Review: Loading Ready Run
Artists: Press Play On Tape
Price: Out of print
Distributed by:


Press Play on tape are a Danish Band well known for playing famous c64 anthems live. This CD features 14 tracks and just under 60 mins of music. The music on this CD is not of the normal synthesised nature, but all the tunes are created using real instruments. 2 keyboards, bass, guitar and drums. In this case it means a more personal and characteristic performance for gives the listener a fresher approach to the art of c64 remxing.
PRESS PLAY ON TAPE - Loading Ready Run CD

Although the booklet that comes with the CD is a little on the small side and offers little to the history of the CD or each individual track, it is striking and effective. Each track contains two images of the c64 game in question and a small paragraph about the game or track.

Now the CD itself starts off with a superb rendition of Rambo – First Blood part II. This track is perfect for the beginning of the CD and really whets the appetite of what’s to come… The original seems to suit a live performance more than any other track on the CD. It’s possibly the best track too. It’s accurate, addictive and brilliantly performed. It had me rubbing my hands in anticipation for the rest of the CD.

So does the rest of the CD live up to the hype of the first track… Well yes mainly it does though the are a few blips along the way.

Ghosts and Goblins is arranged and performed very well, the rocky guitar feel works as expected very well. Though it’s arranged to perfection it’s a little shallow and seems to miss a little bit of power to really bring the track alive. Not that this track is bad, not in any means it may just lack a little substance to make it stand-out

Warhawk has the power and the feel of the original and all instruments work exceptionally well, Again suited very well to live playing. This is a superbly performed track meeting the ideals of the CD. The bridges of this tune are especially well worked.

Monty On The Run is a real challenge for any remixer. It’s fast and furious and full of power. But did PPOT manage to capture this as a band performance. Well Yes they did, but not only that the personal feel really shows here and the live feel gives the track more justice than what could have been expected.

Beyond The Ice Palace is a strange track really, and was a surprising inclusion to the CD. But when you hear how they have dealt with this then it won't be that surprising why it’s been chosen. Though the original sid wasn’t as popular as many on this CD, the arrangement will make its impression.

Wizardry could have been the perfect idea for the theme of the CD, but somehow this lacks the atmospheric touch and the feel of the original sid. For me this track needed more feeling and emotion to live up to it’s full potential.

Commando feels rough and sounds ugly, probably the most unimpressive track on the CD. Though to be fair I’ve never ever heard it done very well. This version is probably the best yet, but still falls short. The poor sounds of the keyboards probably don’t help matters.

Thing on a spring is one of those tracks that shouldn’t work at all, but credit all the way as Press Play On Tape have excelled in making this as good as any remix of it yet. All the instruments seem to fall in place here creating a slick and polished performance.

Aztec Challenge was to be expected I suppose when you think of Rock and sids working in harmony. This Track has been featured on Nexus and the bit CD’s before, does this offer much difference. Well not really. It’s possibly the poorest of the three, though it’s still quite good. This version lacks the power and aggression which is what is needed here. However the Drums are near perfect.

Auf Weidersehen Monty remixes and covers are always disappointing, as they seem always to be flat and they often lack any life. However I was delighted when I heard this rendition, as it’s perfect from the start to the end. Full of feeling and vitality, another one where all the instruments just fall into place like magic.

Paperboy Feat. Game over. A nice mix of guitar and keyboards play the lead. The guitar suits the track superbly, however I can’t help feeling that it would have been better if they totally left out the keyboards on this one. A nice rendition but nothing special. The gameover part doesn’t work at all, though it was a brave attempt to remix the two parts together.

Krakout is brilliant, and the sounds are superb, they keep in touch with the original sid yet add much more with the use of real instruments. This is an exceptional cover with the exact same jollyness of the original. Accurate, accurate, accurate!

Thrust was always gonna suit the live nature of this CD, and it has been realised here with a very polished performance. A beautiful blended piece where all the instruments again work in harmony.

Master Of Magic. Everything is perfect with this track regardung the style and sounds, but the clanking beat of the original is missing which gave the piece a very earie feel. It wasn’t gonna be easy recreating that chilling sound, and unfortunately they haven’t managed it here, but ignore that fact then everything else is perfect.

This CD is more than outstanding value. This isn’t about over used synths and crowded out instruments. This is everything you wanted a live sound to be like, personal, inviting and gripping and filled with pure passion for what they do. Apart from a few little blips here and there this CD won’t disappoint in any shape or form. Certainly one for pumping up the volume on the old hi-fi system and letting the world know c64 music isn’t just about plinky plinky, oh no this is Rock V’s SID which will undoubtedly gain a new audience. Welcome to the world of c64 rock music, welcome to Press Play On Tape.

