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Re-Release Soundtrack

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Sometimes, movies or television shows only have limited rights to the songs they plan to use for their film or broadcast. Thus, you'll hear it in its initial broadcast/theatrical release, And It Is Good. However, come the home broadcast release, they have to change it. As such, it's replaced with a Suspiciously Similar Song, or perhaps a cover version of the song, or on some occasions, a completely different song altogether.

Occasionally, this even happens when the song is being covered, for very much the same reasons. Perhaps they change the song, depending on what suits the editors best.

Sometimes, if one of your favorite shows is experiencing massive delays in being released, it's because they're trying to get the music rights cleared. (Freaks and Geeks comes to mind.) According to The Other Wiki, licensing is one of the biggest problems for delayed or nonexistent home video releases.

Please note that this trope isn't intended to cover (no pun intended) Real Song Theme Tunes, which while they may set the mood for the show, are (at least usually) not inserted into the work itself. It also does not cover instances where the song was retained but with Bowdlerised lyrics.

Can often result in Clumsy Copyright Censorship, though occasionally this can be done fairly gracefully. Sometimes you need to Keep Circulating the Tapes in order to get the version as broadcast.note 


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  • The opening theme for Akazukin Cha Cha was originally sung by the boy band SMAP, but in all home releases, the opening theme was re-arranged and sung by a female vocalist, Shoko Sawada.
  • BECK: A cover of The Beatles' "I've Got a Feeling" features in the climax of the anime. The home distribution version keeps the backing tracks the same, but the lyrics change to something completely different. The English track changes it even further, using the lyrics of another in-universe song.
  • Castle in the Sky: When the film was initially released in North America, it had an entirely different score than the original Japanese version. (The rescore was done by Joe Hisaishi, to the approval of Mr. Miyazaki himself.) When it was re-released in 2010, the original Japanese score was reinstated. The 2017 re-release allows the viewer to choose either score.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The American version of Dragon Ball Z's replacement score has mostly been retained over the years, however since the movies feature songs from various alternative bands, this has been an issue. The History of Trunks had some songs replaced for its Toonami broadcast as a result of Funimation losing the rights to use them, and it also resulted in the second half of the credits playing silent. The remastered DVD took this further and replaced the music for the entire credits sequence with the generic ending theme, which met with frustration from fans, since the first credit song was popular with viewers, and that it was still in the film as an insert song. Bardock - The Father of Goku's credit songs were retained, but both were replaced for the Nicktoons broadcast with a generic piece of insert music. A single release of both specials omitted the American soundtrack entirely since Funimation had lost the rights to so many of the songs.
    • When Funimation restored Shunsuke Kikuichi's background music for the English 5.1 track in their Dragon Ball Z season box sets, this did not include any vocal OSTs in the background soundtrack. Those simply played silently. Similarly, their dub of the original Dragon Ball (whose US soundtrack always featured Kikuichi's music) also couldn't feature the vocal songs, and the narrator was usually given more dialogue to fill up the silence.
    • Dragon Ball Z Kai: Kenji Yamamoto — who did the music for the DBZ video games — composed a new soundtrack for the recut. However, during the Android Saga it was discovered that Yamamoto had plagiarized music from other sources (and had been doing so for years), he was fired and the original Shunsuke Kikuchi soundtrack from DBZ was reinstated for the rest of Kai.
  • Eden of the East's American release only kept Falling Down from Oasis as the opening theme for episode 1, but used a replacement J-Pop song (provided by the Japanese producers) for the remainder of the series. This was due to Funimation having to pay royalties every time the song appeared on the disc and was only willing to pay to use it once.
  • In a quite odd edit, the home release versions of Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid changed some of the music from the broadcast version, including removing an instance of the opening theme being used as an insert song in episode 13, replacing it with generic battle music instead.
  • An episode of GunBuster had one song removed and replaced because it sounded too much like "Chariots of Fire".
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam lost its theme songs for its US release, replacing them with standard BGMs played over the same opening animation. This is because Neil Sedaka composed the songs, and thus his family has been holding out on the rights; this is the same reason Super Robot Wars hasn't used either of the openings as Zeta's battle theme in years.
    • In the HD Remaster of Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, T.M.Revolution's song, "Vestige", was replaced in episode 39 by "Kira, Sono Kokoro no Mama ni" ("Kira, Just as He Pleases" / "Kira, True to His Feelings") during Strike Freedom's first sortie.
  • Inuyasha: While V6's "Change The World" is retained as the first opening on TV and DVD, Netflix replaces it with "Hanyou Inuyasha".
  • Kodocha: Tokio's contract prohibited their music to be used overseas so Funimation used the second season's opening in place of the first. Furthermore, a member of Tokio cameos in the first episode while the forbidden song plays in the background. The English dub track simply renames the band "Kyoto" and again swaps in the 2nd opening song. On the Japanese track... silence.
  • K-On!'s founding band performs an instrumental version of "Tsubasa wo Kudasai" in the Japanese version of the release in order to convince a prospect to join. On the US distribution, on both the US and the JP tracks, this is replaced with an instrumental version of "Aura Lea" (or "Love Me Tender," the Elvis Presley version of the song), which causes a minor continuity glitch as both language tracks refer to the "Tsubasa wo Kudasai" performance in later episodes.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth's original English release only featured covers of openings 1 & 3 and endings 1 & 2 respectively due to the price of paying licenses to cover the rest. Both Media Blasters' remastered DVD release note  and Discotek's Blu-ray (and DVD) release has all 3 openings and all 3 endings intact.
  • The English dub of Monster replaces The Ronettes' "Be My Baby" with a generic instrumental in The Baby's introduction, removing the subtle joke that the neo-Nazi is a fan of a multi-racial group. The source of this is the Japanese company over music distribution, so VIZ had to compensate for the missing tracks.
  • The Netflix release of Neon Genesis Evangelion replaces the various covers of "Fly Me to the Moon" with "Rei."
  • Nintama Rantarou: The Series 1 DVD box sets do not include the first ending theme.
  • One Piece:
    • One of the ending themes was removed from the US Funimation version due to licensing issues and replaced with the ending that followed it on both the DVD and simulcast. In this case, the actual animation was replaced as well.
    • Apparently Funimation weren't able to get the rights to the Adventure Of Nebulandia special's theme song, "Black Make Up", as it's replaced with "We Go!" on the English streaming and home video versions.
  • Skull Man had its original opening, "Hikari no Machi", partially replaced for Japanese home video, and completely replaced for English release.
  • Due to royalty/distribution issues, Speed Grapher's intro removed Duran Duran's "Girls on Film" in the American and European releases and replaced it with an instrumental track.
  • Strike Witches: Due to copyright concerns regarding the German song "Lili Marleen", the North American releases have replaced this song with "Negai no Tomoshibi".
  • Trapp Family Story: The anime originally opened with a Japanese version of "Do-Re-Mi", but reruns and the DVD change the song to "Smile Magic".
  • Vandread's original broadcast used the original Louis Armstrong version of "What a Wonderful World" at the end of one episode, as a callback to a music box from an earlier scene. In its subsequent DVD release, they changed it to a cover version. For the English track, they came up with a completely different song and changed the music box to match up with the new song.

    Film — Animated 
  • Titanic: The Legend Goes On: The movie has two versions. The recut movie replaces three main songs (Love ballad, rap and mariachi song) with different ones. In addition, the rest of the background music is also changed to more refined versions.
  • The Point: Non-musical example — due to Dustin Hoffman's contract stipulating that his narration could only be used for one airing, his voice had to be redubbed for subsequent airings. Alan Barzman was used for the first rebroadcast, Ringo Starr did the home video release and Alan Thicke did a version that was broadcast on cable during the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Downplayed with Turning Red, the version of the track "Nobody Like U" that Disney released as part of the official soundtrack features a City Shout Out to Glendale while the version heard in the film itself instead shouts out Toronto (in the form of T.O.). The latter version is only clearly heard in the credits and Disney only promotes the former version so few people who have heard the song even realize Disney changed it.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Big Fix includes a lovely scene with Richard Dreyfuss preparing for a date, with Leon Redbone's "I Wanna Be Seduced" as the BGM. Sadly, for the VHS release, the song had to be replaced with generic instrumental music. Fans assiduously record the movie every time it shows up on TCM, while holding out hope for a DVD release.
  • Bill Cosby: Himself featured a different opening (and thus, different song) when released on DVD.
  • Dracula (1931): Besides the Philip Glass string quartet version, there was also a version found on the Dracula Blu-ray disc that took '40s and '50s stock music and made a new score out of it (or more accurately, a score, since the original film was mostly score-free aside from the intro and the concert scene). This score can be found on the French audio track, and strangely was mixed with the English audio when it was shown on a 2015 Svengoolie airing.
  • Happy Birthday to Me's original DVD release from Sony Pictures had a completely different, disco-inspired soundtrack. It was later revealed that the film's temp soundtrack was used accidentally. Anchor Bay's DVD reissue and Mill Creek's Blu-ray have the original audio.
  • The scene in Love at First Bite where Dracula and Cindy dance was originally set to the highly-appropriate Alicia Bridges song "I Love The Nightlife". In home-video releases, it was replaced with a generic disco tune. It was restored for the twin-pack DVD paired with Once Bitten.
  • The 2004 DVD release of Mary Poppins had a variant, toting an "Enhanced Home Theater Mix" to honor its 40th anniversary, with nearly all of the Stock Sound Effects replaced, and some of the music being "sweetened" with extra instruments to sound more full. (Obvious examples include the wind when Mary Poppins is sitting on a cloud, Admiral Boom's cannon firing, the "Poof!" noise when the character jump into the chalk drawing, the thunder and lightning before it starts raining on the chalk drawing, and the fireworks following the "Step in Time" number.) This version was also used whenever ABC Family aired the movie prior to 2012. Fortunately, the DVD release also included the original soundtrack as an audio option, and all subsequent home media releases (beginning in 2009) would only use the original soundtrack.
  • The 1984 cut of Metropolis by Giorgio Moroder featured both a new contemporary score by him, and an album’s worth of original songs also produced by him and sung by the likes of Freddie Mercury, Bonnie Tyler, Pat Benatar, and others.
  • On the VHS release of A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, tracked-in music from Christopher Young's score replaces Bing Crosby's version of "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?" over the end credits.
  • The original and 1999 VHS releases of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors replace a song during the opening credits. Dokken's "Into The Fire" gets swapped out in favor of an instrumental version of Joe Lamont's "Quiet Cool" (which was the theme to a completely different, non-slasher film). Later DVD releases reinstate the Dokken tune.
  • The President's Analyst: The title character at one point hides out with rock band Clear Light, led here by Barry McGuire, but initial video release of the movie substituted a couple of songs they did with some similar-sounding generic tunes (though a later DVD release put the original music back).
  • The theatrical and original VHS release of The Return of the Living Dead featured "Dead Beat Dance" by The Damned in an early scene. Due to rights issues, however, the song has been removed from all subsequent home video releases and television broadcasts beginning with the Hemdale Video release in 1991. The song "Young Fast Iranians" by The F.U.'s is usually substituted in its place.
  • Slap Shot had "Right Back Where We Started From" and the rest of the songs featured in the film (including tracks by Elton John and Fleetwood Mac) removed from its VHS releases and replaced with generic instrumentals. The songs were restored on the subsequent DVD and Blu-ray releases.
  • One scene of Spellbinder has the radio playing, with one main character stating they enjoy the song. The theatrical and VHS version had the radio playing "Blind Alley" by Gary Wright; the DVD and all subsequent releases use "Devil's Radio" by George Harrison. Thankfully, both songs fit the scene quite well.
  • Top Dog: The DVD release largely keeps the original score intact, but two scenes feature new pieces:
    • The action sequence with the gun-firing clowns. In the theatrical cut, it's accompanied by a traditional orchestral score. In the TV edit, it's replaced by demented circus music, which arguably makes the scene much funnier.
    • When Jake goes to a house and beats up a criminal (to which Reno gets the credit), the theatrical cut is accompanied by an orchestral piece. The TV edit replaces it with a country/rock piece.
  • Wayne's World: "No Stairway? Denied!" makes a lot more sense when you consider that the original theatrical release had Wayne play the first five notes of "Stairway to Heaven" before the guitar shop owner cuts him off. Some releases changed it to the first two notes; most releases nowadays have a generic riff.

    Music Videos 
  • The Blue Öyster Cult track The Marshall Plan is about a hopeless dreamer fantasising about becoming a rock star. The album track illustrates his essential lack of imagination and original talent by having him play a couple of bars of Deep Purple's Smoke on The Water. This is completely absent from the video, as if rights to use the DP track had been refused.

  • The original version of Creature from the Black Lagoon had five '50s pop songs licensed for its game theme; "Rock Around the Clock", "Get a Job", "Summertime Blues", "Willie and the Hand Jive", and "Red River Rock". However, the digital version for FarSight Studios' The Pinball Arcade removes "Get A Job" and "Summertime Blues" due to licensing issues. The later Pinball FX 3 version got it even worse; only “Red River Rock” remained.
  • Last Action Hero: The Pinball Arcade version replaces AC/DC's, Megadeth's, and Queensryche's soundtracks with rearranged tunes, likely due to Farsight being unable to acquire the licenses for the bands' music.

  • Canceled Too Soon: Often discussed — many of the shows reviewed were made before home video releases for TV shows had become mainstream, and as a result, some of the episodes have different soundtracks than they had when originally aired. Birds of Prey (2002) is a particularly noteworthy example.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • SHIMMER: The announcers mention during the Sara Del Rey-Mercedes Martinez match on Volume 1 that Sara uses the same music — Europe's "The Final Countdown" — as her mentor Bryan Danielson. However, the DVD replaced that theme with generic instrumental music.
  • The WWE Network often needs to dub over entrance music from the other promotions' content they upload. Sometimes this is done by replacing their music with their WWE equivalent (such as Chris Jericho's WCW entrance music) and others they simply dub it over with another theme entirely. Most evident with ECW's footage as ECW had a tendency to use unlicensed music from real artists during its shows due to the relative obscurity of the promotion and timeslot permitting them to easily slide under the copyright holders' radars.


