Time Warp

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Time Warp
Composer Richard O'Brien
Released 1973-06-19
Title Origin Official

Time Warp is a song composed by Richard O'Brien for his stage musical, The Rocky Horror Show. It is the most recognizable of the songs from the musical, and features the Time Warp dance that is so popular at showings. The song has been used in each of the games.

The back covers of the home computer versions mention Druidcrest Music, the owner of O'Brien's composition.

Games

The Rocky Horror Show (C64)

Platform - C64.png
The Rocky Horror Show (C64)
Output - SID.svg
Rocky Horror Show - C64 - Title.png
Arranger Robert Hartshorne, Graham Jarvis
Programmer Graham Jarvis or Jay Derrett
Released 1985-0?-??
Length 2:18
BPM 188
Format SID
Loops Yes

A Computer Video & Games article and the inlay of a Tubular Bells demo from CRL Group (the publisher of The Rocky Horror Show (C64)), both 1986, credit the C64 music to Robert Hartshorne and Graham Jarvis of Clever Music (their own company, founded as Alphingwood).

The C64 game merely uses crazy credits, including Jay Derrett for "Dress Design" and Alphingwood for "Ivory Tickling". In the 2000s, Derrett also credited the C64 music to Clever Music; however, both Jarvis and Derrett stated to each have written a driver for Clever Music's work.

Curiously, the song data shows that the section from 0:15-1:05 is supposed to play twice (with a 1-bar bridge in-between), but due to a bug in the driver, it does not.

The Rocky Horror Show (CPC)

Platform - CPC.png
The Rocky Horror Show (CPC)
Output - AY.svg
Output - AY.svg
Rocky Horror Show - CPC - Title.png
Arranger Unknown
Released 1985-??-??
Length 0:22 (Menu), 2:16 (In-game)
Format UNK
Loops No (Menu), Yes (In-game)

The CPC version has two variants of Time Warp. The first is heard from the menu, while showing the Time Warp dance. It's short and doesn't loop. The second is the full version which does loop. But both are poorly arranged.

The Rocky Horror Show (ZXS)

Platform - ZXS.png
The Rocky Horror Show (ZXS)
Output - AY.svg
Output - PC Speaker.svg
Rocky Horror Show - ZXS - Title.png
Arranger Jay Derrett (48K version), Unknown (128 version)
Released 1985-0?-?? (48K version), 1986-0?-?? (128 version)
Length 0:18 (48 version)
2:16 (128 version)
Format AY

The game programmer Jeff Lee said in 2011:

The original 48k version had music by Jay Derrett, which was more of a tuned-rattle on the original on/off sound chip. The update had the version from the C64 by Rob Hartshorne at Clever Music as the 128k had a similar sound chip to that computer, which we capitalised on.

The 48K version is played during the loading screen, whhile the "Time Warp" dance is shown.

The 128 version, which is played during the gameplay itself, uses the same crazy credits and indeed song data as on the C64, obviously with the 6 instruments defined as 3 unique decay-sustain-envelopes, unobviously with 3 notes changed, and curiously without the above C64 repetition bug. It is unknown who did the transfer and conversion. Still, it is a rather poor job, as the final result sounds almost like a different song altogether. Only the "Let's do the Time Warp again" chorus is readily recognizable.

The Rocky Horror Show (A2)

Platform - A2.png
The Rocky Horror Show (A2)
Output - AY.svg
Arranger Unknown
Released 1986-??-??
Format UNK

Unlike the other ports, in the Apple II version the music is heard only in the title screen. As this port came pretty late, and it tooks like all its content was ported from ZX Spectrum just as an afterthought, the music quality is the lowest among the others.

The Rocky Horror Show (C128)

Platform - C128.png
The Rocky Horror Show (C128)
Arranger Jay Derrett
Released 1986-??-??
Format SID


The Rocky Interactive Horror Show (W32)

Platform - W32.png
The Rocky Interactive Horror Show (W32)
Output - PCM.svg
Arranger Richard O'Brien
Released 1999-??-??
Length 1:27
Format CD

This version is a cover, played by O'Brien himself on guitar in jukebox in the game. It has a good part from beginning, but not the full song. It's the only version that has lyrics.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (PS3, WII, X360)

Platform - PS3.png
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
Output - PCM.svg
Arranger Richard O'Brien
Released 2010-09-24
Format UNK

The original full studio version of that song came as the part of DLC, which provides the ability to follow guitars on this song, using your controller. Because it was not meant just for listening, it usually gets overlayered by player's sound effects, screaming crowd of "listeners" before your character's stage, etc, so ripping the original music files is needed for getting its actual sound.

Like all the Guitar Hero/Rock Band music files, it is stored as multitrack recording - in that particular case, kick drum, snare, cymbals/overhead percussion, lead guitar, bass guitar, and extras (vocals, piano, brass section and rhythm guitar) are player simultaneiously, but if the playef fails to follow the instructions of playing those parts, the particular track gets muted for a short time. In a "raw" variant, however, it's possible to extract them all into some audio software and investigate, how original instruments were layered in the studio recording, and some details buried in the original mix, like the very quite backing vocals (probably by Patricia Quinn) in the very beginning.

Lyrics

Almost none of the game's versions feature the lyrics of the original song.

Riff-Raff:
It's astounding;
Time is fleeting;
Madness takes its toll.
But listen closely...

Magenta:
Not for very much longer.

Riff-Raff:
I've got to keep control.

I remember doing the time-warp
Drinking those moments when
The Blackness would hit me

Riff-Raff:
And the void would be calling...

Transylvanians:
Let's do the time-warp again.
Let's do the time-warp again.

Narrator:
It's just a jump to the left.

All:
And then a step to the right.

Narrator:
With your hands on your hips.

All:
You bring your knees in tight.
But it's the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane.
Let's do the time-warp again.
Let's do the time-warp again.

Magenta:
It's so dreamy, oh fantasy free me.
So you can't see me, no, not at all.
In another dimension, with voyeuristic intention,
Well secluded, I see all.

Riff-Raff:
With a bit of a mind flip

Magenta:
You're into the time slip.

Riff-Raff:
And nothing can ever be the same.

Magenta:
You're spaced out on sensation.

Riff-Raff:
Like you're under sedation.

All:
Let's do the time-warp again.
Let's do the time-warp again.

Columbia:
Well I was walking down the street just a-having a think
When a snake of a guy gave me an evil wink.
He shook-a me up, he took me by surprise.
He had a pickup truck, and the devil's eyes.
He stared at me and I felt a change.
Time meant nothing, never would again.

All:
Let's do the time-warp again.
Let's do the time-warp again.

Narrator:
It's just a jump to the left.

All:
And then a step to the right.

Narrator:
With your hands on your hips.

All:
You bring your knees in tight.
But it's the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane.
Let's do the time-warp again.
Let's do the time-warp again.

Links