Rating: 8/10

Remix64 Silver Seal Of Approval

Another point of View - Review by Andrew Fisher

Commodore 64 music is going to outlast the computer itself, thanks to fanatics like this group of Danes who play game tunes from the C64 on live instruments - guitars, drums and keyboards. And they are the stars of Back in Time Live 3, held in June 2002.

So, what do you get for your money? The clever CD cover shows a genuine 64 screenshot, with the words PRESS PLAY ON TAPE LOADING READY RUN (the name of the band followed by the name of the album). The back of the inlay has a great band photo, all clad in black as if they were members of Kraftwerk.
Each track is illustrated with screenshots and/or the loading screen from the game itself, and a short description - which include facts about the game, the music or what PPOT hoped to achieve with their cover.

The choice of tracks is interesting - apparently they started out playing a lot of Rob Hubbard, and then Martin Galway suggested the RAMBO loading theme as having a rock feel. There are also a couple of tracks that have not made it onto previous remix/audio CD’s.

RAMBO First Blood Part II

The familiar Morse code sounds start us off, and then the pounding beat of the original kicks in with some mean guitar playing. It would be interesting to hear them cover the rest of the game soundtrack, including the pieces inspired by the Jerry Goldsmith score.


Mark Cooksey’s spooky version of this on BACK IN TIME 2 set a high standard, and this is very similar in places. I particularly like the way it fades out, slowing down as it goes.


A guitar solo perfectly re-creates the impressive opening to this track, and throughout you would be forgiven for thinking this is exactly how Rob Hubbard wanted it to sound. The ending is good as well.


More great guitar on this track re-creates the chaotic feeling of the original, with all the feedback and descending chords. The collapse of the solo is also expertly handled.


Some spooky stuff from David Whittaker in this game, which is still too tough. This track starts with a really mean heavy metal sound, and switches easily into the different tempo of the middle section. Sadly, it all ends rather quickly, but then so does the original.


A welcome change of pace brings us this excellent acoustic cover, recreating the gentle atmosphere of Mike Alsop’s medieval tune. The little touches of percussion add to it, rather than spoiling it.


This track does not disappoint, with the keyboards to the fore over some heavy riffing. The bass and drums drive the track on to those familiar alarm-bell chords and the unusual rapid changes of tempo. When the guitar takes over the lead, you could be listening to the theme tune of an action movie.


This is a very complex track to tackle, with it’s layers of sound and fast tempo. The rhythm section is brilliant, the keyboards fill in all the gaps and there’s even a vocoder voice saying Thing on a spring. The two guitars talk to each other as well, and it all adds up to an effective cover.


Paul Norman was always original in his programming style and the music he composed - and in an interview he put it down to not playing other people’s games. As the inlay says, the clever thing is the way this track evolves as you rush through the game. The unrelenting drumbeat meets up with some mean-sounding guitars and ethnic keyboards, then the mood changes again. The bass really pounds through on this track right up to the fadeout, and overall it is very different to Peter Connolly’s cover for Back In Time 2.


The game may have disappointed the critics and gamers, but the collaboration between Ben Daglish and Rob Hubbard produced an excellent soundtrack. The lead guitar handles the difficult slides well, and the darker middle section becomes very aggressive in PPOT’s hands.

When this kicked in, things went up a notch, and I knew this CD was all about how much PPOT loved the music and wanted to play it. A laid-back summery groove, the bass is awesome and the guitar licks follow effortlessly. And it segues neatly into the Martin Galway GAME OVER tune at the 3:15 mark, before joining the two together seamlessly to the end of the track.


This never got the accolades that Arkanoid did, but Ben Daglish’s surreal in-game music always stood out. Best described as Cockney knees-up meets 70’s funk, they have captured the changing moods and sounds really well. An unusual choice to try and recreate, but they manage it.


If you’ve seen the classic THRUST CONCERT demo, you already know what this should look like on stage! The intro with it’s ringing chords leads into a great drumbeat and that awesome bass. Again, like Warhawk, I imagine this is how Hubbard heard it in his head when he was composing.


Like the soundtrack to Zoids, this is a cover of a tune by the group Synergy. The original generated a lot of atmosphere that helped push this budget masterpiece to another level. The gentle bass and swirling keyboard sounds work together brilliantly with the percussion, and the whole track will leave you spellbound..

This CD is brilliantly presented, from the cover to the CD label, and the audio quality is very high.

If you read the quotes on the back of the case, you will hear how impressed the original composers are - and so am I!

PRESS PLAY ON TAPE are a talented group, and I can’t wait to here more from them in the future.

Overall 9/10

Remix64 Gold Seal Of Approval
  • Review is an independant review by andrew fisher, and the award above is only reflected on remix64's ratings system*