    Video Games 
  • Many classic Arcade Games from the early 1980s that originally used Real Song Theme Tunes have had their themes altered upon rerelease. These include Frogger, Track & Field, Pengo, Rainbow Islands, Vanguard.
  • The cover of "Samba de Janeiro" in beatmania IIDX 13 DistorteD was not brought over to the PS2 version. Although the covering artist, Lion MUSASHI aka dj TAKA, is an in-house musician at Konami, the original group behind the song, Bellini, isn't.
  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth features a completely rewritten soundtrack because Edmund McMillen's contract with Danny Baranowsky, the composer of the Flash version, covered only the original Flash game, not any ports or remakes. This is also why console ports of Super Meat Boy feature a different soundtrack.
  • Bomb Jack: Due to the use of copyrighted songs, the port featured on the Xbox-exclusive Tecmo Classic Arcade mostly uses music from the NES version instead (which itself had different music from the arcade).
  • Brutal: Paws of Fury: Notable in that all three console versions (SNES, Genesis, Sega CD) have unique soundtracks.
  • Chuck Rock: The Sega CD version has tunes not heard in the SNES and Genesis versions.
  • Crazy Taxi's PC, PSN, and XBLA ports lack the tracks from Bad Religion and The Offspring that the arcade, GameCube, and Dreamcast editions had. The PC edition has tracks from other punk bands, while the PSN and XBLA versions use original scoring. The iOS and Android releases resecured the rights to these songs, but they play the full versions of the songs.
  • The original SNES version of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! was composed by Eveline Fischer; when re-released for the GBA, David Wise created an entirely new soundtrack. Wise initially attempted to port the SNES soundtrack directly, but found that its atmospheric and bass-heavy sound didn't translate to the GBA's more limited speakers, so the new soundtrack was made more melodic to sound better with the new hardware.
  • Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex: The Xbox and GameCube versions play the music from "The Gauntlet" on the "Medieval Madness" level, whereas the PS2 had a unique tune for "Medieval Madness".
  • "Petit Love" by from DanceDanceRevolution 4th MIX PLUS should have appeared on DanceDanceRevolution EXTRA MIX, which includes all other songs that aren't Nonstop Megamixes from 4th PLUS and the "Solo" sub-series of DDR games, but never made it.
  • The PC Engine CD port of Double Dragon II has a brand new RedBook soundtrack, with even the series' classic main theme being replaced.
  • Dead or Alive:
    • While Aerosmith songs were used as themes for Dead or Alive 3, 2: Ultimate and 4, their FMVs that were re-purposed as cutscenes in Dimensions replace the songs with completely different instrumental pieces.
    • The two Bomb Factory songs "Exciter" and "Deadly Silent Beach" were removed from DOA 2: Ultimate.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai: The HD Collection (containing the original Budokai and Budokai 3) replaced the entire soundtrack with songs from other titles, as the original composer, Kenji Yamamoto, was found to be plagiarizing his work and got fired as a result.
  • The Sega CD versions of Ecco the Dolphin and its sequel had all-new RedBook audio soundtracks composed by Spencer Nilsen.
  • Fatal Fury: The Fatal Fury Battle Archives collections had the option to turn on new remixed soundtracks.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: Licensing issues resulted in "Wanna Be Startin' Something" being removed from the Steam version, as well as other digital re-releases.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV: In April 2018 (ten years after the original release), an update removed a number of different songs from the game, with Vladivostok FM being hit the hardest, losing most of its songs, including the very first song you hear in the game.
  • The American versions of several Gundam games, including Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never-Ending Tomorrow and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, removes the songs from the anime and replaces them with generic tracks composed exclusively for other games like Zeonic Front. This seems to have been done on purpose by Bandai as a cost-saving measure since it started happening around the time the anime market started dropping off in the West.
  • Halo 2's Anniversary edition had new songs composed to replace the licensed music by Breaking Benjamin, Hoobastank and Incubus.
  • The original web versions of the Henry Stickmin Series recycled music and sound effects from a wide range of video games and other media. For their remasters in The Henry Stickmin Collection sold on Steam, these were replaced with original audio for obvious legal reasons.
  • In the Hunt: The Playstation version had a brand new soundtrack in Redbook audio. The original arcade soundtrack is an option, however.
  • Looney Tunes: Space Race has two completely different soundtracks between the Dreamcast and PS2 versions, despite being basically the same game.
  • Meat Boy: Made for most console releases in 2015, and featuring Ridiculon (composer of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth's soundtrack), SCATTLE (composer of Hotline Miami's soundtrack), and Laura Shigihara (composer of Plants vs. Zombies's soundtrack). This came about when Danny Baranowsky refused to extend the license Team Meat had on his soundtrack for future usage, and its presence inevitably caused a Broken Base.
  • Mega Man 8: Tengu Man's stage theme in the Sega Saturn version is completely different from the PlayStation version.
  • Mega Man X: In the English version of Mega Man X Legacy Collection, when the games were set to Japanese, the replacement songs for their international localizations still continue to play due to Capcom not willing to license them out for international use. In the cases of Mega Man X6 (which retained its own songs in its original international release) and Mega Man X7 (which featured an instrumental version of "Lazy Mind", its Japanese ending theme), brand new instrumental music had to be produced for the collection. As a result, "Moonlight" and "The Answer" were replaced with "The Crisis Continues", while "I.D.E.A." got substituted for "End of File", and "Break Out" now stands in for "Lazy Mind".
  • Michael Jackson's Moonwalker: The graveyard level, an obvious homage to the "Thriller" video, does not actually have "Thriller" playing in the background, instead using "Another Part of Me", except in prerelease builds. Some versions do use "Thriller" for the dance (which is obviously the Thriller dance), while others persistently use "Another Part of Me" even for this. It is generally believed that the reason why "Another Part of Me" was used instead of "Thriller" is that "Thriller" was written by Rod Temperton, not Michael Jackson, and so Temperton would have to be paid royalties from his song appearing in the game — obviously a realization which came late in the game (All other songs in the game — "Smooth Criminal", "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Bad" — were written by Michael Jackson).
  • Mr. Nutz The GBA port had different music than the original SNES and Sega versions.
  • Parodius: The song that was used originally in the first stage of Jikkyō Oshaberi Parodius — "That's the Way (I Like It)", by KC & The Sunshine Band — was changed in the PSP version to the song "Brilliant2U" by Naoki Maeda, presumably to avoid copyright issues, since it's an American song. This happened to other tracks in the collection as well. Prior to it, the PlayStation and Sega Saturn release of Sexy Parodius replaced a arrangement of "El Bimbo" with "Symphony No. 40". The same thing was also done for "In the Mood" and "Mambo No. 5" in Gokujou Parodius.
  • Pengo: Some ports replaced the "Popcorn" music with original songs.
  • Persona: The PSP version had most of the soundtrack of the PSX version replaced with newer tracks, only those composed by Shoji Meguro were left intact.
  • "Super Mario Bros BGM Medley" from pop'n music 14 FEVER! was not included in the PS2 port of FEVER!, for obvious reasons.
  • Quake had the soundtrack completely ripped out of digital releases due to being composed by Trent Reznor, and him maintaining all the rights to it. Due to the fact that the music was largely of the Drone of Dread type, this wasn't quite as glaring as it might seem, but it was still a fairly obvious omission. About a year after the OST got put out on Vinyl, the game got a free (for previous owners) Updated Re-release that, among other things, finally reinstated the soundtrack.
    • Quake II, somewhat inexplicably, also lacks the soundtrack on the Steam and Microsoft Store versions, but not the GOG version.
  • Rainbow Islands: In the original arcade version and a handful of early ports, the background music used part of "Over the Rainbow". Most modern ports use a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, or in the Game Boy Color version, the Bubble Bobble theme. The emulated arcade version in Taito Legends simply mutes the offending melody. Additionally, the North American NES version uses the original theme, but with a different melody.
  • Revolution X: The console ports replace the following songs for these stages:
    • "Fever" in place of "Toys in the Attic" for the Middle East stage.
    • "Dude Looks Like a Lady" replaces "Walk This Way" for the end credits.
    • Additionally, "Rag Doll" is used for the title screen. There was no theme song in the original arcade version.
