secret bionicle song
This is adapted from a post I made in november of 2017. As with all of my writing older than a month, its kind of silly.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know The Bionicle Music. It’s the leading track on the Powerpack, iconic for its use in MNOG during the Lewa vs. Onua fight and the final confrontation with the Makuta. If you’re a bit deeper into the Bionicle world, you might also know that the track was composed by Paul Hardcastle, known for a song called 19 he composed back in ‘85. Fun trivia, but not of much use beyond that, right?
That’s what I thought, until I saw a post on the Bionicle reddit that linked to a music licensing site. It seems that in 2008, Hardcastle had gone ahead and republished The Bionicle Music under the title “Killing Machines” in a production music album. But wait! Check out that runtime: 4:06?! The version on the Powerpack is only 3:11! Well, there were some portions of the track that cropped up in MNOG that weren’t in the Powerpack rendition, so it seemed like Hardcastle had broken out the full mix for this album.
I thought that was the end of it. For fun, I started to listen to samples of the other tracks on the album, until I came to one - ‘Bionic Age.’ And wouldn’t you know it, the samples/instruments were right out of The Bionicle Music.
“It couldn’t be,” I thought to myself.
“Welcome to the Bionicle Age,” the lyrics replied.
Naturally, I zeroed in on the only copy of the album availible on the web and bought the shit out of it. It just came in the mail today, so here’s the song for everyone to enjoy!
Over the past week I’ve gotten a fairly solid idea of where this song must have come from. My initial thought was that it might have been meant for the doomed Bionicle: The Album of 2002. But the artists for that were always prominently advertised, and Hardcastle wasn’t one of them. Then I dug up a press release for the Lego/Universal partnership that led to the Powerpack in 01. Here’s a quote:
[The partnership] will initially consist of a music power pack launched in Europe throughout spring 2001 with further music projects planned to support the product later in the year.
So there we have it. It seems as if they had Hardcastle do some more work for Bionicle, but when plans changed for Lego/Universal, he was left with at least one spare track. And why not make at least some use of it, by tossing it onto an album a couple years later?
Anyway, I love this song. Its so stupidly metal. I giggle every time I get to
I terminate with the force of rage/Welcome to the Bionicle age
Its so fucking ridiculous. Its so fucking great. And it speaks to what Bionicle was to Lego back then - it was the dawning of a new age.
When the deal with Universal petered out and the movies gave us Nathan Furst’s wonderful compositions, I feel like the soundscape of Bionicle underwent a pretty radical shift. Bionicle Age feels like a peek at where things could have gone, and for that alone I think it’s pretty wonderful.