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The Top Seven: Donkey Kong Country songs
by Andrew Whipple III

The music of Donkey Kong is something to be treasured, and we have David Wise to thank for that. While no longer working with Rare or the happy family of apes, Mr Wise’s harmony of sounds is his legacy, and that’s what we’re focusing on today. After all, Donkey Kong Country Returns is just days away, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a retrospective tour of some of the series' finest tunes?

There are plenty of amazing songs in the series, but for the sake of time we’re going to shift our gaze to the best game of the SNES trilogy: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. Containing inordinate levels of lascivious resonance, Diddy’s quest for glory was always entertaining and always had a killer beat. Hell, even the final credit roll rocked the house. Without further ado, let's count down the top seven songs of the game.

7: Jib Jig

The first time you hear this environmentally-themed song thrash about, the humming will commence. There’s no stopping it. Sure, it’s a bit short and rotates quickly, but this is an addictive piece that’s perfect background music for climbing the ropes high above your local pirate ship.

6: Mining Melancholy

Contrary to the title, this song is anything but gloomy and depressing. Kicking into high-gear, this song contains a very excellent chorus coupled with sounds that work wonders for the levels you hear it in.

5: Snakey Chantey

If you’re a Donkey Kong veteran like myself, you might say that this song sounds awfully familiar. You’d be right, of course, because this is a remix of Gang Plank Galleon from the final boss fight in the first Donkey Kong Country. Needless to say, it’s absolutely rockin’.

4: Bayou Boogie

It may surprise you that I enjoyed this song so much (since it starts off slower than a tortoise moonwalking), but just give it a few minutes to warm up and I promise it’ll jump down your throat. The song. Not the tortoise.

3: Hot-Head Bop

Goodness gracious. What could be better than this bubbling, magma-infused masterpiece? Well, the next two songs, obviously; it was really, really tough to place this one in third. The background noises throughout the duration really add to the mix and bounce of the song. It’s possible that this is the catchiest theme of the bunch. I dare you to listen.

2: Forest Interlude

A song that could either lull you to sleep or emblazon a steadfast love for Mr. Wise (or both), Forest Interlude is divine. Atmospheric as it is, this song is a pandemic of music that must be heard by all. If it isn't on repeat inside your head tomorrow at work, you’ve obviously haven't heard it more than once. That, or you hate apes.

1: Stickerbrush Symphony

How could a countdown be without this quintessential piece of work? The most famous of the bunch, Stickerbrush Symphony has been the foundation stone of several excellent remixes (including one in Super Smash Bros. Brawl), and continues to impress aurally even in 2010. Every part of the song breathes awesome and cures diseases. Trust me.

Bonus: Re-Skewed

Bonus barrels are a key part of the Donkey Kong experience, so this countdown quite simply couldn't be without one. Re-Skewed is David Wise’s own piece of remix work. It was released on the free album Serious Monkey Business via OCRemix, an album which plays host to quite a few excellent-sounding pieces including Beneath the Canopy (Forest Interlude). None, however, quite match the quality of the master himself.

Thanks for counting down some of the best songs in the Donkey Kong universe with Gamer's Guide to Here’s hoping that Donkey Kong Country Returns... erm... returns, with some musical magnificence to rival those above, as tall an order as it seems.

Be sure to leave your thoughts or any musical treats we've missed out in the comments section, or let us know via our Twitter.

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- Andrew Whipple III

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