It's hard to take the incredible music from the Dragon Quest series and make a "best of" collection that fits in one disc (about 70 minutes) of music. So when they made a follow-up album a year later, they went for a two disc set. Not a bad decision.
These two discs are from the London Philharmonic recordings (either the original early '90s recordings, or the year 2000 remasterings/recordings). With the exception of one track (the ending to Dragon Quest IV), the tracklist comes in order of game release. Disc one contains music from DQ I through IV, and disc two has music from V through VII (with the exception of the aforementioned DQIV ending theme on track 13). Having two discs allows for more tracks per game, so the selection is definitely strong all-around.
Some of the best tracks on this disc are from Dragon Quest V. I'm not particularly fond of DQV's soundtrack over, say, IV or VI, but the track selections here were the best of the best. "Magic Carpet" and "Melody of Love" are big favorites of mine, and you can never go wrong with the ending music "Heaven." Also, from DQVII, "Saraband" is an all-time favorite. I wish they hadn't included as many battle/dungeon themes as they chose to include, but this is a personal preference.
If you're really in the market for a "best of" DQ album, this is the one, because it's got over 2 hours of music across two discs. All other "best" albums come as one disc collections, and that's simply not enough to cover the range of excellent music composed by Koichi Sugiyama. To get a fair sampling, you need at least two discs, if not more.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann