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Awesome Music / Donkey Kong Country

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The Donkey Kong Country series is well-known for having some of the greatest music ever written for a video game, thanks to David Wise's groundbreaking atmospheric compositions. We could just list the entire soundtrack for each game, but you'd probably want to listen to them as well.

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    Donkey Kong Country 
  • As soon as the game starts up, the title theme provides a delicious taste of what's to come, starting with the original title theme for the NES release of Donkey Kong, before shifting into a rocking electric guitar remix that progressively transitions into a short, ambient track akin to most of the stage music.
  • Gangplank Galleon starts out sounding like a merry sea chanty played on a squeeze box, only to become a dark and ominous piece of 16-bit pirate metal after a few seconds (complete with a shift from a bright major key to a gloomy minor key) as the final boss fight against King K. Rool stops being mere child's play.
  • Aquatic Ambience, a soothing, trance-like track that's perfect for just falling into slowly. The Tropical Freeze remake is gorgeous.
  • Voices of the Temple is ominous and mysterious.
  • Forest Frenzy is a just plain fun accompaniment to the various forest levels in the first half of the game.
  • Even the music at the map screen is catchy!
  • DK Island Swing, the first level music, is three awesome tracks for the price of one, the first being one badass drumbeat, the second bright and energetic to get the player fired up for the fun ahead, the third eerie and atmospheric (and, in the first level, Jungle Hijinks, often kicking in just as the sky clouds over), and all three of them providing some of the series' more familiar Recurring Riffs.
  • Mine Cart Madness provides an appropriately ominous soundtrack to the first game's Best Level Ever.
  • Ice Cave Chant, the music for Slipslide Ride, practically radiates the shimmering beauty of an ice level with synthesised harp and glockenspiel. Such a pity it's only played once...
  • Fear Factory provides a suitably grim and sinister accompaniment to the "industrial" levels in the Kremkroc Industries zone.
  • Treetop Town is almost infectiously catchy and fun.
  • Life in the Mines supplies a tense, dramatic atmosphere to the various underground mine levels.
  • Funky's Fugue is just as funky as the name suggests; it's hard to resist dancing along to it.
  • Misty Menace, sounding like something straight out of a horror movie, will send chills down your spine as you avoid the Rockkrocs, or keep the faulty lights on in the pitch-black mines.
  • Northern Hemispheres, the snow level theme, is terribly atmospheric. It conveys perfectly the feeling of desolation of crossing a hostile, snowclad mountain all by yourself.
  • Bonus Room Blitz, the buoyant theme played in most of the Bonus Rooms, uses pipes and xylophones to convey a sense of fun to the various minigames that can bestow extra lives on the player.
  • Credits Concerto is a beautiful track played at the end of the game that gives a real sense of accomplishment whilst also giving the player a sense of peace.

    Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest 
  • Welcome to Crocodile Isle. A spooky and threatening military march that plays as the overworld theme in Donkey Kong Country 2 on Crocodile Isle during the quest to rescue Donkey Kong. And the GB version from Donkey Kong Land 2. Not quite subtle, but still pretty epic.
  • Hot Head Bop plays in Lethal Lava Land stages. It's a harrowing track that mixes into the ambience with an impressive tune.
  • Stickerbush Symphony, a trance-like soothing techno track that is widely regarded as not only the best track in the series, but also one of the greatest video game tracks of all time as well as composer David Wise's masterpiece. And of course, it was given a remix in Brawl.
  • Snakey Chantey is a fun, jazzy remix of King K. Rool's theme, and Klomp's Romp from the first level, playing only on the "Rattle Battle" stage. It starts out with a soft, catchy pirate's jig with an accordion, and then explodes into a loud, exciting big band song complete with trumpets, piano, and drums. It's so awesome that it earned its own remix in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Kannon's Klaim is a perfect fit for the game's mine levels, especially in the second world. The song's multi-layered composition of pipes, synths, and bass is all the more impressive when one considers the 64kb SRAM limits of the SNES' soundchip.
  • Swanky Swing, played at Swanky's Bonus Bonanza, and the alternate version with brass instruments played before each bonus area, which sadly is never heard past the first part.
  • Disco Train and Funky the Main Monkey. Sadly, "Disco Train" is pretty much always drowned out in-game by the fireworks and rail screech effects in the levels where it's played, to the point that the kick-assery of the tune can only be appreciated via the OST.
  • With a name like Bayou Boogie, you'd probably expect an extremely upbeat and jazzy tune. While we don't quite get that, what we instead got was an incredibly calming and atmospheric song, even borrowing the catchy beat from Phil Collins, and it works just as well.
  • Jib Jig has an adventurous feel to it, with a tune that sounds like something you would hear as part of a sea shanty. The rain and the wind ambiance help to convey the atmosphere for the levels it plays in, in which you're climbing up the sails of a pirate ship.
  • The Boss theme from Donkey Kong Country 2, Boss Bossonova, is damn epic, and really suits the mood when you've got things like lightning in the background of the boss battle.
  • Forest Interlude. Add in the wailing Ghost Ropes and the ghostly laugh of the headless enemy who throws barrels at you and you got a sad and epic song. When the game was revealed to be part of the Nintendo Switch Online lineup, David Wise revealed this was his personal favorite song from the game.
  • In a Snow-Bound Land. Even better than its DKC1 counterpart.
  • Krook's March/Castle Theme. Epic castle music (especially from 1:10 onwards), and now used by a million and one ROM hacks and fan games! The DK Island Swing motif even sneaks in there to signify how far Diddy and Dixie have come in their adventure.
  • Crocodile Cacophony, K. Rool's battle theme, is a dark and menacing track that shows that even more than last time, K. Rool means business. It's more epic in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Flight of the Zinger. The name implies frenzy, but the song is all about winding you up with slow tension. The DKL2 "Wasp Hive" isn't nearly as subtle, but it's an awesome tune regardless.
  • Donkey Kong Rescued, one of the most underrated Donkey Kong Country songs ever.
  • Primal Rave, the Jungle theme from the Lost World stages. Try to not get entranced by the beat.
  • Haunted Chase has the feeling of a slasher movie villain going after their victim, more than fitting for the tense Kackle chases of Haunted Hall. The intense orchestral hits and panic-inducing mix of brass and string instruments make it highly memorable, despite playing in a single level.

    Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble – SNES Version 
The fact that the soundtrack to this game was not composed by David Wise did not stop it from becoming a classic in many players' minds, with tunes that range from calm and friendly, to dark and menacing.
  • Rockface Rumble, the intense theme to mountain stages, set to an intense beat and a guitar section.
  • Jungle Jitter isn't quite the classic Donkey Kong Country theme, but it's deliciously groovy in its own way.
  • Mill Fever, possibly the most jazzily mellow tune in the series since DKC1's "Treetop Rock" - it helps that it's a down-low blues number.
  • Nuts and Bolts, DKC3's factory theme, has an awesome guitar solo.
  • Cavern Caprice, the cavern stage theme, matches its tune with the ambience you're diving into: Razor Ridge.
  • Pokey Pipes, the theme tune for pipeline stages. Dark, menacing, and fitting of the claustrophobic setting it plays on.
  • The opening theme, Dixie Beat, the second best opening in the series.
  • Enchanted Riverbank, a simple, catchy rhythmic song that happens to play on Lightning Lookout.
  • Stilt Village is so friggin catchy.
  • Boss Boogie is ominous and highly awesome.
  • Frosty Frolics is a really pretty and mysterious song that just perfectly fits snow levels.
  • Water World is one of the scariest tunes in the series. It sounds like you're one breath away from drowning.
  • Cascade Capers is also heavily deserving of being in this list, with the intensity that it transfers to the very environment it plays in.
  • Hot Pursuit. Sure, a good chunk of the levels it plays on can be brutal, but on its own it sure knows how to hype up the player with its intensity.
  • Isn't Jangle Bells just beautiful?
  • The beautifully dark and menacing Baron K. Roolenstein battle theme.
  • Funky Kong gets himself another sweet theme with Hangin' at Funky's, A chill and jazzy tune with a highly memorable vocal clip that most certainly lives up to Funky's name.

    Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble – GBA Version 
David Wise returns to provide his own interpretation of the game's soundtrack, and in spite of working with lesser sound quality, he manages to create a soundtrack on par with the original SNES release.

    Donkey Kong Land series 
The Game Boy Gaiden Series, Donkey Kong Land, has some gorgeously good music to itself as well.
  • Kremlantis from the first DKL game is a terrific, moody track.
  • Big Ape City has one of the catchiest 8-bit basslines of all time.
  • There's also the rockin' Monkey Mountain theme, which goes high and low and all over. Dah dah dahdahdah, deerrr ner ner ner...
  • For more awesome original tracks created specifically for new types of level Archetypes exclusive to the first Donkey Kong Land, there is the music for the Cloud Levels, showing that the first Donkey Kong Land can stand on its own in greatness, both in its originality department in its new type of levels as well as its own original music, and showing that it's not just some watered down port of the first SNES game in the series with weak 8-bit music tracks from DKC 1.
  • The 8-bit remix of 3's "Enchanted Riverbank." It puts more emphasis on the melody, and really lets it shine through.
  • What 3's "Treetop Tumble" loses in atmosphere, it makes up for in intensity. It almost feels like boss music.
  • The chiptune version of Lockjaw's Saga somehow manages to sound as epic as the SNES version.
  • The Boss music is pure, gratuitous awesome. Think of all the rock bands which just can't approach this kind of catchy.
  • K. Rool was going to have his own boss theme in Donkey Kong Land, but it was Dummied Out. A shame because...just listen to it! It rocks!
  • The Donkey Kong Land 2 version of Donkey Kong Rescued surpasses its 16-bit counterpart.
  • Another great 16-bit to 8-bit conversion in the second Donkey Kong Land is its version of Stickerbush Symphony. For as hard a time Grant Kirkhope had creating this soundtrack (the first video game he ever composed for) - he has admitted he nearly quit (thankfully he didn't) - he did an awesome job considering the limited hardware he had to work with.
  • Donkey Kong Land's Temple Theme. Very different from its counterpart and just as good.
  • Great Girder Grapple, a song full of tension, fitting for the last world of the game.

