Cowboy Bebop, one of the most celebrated and beloved anime of all time, is getting the tribute treatment. Well, its closing music is. Industry game and anime talents released a COVID-19 Charity Single from Cowboy Bebop composer Yoko Kanno and her band, The Seatbelts. They joined arranger and organizer Mason Lieberman and 40 industry guests to record the ultimate upbeat Cowboy Bebop tribute. Watch and listen:
This cover of “The Real Folk Blues” is an official charity single featuring talent from the anime and video game industries. Even the voice of Spike Spiegel himself, Steve Blum, joins in this tip of the hat to the iconic Cowboy Bebop closing theme. The press release explains, “In collaboration with Sunrise and Funimation, we are thrilled to share this star-studded tribute to the gorgeous music of Yoko Kanno and Cowboy Bebop to benefit COVID-19 Relief. Featuring over forty special guests including Yoko Kanno herself and the Seatbelts, original cast members, and a veritable who’s-who of the modern game and anime industries, ALL PROCEEDS will be donated to the CDC Foundation and Doctors without Borders (MSF) in support of the fight against COVID-19.”
Project organizer Mason Lieberman explains, “This song was originally the end credit theme for Cowboy Bebop, a generation-defining anime series. This project grew out of the goal of creating something fun and beautiful with the huge number of available musicians who have been sidelined as COVID-19 shuts down our entire industry. As it snowballed and grew, I realized we needed to use this as a valuable opportunity to give back to others and support everyone else who has been impacted by this crisis. I am greatly honored to present this smorgasbord of musical talent; many of my personal heroes are present on this release, and it is a tremendous joy to see them all working so hard for the greater good in this exceptional time of need.”
Funimation and Sunrise
The specialty crafted vinyl option is particularly cool. Mastered by renowned mastering engineer Jett Galindo of The Bakery, this option for fans of the Cowboy Bebop franchise will hopefully serve as a great incentive to participate in this fundraising effort. This “The Real Folk Blues” cover is licensed and available on Bandcamp and a special vinyl pre-order through Qrates. Worldwide storefronts (including Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music) will launch on May 8th.
Featured Image: Funimation