), you reap a tactile artistic dividend that is tangible as that old edition of the comic book you left behind. In creating this work of art, Phantom City Creative has once again produced a product brimming with the combined weight of tactile allure and creativity.

A Symbolic Palette of Hues

The colour scheme of the vinyl themselves, in the eye-popping yellow, blue and red of the X-Men, is a literal visual metaphor for the tension and conflict that is the relationship between the two main characters, Charles Xavier and Magneto. It is also a literal connection between the storytelling modes of the X-Men – the literal (audio) and the figurative (visual).

An Auditory Journey Through Time

Eric Garza, a co-founder of the boutique soundtrack label Mutant Merchandise, praises the Newton Brothers’ skill at featuring ‘the best piece of job advertising music ever written, via Ron Wasserman’s classic theme’, while upending these compositions’ chronology, ‘imbuing [the] score with touches of legit orchestral sound and cutting-edge synth’. The X-Men franchise flows as a past driven by sonic forces into a present, and an invitation to listen to a day from a future past.

Tracklist Teaser and Release Details

Featuring 40 songs, spanning two discs, the vinyl collection will release on 6 September for $40. Those who wish to take home their own copy of Fourth World music with a X-Men twist will have to pre-order now.

A Closer Look at the CLASSICS

Their tracks – from the jumping ‘X-Men ‘97 Theme’ to the emotional ‘X-Men End Credits’ – express the emotional range and depth of the series’ story arc and invite the listener to journey with the characters, struggle with them, and celebrate their successes. They are an enriching auditory experience, and an essential counterpoint to the series’ visual and thematic undertakings.

Preserving the Essence of "CLASSIC"

There is something inherently endearing about ‘classic’ goods in an always-accelerating world – and in this respect, the consistency of X-Men ’97 – from its character-driven storytelling to its indelible musical scores – goes beyond mere nostalgia. It signifies a commitment to storytelling craft, to characterisation and artistry, which will resonate for many years well beyond today’s prevailing trends. This vinyl edition ensures that X-Men ’97 lives on for generations to come.

The adjective classic contains within it an experience of eternity, excellence and trans-generational appeal. When it’s applied to X-Men ’97, it carries all three of those connotations: the original run’s groundbreaking effects, the re-invigoration of a flagging series, and the heroic ideals of acceptance, identity, and persistence at that anime series’ core. Viewed through the lens of classics – as this vinyl run tips its hat towards the past – the X-Men retains its path to the future, its mutation as the characters do, transforming ever onwards.

For many fans, X-Men ’97 is the pinnacle of the superhero story arc: the glorious, triumphant culmination of narrative, imagination, and music. This vinyl is a roadmap back into a universe as wide, generous, and inventive as the people creating it. There’s never been a better time to be a hero. It’s the Easter Egg™ we’ve all been waiting for. X-Men ’97: The Album is released on vinyl, cassette and digital download on 15 July via Madison Gate.

Jun 10, 2024
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