    Donkey Kong 64 
Donkey Kong 64 had some phenomenal music, probably some of the best the N64 ever had, courtesy of Banjo-Kazooie legend Grant Kirkhope.

    Donkey Konga 

     Donkey Kong Jungle Beat 
  • Grim Volcano really knows how to hype you up for adventure.

    Donkey Kong Country Returns 
  • Even though there are mostly remixes, that doesn't make the music any less awesome. One such theme is Mine Menace/The Rocket-Barrel stages.
  • The theme of King Of Cling is an AWESOME remix of the second half of the DK Island Swing.
  • Palm Tree Groove, a.k.a. The stages that make DK and Diddy look like they stepped into the world of The Rub Rabbits. Smooth jazz, baby. Here is the version that is played in the volcano.
  • One of the best remixes for Fear Factory. And the surprisingly catchy Music Madness stage too.
  • For some more remixes of older DKC songs, we have Northern Hemisphere, Forest Frenzy, Treetop Rock, Voices of the Temple, and most of all, Life in the Mines! Special mention should go to the remixes of Northern Hemisphere and Life in the Mines, for their effective remixing to fit their new settings: a desolate cliff side and factory basement, respectively.
  • Tidal Terror (which is another remix of Northern Hemispheres). You can really hear the influence of Metroid Prime here.
  • Although each and every mine cart stage contains its own unique cover of "Mine Cart Madness" from the original DKC, "Rickety Rails" is the only one to feature an entirely new arrangement of the piece. And It. Is. Awesome.
  • The remix of "Aquatic Ambience". So soothing.
  • The final boss theme, which sounds a lot like the Bryyo music from Metroid Prime 3.
  • The world map remixed "Simian Segue" every time it could: Variable Mix at its best.
  • And Sticky Situation, one of the original tracks played in the cliff levels, as well as its more upbeat version, Weighty Way (not played in the stage actually called Weighty Way, despite the name).
  • The final mine cart level Roasting Rails has a very Prime feel from the chorus chanting, similar to the Magmoor Caverns giving the level a very sinister feel to it.

    Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze 
David Wise makes his triumphant return to compose the music in this game, with fantastic remixes of classic DKC songs and stellar original pieces. To put it simply, the entire soundtrack is top notch.
  • Let's kickstart this off with the new rendition of the World Map theme, ready to pump you up for these island adventures.
  • The game opens with Mangrove Cove, a track timed to kick in with Donkey triumphantly bursting out of a plane wreck. It's a jazzy, upbeat (and not to mention original) tune that practically announces that yes, David Wise is BACK.
  • The beginning of Forest Folly is one of the most beautiful things ever.
  • Trunk Twister has an upbeat tune to ride a mine cart to.
  • Busted Bayou is groovy, funky, and relaxing, with an awesome saxophone that shows up midway through it.
  • Big Top Bop is the first boss theme. A heavy metal track that'll be sure to get the Kongs fired up and ready for a fierce brawl.
  • Windmill Hills has a lovely melody that'll fill you with joy, going along perfectly with the beautiful mountainous scenery.
  • Wing Ding is an amazing track to listen to as you zip line across the mountains. The track is even split into two parts: one for the regular parts of the level, and one for the zip lining parts, where it takes a more mysterious and aloof tone.
  • Rodent Ruckus, a remix of the already amazing Rocket Barrel theme from Returns, returns here.
  • Bopopolis/Spinning Spines/Slippy Spikes is a wonderful jazzy rendition of the original Donkey Kong Country for the GBA and SNES and is just an overall excellent homage to the game!
  • Mountaintop Tussle is just the sort of tense theme you'd imagine when duking it out with a giant owl up in the skies.
  • Grassland Groove is a beautiful piece, best described as Donkey Kong meets The Lion King (1994), complete with an African Chant shouting out DK's name at the end.
  • Baobab Bonanza is a relaxing composition that sets the mood for the (mostly) peaceful savannah and the beautiful waterfalls.
  • Frantic Fields is an action packed, frantic theme that's perfect when traversing the Kongs through the midst of a wind storm.
  • Scorch 'N' Torch is a great theme that really conveys a sense of urgency as you witness fields and trees burn up in a great fire.
  • Twilight Terror sees a return to the great "Stickerbush Symphony", even if you only hear it for a bit, unless you deliberately stay in the first area.
  • Twilight Terror (Rocket Barrel) is yet another remix of the Rocket Barrel theme from Returns, this time giving it an African / Savannah flavour with woodwinds.
  • Triple Trouble is another great boss theme that does a great job at setting the tone for a battle in the Savannah.
  • High Tide Ride mixes both the title theme of the game for the first part, and then later becomes a rendition of the "Mine Cart Madness" theme from the original Donkey Kong Country.
  • Funky Waters is a great, atmospheric, ambient tune to listen to as you swim through deep waters.
  • Irate Eight is a groovy, jazzy tune that kick starts you off into this great level, featuring remixes of "Aquatic Ambience" and "Lockjaw's Saga" in Irate Eight (Underwater), leading to a tense rendition of "Lockjaw's Saga" with Irate Eight (Tension) and finally a more fearful and frantic rendition of "Lockjaw's Saga" with Irate Eight (Chase).
  • Aquatic Ambience Returns sees a return to a more calming, peaceful, and atmospheric "Aquatic Ambience", returning from Donkey Kong Country.
  • Fugu Face-Off makes for another good boss battle tune to face off against a giant puffer fish underwater. The song just screams "Yes, it looks stupid, but it can kill you."
  • Swing Juice mixes jungle and machinery themes into one great track.
  • Reckless Ride sees another remix of the Rocket Barrel theme from Returns, giving it more of a mechanical and jungle sort of feel.
  • Fruity Factory is such a beautiful, atmospheric tune.
  • Jam Jam Smash is a great tune to listen to as you traverse through a factory full of jam and jelly.
  • Punch Bowl might just be one of, if not the best boss battle themes in the entire series. It's another intense heavy metal track like "Big Top Bop", it's fierce, just the perfect song for any boss battle as you throw down with the Bashmaster, a giant polar bear with a giant hammer who means business.
  • Frosty Fruits. A remix of "In a Snowbound Land".
  • Snowmads Theme is the main theme of the villains, the Snowmads, an excellently composed and menacing tune with slight bits of "Aquatic Ambience" and "Welcome to Crocodile Isle" thrown in for good measure. With ominous chanting and drum beats around a minute and fifty five seconds in, this is the perfect theme to really show the Snowmads off as villains who won't be taken down so easily.
  • Seashore War, a surprisingly solemn track that is used in the second level of World 6, that really shows how personal the fight to reclaim the island is to the Kongs. Incidentally, David Wise has stated that in his over 20 years of making music for games, this is his most favorite track he's ever composed.
  • Aqueduct Assault is just the tune that can imbue you with courage, to give you the feeling that the Kongs won't yield to these Snowmads without putting up a good fight.
  • Blurry Flurry is the last remix of the Rocket Barrel theme from ''Returns', this time being much more urgent and intense, to really make you feel like there's something at stake here, and that is, to defeat the Snowmads and take back Donkey Kong Island.
  • Freezie Breezie is a track that really gives the feeling of being cold and soulless, with the desolate whistling around forty seven seconds in, it makes for a very ambient tune.
  • Frozen Frenzy is a rendition of "Fear Factory" from the original Donkey Kong Country, this time more menacing and colder.
  • Volcano Dome is the theme for the final boss, and like "Punch Bowl" and "Big Top Bop", it's only fitting that the Big Bad also gets a very intense heavy metal tune. Just the right track to pump you up to take down such a difficult boss.
  • The Staff Roll has a groovy, jazzy rendition of "Wing Ding" and a saxophone solo of "Stickerbush Symphony", a great way to end an amazing game with a fantastic soundtrack. And there's a version with extended "Stickerbush Symphony" for extra goosebumps.
  • Temple 1 shows a return to the DK Island Swing, fast paced and jazzy, perfect to listen to as you take a romp through the difficult Temple levels.
  • Temple 2 takes it slower and is a rendition of the second half of the DK Island Swing, a very tense track that you'll also listen to while trekking through the hard Temple levels.
  • Secret Seclusion is an expansion of the title theme from Donkey Kong Jr., an upbeat, swanky tune to play during some of the game's hardest levels.
  • The Game Over theme, unlike all the other ones, is not sad or scary at all, being an upbeat, swanky jazz tune.

    Donkey Kong Country (Cartoon) 

Alternative Title(s): Donkey Kong Country 1, Donkey Kong Country 2 Diddys Kong Quest, Donkey Kong Country 3 Dixie Kongs Double Trouble, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Land 2, Donkey Kong Land III, Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Konga, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze