Vinyl Picks: Cobra Kai – Original Soundtrack 3LP
I love collecting vinyl. Vinyl Picks will feature my recommendations of new and upcoming vinyl. In the first post, I will be talking about a Mondo-exclusive triple vinyl release from one of my favourite Netflix shows: Cobra Kai, the brilliant follow-up to the 80’s movie The Karate Kid. The original score of Cobra Kai is composed by Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson, and they have done a stellar job to capture the opposite identities of the two dojos in sound. Now 4 seasons strong, let’s delve into the show, it’s killer soundtrack and the new vinyl offering.
Cobra Kai: A Synopsis
Starring The Karate Kid stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, in Cobra Kai we meet Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence over 35 years later – and their fates couldn’t be further apart. After the dramatic final of the All Valley Under-18 Karate Tournament in 1984, Daniel is a successful car dealership owner while Johnny is a troubled alcoholic with a strained relationship with his delinquent son. After an unfortunate event, Daniel and Johnny cross paths once again and it is their rivalry that underpins the TV show.
As these two men in their 50’s reignite their high school feud, the show also features a great cast of young talent: the students of West Valley whose lives are changed when the doors of karate come knocking. Johnny re-opens Cobra Kai to try and redeem himself, and the consequences force Daniel to open a dojo of his own. The two rival dojos are Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai. While Miyagi-Do is inspired by the self-defence teachings of Mr Miyagi, Cobra Kai continues the notorious ‘strike-first’ mantra of Johnny’s old sensei, Kreese.
The Triple Vinyl Collection
It is these two dojos, with their vastly different identities and fierce rivalry, that structure the sounds of the Cobra Kai Original Soundtrack.
The first LP, with the artwork of the fire, the fist and the fierce-looking cobra, is the soundscape of the Cobra Kai dojo. Pressed onto a beautiful splatter 12″ vinyl of black and yellow to match the dojo gi, these tracks echo the sounds of classic 80’s action films like Bloodsport, the Rocky films and The Running Man. This soundtrack is full of drama and never short of energy. It really does match the Cobra Kai dojo’s mantra of striking first and striking hard. It is an ideal soundtrack for when you want to feel energised and pumped.
On the other hand, the calm colour scheme of the Miyagi-Do 12″ is aptly reflective of their message: self-defence and mental balance. While also opting for the stunning splatter effect, the mix of blue and white is a tribute to the hachimaki (headband) that Mr Miyagi gifted Daniel in The Karate Kid. The soundscape of this record is more introspective and atmospheric to reflect the mental strength that is required to succeed with this style of karate. This album is also very 80’s with its synths and hooks. I thoroughly recommend this one for listening to while you’re working or studying. It really helps me focus on the task at hand.
The All Valley
The third record signifies the fierce rivalry of the two dojos and the moments where they clash. This is displayed by the sleeve artwork, featuring the logo which appears on the very mats on which they compete at the tournament. This is the most explosive of the three, taking you on a rollercoaster of emotion that follows every phase of a close contest. It is the perfect conclusion to a triple vinyl offering from a show that is 100% badass. And no, Johnny Lawrence isn’t writing this review…
The Cobra Kai original soundtrack on triple vinyl is the perfect gift for not just a fan of the show, but of fans of 80’s film music. Just like the show itself, the soundtrack warmly looks back at the 80’s and the films we grew up with but provides a fresh treatment that sounds unique and gripping in its own right. While the soundtrack is stunning, it is amazing when so much effort is put into the vinyl aesthetics, the sleeve artwork and inserts. Matt Ryan Tobin has done an amazing job with the vinyl artwork. And with vinyl that looks this pretty, it will be a highlight in any collector’s crate.
The 3LP collection is available to purchase exclusively on Mondo for $50.
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