  • Rise of the Robots was heavily advertised as featuring music by Brian May. However, they got into rights issues with EMI. Rather than delaying the game to resolve them, the developers completely replaced May's music with techno music by Fuzzy and Clownlogic. The Brian May soundtrack was eventually included on the 3DO and CD-i versions, letting the player choose between it or the techno soundtrack.
  • Resident Evil: Director's Cut: Dual Shock Edition replaced the original soundtrack with a completely new one that was almost universally panned. Luckily, the 2002 remake instead went for a remixed version of the original score.
  • San Francisco Rush: The Midway Arcade Treasures 3 version of The Rock had the arcade soundtrack replaced with Suspiciously Similar Songs. The N64 version of Rush 2049 had a completely new soundtrack, with some of its songs carrying over to the Dreamcast and MAT 3 versions, which otherwise retained the original arcade soundtrack.
  • When The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants was re-released on Sega Genesis, it had a completely new soundtrack. Notably, it didn't feature The Simpsons theme song like the NES version did.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic CD: The original Japanese soundtrack was kept for the European release, but the American version replaced it with a whole new soundtrack. However, only the Past tunes were kept, which led to a rather jarring problem: each stage had its main Present theme and three remixed versions (Past, Good Future, Bad Future), but the American soundtrack only replaced the Present version and both of its Future remixes, leaving the remaining Past tune sounding nothing like its accompanying tracks. When the game was re-released in 2011, all regions used the original Japanese soundtrack by default, but included the option to use the American tracks; however, the Japanese themes, You Can Do Anything and Cosmic Eternity - Believe in Yourself, had their lyrics removed. This is rumored to be due to the estate of the late Casey Rankin not allowing them to use his contribution to the song, though they are available on the 20th anniversary re-release of the album released that same year. The version in 2022's Sonic Origins, being based on the 2011 version, also has both soundtracks, though defaults to the US soundtrack; however, the vocals for the aforementioned JP intro and ending were restored.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles saw several songs replaced for its first PC port in 1997, namely Carnival Night Zone, IceCap Zone, Launch Base Zone, Knuckles' theme, the Competition menu, and the credits music. While most fans believed that these tracks were replaced due to rights issues with Michael Jackson and his sound team, who contributed to the Sonic 3 half's soundtrack; however, the 2019 leak of an early prototype version of the game shows that they were initially present in the Genesis version as well, which actually makes them the originals. Sonic Origins would use these versions of the tracks, likely due to the rumored legal issues, with Jun Sunoe also creating a new track for Super Sonic.
  • Super Locomotive an Arcade Game created by Sega in 1982, originally used the song "Rydeen" by Yellow Magic Orchestra. In 2022, Sega created a specially made Sega Genesis port for their Genesis Mini console that replaces "Rydeen" with "Ryzeen", a Suspiciously Similar Song written by Oriental Magnetic Yellow.
  • Supa Robo Gakuen: All of the battle themes, to cut down on licensing costs. Despite using only licensed mecha, the entire soundtrack replaces their traditional themes with generic versions, many of which are shared between versions.
  • The Superman Licensed Game for the Nintendo Entertainment System used the Superman movie series themes in the Japanese version, but the U.S. version had a different soundtrack taken from the Famicom RPG Indra no Hikari.
  • For the HD port of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, rights issues caused most of the soundtrack note  to be replaced with songs from other Super Monkey Ball titles and six new songs.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
  • Voodoo Vince: The "Remastered" port contains a different music piece for the "Earth, Water and Wood" stage. It's a lot more upbeat and faster-paced, which ties in better with the "Sausage Factory" sub-level.
  • The soundtrack to Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2, the series' first soundtrack release, does not include "Stream of Tears (more tranced mix)" from the first game. The track could be downloaded off of the official game website, albeit only in 128 kbps audio. A lossless version of the track would not appear until the 10th anniversary Compilation Rerelease of the first five games' soundtracks.

