In addition to being one of the most popular video games of all time (in fact, it was the best-selling game ever for 20 years) and launching an iconic and endlessly marketable title character, Super Mario Bros. also contributed one of the catchiest and most enduring video game theme songs ever.
Officially known as “Ground Theme”, it was composed by Koji Kondo, who used Latin rhythms as the song’s foundation. It’s the song players hear when the game starts and has been featured in one variation or another throughout the Mario Bros. series. It’s also inspired countless remakes and remixes over the years, from world famous bands to anonymous fans.
I present to you but a sampling of some of my favorite takes on “Ground Theme”, but begin with the one that started it all:
Up first is one of the more popular versions (more than 18 million views on YouTube), a flute and beatbox performance by Greg Pattillo.
Less well-known but at least as inventive, this version features an ancient wind instrument called the ocarina.
Who says the accordion can’t be cool? Actually I do. But I still like this clip.
I had an RC car for a brief time, and probably would’ve kept it longer had I known I could do crap like this with it. Leave it to the Asians to be the first.
Isn’t a bass guitar with this many strings really just a portable piano of some kind? Oh well, here’s Jean Baudin, who even threw in the little coin sound effect at the end.
Getting sick of these yet? Too bad. Here’s one of the first covers I heard of this song, by Mr. Bungle.
Sure playing two guitars at once is impressive, Zack Kim, but where’s the heart? Where’s the feeling?
I think this Super Mario-inspired drum piece is a suitably bombastic and over the top way to put a cap on this collection (nice work, Andrea Varducci).