Cowboy Bebop Original Soundtrack

Album Title: Cowboy Bebop
Anime: Cowboy Bebop
Artist: Steve Conte, The SEATBELTS
Composer: Yoko Kanno
Release Date: March 21, 1998
Catalog Number: VICL-60201 / VTCL-60325
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The Cowboy Bebop soundtrack doesn’t really need much of an introduction. For many anime fans, this soundtrack would be their introduction to jazz music. And as far as first impressions go, you couldn’t ask for a better introduction to the genre.

To say that composer Yoko Kanno delivered a solid anime score would be to sell her music short. So many of the pieces on this album have gone on to attain legendary status. For example, one of those would be the opening theme “Tank!”. A standout big band jazz piece, “Tank!” grabs your attention right off the bat with its hard-hitting brassy intro, then serves some snazzy Latin rhythms before throwing down an iconic alto saxophone solo to boot. “Tank!” is then followed by “Rush”, which, while not as energetic, still oozes cool as it flies as breakneck speed to capture the anime’s chase scenes.

But Cowboy Bebop‘s soundtrack is more than just jazz. The soundtrack features bluesy numbers (“Cosmos”), funk (“Pot City”), and Steve Conte belting out rock lyrics in “Rain”. All of these tracks meld seamlessly with the anime, complementing, and in many cases, elevating the series’ narrative and atmosphere.

Yoko Kanno’s ability to blend various musical styles into a cohesive whole is a hallmark of her work, and it’s particularly evident in Cowboy Bebop. The music not only enhances the action and storytelling but also reflects the show’s themes of existentialism and loneliness that the crew on board the eponymous spaceship feel as they ply their trade as bounty hunters. Even today, when people talk about memorable anime themes, Cowboy Bebop‘s is one of those that perennially floats to the surface.

The soundtrack’s impact is such that it’s often considered an integral part of the Cowboy Bebop experience. It’s contributed to the anime’s status as a cultural phenomenon and influenced music within and beyond the realm of anime.

Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack Sampler