  • Check, Please!: A lyrics-only variation. The words to "Halo" by Beyoncé appear a couple of times in Year Two, but when the comic was published in graphic novel format by First Second, they had to be changed to a Suspiciously Similar Song to get around copyright issues.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the toon "Strong Bad Sings", the "Strong Mad Forgets the Words to His Favorites" sequence features The Cheat playing "Happy Birthday to You!" on a piano. In the DVD release, due to copyright concerns, he plays "Hot Cross Buns" instead.
    • The early short "Marshmallow's Last Stand" features a snippet of the main theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which was replaced with an original piece on DVD.
    • The Old Timey short "Kick the Can" uses Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" as its soundtrack. The DVD release replaces it with an original track.

    Web Video 
  • A VHS copy of Scott The Woz's video The Internet and You was produced in limited qualities for a 2019 charity fundraiser. It replaced most of the music used due to fear of potential copyright issues, though the original version remains on YouTube, and retains the original copyrighted music.
  • In the Youtube upload for A Voice from the Dark, the characters sing The Time Warp to defeat the titular Voice. Due to potential copyright issues, this is replaced with an original song for the official CD release.

    Western Animation 
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks goes through this from time to time, and it has actually become something of a big issue as far as DVD releases of the series are concerned (despite it being a musical comedy). A few episodes that have been released have had copyrighted songs replaced with poorly-dubbed recordings of original Chipmunk songs (for example, "Love Potion No. 9" is replaced in one episode with "Witch Doctor"), meanwhile, there are several episodes that feature songs by Michael Jackson, The Beatles, and others that can't be released without being replaced entirely. Some episodes have managed to keep the songs intact, however.
  • Season 1 of Captain N: The Game Master had numerous cover versions of popular songs, such as "Thriller" and "Danger Zone." Later releases replaced these songs with an instrumental version of "Mega Move" an original song created for Season 2 of the show. Season 2 itself instead chose to make original songs that sounded suspiciously similar to already existing songs. For example, one episode played the song "Dangerous Place," which sounds very similar to "Danger Zone."
  • When the theatrical Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons and many other Harveytoons shorts were packaged together for the syndicated Casper and Friends TV series in 1990, due to conflicting music rights with Winston Sharples (composer of the original shorts), the cartoons' soundtracks were completely redubbed with new voice actors, synthesized multi-purpose music tracks and more "modern" Stock Sound Effects.
    • Averted for 1998's The Harveytoons Show, a Spiritual Successor to the previous series which mostly restores the cartoons' original soundtracks. The exceptions are the cartoons featuring Buzzy the Crow; those kept the 1990 soundtracks, since the redubs changed Buzzy's stereotypical black dialect to a less offensive one. The Complete Harveytoons DVD set goes back to the original soundtracks for all cartoons.
  • Daria: Most of the licensed songs were replaced with generic tracks on the DVDs.
  • The Drawn Together episode "Dirty Pranking No. 2", does a Dirty Dancing parody and uses "(I've Had) the Time of My Life" as part of that parody. Reportedly, the songwriter was infuriated at seeing his song used in this fashion and refused to negotiate video rights to it. The DVD version of the episode replaces it with an original song making fun of the situation.
  • Duckman: On the seasons 3 & 4 DVD set, during "Aged Heat 2: Women in Heat", Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" was replaced with a stock music piece called "Wow!".
  • Gold Digger: Time Raft: When the three episodes were edited together into The Movie, certain music pieces were replaced with different ones. Most of the music remained the same, though.
  • Gumby: The Capitol Records stock music was replaced by synthesized music for the '80s re-runs, and the voice tracks were all re-recorded with the voice talent from the '80s revival series.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • "To Beep or Not to Beep" was made of footage originally used in the Adventures of the Road Runner pilot. Rather than re-use the soundtrack by Milt Franklyn, though, Bill Lava created an entirely new score for the cartoon. A fan video comparing the two soundtracks can be found on YouTube.
    • Similarly, the footage in "Devil's Feud Cake" was almost entirely culled from earlier shorts, but the music by Bill Lava was brand new.
    • "Freudy Cat" is a Clip Show cartoon. For the older film clips that it uses, some (though, oddly, not all) of the music by Carl Stalling was replaced with new music by Bill Lava.
    • The 1951 short "Rabbit Every Monday" contained a scene where Bugs pretended a party was happening in the oven, and jazzy music (and later "Auld Lang Syne") is heard every time the oven door is open. The short was included as part of the TV special "Bugs Bunny's Thanksgiving Diet"; the oven music was replaced with something more contemporary (specifically, disco music).
  • "(I Want to Marry a) Lighthouse Keeper" by Erika Eigen, notably from the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange, was played in the broadcast of The Maxx, but home video versions replaced it with a song with the lyric "I'm in Love with a School Bus Driver", which kinda misses the point of the Clockwork Orange reference.
  • The DVD releases of the first two series of Postman Pat both use the Series 2 title sequence with the Series 3 theme song, due to problems with the rights to the original theme.
  • The original theme song for ProStars was "We Are ProStars", a song almost identical to Queen's "We Will Rock You". It was replaced very quickly by a new theme that de-emphasized the similarity.
  • The DVD boxsets of Rocky and Bullwinkle replace all the theme music (pretty much the only music in the show) with songs from Season 3 for all five seasons. According to the creator's daughter, it was because it was the music he preferred for the show and because they were trying to keep the show consistent.
  • There was an odd variation in an episode of The Simpsons ("Saddlesore Galactica") that used Cake's "The Distance". The rights weren't cleared in time for the original broadcast and a soundalike instrumental track was used instead, but later on, they did get the rights, and repeats (as well as the DVD) use the actual song.
  • The DVD versions of a few Spongebob Squarepants episodes have some of the incidental music replaced due to licensing issues (as while most of the show's soundtrack is stock music, not all of it is public domain). One notable example is in the episode "Employee of the Month", when Spongebob is spying on Squidward, "Agent Woodrow" by The Woodies is replaced with "Hercule Poirot" by Gerhard Trede. Oddly, the episodes in question are not edited on the iTunes versions. Incidentally, the pilot episode "Help Wanted" managed to keep the 1968 Tiny Tim cover of "Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight" when it was finally released on home media as a bonus feature on the 2005 season 3 DVD set (it was excluded from the 2003 season 1 DVD set due to Nickelodeon being unwilling to re-license the song at the time) and the season 2 episode "Band Geeks" was able to retain David Glen Eisley's "Sweet Victory" in all home media releases, largely because the scenes where each song plays was animated around the music and it would've been too impractical to try and come up with effective replacement songs.
  • Stressed Eric: The U.S. theme music is completely different from the original U.K. theme.
  • Even though they were all covers and not performed by the original artists, several episodes of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! featured segments with licensed music, all of which were removed from later broadcasts and all DVD releases of the show. These were replaced with instrumental versions of songs from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3: The episode "Kootie Pie Rocks" featured guest stars Milli Vanilli singing "Blame It on the Rain" and "Girl You Know It's True" in the original broadcast version. This was changed to a generic rock riff (an instrumental of the Captain N: The Game Master song "Mega Move") for re-runs and the home video version, though a reference to "Blame It on the Rain" in King Koopa's dialogue was kept. The fact that Milli Vanilli's lips don't match the music created a Hilarious in Hindsight moment when producer Frank Farian revealed in November of 1990 that the frontmen of Milli Vanilli had been lip-syncing to recordings by a much older ensemble of artists, ending the group's careers on the spot. Many speculate that the ensuing scandal from Farian's revelation played a considerable role in DiC choosing not to pursue regaining the license for the Milli Vanilli songs, though their track record with the original Super Show suggests that it was just another case of them deeming the licensing fees for including the music on home media and re-runs to be too much of a hassle. The show also had a number of covers of other popular songs, such as "Great Balls of Fire" and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." These songs were all replaced with the instrumental version of "Mega Move."
    • Irritatingly, the back of the DVD makes a point of saying "hear the original music" in the list of bonus features. While it implies that the original soundtrack for the episodes are intact, it actually means there's a menu where you can play the original compositions written for the show. The episodes on the DVD have the usual Mega Move edits.
  • The Wrong Trousers:
    • Most DVD releases, except for the original Fox DVD in 1999, replace "Happy Birthday to You" with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" and the organ renditions of "Happy Talk" and "How Much is that Doggy In The Window" with generic music.
    • In the original version, the Open University fanfare note  can be heard when Gromit watches TV. In the re-release, it's simply something generic.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Home Version Soundtrack Replacement


Music changes to Primeval

The first series of Primeval saw numerous changes to diegetic and non-diegetic licensed music when it hit DVD.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ReReleaseSoundtrack

Media sources: